Tag: West Bromwich Albion

McClean, Compromise & Democracy Of Thought

Upon reading about the recent James McClean controversy, two questions sprang immediately into my mind before any others. Firstly, why on earth were national anthems being played before a club match? Secondly, was it appropriate that I should even seek to address the issues raised by McClean’s refusal to face the Union Jack when this most divisive incident took place? To answer the first question, the match in question was being played Charleston, South Carolina and, as we all know, there is perhaps no other nation that has fetishised the very notion of flags and anthems in a way...

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Nicolas Anelka, The Quenelle, Gestures & Words

It was a tense and nervy evening at The Hawthorns tonight, as West Bromwich Albion and Everton played out a one-all draw that did neither too many favours in this year’s Premier League. Everton missed out on the chance to leapfrog back over Tottenham Hotspur and into fifth place in the table, whilst West Bromwich Albion rose to thirteenth place in the table but remain just four points above the relegation places in what has become an extremely congested bottom half of the league table. Tonight, though, the match being played was only part of a wider issue facing...

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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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