Tag: West Bromwich Albion

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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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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