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Topics - Baggies

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West Bromwich Albion FC / Favourite moment of 2012
« on: December 26, 2012, 08:42:52 PM »
Time for the best of threads. No doubt it has been a good year with a number of good moments and a superb year of results, probably the best in many of our fans lifetimes.

So, be it the Wolves 5-1 win, 2 victories over Chelsea or the win at Anfield, what is your favourite moment of 2012?

West Bromwich Albion FC / West Brom prove statistics are overrated
« on: November 26, 2012, 12:06:02 AM »

West Bromwich Albion FC / Analysis of Steve Clarkes tactics
« on: November 15, 2012, 06:11:17 PM »

West Bromwich Albion FC / The Adaptable Steve Clarke
« on: November 10, 2012, 09:59:10 PM »
Today Fulham managed to get a point at the Emirates stadium, having been on course for all three. The commentators mentioned the often mentioned stat of Roy Hodgson's terrible away record at Fulham - I believe Martin Jol has more points in 2012 than Hodgson managed in his entire spell at Fulham away from home.

Hodgson's poor away record seemed to have been common at his former clubs and yet, when he came to WBA, he couldnt stop winning when here and we managed to have 18 months of the best away form in my time following WBA. This seemed to come at a cost however as we were very average at home - strange given Hodgson had always been so good at home at his past clubs.

The only possible explanation I could find is that Hodgson set up his team in one way once he found a ay to win and was not able to change things dependent on the scenario. This meant he won at home/away a lot however when he had to go to the reverse, he was not prepared to change his tactics.

It seems Steve Clarke does not have this weakness. Today, despite having had much success with 451/433, he was able to change his side to a 442 with 2 deeper sitting wingers and still win the game. It seems in Steve Clarke we have a manager who can change his tactics to suit the game and who is not scared to mix and match depending on the tactical needs.

Roy Hodgson is a good manager, but in his 60's after many years in the game, he has never been great. Maybe in Steve Clarke, we are seeing somebody who could genuinely be a top class manager of the future. It seems Dan Ashworth pulled of some magic bringing him to the club.

The Daily Mail are reporting that George Thorne might be going out on loan to Blackpool now Appleton has arrived there. Im not sure how much of that is 2+2 guesswork but you do now hope this might be a good opportunity for some of our youngsters to go out on loan in the championship again.

At Pompey last season Appleton took both Thorne and Allan with him and gave them regular starts and he will know how good some of our youngsters are. Maybe this is a chance for the likes of Hurst, Thorne, Daniels co to get a loan move to a good club and one with a reliable manager with Albion links?


It isnt very scientific, but talksport have added up which manager has made the best use of his attacking substitutions. It turns out with 6 goals and assists, Steve Clarke is joint top with Roberton Mancini at Man City.

Although you cant get carried away with stats, I think it shows just how strong our bench is this season that we have a number of options on the bench to change games. Even with a few injuries, or losses to international tournaments like in January, we should be strong enough to absorb and not be adversely affected.


Anybody going tomorrow to watch the training session? It should be a good to see how Clarke sets up his sessions and who does what. It is also a good chance to see which players stand out in training in the less structured and more relaxed setting.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Do we stick with Tamas at right back?
« on: October 23, 2012, 06:56:49 PM »
Or should be try Jara there instead?

It shouldnt be too long now before one of Reid or Jones will be starting but I would imagine next week we will have to pick between Tamas and Jara again. I havent been very impressed by Tamas playing there the last 2 games. He seems to be a near certain first half booking and he seems to get beaten very often. Whats more, his passing seems to be just as bad as Jara's.

I dont think it would hurt putting in our only fit specialist right back now rather than forcing in a centre half in Tamas. I also think, as strange as it sounds now, that Jara is less likely to pick up an early booking.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Which player would we miss the most?
« on: October 20, 2012, 12:49:38 PM »
With it being confirmed that Mulumbu, and possible Odemwingie, will both be missing come the new year, Steve Clarke has had to field questions regarding how he plans to replace Mulumbu for those games. He could go with Yacob in the middle and more progressive players partnering him, he could use a youngster in there and see how he copes, he could try Jara or Reid, or he could buy or loan somebody in the January window.

Either way, it is hard to deny that Mulumbu is a big loss to our team with him being the perfect player to break up play as well as assiting the attacking side of our game. Is he our biggest loss though?

We have struggled in the past without Jonas Olsson and his replacements are not at the moment up to the same level, while any injury to Ben Foster would leave us with Boaz Myhill who has failed to convince in his time here.

It's hard to think which player we would miss the most.

West Bromwich Albion FC / What tactics would you use against West Brom?
« on: October 13, 2012, 02:47:35 PM »
Brendan Rodgers obviously felt our weaknesses were  a back line who dont like the ball at their feet and an immobile defensive midfield, going on the Liverpool programme last night. Now we all know the defensive midfield point is one of the craziest assertions we will here all season, with us having one of the best defensive midfields in the division, but the footballing defenders point might be more accurate.

If you were managing an opposition team, against us, what would yo target as our biggest weaknesses?


West Bromwich Albion FC / Is survival still the aim for the season?
« on: October 08, 2012, 11:17:21 PM »
I was reading a blog this afternoon about how we are now only 26 points away from the magic 40 point mark, that will see us safe for another year. After such change in the summer, to be in this position this early in the season is a superb achievement. If we can keep picking up wins we should be in the top half come the turn of the year which should mean a more relaxing end to the season than many predicted for us at the start.

After this great start however, should we be looking up rather than down now? Is this season a genuine opportunity to push for a European place?

My head says that this form cant last and even after our brilliant start, we are still only 6th with Arsenal, Fulham and Liverpool all behind us, three clubs who all have squads that should be comfortably challenging for Europe. It seems still now an impossible mission, and last year may well be our glass ceiling sitting 10th place, but can we dare to dream?

I think we will need to improve our performances but I look at Bolton under Sam Allardyce who managed to get Bolton a few top 7 finishes and consider how Fulham have made it in years gone by after strong finishes to the season, I wonder if we might be in with a chance this season - providing we can stay strong at home under Clarke.

West Bromwich Albion FC / WBA best ever goal?
« on: September 27, 2012, 06:47:45 PM »

I wont post the full link as it does not really matter, but FourFourTwo are asking fans for their teams best ever goal.

So, what would be your entry as our best ever goal?

West Bromwich Albion FC / A change in club policy?
« on: September 17, 2012, 07:10:33 PM »
It is interesting to see the change in the way the club are operating in recent years. We have never been a "selling club" in the sense that we sell our players as soon as we start getting offers, or get relegated for example. We did however always know when to sell.

Curtis Davies was kept for a year longer than expected before selling for 11 million and the same goes for players like Paul Robinson, Robert Earnshaw, Nathan Ellington, Geoff Horsefield and Jason Koumas.

In the last year however, that seems to have changed. Instead of making sure we get money for something, we seem to be happy to allow contracts to run down and for staff to move for free, as long as we get the maximum out of their time at the club.

Dan Ashworth for instance, would demand a hefty amount of compensation if he was to go to the FA full time this week. By keeping him until at least after January, it is fair to assume we are losing out on a few million quid in compensation. Then comes Jonas Olsson. There was interest in him this summer, and no doubt if we had wanted to we would have got 2-3 million from a club Like West Ham but instead we are gambling and are prepared to allow him to leave for free next summer. Even our summer transfer dealing saw us allow players like Nicky Shorey, Joe Mattock and Somen Tchoyi all leave on free transfers, instead of trying to sell them in January.

Maybe some of this could be a knock on effect of the mistake with Roman Bednars contract extension, but I like to believe this is maybe the evolution of the clubs policy, to care more about success than making a quick pound like we were prepared to do around the middle of the last decade.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Richard Garlick to take on Dan Ashworth role
« on: September 17, 2012, 06:54:41 PM »
With Ashworth's confirmation as head of elite development, what do we do now?

Ashworth agreeing to stay at least until the end of January buys us more time to replace him, and no doubt having been first tipped for the FA at nearer the start of the year, the club will have been planning for his departure for some time, but we do now need to start firming up our search for a new technical director.

Id be careful naming names. As soon as Southgate quit, clearing the way for Ashworth, people on here were suggesting people Like Ray Wilkins, who are simply just not suited to such a detailed, multi faceted role, and it seems from what Lepkowski and Madeley say, we dont have an obvious replacement inside the club either.

I do hope however that whoever does take over, and I am sure it will be (and should be) somebody we have never heard of, that we need to get them in as soon as possible so that they can work side by side with Ashworth in his final months, allowing for a true, seamless transition, once Ashworth goes.

General Football & Sports / The Ryder Cup
« on: September 04, 2012, 09:42:53 PM »

In addition to the under 21 league, there is still the under 18 league running this year. The club have said not to expect much from a competitive level because they are not looking to win the league but instead using it for development. Lots of the best under 18's will eventually be fast tracked into the under 21 side once we start loaning youngsters out. We will be putting out our best under 18 sides in the FA Youth cup. I think games will be on a Saturday.

Still to see a match report but the official club twitter says that we opened our account with a 1-0 win over Everton, so that is 3 out of 3 over Merseyside clubs this weekend.

Hopefully there will e a match report but the early signs from the website suggest the under 18s might be under reported to keep them out of the limelight.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Under 23's / Academy Thread
« on: July 31, 2012, 09:13:14 PM »
The topic for all Under 21 and Academy News

West Bromwich Albion FC / Hopes for the New Season
« on: July 17, 2012, 12:26:20 AM »
Everybody will want survival obviously, but does anybody have any less obvious hopes for the season?

One of mine is hat Graham Dorrans returns to his form of 3 seasons ago, where he manipulated defenders with his dribbling and split the opposition with his passing. He has had moments over the last few years but he hasnt topped that seasons best yet and id love to see it again.

West Bromwich Albion FC / ESPN WBA Blog
« on: July 16, 2012, 10:35:34 PM »

West Bromwich Albion FC / Albions first day of training - video
« on: July 11, 2012, 06:58:39 PM »

Its only about 3 minutes long but it gives a small insight into Clarke's sessions.

Under Hodgson, we didnt get many relegation predictions. Everyone knew he was a safe pair of hands that ensured a team may not be the most exciting but they would find a way to stay up.

Stepping into the unknown however and hiring Clarke means that you can expect a lot more predictions of doom over the next few months. Ive already seen a few early previews of the season and it seems we can expect to all back into that group of teams who are expected to struggle.

Steve Clarke will probably give his wings more freedom than Hodgson did so we will hopefully get to see players like Jerome Thomas actally running at defenders again.

I do hope that we look at signing a wide player this summer though, especially a right winger.

With Somen Tchoyi going at the end of last season, our stock of true wingers seem to look quite depleted. Jerome Thomas and Chris Brunt are for my reckoning, our only true wide players, and both of them are left sided players (and with the question marks over Thomas, thats too few).

Gera can play out there comfortably although I think he will need to be moved to his more natural position in the centre as he gets older and although Morrison and Dorrans can fill in there, neither of them look the same player playing wide right or left.

For some reason though, I dont think we will sign and out and out wide player this summer. Am I the only one who thinks we look week on the wings?

West Bromwich Albion FC / Europe the next step, Ashworth concedes
« on: July 02, 2012, 09:10:00 PM »
The back of the express and star runs with the story of Ashworth admitting the next stage is going for Europe. He thinks clubs like Fulham and Bolton can do it, with the right coaching, you could get there.

Considering his past comments where he has said he feels it would be very difficult, I think this is something that has been asked in a press conference and maybe not his full opinions but it is ultimately the next step on the ladder.

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