Tag: West Bromwich Albion

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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Brian Little – Slow Decline Or Varied Career?

If you watch a match this afternoon, take a moment if possible to look into the eyes of your manager. If your team is winning you may think that you see happiness, but it’s not. It’s relief and respite. If your team is losing or drawing you may just get to see a haunted soul. Ironically, given that it is statistically likely that most managers will lose as many games as they win, the life of the football manager is one of surviving from one match to the next. In the most extreme circumstances, one match can lose a manager his job and, in select cases, destroy his reputation. Managers in the Premier League are the top of their game. At the prime of their game, and it’s a long way down. Even some of the most established Premier League managers will be more than aware that their reputations will only last for as along as their teams can keep their heads above water. It is an insecure profession and, since all managers have been players at some point, they know it. It is, therefore, likely that some older managers may have shivered yesterday when a minor announcement appeared, almost as a footnote at the bottom the sports news. Gainsborough Trinity, of the Blue Square North, have hired Brian Little as their manager. Little’s managerial career has become a...

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Match Of The Week: West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Newcastle United

Time marches relentlessly on. Three years ago, Damien Duff was kissing a Premier League medal for Chelsea. Two years ago, Scott Carson was (briefly) England’s first choice goalkeeper. This time last year, West Bromwich Albion against Newcastle United was a Premier League match. The two clubs couldn’t have finished last season in a much more different fashion. West Bromwich Albion, marooned at the foot of the table through those long, winter months, found an unexpected burst of energy with a few weeks left and, even though they suffered the twin hiccups of relegation and losing their manager, they seemed to treat both of these events as if they are part of life’s natural cycle. Sunrise, sunset. Promotion, relegation. Tony Mowbray leaves, Roberto di Matteo replaces him. For Newcastle United, this has been a summer of  predictably unrelenting chaos. The Barry Moat take-over is starting to give the impression of having stalled (leading one to believe that the approach has at least reached the stage of due diligence), Alan Shearer spent the summer waiting by his telephone for a call that never came, some – though not all – of the masive wage-earners left and no-one replaced them. The contrast couldn’t be much starker, and it gives some of indication while West Bromwich Albion start the season with plenty of admirers and supporters optimistic for a quick return for the...

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Sir Bobby Robson – 1933-2009

It has been a very sad day for football on the eve of the new season. We have lost one of us. It is, perhaps, a reflection of the hole in the heart of English football that we should mourn a football man whose greatest single attribute was nothing more or less than a sense of common decency. It is football’s loss and our loss that we may never in a quite literal sense see his like again. Rob Freeman, who supports Ipswich Town, takes a moment to remember Sir Bobby Robson. Sir Bobby – it’s always seemed a little churlish to refer to him by just his surname – was simply put, one of the greatest men to ever contribute to the game. He made an impact as a player, a manager and as a man. His playing career often gets overshadowed as a result of the achievements he had as a manager, but as an inside forward and wing-half for Fulham and West Bromwich Albion, Sir Bobby scored over a hundred goals in over five hundred games in a domestic career that spanned 18 years. He made his international debut for England against in 1957, scoring two goals in a 4-0 victory over France at Wembley. It would be the first of 20 caps that would also take in three appearances at the 1958 World Cup, and...

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