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West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« on: Yesterday at 05:59:29 PM »
Someone posted a couple of weeks ago that he suspects the Albion coaches aren’t very good.  I’m starting to think myself that is true.  It’s probably the case at other English clubs too. 

We have past their best experienced players dictating to the club over contracts instead of the club demanding they leave.  The culture is too soft.

We could have blooded several players and with the right coaching could’ve dramatically improved over a season or 2.  Where the hell is Kyle Edwards since Brentford away?

Indeed what is the point of the academy if prospects leave after a few appearances?
Good question - it's the type of thing that tends to happen to our young players. He played a loose pass at Bristol City which ended with their 2nd goal, was taken off when we changed shape for 2nd half. He looks a decent player to me though. Just wonder a couple of things - presumably we paid a loan fee for Murphy so there's always a tendency to want to get some value from signings. Also, we don't know, but there could have been one of these clauses for Murphy stating that he has to play a certain number of games or we pay more.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Under 23's/ Academy Thread
« on: Yesterday at 08:33:17 AM »
Yes it's pretty depressing really.

So Soule is 18 with one more year left on his deal. We don't know the level of Dortmund's interest but if they want him now, we'd get some money and presumably a sell-on clause.
If we keep him for the final year of his contract we'd almost be in a Harper situation....try and extend his contract now, give him games, show him there's a future here....then he'll probably go for peanuts next summer.

Re the academy generally, we are going to find it hard to hang on to the very best products but we have to hope the next level to that, the likes of Edwards, Field and some others, we can hang on to and get value from....there are quite a few other names emerging also.
I'm fairly sure we won't have lost money on the academy over the past 5 years, taking Wood, Thorne, Roofe, Berahino, Roberts into account.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Rekeem Harper
« on: May 23, 2019, 11:54:36 AM »
Very surprised at that comment. "Albion have provided no path for academy players"

Albion have provided a clear path IMO for academy players. the problem is, very few of them are good enough. Based upon our squad this season just finished, Harper is at best a squad player. Yes, he is only young and could improve and fulfill potential to make him a much better player. but i do not know what fans expect, young 18 year old kids to be thrown into the deep end and play 40 games?

Harper has made over 20 appearances this season so enough time to evaluate his ability and i along many others are not impressed. Izzy Brown was given a first team debut at 16 and in match day squads and wanted to move elsewhere.

Roofe & Roberts were not given many chances while they were at WBA but that was because we were a premier league club and established at the time with the priority being to stay in the league because of the financial rewards. It is a much more bigger gamble to introduce young academy players into the team whilst a premier league club unless they are very special players and up until now, neither of those two players are. But the position we find ourselves in now they would both get into our team and that is why with the level we are at now, i would expect more and more academy players to be given chances.

i think i said on another thread yesterday, there is only one player currently playing at a higher level than WBA who came through our academy and that is Chris Wood who i didn't know until yesterday he didn't come through from a young age group and was signed at 17 years old.

in summary, im all for giving academy players chances in the first team, but only if they are genuinely good enough. look at players who were being bigged up and pushing for chances such as Jerome Sinclair and Yan Dhanda. The latter played 4 times for a poor swansea side last year, and Sinclair spent the season on loan at Oxford.

i think the judgment of giving young kids chances at our club has been proven to be honest and we should let the professional people make the decisions.

i will never forget a game a few years back against Crystal Palace at home and the whole ground was screaming to bring Leko on as we were chasing a goal. we did bring him on, and he made a poor decision and lost the ball on the half way line to Townsend who skipped through and scored to finish the game. Young players have to be nurtured and slowly brought through to learn the game and how to deal with managing their decisions within a game and develop their ability at the same time.
Your Leko reference in a way typifies what happens with younger players at our club. Edwards played a loose pass at Bristol City which resulted in their 2nd goal and we haven't seen him since. I was quietly impressed with Edwards in his appearances and he showed more than Murphy for me.
There is going to be a settling in period for any youngster. Established players make mistakes and get forgiven but if a younger player does then he's judged to be not ready or too young.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Next manager...
« on: May 23, 2019, 08:06:54 AM »
Thinking of Labbadia and the like, I might be hoping a bit here here but possibly the No. 1 selling point we may have for a new manager is the academy set-up. There is now something to impress a prospective manager - reaching the FA youth cup semi, the exploits of Rogers, Barry and others in England age groups.  We could sell it as a 2 or 3 year project to build a new team.

I suspect these lads have been brought through with good skill levels, pace, versatility and whatever. If we want to use this, I can't see the point of appointing a pragmatic manager who will impose a conservative direct style. The most talented ones who may have ambitions of eventually playing for a top 6 prem club or top European side won't be able to leave the club quickly enough as they'll doubt they'll get the chance to catch the eye with us.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Craig Dawson
« on: May 22, 2019, 06:21:32 PM »
Think we have to be a touch wary of old links reappearing to fill column inches. If it is right we would sell given what Dowling has said.

We can't expect every penny of transfer fees to be re-invested in players. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think Lai wants the whole football operation to be self financing, which is how it was run under JP I believe ?

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: The Squad
« on: May 20, 2019, 09:54:10 PM »
:-*Yes, the squad in January badly needed some legs and quality in midfield and attackers especially after losing Barnes. Dowling bought in Murphy, Montero and Johansen - enough said .

He has some serious work to do to earn the fans trust..........
Johansen a midfielder who can run and pass - that was a shock.
Thing is not many players are available in January, it wouldn't be easy plucking another Barnes from somewhere.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Director of Football
« on: May 20, 2019, 06:51:27 PM »
It's far too early to be negative about Dowling. He's had one window so far that being January which is always difficult and I think most of us were pleased with the business done...Holgate and Johansen were positives, Murphy has disappointed but it happens, you don't tend to get 100% success rates.

The following are encouraging statements...

'we are planning to go with a younger first-team squad' and talking about a team with added energy, hunger and freshness.

Our own emerging youngsters should be part of this and I don't think we can expect this full process to be completed this summer but hopefully we see some clear steps in the right direction.

General Football & Sports / Re: FA Cup
« on: May 18, 2019, 10:13:03 PM »
They were clearly looking to enjoy themselves today after the pressure Liverpool put them under in the title race. de Bruyne lifts an already very good team to another level.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Next manager...
« on: May 17, 2019, 10:48:50 AM »
Whoever we get as manager not everyone is going to be happy.

I'm a fan of route one football. It gets results and it puts the opponents defence under increased pressure and we don't get into trouble passing it around at the back.  A tactic that has cost us many points this season.  So a manager who brings that is okay with me.

Other people like the passing out from the back. But if a manager brings that game you have got to have the players to play that game. Two managers that have been mentioned on here, Alex Neal and Graham Potter employ this tactic and look what we did to them at the Hawthorns.
It's not as simple as saying 'look what we did to them at the Hawthorns' though. Potter has been introducing his style and using a lot of younger players....it doesn't work instantly or 100% of the time. They still caused us plenty of problems at the Hawthorns and were without their main goal scorer.

General Football & Sports / Re: Tony Pulis
« on: May 17, 2019, 10:26:06 AM »
Can see him at Brighton, much nearer his home in Dorset for one thing.
No chance, Dan Ashworth has more brains than to appoint Pulis in today's football world. They are after Potter which says a lot more.

Back 3 outstanding especially Hegazi and Dawson. Great header by Dawson for the goal.

I saw Shan having a chat to Harper and Leko before the penalties. I was thinking they were going to be in the line-up to take one. I would back at least Harper to take a decent penalty. With Shan having a word with them it wouldn't surprise me if they volunteered but weren't trusted - I'm speculating but it would fit our general club treatment of young players. 

Now we need to recruit 2 midfielders, preferably mid twenties or younger,  who like Johansen can play CM or AM, can pass, move and have a good work rate.

It seems pointless speculating now that he's obviously staying at Fulham but he looked more than useful in an AM type role. Our formation and selection has meant he's hardly played in that advanced midfield role with a bit of freedom, Preston was one game where he did....then he seemed to be dropped deeper to accommodate Harper in the next game.

A big well done to my missus' team Newport County [my second team] on reaching the L2 playoff final after beating Mansfield on pens - they were in 10th place in L2 until the 87th min of their last game when they equalised against Morecambe.
However, I do sometimes wonder about the play offs - perhaps if the 2 legs finish tied the higher placed team should progress instead of penalties in the absence of the away goals rule???
Pretty amazing, entertaining game with loads of chances for both sides but 0-0 after 120 mins.(my 2nd team also).


Not sure what this has to do with anything as Gayle didn't get booked for diving yesterday.
Just comment on his general behaviour on the pitch which may not help him - yesterday we had the face clutching after the hand in the face which was not bad enough for him to react like that.

He needs to start being more honest, he is good enough not to need to tw@t about
Agreed, he's getting a reputation. Said it before but Shane Long used to get called out as a diver on here but Gayle's diving and general antics are worse, there's usually 1 or 2 incidents per game.

Surely Shan and Gayle must have known about the potential 2 match ban, so why the f**cking f**k didn't he come off after the yellow?
We were a goal down and Shan probably would have been crucified if he'd taken Gayle off.

Not enough intent to play football. It's OK trying to stifle them a bit which worked to a point but we got stuck in such a negative rut that when opportunities to break arose we weren't positive enough.
Same old story, midfield not strong enough to control a game and since Barnes has gone we are not potent enough on the counter either.

Completely forgot about Montero, when was he last seen?
I think we can safely forget about him, will be shocked if he featured in the playoffs. He looked quick playing for Swansea but not for us.

General Football & Sports / Re: OFFICIAL CHAMPIONSHIP THREAD
« on: May 11, 2019, 12:19:11 AM »
I didn't rate him when they played us - £15 million isn't much to Man Utd but it's quite a risk considering...
In this day and age where pace counts £15m would be very worth a punt. He's pretty useful.

« on: May 07, 2019, 10:04:48 PM »
Not a fan of Liverpool..but what a performance.. Barca thought it was all over after the first leg..Suarez and Messi totally anonymous and can't remember watching 2 poorer full backs..TAA and Robertson would walk into that side..nice to see Suarez skulk off..
Messi was semi anonymous but he still put Barca's clearest chances on a plate for Alba and Suarez.

Surprised there not opening the hawthorns
Could be some security questions around that option like the possibility of Villa fans without match tickets trying to attend the Hawthorns.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Next manager...
« on: May 07, 2019, 06:36:47 PM »
Who is going to decide our retained list,Shan ,the newly appointed manager or the board?
I don't know who is out of contract but these are my views if possible.
Robson Kanau not worth keeping apart from his unprofessional bookings.
Morrison in his roughly 10 years he has missed virtually 3 whole seasons with long standing problems
Harper only worth keeping to avoid him going on a free transfer after all the years spent developing him
unless he can at least achieve his performance against Rotherham
Brunt only as back squad player
I think we can do better than Holgate and Adebayor and they should be sent
Mears and Hoolihan presumably will have their contracts ended.
Murphy can be quite good or very poor so would look for similar player
I would assume that Dowling would have a big say, along with Shan - maybe Mark Harrison, academy manager would have some sort of say on younger players.
I guess we are about to find out whether Morrison's 2 year deal was appearance related. If it was, he's unlikely to have made enough appearances to bag the 2nd year....but more likely, inexplicably it was a straight two year deal and he's around for next year also.

          Dawson Bartley Hegazi
Holgate                               Gibbs
            Livermore Brunt
                Gayle Jrod

Try and kill the game and bring it back to the hawthorns
I'd go with that except Field for Brunt as a more natural DM, better tackler and younger legs.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Next manager...
« on: May 06, 2019, 04:38:54 PM »
We have to hope that the example of Norwich may open some eyes. Appointed a progressive manager who despite a couple of very wobbly periods has been given time to implement the style and get the results. Sold 2 or 3 of their best players, introduced some youngsters plus a couple of astute signings and they've got their reward.

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