Author Topic: So was our last decade a success?  (Read 7905 times)

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Baggies

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So was our last decade a success?
« on: April 14, 2018, 06:39:35 PM »
With our latest 8 year stay in the top flight about to come to an end, I have been looking back at the last decade and trying to work out if it has been a success, and what exactly "success" looks like in the modern game for a club like us.

On the day that Burnley near enough confirmed they will be playing in the Europe next season, it reminds me of why I wanted us to become "established" back when we were a yo-yo club.

I had 3 core reasons for wanting us to be established.

1, I wanted to see players pull on the blue and white shirt who in years to come I could look back on as being top class players, not just having to hear stories of our great sides of the 50's, 60's, 70's and early 80's.

2, I wanted to see us challenge for a cup competition, seeing us reach finals like we did up until the early 70's.

3, I wanted to see Albion in Europe

Now seems as good a time as any to look at our results.

I feel fairly satisfied about point 1, but the failure in cups and to reach Europe is a sucker punch for me.


I have had a look at the record of the other "established clubs" in the last 16 years since our 1st promotion to the rebranded premier league and it seems near enough everyone has enjoyed at least one of those two things.
 
LEAGUE WIN AND EUROPE:

Leicester

CUP FINAL AND EUROPEAN FOOTBALL:

Southampton (2 cup finals)
Swansea (winners)
Birmingham (winners)
Villa (2 cup finals)
Wigan (2 cup finals, 1 win)
Blackburn (2 cup finals, 1 win)
Portsmouth (2 cup finals, 1 win)
Fulham
Middlebrough (2 cup finals)
Bolton
Hull City
West Ham

EUROPE ONLY:

Ipswich
Burnley (provided Sothampton fail to win the cup)

CUP FINAL ONLY:

Sunderland
Cardiff (3 finals)
Crystal Palace

In fact, looking back over the least 16 years, near enough every team who can say they have had an established run in the premier league seems to have managed a cup final, european football, or both.

The only 2 who I can think of who haven't managed it are us and Charlton - the old byword for a club who were established in the premier league but achieve nothing (and even Charlton can claim a 7th placed finish, which on a different year would have seen them qualify for europe).

With recent rule changes meaning FA Cup runners up no longer qualify for Europe, it does make it more difficult for more clubs to reach Europe, so it may be other ckubs also struggle more, however as seen this year it is entirely possible.

Wolves latest promotion stands every chance of finally being the one that sees them have an extended stay in the top flight for the 1st time since the 70's. You feel the success of the other "established teams" over the last few decades should give their's and also Bournemouth's fans some confidence that they too are looking at European football or a cuo final appearance in the next few years.

As we go down, I feel we are now the new Charlton Athletic, a club who just didn't show enough ambition or didn't have enough luck to really leave a mark on their time in the league.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 06:42:59 PM by Baggies »
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Re: So was our last decade a success?
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2018, 08:09:00 PM »
Personally, I feel Peace held us back. I know he didn’t have the financial clout, but his focus always seemed to be to get the club on as strong a financial position in order to sell. There was no oomph in his future vision. Just big bucks for himself.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 10:24:23 PM by costa blanca baggie »
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Re: So was our last decade a success?
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2018, 08:33:00 PM »
Personally, I feel Peace held us back. I know he didn’t have the financial clout, but his focus always seemed to be to get the club on as strong a financial position in order to sell. There was oomph in his future vision. Just big bucks for himself.

Peace got far to much stick in my opinion. I was guilty of giving him stick at one stage but it shows just how much of a good job he did when you look at how we have declined under Williams. Peace sacked managers when the time was right not award them with new deals which weren't deserved

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Re: So was our last decade a success?
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2018, 09:26:47 PM »
Infrastructure and ground facilities improved.
Academy far better. Due to the enhanced finances however we could see these regress following relegation.

In terms of football I would say overall big failure. Yes we managed to end some runs like winning at old Trafford, anfield etc and most importantly beating the seals home and away. However we failed to have any form of Cup runs let along get to a final or win one and failed to have a European tour.

So like the op suggests it's been far from hugely successful
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Re: So was our last decade a success?
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2018, 09:28:28 PM »
After 8 seasons in the prem I’ll be honest it’s gone stale on and off the pitch for me. I can only think of about 8 games I’ll always remember in that time which says it all really but maybe I’ll miss it when it’s gone who knows?

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Re: So was our last decade a success?
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2018, 09:45:41 PM »
We mixed it with some real football superpowers, signed players we could not have ever wished for and watched villa capitulate

Success 👍
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Re: So was our last decade a success?
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2018, 09:47:59 PM »
Peace got far to much stick in my opinion. I was guilty of giving him stick at one stage but it shows just how much of a good job he did when you look at how we have declined under Williams. Peace sacked managers when the time was right not award them with new deals which weren't deserved

Agreed. He got all the stick, but was the one who got us as a stable premier league team. It’s the shambles since that has got us in this mess

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Re: So was our last decade a success?
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2018, 11:19:09 PM »
All I have ever wanted was to see Albion in Europe or in a cup final.
There have been some amazing memories in the last 10 years but they will always be regrets as to why in 10 years we didn’t have 1 season of some sort of glory.

It looks likely Southampton and stoke will join us in the championship next season however they can look back on a cup final and a European tour including Milan and Valencia away to name a few.

Overall, C minus.

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Re: So was our last decade a success?
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2018, 01:32:50 AM »
In terms of the decade(s) preceding it yes. Could it have been better? Certainly but equally it could have been worse.

There are a few points that I would take issue with first of all the concept of an established premier league club outside the top 6 is fanciful. Unless a club can sustain a wage bill in excess of £130m then you are probably only one bad season away from relegation.

As it stands ourselves Stoke and Southampton will be relegated. I am certain nobody predicted that at at the start of the season. Stoke are the 8th longest serving Premier League we are the 9th and Southampton have been in the league 6 seasons. Ourselves and Southampton had a top half finish last year. Stoke had 3 9th place finishes in the last 4 years. Working definition of established and all going down together. 

I shudder to think how much the 3 clubs have spent on wages and fees to achieve what they've done this season. It is probably a case of never before has so much been spent on so few to achieve so little.

Other than just being in the top flight the only other step open to the rest of the division is a Europa League qualification either as a Cup winner or finishing 7th or better. The domestic cups are dominated by the big 6 the FA Cup has been won twice by a team other than the current top 6 in 20 years. The league cup 5 times in the same time frame.

In any given season I doubt that a team outside the top six has a much better than 10% chance of qualifying for Europa League the following season.

Occasionally the 2 or more of the top 6 will blow up spectacularly which opens the door a little as was the case 2015/16 Leicester won the league and Southampton and West Ham qualified for Europe. However unless those teams follow up that success in a meaningful way the old order quickly reestablishes itself and all of those clubs have subsequently felt the need to dismiss one or two managers in an attempt to pull away from the threat of relegation.

In an eight year stretch you cannot be disappointed that we haven't qualified for Europe were we to stay for 20 years maybe you could be. A cup final less so but don't expect to win it.

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Re: So was our last decade a success?
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2018, 04:57:20 AM »
The last decade was a huge relative success to the preceding 10 years that much is crystal, however , we ran out of steam as a club when we had great momentum and frankly the momentum transferred to the a club sale (Peace cashing in his chips which is life). The most enjoyable years as a fan were the first three or so after promotion, otherwise the last few years have been well a bit flat to be honest and I think the club lost a lot of momentum in terms of expanding our fan base . Overall it's a 6/10 for me. I still hanker for a cup run , wow football and the excitement we felt a few years ago when the club was going places . We tried to consolidate too much really
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 02:29:10 PM by darbolina »

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Re: So was our last decade a success?
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2018, 10:42:24 AM »
It has been a success for Jeremy because HIS ambition was to keep us in this div until he sold us.
In 2004 he said he planned to make the Hawthorns a 40,000 stadium, instead he made it smaller.
The only trophy we won in the last 10 years he charged a tenner to see it.
Instead of buying players he bought shares to make himself unopposable.
He said he would only sell to  a buyer who was right for the club and who could push us on, that remains to be seen.

Has it been a success? Not for me. Wigan achieved more.

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Re: So was our last decade a success?
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2018, 10:55:45 AM »
It has been a success for Jeremy because HIS ambition was to keep us in this div until he sold us.
In 2004 he said he planned to make the Hawthorns a 40,000 stadium, instead he made it smaller.
The only trophy we won in the last 10 years he charged a tenner to see it.
Instead of buying players he bought shares to make himself unopposable.
He said he would only sell to  a buyer who was right for the club and who could push us on, that remains to be seen.

Has it been a success? Not for me. Wigan achieved more.


This is a major bug bear to me. Increasing the size of the stadium is an absolute must if we're ever going to move forward from where we have been. The ground keeps getting that little bit smaller.

People who say "we won't fill it" are using a red herring here. I've had this discussion many times before and I don't really want to go into it again, it gets tedius. We must get our capacity over 30,000.

Now is the perfect time to redevelop the Halfords with us being in the Championship next season. Whether or not we are in a financial position to do that I don't know but it needs doing. Another East Stand where the Halfords is now and The Hawthorns would be a fantastic stadium. The Halfords really spoils it.

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Re: So was our last decade a success?
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2018, 11:13:10 AM »
To be honest the only thing that I absolutely will never forgive Peace for is hiring Pulis to protect his investment, understandable but that was far more damaging than not increasing the capacity at the Hawthorns which as West Ham are finding out doesn't take the club anywhere much because unless you can fill those extra seats with Premium paying customers then it generates relatively little by the way of  income.
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Re: So was our last decade a success?
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2018, 11:31:36 AM »
It's all about projecting your image Stan. Wolves are again increasing theirs despite not filling it against Derby.
Sunderland, Boro and Leeds are seen as big clubs partly because of their stadiums.
We are now seen as a small club. Think small and you become small.

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Re: So was our last decade a success?
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2018, 11:41:51 AM »
IMO, it's winning things that defines a big club, nothing to do with the size of a stadium.

I don't buy into this "build it & they will come" idea.

Win games & you'll increase demand. Have a sustained increased demand, & then increase capacity.
If it was easy, it wouldn't be Albion

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The less he spoke the more he heard, why aren't we like that wise old bird?

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Re: So was our last decade a success?
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2018, 11:46:52 AM »
It's all about projecting your image Stan. Wolves are again increasing theirs despite not filling it against Derby.
Sunderland, Boro and Leeds are seen as big clubs partly because of their stadiums.
We are now seen as a small club. Think small and you become small.


You'd think people would start to realise that now given our current plight.

Jeremy Peace did a lot for the club but lack ambition a perfect example being Peace would've kept Pulis at the club forever as long as we finished no lower than 17th every season. How we played, our image etc meant nothing to Jeremy Peace.

We're sort of having a new start now, it feels like a new era with all the changes happening behind the scenes.

Hopefully the club will start to show a bit of ambition at long last?

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Re: So was our last decade a success?
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2018, 11:58:57 AM »
Building a big stadium means nothing..
All clubs in the prem can survive with no crowd
If youre going to get told off, get told off for doing something not for doing nothing..

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Re: So was our last decade a success?
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2018, 01:12:59 PM »
It's all about projecting your image Stan. Wolves are again increasing theirs despite not filling it against Derby.
Sunderland, Boro and Leeds are seen as big clubs partly because of their stadiums.
We are now seen as a small club. Think small and you become small.

I understand that the traditional measure of a club is a big stadium but the world has changed next season we are a tiny insignificant speck of a club compared to Bournemouth and Huddersfield, and will remain so until we get back into the Premier League. It's alright because so are Leeds Villa, Boro, Sheffield Wednesday with their big and in some instances barely half full stadium.

Newcastle only pretense of being a big club is the Stadium they have spent more seasons in the Championship than they have in the Champions league in the last decade. 

Had we built the vanity project and hired Pulis to empty it as faster than you could have done with a fire alarm we would probably be in an even worse situation than we are now. 

We have to build something worthwhile with the resources we have and then the people might come, but we barely fill what we currently have at the moment.

We wasted an opportunity to build something but that is in the past. We need to start again and that doesn't need a new stand.
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Re: So was our last decade a success?
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2018, 01:19:54 PM »
IMO, it's winning things that defines a big club, nothing to do with the size of a stadium.

I don't buy into this "build it & they will come" idea.

Win games & you'll increase demand. Have a sustained increased demand, & then increase capacity.

Many people laughed when Wolves increased their stadium, now villa, Leicester, palace, Chelsea, spurs, Everton, Watford, Swansea and Brighton are all increasing their capacity or have plans to
It's easy to have faith in yourself and have discipline when you're a winner, when you're number one. What you got to have is faith and discipline when you're not a winner.

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Re: So was our last decade a success?
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2018, 01:30:31 PM »
It's all about projecting your image Stan. Wolves are again increasing theirs despite not filling it against Derby.
Sunderland, Boro and Leeds are seen as big clubs partly because of their stadiums.
We are now seen as a small club. Think small and you become small.

Spot on. Sunderland's average gate when through the roof when they moved to the stadium of light. Unbelievable that some of our fans think it's acceptable to play in a tiny stadium with a capacity of 25,000.00 - no vision. We've wasted tones of money on mediocre players, a small portion of that could have rebuilt the Halfords which is a one-off cost. Our training ground is also incredibly average. We're well set up as a top half championship club which is were we are headed but we are a very small premiership club. Meanwhile the wolves owners are dreaming of expanding to 50,000.00. The small time mentality amongst our fan base is depressing.

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Re: So was our last decade a success?
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2018, 01:31:52 PM »
I'm saying yes and no While we might not have Won any Competitions or Got into Europe We have been close to getting to an FA Cup Semi Final Beating United and Other Big Teams Arsenal and maybe Chelsea were highlights Also getting through to The FA cup Quarter final when we lost to Villa Was also a Highlight and a Negative Point. But apart from that We were there most of the time to make up the Numbers so Mostly not a Success but In other ways yes.
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Re: So was our last decade a success?
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2018, 01:56:30 PM »
In no way can the last decade be described as a success. We are totally back to square one and arguably in a worse situation. I would argue that the previous decade (1998-2008) was far more of a success as within those 10 years we progressed from being a completely unambitious year upon year bottom half of the 2nd tier club to a club that could be reasonably expected to be competing in the Premier League on a regular basis. If anyone had told me in 1998 what the next 10 years would bring I would have never believed it.

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Re: So was our last decade a success?
« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2018, 02:10:48 PM »
In no way can the last decade be described as a success. We are totally back to square one and arguably in a worse situation. I would argue that the previous decade (1998-2008) was far more of a success as within those 10 years we progressed from being a completely unambitious year upon year bottom half of the 2nd tier club to a club that could be reasonably expected to be competing in the Premier League on a regular basis. If anyone had told me in 1998 what the next 10 years would bring I would have never believed it.

Success I reckon should have some basis in progress. So in that respect I'd say you're absolutely right, the previous decade was better.

On the other hand, we've never finished 8th or 10th in the Premier League before, nor have we sustained an eight year tenure in it.

Unfortunately where we are right now has us navel gazing and doubting our chances of rebuilding.

Ask me in twelve months time and I'd give you a confident answer.

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Re: So was our last decade a success?
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2018, 02:54:21 PM »
For a club our size, it has been a small success.  The failure has been to properly capitalise on it.  As was said earlier, a club our size is indeed one bad season away from relegation.

Peace realised he couldn't take the club any further.  He needed to sell it as a PL club and he took a prudent route to protect his investment.  That period of prudency was simply too long and staleness/complacency set in.

Main failure?  Not trying hard enough in the Cups.

Personally, the Clarke/Hodgson period, plus about 3 months of the Pulis era in 2016/7 were the only pluses of the 8-year stay in the PL.   The yo-yo years were far more enjoyable than the remainder of the last 8 years,

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Re: So was our last decade a success?
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2018, 04:23:18 PM »
It started off very well when we had honest hard working players in the side.
As we spent more time in the Prem and started to buy what some would call "Prem Players" Anelka? And the current crop of underperforming wasters we are back to worse than square one!
At least we used to have a spine.
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