Tag: West Bromwich Albion

All Aboard The Managerial Merry-Go-Round… Again

It has, dare we say it, been a tetchy two or three days for the managers of England’s football clubs. Even a breed of people that live their entire lives with a metaphorical axe suspended precariously over their heads will have offered an extra shudder at the events of last three days, which have resulted in the departure of three of their brethren from their positions, and such is the instability of the manager of any club these days that those that remain in work may well even find themselves unable to offer so much as a whispered, ‘There but for the grace of God go I’ tonight. If the form book is anything to go by, there, regardless of the grace of God, they are most likely to go in something like the short to medium term. To begin, then, at the top of the football food chain. Tottenham Hotspur may not have been the champions of England since John F Kennedy was the president of the United States of America, but modern football pays little attention to long-term trends. Spurs spent their Gareth Bale transfer window before they’d even sold that player, and the sheer volume of new recruits at White Hart Lane meant that Andre Villa Boas was always likely to face an uphill struggle in order to placate both the directors and supporters of the...

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Deadline Day Panic: Peter Odemwingie’s Unplanned Trip To London

It was, all things considered, a relatively sane transfer deadline day. None of the biggest clubs got particularly involved, and no-one spent £70m on a life-sized perspex replica of Bobby Charlton in the hope amongst hopes that scientists might have perfected human cloning while no-one was looking. Professional football, however, would not be professional football with something of an ill-advised nature happening on a day like this and, whilst the goings on at Queens Park Rangers and Nottingham Forest were mildly diverting, there was only really one story worth paying attention to if you wanted to keep up with the inside track on the madder side of transfer negotiations: Peter Odemwingie’s one man bid to get get himself signed by Queens Park Rangers, come hell or high water. Odemwingie has been acting erratically for a little while, now. The West Bromwich Albion striker – probably now ex-West Bromwich Albion striker – has been agitating for a move away from The Hawthorns for some weeks, but rather than following the established protocol of getting some carefully placed stories into the national press, pouting in public a little and leaving the negotiations to those who know what they are doing, Odemwingie went public, with a series of pronouncements via his Twitter account – including one which suggested that even his advisor had told him to shut the hell up, but that...

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The Twohundredpercent Pre-Season Previews: West Bromwich Albion

Last season was one of stability for West Bromwich Albion, and while this in itself must have felt like a blessed relief for the supporters of the club it had an altogether more prosaic value to the club itself. A season mid-table stability to The Hawthorns brought a tangible and significant return on the clubs policy of living within it means throughout those years when it was boing-boinging between the Premier League and the Championship. This is a club that has been well-managed in recent years, and is now well positioned the reap the rewards of that management – and this, as regular readers of Twohundredpercent will be more than aware, isn’t something that we get the opportunity to say very often. It is important to get a little perspective on what this all means. The club has so little debt that the amount that it owes is of little consequence. Their season in the Premier League last season will have earned them at least £40m in television money and their eleventh place finish last season was worth around £7.6m. The lack of debt means that this money doesn’t need to be wasted servicing money that it has already spent or, arguably just as importantly, interest accruing on money that it has already spent. As such, they are in a stronger position than many to invest in their team....

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Match Of The Midweek 1: West Bromwich Albion 1-3 Blackburn Rovers

To the outsider, Blackburn Rovers had always been one of the more stable Premier League clubs. However, since the arrival of Indian Poultry giants Venky’s last month, the off-field business at Ewood Park (covered elsewhere by Ian and Mark) has seen Rovers become the Premier League’s latest basket case. On the pitch, Steve Kean has had a loss at home to Stoke and a draw against West Ham in his opening games, and needed a win to end 2010 on a personal high note. Kean hasn’t looked to make many changes to the team since Sam Allardyce left the club, with the only new face being highly rated teenage centre-half Grant Hanley alongside Ryan Nelsen. Hanley’s presence is down to an ankle injury to Christopher Samba, and Phil Jones’ knee ligament damage, but his performances so far suggest that Samba may struggle to regain the position, regardless of his alleged recent fallout with Kean. Another area in which Blackburn have retained their continuity is their style, with a number of trademark physical challenges in the opening minutes, and even before the hosts have settled, Blackburn take the lead. Morten Gamst Pedersen provides a looping pass to Kalinic, who beats the offside trap and places the ball past Scott Carson for his first league goal in over three months. 0-1. Initially, West Brom try and play Blackburn at their own...

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Match Of The Midweek: Blackpool 2-1 West Bromwich Albion

The early season is over now. The clocks have gone back, which means that there will be precious few matches that finish in daylight between now and next spring, and in commemoration of this fact the Premier League rolled out the luminous yellow ball last weekend. There is something deeply aesthetically unsatisfying about the yellow ball. Marketing fools still doubtlessly proffer the argument that it is somehow more “visible” than a white ball, as if we are incapable of seeing through their guff, but still they press ahead with it. The ball isn’t the only affront to the eyes at Bloomfield Road this evening, either. Both Blackpool and West Bromwich Albion have their shirts adorned with sponsors’ logos which defy all logic by making the companies – a payday loan company and an emergency insurance company respectively – that they are flogging even less unattractive than they may already be. Fortunately, there is much, much more to this game than aesthetic concerns. This match was almost certainly selected for live television broadcast on the basis that it would be a relegation six-pointer, but West Bromwich Albion at least are defying the pre-season odds with a string of excellent results, including taking seven points out of nine from matches against Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United. Moreover, they have done it with a degree of style and panache (they scored...

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