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Topics - Standaman

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1
I thought I would look at the regulations for granting work permits for overseas players and the likely impact on recruitment.

The details are available here https://www.thefa.com/news/2020/dec/01/gbe-points-based-system-launched-011220

A few observations and general points.

1.The regulations have virtually zero impact on the big 6 except they can't recruit under 18's into their academies and are limited to 6 per season in the under 21 age range. My guess it will make them even more aggressive in stockpiling promising British based players.

2. The regulations are 20 odd pages long and are a multi factor points based system which is a minefield to work through players need to either play at sufficiently high enough level in International football or pick up 15 points through participation in a combination of domestic, continental and international competitions.   

3. Permits are limited in duration to a players contract length or 3 years whichever is shorter. Permits have to be reapplied for if a player is transferred  within England but not if loaned. This is a major wrinkle and greatly increases the risk factor on a marginal player.

4. The "Brentford" model is dead the lesser European Leagues are virtually impossible to recruit from unless the player concerned is an established international

To illustrate I have worked out whether or not all our overseas recruits qualify at the time they joined us

Kipre No permit, played less than 90% of the available minutes in a band 2 league

Ivanovic  Permit granted played 80% of the available in a band 3 league and 90% of the minutes in the Champions League

Pereira No Permit did not play enough minutes for Nuremberg probably 10 points and as Nuremberg were relegated no additional points nor did he qualify for any additional points from Sporting's qualification to the Europa League

Grosicki Permit Granted based on International minutes for Poland.

Krovinovic Permit granted and this just bizarre while he virtually didn't play he qualifies because he got into the matchday squad just enough to pick up the points that Benfica generated because they were successful in various competitions. They won the League (5 points) Champions League Group Stage (5 Points)  Europa League 1/4 finals (5 points)

Hegazi Permit granted because of International appearances (I think!!) but Egypt's ranking has fluctuated wildly and because Hegazi missed games but I think that was due to injury so they don't count I think that works.

Krychowiak Permit granted because of International Appearances

Gabir Permit granted but see Hegazi

Nyom No Permit good minutes for Watford but even in the Premier League some additional points needed.

Chadli Permit granted 9 points from International appearances 6 points from 31% of Spurs Premier League minute

Rondón Permit granted 2 Points from International appearances 4 points from Russian League appearances and  4 because Zenit won the League and 10 points through Champions League appearances

Yacob No Permit not even close

Pocognoli No Permit

Gamboa Permit Granted based on International appearances

Olsson No Permit

Ideye Permit granted 9 points from International Appearances 2 points for Domestic League appearances 2 points for Europa League appearances and 3 because Kiev qualified for the knock out phase of the Europa League.

Sessègnon  Permit Granted 2 Points for International appearances 12 points for League appearances for  Sunderland 1 Point for Sunderland's league finish scrapes it. Had Sunderland finished one place lower he would have not qualified.

Sandro No Permit

Anders Lindegaard No Permit

Davidson No Permit but closer than either Olsson or Yacob

Silvestre Varela Permit granted 6 points for Domestic minutes with Porto plus 5 for Champions League and another 5 for Porto's title win.

 Samaras Permit Granted Domestic Minutes 2 points Champions League 10 points and 3 points for Celtic winning the league.

As I said a dogs breakfast which bends over backwards to accomodate the elite level Premier League sides but cuts off a useful supply of talent for everyone else.

2
General Football & Sports / Director of Football
« on: November 18, 2020, 03:49:55 PM »
Read an interesting and wide raging piece in the Athletic with Matt Crocker Southampton's Director of Football .

I can't copy and paste it here but here are a few nuggets

Background

Crocker's background is in academy football. He oversaw Cardiff's development into academy status and joined Southampton in 2006 as their academy manager. He latter left to join the England set up to oversee the youth development strategy under Dan Ashworth. Before eventually returning to Southampton this year as Director of Football.

Player Development

Rebranding the Under 23's as a "B" Team and removing it from the academy to mirror the first team. Crocker is at pains to point out this has nothing to do with playing the "B" team in League 1 or 2. They still compete in the Under 23 competition but work a lot closer with the first team. Critically they see the B team as the main platform for developing their young players for the 1st team rather than loans.

An aside he touches on a point that I never thought about is the role of agents lobbying for loan moves as a way of developing players and I guess from the building of a CV getting a player out on loan is in the agent's best interests. By proving that an 18 year old can hack it at some level of the professional game it puts a floor under his client's career which he can always return to if it does not work out at the parent club.

Ultimately he sees it as dovetailing with Ralph Hasenhuttl style of play and that is basically the Southampton playbook. He is looking to have 3 players for each of 6 roles in Hasenhuttl 's 4-2-2-2 (eg GK, CB FB DM AM and CF) two in the first team and one in the "B" team.

Recruitment

Again the whole approach is underpinned by the Hasenhuttl playbook. Whether this would have worked with the in the hand waving vagueness of Hughes or the precise but somewhat uninspiring Puel. The club has internalised it's scouting efforts moving from consultants to their own scouts.

Observations

This is interesting stuff how it pans out will be interesting to watch. The key point in the future is  when Hasenhuttl leaves.


 


3
General Football & Sports / Transfer Window Watch (Non Albion)
« on: August 15, 2020, 10:39:39 AM »
I thought I'd start a thread on the state of the transfer market in general, picking apart individual deals and seeing where the players we have been linked with actually end up.

The window is open and fans across Europe are getting ever so frustrated because not much is happening and just to add to the weirdness of it all some of the bigger clubs are still playing out the final stages of European competitions while this years qualifying rounds are underway  and other leagues such as Belgium and Scotland for instance have started the new season.

The window closes 5th of October.

A few observations

The £100m plus transfer is dead.

Or at least in hibernation. For a £100m transfer to happen there has to be a generational talent available and there has to be a bidding war or stupidly big release clause. The big two Spanish teams that drive this end of the market are out. Without them the other elite clubs can pick up talent without breaching £100m.

Man United's interest in Sancho might have triggered a deal of that magnitude but at the time of writing that does not look like it is happening. Dortmund don't have to sell this window and are taking the view there will be better markets to sell into and Man United aren't prepared to meet the price.

Chelsea get busy

Having sold Hazzard, Morata and a host of other lesser lights last season and being subject to a transfer ban Chelsea found themselves with cash in a market place desperate for cash. With the added advantage of Abramovitch's willingness to underwrite their transfer dealings they have spent nearly £100m on Werner and Ziyech.  Yet the much touted deal for Havertz has not yet materialised but in general Chelsea seem to be the busiest of the major clubs.

Where's the money gone

Chelsea have dropped some big fees into the top end of the Dutch and German markets as have Napoli into the French market through their purchase of Victor Osimhen for over £60m from Lille. The question is have the selling clubs spent the money further down the pyramid sparking other deals?

Obviously until the window closes there won't be a definitive answer.

RB Leipzig have spent £8m on a player from RB Salzberg who in turn spent £4m on a player from Lyon. The Werner money is still largely in the bank.

Ajax have bought two players for £22m one of whom is a very obvious replacement for Ziyech at fees that don't look greatly reduced from last summer.

Lille have spent over £30m and a very large chunk of that on the young but exciting talent of Johnathon David from Gent. In turn Gent have spent half the David fee on 5 players from clubs further down the pyramid.

The Chelsea and Napoli money hasn't as yet been circulated through the market and it should be noted that Leipzig, Ajax, Lille and Gent are all teams in the Champions League and the money from the Champions League is key to propping up the finances at the top end of most European leagues in the pandemic environment.

Beware the loan to buy trap

On the face of it the Italian market looks busy yet on closer inspection a lot of the deals are the buy ends of the last years loan to buy deals. A lot of mid level Serie A clubs have big commitments on players that in this market look horribly over priced. Special shout out here to relegated SPAL who have managed to buy Kevin Bonifazi (no me neither) for over £9m from Torino that is horrible when you are playing behind closed doors in Serie B.

Is Valencia the new Normal?

Valencia without European football have a big wage bill and bleed money add in the impact of Covid-19 and the situation is critical. Their owners response has been to put the whole first team squad up for sale. Cue outrage from fans and media alike.

To date they have unloaded 3 key players Torres to Man City for an initial fee of £20m think the add-ons would have normally been put into the upfront fee there. Francis Coquelin and Dani Parejo to Villareal for a combined fee of £5m this obviously stings Valencia fans but is the reality of the situation.

There are more clubs in Valencia's situation than say in Chelsea's most are trying to sell as few players as they can get away with to keep the wolf from the door but the truth is many players aren't all that saleable and getting them off a club's wage bill is of paramount.

Premier League 

Cue the tumbleweed gif. Yes, I know Brighton. Aside from Chelsea's splurge not much has happened. The most interesting deal is Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg peak age central mid at a Premier League club with more than one suitor for £15m or a net of £3m when you factor in Walker-Peters going to Southampton. Last summer that would have been £20m plus even allowing for Levy's reputation for parsimony.

Interesting none transfer news, Liverpool's reported dialogue with Norwich over Jamal Lewis.

Liverpool "How much for your boy Lewis"
Norwich "£20m not a penny less".
Liverpool "How about £10m.."
Norwich "$%%$$ right off!!"
Liverpool  "There's no need to take that tone"

48 hours latter Liverpool strike an £11m deal for Konstantinos Tsimikas.

Finally Willian to Arsenal on a free 3 year contract £220k a week on boy that is so bad in a market which is plainly not what it once was.

Overall not much is happening we are at the logjammed point in the market nobody wants to sell nor buy. Yet the lots of sellers who have to sell and a few cash rich clubs that can afford to buy but most the of buyers are waiting for the sellers to blink first.



 

4
General Football & Sports / Football Finance Thread
« on: July 03, 2020, 09:39:41 AM »
I thought I would start a football finance thread.

For anyone interested there are two unrivalled sources of online information Kevin Maguire's Pricefootball.com and the Swiss Ramble twitter feed @swissramble.

The news of Wigan's administration this week might be the first of any number triggered on the face of it by the Covid-19 pandemic but in reality largely as a result of the chronic mismanagement of the economics of the game at a professional level.

Wigan seems to be a particular abrupt and calamitous collapse. There are rumours of truly strange shenanigans going on behind the scenes and some might have seen a viral video of an unguarded moment from Rick Parry but in general the mainstream media with the benefit of a lot of very expensive legal advice hasn't jumped on the story. I therefore will refrain from further comment.

As ever there is a lot of hot air being expended by commentators politicians and the absolute worst tribe of the lot football journalists.

Here is the bottom line. Wigan lost £9m last year in the Championship. So somebody had to find £9m to keep it alive. Wigan football club goes into administration the moment the owner decides they don't want to fund it. That is what happened.

Football has a choice either it runs itself on a sustainable basis or it is beholden to a group of random rich people with questionable motives and flawed business plans.         

 





 

5
West Bromwich Albion FC / The Run in
« on: June 20, 2020, 11:03:01 AM »
We have 9 games left of the regular season and maybe (please God NO!!) 3 in the play-offs. During my long history of supporting the club they are the most important 9 games. I have lived through promotions and relegations, survival battles the good, the bad and the indifferent.

More often than not I have been there kicked every ball felt the highs and lows at first hand. Not this time, but this time is more important the difference between winning and losing is greater than it has ever been. The difference is so great that I actually  don't even want to think about it. I hope the club shields the players from the enormity of the situation never has the cliché "let's take it one game at a time" been more pertinent.

For the most part I have been indifferent about the difference between being in the Premier League and the Championship I have certainly enjoyed the last 2 seasons more than the preceding 4. Not now, to put bluntly the Premier League is a guarantee of survival and the Championship is a very uncertain future .

We might not be the worst placed Championship club but that is of little comfort when a much brighter future is within grasp . Just getting back into the Premier League for one season makes a huge difference to the club in the next 3 years in short it secures our future.

So it begins today. I am nervous I am beyond nervous I won't be there other than in spirit and I don't know whether that makes matters better or worse. I have everything crossed. I can't watch that bloody video montage the club put out yesterday because I seem to get something in my eye when I do.

COYB we have to do this.

6
West Bromwich Albion FC / Season tickets
« on: June 08, 2020, 10:26:20 AM »
Refund options up on the offical site

https://www.wba.co.uk/news/2020/june/refund-options-for-season-ticket-holders/

1. I follow pass
2. Credit towards future season ticket / matchday tickets
3. Gift to the club
4. Refund of the balance

Something for everyone there.

7
West Bromwich Albion FC / Twenty Year Retrospective
« on: April 04, 2020, 05:43:57 PM »
I have had a lot of time on my hands of late which has prompted me potter around on the club's website watching the season's reviews and doing the odd quiz. In particular the starting XI for every season since 2000/2001 setting (seriously impressed with anyone getting 90% on that one) prompted to think about the journey the club has undergone in the last two decades.

In numbers we have had

3 owners
12 managers/head coaches
220 (rough count) players
4 Promotions 4 relegations
Never finished below 6th in the Championship
Never finished higher than 8th in the Premier League nor broken 50 points
1 cup semi final.

Given the bulk of the preceding 20 years had been spent outside the top flight this last 20 have to some extent have been a golden era.

Yet completing the quiz and seeing the teams through the last two decades I find it remarkable that we spent 12 out of 20 seasons in the Premier League. Although the opening day sides are often short of one or two signings given that for the most part the transfer window has been open and as such are only a snapshot and not necessarily an accurate one.

The thing that struck me was how imbalanced the sides were and how lacking any real sense of tactical direction (not entirely surprisingly given that the average tenure of our head coaches has been around 18 months).

We pat ourselves on the back and think we have been generally a well run club which in many regards we are but only because the level of abject dysfunctionality that is elsewhere in the game.

I am not joining the clamour for the club to show more "ambition" the plain fact is we have spent money and in many cases smarter options and strategies were available at little or no extra cost. It is no secret we lost our way in the post Ashworth era. When the focus became purely on survival in the Premier at any cost to preserve value which was largely for the benefit of an ownership.

However there was only a few sliding door moments when the trajectory of the club might have been different and there came a point when relegation was not only inevitable but probably necessary to shock the club out of it's self inflicted torpor.

At this moment I do feel we have turned something of a corner under Bilic and setting aside the current environment I am more optimistic about the future than I have been for a little while 

8
West Bromwich Albion FC / Grady Diangana
« on: August 07, 2019, 11:56:05 PM »
Think this is close enough to happening to warrent his own thread.

https://www.expressandstar.com/sport/football/west-bromwich-albion/2019/08/07/west-brom-close-in-on-loan-deals-for-wingers-grady-diangana-and-matheus-pereira/

Delighted we seem to be finally addressing the desperate need for a left footed wide player by signing two on the same day. It is striking how similar Diangana is to Pereira.

And the obligatory you tube highlights reel for good measure

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSgH46AF5Eg

9
West Bromwich Albion FC / The Budget
« on: July 28, 2019, 05:19:12 PM »
I have seen a certain amount of speculation on the transfer rumours board about what the club can or cannot afford by the way of transfers and despite the Dowling specifically ruling out a move for Dwight Gayle I still see stuff on twitter from Baggies banging on about "announce Gayle".

I don't know what our budget is. I can guess at our income and the key part of that the TV deal is a matter of public record so that is not an unreasonable starting point which can be shown as follows the figures in brackets being the total income

18/19 £41m (£58m)
19/20 £34m  (£51m)
20/21 £17m  (£34m)
21/22 £7m   (£26m)

 I also know the owner is not going to finance the day to day running of the club (like it or not that is the reality). 

Our financial position is known but only as at the end of the last Premier League season where we had a £7m loss and virtually zero cash reserves. I also know that at various points since we have been in a negative cash flow position  which has required bank financing.

 The biggest unknown is transfer income and expenditure. Yes fees are reported but a lot of detail is missing or not reliable for instance in the case of Zohore while there is general consensus is the fee is £8m but I have seen a huge range of what is actual up front cash and what is contingent to performance etc... and I have no clue what triggers the contingent payments.

While we account for outgoing fees across the lifetime of the players contract the actual payments even if they are staggered they fall due a lot quicker. For instance Burke's £15m (if it was £15m) is spread over the 5 years of his contract yet the final payment was made to Leipzig this summer.

Profit on player sales is booked at the point of sale but the fee arrives over a staggered period.

While income and outgoings may balance in theory however the timing is important and there are real cash flow crunches if the two don't match.

So where does that leave the budget?

I cannot see how we can balance the books and have players on wages above £20k a week after next season if we remain in the Championship. So in short any Premier League players with the typical contracts that start at £30k and upwards aren't going to be arriving on Permanent deals.

With regard to fees again it is hard to see how we can afford a single fee in excess of £15m and even across a four year contract that is £3.75m a year and by the 21/22 that is more than half of the club's TV Championship money. A deal like Maupay on relatively low wages but with higher fee might be possible.

Loans are a different matter, regardless of the players wages the club will only have to make a contribution towards the players wages obviously there is competition between ourselves and others who might be able/willing to pay a bigger % of the wages.

Overall the signings to date are going to be more typical and I doubt we will be making some of the more eye catching signings that are being rumoured.


10
Think the link below has enough credibility to justify him having his own thread.


https://www.expressandstar.com/sport/football/west-bromwich-albion/2019/06/30/west-brom-planning-approach-for-benfica-midfielder-filip-krovinovic/?rnd=1871679

The sort of creative presence we have been crying out for not sure whether this is a perm or loan but either works for me.

11
West Bromwich Albion FC / The Squad
« on: May 15, 2019, 01:28:41 AM »
I thought it might be helpful to look at our squad going into the summer which I think will probably be the most significant in over a decade. Plainly we cannot progress much without the new Head Coach being appointed and having a base shape and a pattern of play to work to is going to be vital. We simply cannot go into another season with a squad thrown together in the manner this one has been.

Stating the obvious there is going to be a massive turnover of players this summer it is simply unavoidable given the age profile of the squad (still too old) and the length of most of the contracts (most have less than 2 years to run).

I would caveat this with that I don’t think all the players that many fans assume will be sold e.g. Gibbs, Rodriguez, Dawson and Hegazi will necessarily be moved on. For one very simple reason there may not be buyers. For the most part if I were a fan of a Premier League club and those players were bought for significant fees as 1st choice players I would be disappointed.
I would preface all my comments with an understanding that the squad needs a clear 1st choice player and a spare for each position in the SHAPE the coach wants to set up as a default if a player is neither they need to move on.

Squad
Goalkeepers

Sam Johnstone age 25 contract until 2022 Young enough to improve and he must to play at Premier League level but okay at Championship level.

Jonathan Bond age 25 contract until 2020 From the little I have seen a decent back up option no hardship to leave his contract run down.

Boaz Myhill        age 36 contract until 2019 Needs to be replaced by one of the decent young keepers in the youth set up cannot be allowed to draw a pension indefinitely.

Defenders
Keiran Gibbs age 29 contract until 2021 One of the players assumed by many to be off, personally I think the combination of age wages and fees makes him an unattractive buy for most Premier League clubs.

Tyrone Mears age 36 contract until 2019 Time to retire.
 
Conor Townsend age 26 contract until 2021 Been an okay understudy to Gibbs would be okay as such next season less sanguine about him being 1st choice.

Kyle Bartley age 27 contract until 2021 Was done no favours when being played on the left of a 3 early in the season and looked terrible but has looked a lot better in the middle of the 3 will be here next season.

Craig Dawson age 28 contract until 2020 Wanted out last summer and if we were looking to sell him, I think that was the opportunity. He has had an okay season but has done very little to justify a big fee or a first team spot at a Premier League club. If I was a TD at a Premier League club, I would see how he does next season and pick him up as a free agent to fill out my squad.

Ahmed Hegazi 28 contract until 2022 The pick of our defenders still subject to a £10m release clause which is Premier League or top end of the other big 5 leagues I suspect somebody somewhere might think that’s an okay deal.

Tosin Adarabioyo age 21 contract 2019 I think there is a decent player there but still has that bambi on ice look at times. No way is he ever going to be at the level required to be a first teamer at Man City. Would I have him back? Yes, would I push the boat out to get him?  No

Mason Holgate age 22 contract until 2019 Best of the January loans. Probably a little too good for the Championship needs to mature and will only do that by playing games if not at Everton then probably good for a move to a lower half Premier League club.
 
Midfielders
Stefan Johansen age 28 contract until 2019 Has come good after a slow start although Fulham have taken up their option might still be worth looking at as a possible recruit.

Sam Field age 21 contract until 2022 Decision time is looming it is disappointing that he hasn’t been able to hold down a regular place in the team. Next season needs to the breakthrough season.

Rakeem Harper age 19 contract until 2019 The one youngster who has had a significant amount of game time this season and in truth blown hot and cold. Nevertheless, it would be disappointing if he didn’t sign a new contract this summer.

Chris Brunt age 34 contract until 2019 Not sure the experiment of him as central midfielder works but overall, we probably still better with him on the pitch than not. Can see another season

Jake Livermore age 29 contract until 2022 The nowhere man. Neither box to box midfielder or a DM or a deep sitting play maker if we could sell, I would suspect we won’t be able to

Gareth Barry age 38 contract 2019 Injured can’t play 2 games a week but has looked decent from time to time. Think he should be let go

Wes Hoolahan age 36 contract until 2019 Love Wes but let’s face it past it pity, we never saw him in his pomp

James Morrison age 32 contract until 2019 Not played anywhere near enough games to justify a new contract sad to say but I think this is the end.

Jacob Murphy age 24 contract until 2019 Newcastle’s problem and good luck with that.

Jefferson Montero age 29 contract until 2019 Not sure why we signed him sorry Swansea he is all yours.

Jonathan Leko age 20 contract until 2021 With just one year left on his contract it is decision time either he finds a place in the team or I think we will have to let him go.

Forwards
Dwight Gayle age 28 contract until 2019 Unfortunately played his last game for the club. I think he will get a move to a Premier League club I don’t think the much-heralded swap deal with Rondon will happen in the Championship, wages being the killer issue. Think he might find a spot on a Premier League squad. 

Jay Rodriguez age 29 contract until 2021 another player like Dawson who might have moved last summer has had a good season without being particularly eye catching. The significant point here is for a player that has had injury issues in the past the sheer volume of game time he has put in might dispel any lingering doubts about his fitness.

Hal Robson-Kanu age 29 contract until 2020 We’ve got Kanu Robson Kanu I don’t think you understand he has year to go and won’t be sold so we’ve got Robson Kanu.
Kyle Edwards age 21 contract until 2020 We have seen a few glimpses of his potential which is encouraging next season has to be the breakthrough year.

Loanees returning
Solomon Rondon 29 contract until 2020 Still subject to a £15m release clause has had a good year at Newcastle I think

Allan Nyom 30 contract until 2020 Spent the season in La Liga guess we will move him on

Jack Fitzwater 22 contract until 2020 Spent a season on loan at Walsall. The experience will have greatly helped his development whether he is ready to step up to a role in the Championship is a different question,

Oliver Burke 22 contract until 2022. Remains an enigma spent the 2nd half of the season on loan at Celtic started well but has drifted out of their first XI following Rodgers departure. I don’t know what we can do with this player there is talent, but no coach seems to be able to tap into it. Plainly unhappy with us but not sure who will buy him.

Kane Wilson 19 contract until 2020 Spent time with Walsall and Exeter this season and got some useful game time as with Fitzwater this a youngster we need to give a chance to next season.

We could ship out as many as 15 players. However while some turnover is inevitable I don't think it will be quite as extensive as some might think

12
West Bromwich Albion FC / Thoughts on the Season to date
« on: October 07, 2018, 10:18:24 AM »
The second International break seems a good point to review the season to date. Many of the questions we had going into the season about formation and style have play have been answered. Darren has settled on a 3-4-1-2 as a stock formation and he believes his best XI is as follows

                                                               Johnstone

                                                    Dawson    Hegazi   Bartley

                                              Phillips   Brunt       Livermore   Gibbs

                                                                     Barnes

                                                          Gayle           Rodriguez


Plainly we are playing attacking football and have scored 9 more goals than anyone else however our shots per game numbers aren't very different from Leeds and Brentford who along with ourselves are averaging over 14 shots per game.

This would suggest that either the quality of our shots is way better than theirs or we are on a bit of a hot streak the answer is both. Our expected goals are running at 1.8 a game whereas we are scoring at 2.6. Brentford are running at 1.6/1.7 and Leeds 1.3/1.8. We are out performing the next 2 highest volume shot takers by 9 and 23 goals across the season but not only that we are creating better chances than they are we are currently converting them at a phenomenal rate.

The concern most people have is our apparent defensive frailty. Again this seems to be backed up by the numbers. We concede a lot of shots on average 15 a game. Only Sheffield Wednesday on 16 concede more. No other team in the top 6 is conceding at more than 12 per game with Brentford and Leeds both conceding less than 10. We have conceded 17 goals and on the face of it this is bad. There is no comfort in expected goals we are conceding 1.6 expected goals compared to an actual of 1.4. so across the season to date we might have conceded another 2 goals on average.

The absolute volume of shots is not as worrying as the expected goals numbers. A lot of the volume is from distance and for every 1 Adam Reach pile driver that nestles in the top corner 50 fizz harmlessly wide or sting the legs of a defender. Again yesterday Reading matched us for shots but about 30% of theirs were from 25 yards or further out. Those don't go in. The issue we have is we probably giving up something like .5 of a goal in individual errors per game.  Taking the example of the Wednesday game the Adam Reach goal is not a problem whereas the Forestieri one is.

In the short term I am not sure what the coaching staff can do tactically to impact the defensive numbers without detracting from offensive ones. I honestly think that changing the back 3 within existing options would have limited impact and it is to be hoped that keeping a consistent line up should develop a better understanding which will in time chip away at the errors which are the major contributing factor to our poor defensive numbers.

Overall I think Darren and his staff can be satisfied with progress to date. Plainly there is work to be done and the team can improve but provided we can maintain our goal threat then we should be in for a successful season.


                                                             

13
West Bromwich Albion FC / Squad 2018/19
« on: August 31, 2018, 07:48:14 PM »
Goal Keepers

Sam Johnstone (25, 2022), Boaz Myhill (35, 2019), Johnathan Bond (25, 2020) and Alex Palmer (20, 2019)
Defenders

Craig Dawson (28, 2020), Ahmed Hegazy (27, 2022) Kyle Bartley (27, 2021), Kieran Gibbs (28, 2021), Conor Townsend (25, 2021) Tosin Adarabioyo (20, 2019) Tyrone Mears (35,2019) and Kylie Howkins (22 , 2019)
 
Midfielders
 Jake Livermore (28, 2021), James Morrison (32, 2019), Chris Brunt (33, 2019) Matt Phillips (27, 2020) Sam Field (20, 2022) Jonathan Leko, (19, 2021) Harvey Barnes, (20, 2019), Rakheem Harper, (18, 2019) Gareth Barry (37, 2019) and Oliver Burke (21, 2022)

Forwards
Hal Robson-Kanu (27, 2021), Dwight Gayle (27, 2019) Jay Rodriguez (29, 2021) and Kyle Edwards (20, 2020)
Out on loan
Rondon, Nyom, Wilson Fitzwater, Melbourne

There are 4 ways to look at the squad.

1.Tactical fit. Does it deliver an XI that meets the tactical inclinations of the Head Coach? Well maybe the jury is still out on exactly what Moore’s tactical philosophy is. We play 2 up top and because of the absence of an out and out target man we play through the midfield by default. The squad works to a point. There are some major concerns about central midfield but in general Moore has sufficiently gifted players to put out a competitive team at this level.

2.Depth. Looking beyond the obvious starting XI is there cover in the case of injuries. Generally with 26 players there is but it is more dependent on relatively untried youngsters than perhaps some feel comfortable with
 
3.Age Profile. The squad is a lot younger than it was last year although that said Moore can still field a team all over the age of 25 so we are far from dependent on the untried youth. The balance is that there are more players in the squad who are declining 
 
4.Longevity. This is a one season squad. Whatever the outcome this year the squad will be very different next year. There are a number of veterans in it that won’t be renewed almost regardless of division. 3 loanees who will return to their parent club (promotion might change this but it might not.)

Whatever the gripes this is what Darren Moore has to work with.

 

14
West Bromwich Albion FC / Jack Fitzwater
« on: June 17, 2018, 05:14:33 PM »
Just confirmed by the club that Jack Fitzwater has signed a two year extension to 2020.

https://www.wba.co.uk/news/2018/june/fitzwater-extends-hawthorns-stay/

15
For 5 out of his 6 games in charge Darren Moore played the same team

                                            Foster

                 Nyom      Dawson    Hegazi     Gibbs

                Phillips        Brunt  Livermore      McClean

                                       Rodriguez

                                          Rondon

It was a 4-4-1-1 with Rodriguez definitely playing in the withdrawn striker role as a opposed to a 4-4-2 with both strikers  playing on the toes of the opposition Centre Backs.

In general terms the strength of the system is that it defensively solid with the two banks of four forming a deep sitting block that denies the opposition space behind them.

The inherent weakness is that against the many teams that play 3 in central midfield it is difficult for the 2 CM's to dominate possession without the support striker dropping deep and or the wingers coming inside to provide passing options. The other big weakness is that transitions out of defence are often dependent on long balls which are often contested by one of the strikers on a 50/50 or worse basis which means offensive play breaks down on the initial out ball.

All of the above can be countered by the wingers playing narrow the full backs overlapping and the number 10 being a midfielder by trade rather than a striker. Equally if you have an exceptional midfield pairing of say Kante and Yaya Toure in his prime then midfield overloads aren't such a problem but the work load on the Centre Midfielders is huge if this system doesn't sink into a deep sitting block with aimless punts down the channels. 

There is nothing to say this will be Darren's preferred formation going forward but going on my rule of "what you see is what you get" for players and coaches lets assume it is.

Implications for retention and recruitment. First off there is a huge question mark over anyone who didn't make the team during those 6 games but many that didn't like Evans Barry Krychowiack and Sturridge we know are leaving anyway.

Looking at the players that did play

Back 4 works well Gibbs can overlap and is effective going forward Nyom less so there is no great requirement for the Centre Backs to play out from the back but if the full backs are pushing forward they need to be reasonably comfortable going out wide to cover counter attacks both Hegazi and Dawson are.

Issues Dawson has a release clause and there is very little cover for the 1st choice four

Midfield It is a mess. It is less of a mess across the last 6 games than it was previously but still not functioning.

Going forward Livermore had his best 6 games for club under Moore maybe something to do with having clear role in the team and that role suiting his abilities. Brunt in a sort of quarter back role worked to a point but I think Field might be better suited to that role although not used by Moore so you do wonder.

The wide players Phillips is okay, defensively weak which is a problem if we want him to play narrow and Nyom to overlap but in a 4 probably a better option than Burke who needs the security of cover behind him to give him the freedom to roam.

McClean has the athletic ability to get up and down the flank but as soon as he steps inside looks completely lost and is a liability. His delivery and decision making is also poor. Again an instant upgrade is available by putting Brunt out wide. No he is not the traditional winger but in a four the wide midfielders aren't traditional wingers width is supplied by overlapping full backs and wide midfielders play inside them.

The Number 10. This is a problem filled by Rodriguez until the Palace game when he was shunted out wide right then the whole thing fell apart. Rodriguez did well but generally the shape of the team is better served by an attacking midfielder in this role peak Morrison would be ideal or Chadli who was available but was not selected by Moore.

Issues  No number 10 Chadli will almost certainly leave Morrison is past his best and injured return unknown and out of contract. None of the wide players are absolutely ideal for the system except Brunt who is entering the veteran stage of his career. Phillips is okay although better in a 4-2-3-1. Livermore might leave a lot rests on the shoulders of young Field. There is no cover we need to do something about this but I guess that is pretty obvious.

Forwards Rondon as a striker worked always shows for the ball chases lost causes could be more clinical but too frequently is feeding off scraps but that is a function of what is going on behind the front line.

Issues Rondon has a release clause. If we get the midfield sorted out could be replaced with Rodriguez but we can't just lump aimless balls at him and expect a good outcome. Equally there is likely to be interest in Rodriguez and the only alternative at the moment is Robson-Kanu

Summary

If 4-4-1-1 is Moore's favoured set up then there are some major implications for the squad.

We cannot retain Yacob simply the wrong type of player. I wonder about the futures of Burke and Lekko we are desperate for a left footed wide option that isn't James McClean. A lot hinges on Jake livermore staying otherwise it is nearly complete rebuild in the Central Mid. A fit Morrison would be a huge boost but facing reality that is in the past.

It was always a huge summer but writing this even as someone as not prone to hysteria regarding our recruitment feels a little daunted. 

 

16
West Bromwich Albion FC / Scouting
« on: May 04, 2018, 08:51:45 PM »
The dismissal of 2 of Pulis' appointed scouts seems to have triggered a debate about scouting in general on the "new manager" thread.

Thought it is worthwhile spinning it off for a broader discussion.

Firstly the role of scouts is somewhat misunderstood and along with it there is a debate between desk based and live scouting. Scouts aren't generally talent spotters they are the eyes of the recruitment department but they are directed by the Head of Recruitment/DOF to watch potential targets. Although at youth level scouting is nearly all live because there is a limited library of video and competitive stats. 

The role of the scout is to answer questions that can't readily be answered by statistical analysis or via video which is the work the player does off the ball the positions he takes when not directly involved in the play. 

Secondly how many scouts we need? A scouting network is not just the full time scouts the employed by the club but also people that the club can call on to watch a player on a one off basis. That said for a Premier League club 5 is pretty much the minimum. If to get a decent understanding of a player I would guess it would need to see the player a minimum of 3 times if you want 10 deep lists of properly scouted players for each position that is probably 600 games plus a season.

I would also question how systematic our scouting and recruitment processes have been recently. Was Kychowiack scouted? If so when given that he didn't play for the 2nd half of the season.

The scouts get blamed but they aren't the problem but the processes behind them I suspect have been broken for a while.

 

17
General Football & Sports / The Carousel of Mediocrity
« on: March 17, 2018, 10:17:05 AM »
With the appointment of Mark Hughes at Southampton we have now had another turn of the Great British Manager merry go round. Looking at the managers currently on it in the Premier League and the Championship 

Mark Hughes Wales, Blackburn, Man City, Fulham,QPR, Stoke & Southampton
Tony Pulis Bournemouth, Gilingham,Bristol City, Portsmouth,Stoke, Plymouth,Stoke,Crystal Palace, WBA & Middlesbrough
Alan Pardew Reading, West Ham Charlton, Southampton, Newcastle Crystal Palace, & WBA
Sam Allardyce Blackpool Notts County, Bolton, Newcastle, Blackburn, West Ham, Sunderland, Crystal Palace & Everton
David Moyes Preston North End, Everton, Man United,Real Sociedad, Sunderland & West Ham
Paul Lambert Livingstone, Wycombe Wanderers, Colchester United, Norwich,Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers Wolverhampton Wanderers & Stoke City
Steve Bruce Sheffield United, Huddersfield Town, Wigan Athletic,Crystal Palace,Birmingham City,Wigan Athletic,Sunderland,Hull City & Aston Villa
Roy Hodgson Halmstad Bristol City,Oddevold,Örebro Malmo Neuchâtel Xamax Switzerland Inter Milan
Blackburn Rovers Grasshoppers Copenhagen Udinese United Arab Emirates Viking Finland Fulham Liverpool,WBA England & Crystal Palace

The same names the same clubs the only reason why some clubs drop off it is the manager concerned did such a terrible job there that the club can't afford to hire off this list.

I think Roy is the great exception to what I about to say but I put him there for balance otherwise it is just a list of managers I don't much like.

Generally they are poor coaches who were it not for their alleged expertise in the English game wouldn't be anywhere near as prominent in the game nor as wealthy. Few have traveled outside their homeland and most have poor records for developing young talent.

Many would argue that they have never managed the big clubs and that is true although not because they are somehow discriminated against because there is a in built bias towards "Johnny foreigner". Some have managed to get their hands on big clubs but generally it hasn't ended well and now the boardrooms of the bigger clubs have rumbled them so those doors are permanently closed which leaves them clogging up the bottom half of the Premier League waiting to be dragged off to the knackers yard slowly strangling the life out of their unfortunate employers.   

It is unfortunate that this might have blighted the opportunities for the next generation of coaches such as Dyche and Howe. It will be interesting to see where their careers head in the next few years as well as that of Brendan Rodgers.

It is telling that when the Old School are confronted with the work of  Guardiola they mutter about the money he's spent and question whether his sides can perform on a wet Wednesday night at Stoke. Whereas the next generation looks at his teams and try emulate them. You might not think Burnley have copied Pep's side but the work they do off the ball is a direct result of Dyche looking at how Barca play without the ball.

If you want to progress as a club bearing in mind the results of this mob are mixed to say the least then you need step away from the carousel of mediocrity hire from abroad or look to the next generation or maybe both.



18
General Football & Sports / Colin Gordon Interview
« on: February 04, 2018, 09:48:01 AM »
Interesting interview with Colin Gordon  ex agent and owner Kidderminster. It is overly long and poorly edited but there is some interesting stuff

https://soundcloud.com/thisfootballlife/colin-gordon-the-emperors-naked

19
West Bromwich Albion FC / Par for the Course
« on: September 16, 2017, 09:11:47 AM »
In the context of an embryonic season which is still at the stage of too early to judge I thought I would try to work out a benchmark against which we can gauge our performances and individual fans can judge depending on their expectation using a average points per game it is possible to work out where that average (if sustained) would mean in terms of league position.

Points Average 2 >per game Champions or at worst top 3.
Points Average 2 (76 full season) Champions League
Points Average 1.75 (66 full season) Europa league qualification particularly if 7th qualifies
Points Average 1.50 (57 full season) Top half finish guaranteed occasional Europa league if 7th qualifies
Points Average 1.25 (47 full season) Comfortable mid table good chance of a top 10 finish.
Points Average 1 (38 full season) Probably avoid relegation
Points Average <1 Lucky to avoid relegation.

In an attempt to put some flesh on the bones the most realistic season for us somewhere between 1 and 1.25 points a game. To achieve that what do we need to do and who should we be beating and which teams games are really bonus points if we manage to scrape a draw?

If we discount games against last season's top 7 against whom we managed just 4 points last time out if we assume 0 points against those teams (I think this gives too much credit to Everton) then we have to perform at Champions League level against the rest i.e. win all our home fixtures and draw all our away ones to get to 48 points.

Obviously football isn't that neat we will drop points against the better mid table teams at home and pick up wins away at the teams that turn out to be the strugglers and the top 7 won't be a complete blank.

 Over the last couple of seasons the league has lost two long term dysfunctional strugglers in Villa and Sunderland who could easily pegged as bottom dwellers. While Palace Swansea and West Ham seem to be trying very hard to pick up the mantle as the leagues most dysfunctional team they haven't demonstrated the level of sustained ineptitude of Villa and Sunderland they can't be regarded as obvious targets.

The mid table mix looks more competitive than ever and with the newly promoted teams not looking completely out of their depth getting a fix on what constitutes a good or bad result particularly now is a little difficult.

I suspect Brighton might struggle but might have enough about them to survive and in that context last weeks result might not be seen as terrible at the end of the season (the performance was and nothing will erase that).

Ultimately we need about 30 points from our home games and about 18 from our away fixtures. We need to be beating most of the mid table teams at home and picking up regular points away from home 4 wins and 6 draws which means 9 defeats. Assuming 7 defeats on our travels to the top 7 we can't have too many more days like Brighton if we aspire to a top half finish.
 


20
West Bromwich Albion FC / Ahmed Hegazi leaves for Al-Ittihad
« on: July 16, 2017, 09:33:50 AM »
Google translation of the statement on the Al-Ahli website


Ahmed Hijazi, the player first team football club Al-Ahli, miss the next meeting Zamalek in the final round of the Premier League, and set her next Monday, for its association with a medical examination of the club «West Bromwich» English.

For his part, Captain Hossam Al-Badri, coach of the team stressed that «Hijazi» came out of the coaching staff accounts to match the next summit, because of its association with the date of the medical examination with the English club, in preparation for the completion of loan procedures for the ranks of the English club from the start of next season.

The club agreed to offer West Bromwich England, at the request to borrow Ahmed Hijazi for a season, starting next season, according to the presentation material received Ahli, and agree with the player's desire to leave


Looks like it is pretty much a done deal.

21
Our relative position in the Premier League pecking order keeps cropping up in threads across the board from the Pulis thread transfers and ownership.

I thought that this might be useful

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/jun/01/premier-league-finances-club-by-club?CMP=share_btn_tw

It details the 2015/16 accounts for each Premier Club obviously this is before the new TV money kicks in but that increases every club's turnover so doesn't impact our relative position. Obviously these numbers include clubs sadly no longer in the Premier League and excludes teams recently promoted.

In broad terms our turnover was 16th highest and our wage bill 17th. That only paints half the picture. Looking at the figures the division splits into a number of financial clusters with a significant gap between the bottom of one and the next

The Filthy Rich Man United, Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs.

It really is Man United and 5 clubs clinging on to their coat tails but with those 5 being a lot wealthier than the next layer down. United have a turnover of £500m which is over £100m greater than City and nearly £300m greater than Spurs.

The middle classes Everton, West Ham, Southampton, Leicester City and Newcastle

Enjoy turnovers in the range of £120m to £140m which is at least £15m greater than the next layer down but at least £60m less than the layer above. West Ham's move to the Olympic Stadium might close the gap on Spurs as might Everton's new stadium but then again Spurs are upgrading so probably will stay ahead of these two but they might form a sub cluster slightly above the rest.

Leicester probably belong in the cluster below but their income has been greatly bolstered by their recent success from next season the money starts to dry up unless they can replicate their earlier triumphs e.g. Champions League qualification. 

The great unwashed. Sunderland, Norwich, West Brom, Stoke, Swansea, Bournemouth, Watford, Crystal Palace.

Turnovers in the range £88 to £109m the clubs in this group are a much of a muchness. In any given year where they sit in the hierarchy has a lot to do with where they finish in the league. If we had swapped places with Stoke then our turnover would have been slightly higher than theirs.

Newcomers

When a team is promoted they tend to have a certain amount of catching up to do but once they survive two seasons they are pretty much the same as everyone else in the league. If they have a strong infrastructure like Southampton they will muscle their way into the middle classes but otherwise will live with the paupers.

Huddersfield and Burnley are destined to be perennial strugglers as were Hull and to a lesser degree ‘Boro. Brighton have potential to move into Southampton territory but need an extended run in the Premier League to achieve this but start at the bottom along with the rest of us. Newcastle return straight into the leafy suburbs of the middle class after roughing in the sink estate that is the Championship.

Owner Subsidy

Generally the ownership of clubs is NOT putting money into to cover the operating costs of teams. There are some very expensive stadium developments underway e.g. Spurs which require additional capital but generally owners are not going to their own pockets to fund the day to day running of clubs i.e. stumping up £20m to buy a player. Clubs are profitable or making small losses.

Chelsea posted a loss but it wasn’t a result of player trading but a couple of exceptional items. The other two big exceptions are Sunderland and Villa whose owners have supported heavy losses for years and are now both in the Championship.

Owners in the Championship are but as soon as they reach the Premier League they are generally turning off the taps.

What this means is that we are can’t compete with the top 6 for players although we can help them out by taking their overpaid re-treads and using our resources to prop up their inefficiency. We struggle to compete with the middle classes as was demonstrated with Schniederlin. When we are head to head with one of the rest it is not a question of financial muscle we don’t out muscle anyone to the degree Spurs or even West Ham have the drop on us but it really boils down to how a player feels about the relative merits of a move. 

22
West Bromwich Albion FC / The Pulis Pool - Centre Forwards
« on: February 04, 2017, 12:27:22 PM »
There has been much debate on the main board about our failings in the January window. Personally I'm not surprised because January is a tough window to do business in but the current Head Coach's preferences make it virtually impossible.

The requirements are:
1. British based ideally with Premier League experience
2. At peak age probably 24 plus
3. Tactical fit i.e. can play in a team that has very low possession
4. Seen live by Pulis or at the very least one of his trusted side kicks

Overlay the simple truth is that we are probably not the most fashionable team and regardless of the new owners wealth there are some clubs we are directly competing with that have £20m to £30m more to spend a year on players which might not sound a lot but is significant given that is the annual cost of two £20m bracket players on about £80k a week.

Our realistic target lists are so small that if our number one target doesn't want to join there is a real drop off in quality to number 2 and in many instances there isn't a number 3 particularly in January.

Using one acknowledged position we need to strengthen Centre Forward and working through the alternatives demonstrates how limited the pool is even projecting forward into the next window.
Taking all Premier League and Championship players as a starting point without any other filter than a Centre Forward gives us a pool of about 150 names.

 I then knocked out anyone under the age of 23 which reduced the numbers to 125. Taking out anyone 31 or over reduced the numbers (no Peter Crouch Reunion) by another 30 names.
Armed with nearly 100 names the process of illumination started by setting aside anyone with a long term injury among those to fall at this hurdle were Callum Wilson and Danny Ings.

From then on there are a lot of very subjective judgements about, quality, tactical fit as well as to the likely fees and wages being demanded and to what extent the players concerned will be available. Obviously when the summer transfer merry go round starts then all sorts of options might open up.

I then dropped the top and bottom of the quality range which took out players like Aguerro but it also took out a huge swathe of Championship players like Will Giggs who is no longer on fire and players like Chris Martin who although they have an excellent scoring record at Championship level have got to their late 20’s without making the step up This reduced the pool down to 43 players.

Then I took out our current players, ex-players and those that have just moved in January this reduces the number to 33.

The next step I confess is a little bit controversial I removed any player that wasn’t an obvious tactical fit by which I mean not a target man in the Pulis mould. The easy option here would be drop anyone from the list that isn’t 6 foot tall and built like a brick outhouse however this would knock out physically strong players who despite being less than 6 foot tall are quite capable of playing the lone striker role.

The pool has shrunk to 22 players before any test of availability or whether fees and wages make the deal prohibitive is applied. The Chinese super league’s intervention makes this even trickier than before. Until recently top 6 flops would often be recycled back into the rest of the league and the selling club would oil the wheels of the deal by buying out the huge contract that the player was sitting on allowing the mid-table team to accommodate the player within their wage structure but without leaving the player out of pocket. Now these clubs can dump their mistakes in China recoup all of the fee and even make a profit and the Chinese will pick up the whole wage cost and in some cases even get a pay increase. 

If the player doesn’t fancy the move then they will be the ones taking the financial hit so wages might be a bit more of a stumbling block than before. 

1.   Christian Benteke if Palace get relegated definitely available but fee, wages and tactical fit make this one a No
2.   Olivier Giroud Only here at all because he is 30 and Arsenal seem in need of an attacking makeover No for the usual reasons of fees and wages
3.   Islam Slimani On the list because if Leicester get relegated a lot of players become available and even if they aren’t having bulked up the squad they will be letting a few go but probably not one they want to sell although we were interested allegedly so a Maybe.
4.   Michy Batshuayi seems out of favour at Chelsea but not really sure he works as a lone striker and will have other options further up the food chain. NO
5.   Wilfried Bony Definitely available again disappointing at Stoke two years left on his City contract 28 this has China written all over it. NO
6.   Charlie Austin Lead striker for a rival so probably not and the player never wanted to leave Southern England  so NO
7.   Diafra Sakho Been there got the tee-shirt NO
8.   Oumar Niasse The forgotten man at Everton now at Hull let’s see how he goes for the rest of the season a maybe.
9.   Troy Deeney Watford trade players so there is always a deal to be done but Ighalo proved how tough the deal can be to actually do and Deeney has said he fancies a bit of what the Chinese are offering No
10.   Andy Carroll Could be another West Ham striker that is available (there seems to be a  revolving door at the club which is constant use by forwards)  tactical fit but injury record wages and fees an issue No
11.   Enner Valencia Definitely available used sparingly at Everton but they have an option to buy so probably only available if he’s rubbish No
12.   Loïc Rémy Last seen in the treatment room at Palace. A few years ago would have been a coup now has barely played in two seasons and even now wages are an issue. No
13.   Benik Afobe Until Wilson was injured might have been available but now Bournemouth probably need to sign two players to let him go. Maybe.
14.   Leonardo Ulloa available there will be a parting of the ways in the summer but entering the Rickie Lambert twilight zone. No
15.   Mame Diouf Available going into the last year of his contract wages not an issue but his time at Stoke has largely disappointing particularly given his scoring record in the Bundesliga 29 not going to improve 3 year contract anyone? No
16.   Abel Hernández Available Hull will sell wages not an issue probably just about good enough Yes
17.   Álvaro Negredo Might be available given the number of strikers that ‘Boro have signed recently, trading on past glories No.
18.   Stefano Okaka Deeney and Igahlo markII but without the advantage of a break out season NO
19.   Britt Assombalonga Available maybe over his injury problems the best option out of the Championship Yes
20.   Sam Vokes Workhorse beloved by teams that enjoy low levels of possession but he’s Burnley’s workhorse and how much do you want to pay for one? No
21.   Cristhian Stuani See Negrado above without the past glories No
22.   Borja Bastón Poor soul rocked up at Swansea at the wrong time 3 different managers all gone for the safe option of Llorante. Based on nothing more than his goal scoring record in Spain and the fact that he still is relatively young maybe.

In summary

2 Yes’s and 4 Maybe’s. Debate all you like and maybe I’ve knocked out a few that other’s wouldn’t but the point is the pool isn’t very big

23
West Bromwich Albion FC / Financial Results 2015-2016
« on: January 29, 2017, 05:22:47 PM »
West Bromwich Albion Holdings for year ending 30th June 2016 have been released.

Quick summary 2014/15 in brackets

Turnover                                   £98.3m (£96.2m)
Expenses                                  £96.2m (£94m)
Profit Before player trading           £2m    (£2.2m)
Profit on Player trading                £2.8m  ( £5.3m)
Profit Before Tax                          £4.9m   (£7.6m)

Other figures
Staff Costs                                 £73.7m   (£69.08m)
Season Ticket Sales                     17,925    18,300

Solid set of results as ever the last set under Peace and the last of the old TV deal.
       

24
West Bromwich Albion FC / Target for the Rest of the Season
« on: December 17, 2016, 09:19:52 AM »
On the way home from the Swansea game Pat Murphy interviewed Tony Pulis and asked the question "Seventh place Tony how far do you think this team can go?" To which he replied "Pat we have to get a another 17 points..."

Okay I don't ever expect any manager to talk up his teams prospects but if all we achieve from this season is 40 points I for one won't be happy.

What sort of total should we be looking at come May?  Personally I think we should be aiming for 50 as a minimum that's 9 wins from the remaining 22 fixtures. I would also like a bit of a cup run.

To achieve this I do think we need to reinforce the squad in January but everyone at the club says we will so I'm assuming we will get some additions to bolster the squad.

25
West Bromwich Albion FC / The Squad
« on: January 11, 2016, 04:23:08 PM »
There are a number of discussions going on re individual players contracts and whether they should get new deals at the club. The only opinion that matters is TPs and while he is not likely to come out and say I don't rate player x his actions often speak louder than words. We have 12 months of his team selections we know what he likes and what he doesn't.

Here is my guess at what TP thinks:

The Core

Players TP trusts regular starters and or solid squad players whose contracts expire 2017 or latter.

Rondon, Fletcher, Brunt, Dawson, Evans, Gardner ,Yacob,McClean and Lambert

The bomb squad

Players who will be gone either as soon as their current contract allows or as soon as a new home can be found

Pocognoli,Gamboa ,Gnabry, Anichebe, Berahino, Chester, and McManaman

Free to a good home

Unlike the bomb squad these are players that Pulis generally trusts in that they are regular starters or in the case of Olsson trusted deputies but who will be free agents this summer. The absence of contract discussions speaks volumes about their longer term future at the club.

McAuley, Olsson, Morrison and Sessegnon.

Goalkeepers

It will be interesting to see what happens here and who is TP's first choice will be for the rest of the season (okay it won't be Lindegaard). It also hasn't escaped my attention that TP was trying to sign Marshall over the summer and he wasn't coming here as third choice which does make me wonder.

Foster Myhill and Lindegaard

Taking in the round there must be question marks over half the current squad the turnover of players across the next two windows could be phenomenal with the bulk of the activity happening during the summer.

Frankly it is a little bit scary.

 


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