Tag: West Bromwich Albion

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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Tackling Racism Head On, The West Bromwich Albion Way

With just a couple of months left until the voting starts for the hosting of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup finals, it is perhaps unsurprising that a story should enter the public domain regarding racism that involves, to some extent, clubs from the two countries that are the current favourites to win the nomination to host the 2018 tournament. The controversy has involved the transfer of midfielder Peter Odemwingie from Lokomotiv Moscow to West Bromwich Albion. It has been reported that, when Odemwingie left Lokomotiv, he was greeted at his last match with a banner with a picture of a banana on it and message saying, “Thanks West Brom”. The argument turned faintly odd when the head of the Russian bid, Alexei Sorokin, stated that everybody had missed a subtle joke, stating that: I know that this banner applied to a certain player and to the manner of how he played in his last matches. Apparently fans were not happy with the fact that he plays better for Nigeria and worse for the club. That’s why they have shown their satisfaction after he left. And there is nothing racial in it. If there would be another player – from Russia, Denmark, Norway or Japan, for example – the reaction could be the same. In Russia ‘to get a banana’ means ‘to fail a test somewhere’. There are, without...

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The Premier League Previews 2010/11, Part 17: West Bromwich Albion – Haven’t We Been Here Before?

It feels like we’ve been here before. West Bromwich Albion are promoted back to the Premier League, and have played some beautiful football to get here. Having spent eight seasons in what is now called the Championship, West Bromwich Albion have become a bit of a yo-yo club, so to speak, having not spent more than two seasons in the same flight since. And while they can only continue that trend this season, they must certainly look to this season to lay the foundations to break the spell next season. The common consensus last time around in the Premier League was that Albion, then under the guidance of Tony Mowbray were too stubborn in their approach to the beautiful game. The suggestion was made by the “experts” that Albion were the key to their own downfall by refusing to drop their principals, in the chase for the points that would have kept them up. In trying to pass out of defence, they would give the ball away and often concede. Instead, the critics claim, they should have parked the bus in front of goal, and just hoofed the ball when on the defence (a tactic that still gives the ball to the opposition, just further up the field). In a lot of respects, they should have been more direct, like Stoke City (a side, given nowhere near as much...

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