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West Bromwich Albion
April 9, 2012
Posted by Matthew Evans on 04/09/2012

And now everybody can relax as West Brom all but secured their top flight status for next season with a 3-0 victory over Steve Kean's Blackburn Rovers.

In truth, the scoreline flattered Albion somewhat. Rovers saw a lot more of the ball than the home side, particularly in the 2nd half. Having said that, they did not create too many clear chances for all their possession with Ben Foster providing the heroics when Blackburn did create some opportunities.

The afternoon started off well for West Brom, gaining 4 corners in a fast-paced opening salvo. Skipper Brunt produced quality from all these set pieces, the ball being delivered to the back post where Jonas Olsson and Gareth McAuley demonstrated their aerial prowess by winning every ball. It was McAuley who helped Albion grab the lead, though he will have a tough job claiming the opener as his goal.

April 2, 2012
Posted by Matthew Evans on 04/02/2012

So in the week that I haven't blogged, The Baggies have suffered two very disappointing defeats although not entirely unexpected. That is one important thing to note, both Everton and Newcastle are above us in the table and would have fancied their chances in the two matches. This is not to say they were write-offs, Albion beat Newcastle earlier this season away from home and did the double over Everton last season.

The worst thing about these two games were the performances put in by The Albion. Gone were the free-flowing, attractive yet solid football that we witnessed against Wolves and Sunderland or the resilience and guile shown against Chelsea and Wigan. The two performances were distinctly average, "on the beach" displays from the players.

The football was slow and cumbersome, the defending poor. Albion lacked any pace or width, and the service to the strikers in both games was nigh-on non-existent. There are of course many reasons for this.

February 26, 2012
Posted by Matthew Evans on 02/26/2012

That's what we've all been waiting for. Depending on who you listen to, pessimist or optimist, this performance from West Brom was just around the corner or something we wouldn't see under Roy Hodgson. I'm an optimist, and despite some of the bad results we've had at home coupled with bad performances, we still could have won those games.

The most recent example of that is Swansea. Albion were pretty poor that day in the snow, yet they still should have won. A blatant penalty was turned down, Peter Odemwingie missed a sitter and Vorm made an incredibly lucky save at the end from Fortune. On Saturday, everything came together.

February 15, 2012
Posted by Matthew Evans on 02/15/2012

But if they did, this past Sunday is what they would be like. Does it get much better than going to your local rivals, in a big match, and winning 5-1, with your previously out of form striker grabbing a hat trick and the opposition's ex player scoring on his debut?

I don't think it does. The display put on by Albion was pretty much the complete performance, the only blemish being the Steven Fletcher goal just before half-time that gave Wolves fans the slightest glimmer of hope in a match dominated by West Bromwich Albion.

I've felt that Albion have been very close to giving a side a good beating recently, in previous home games we've wasted so many chances and had some very poor refereeing decisions go against us. Against Wolves, a clinical nature and a bit of luck returned to the Albion frontline, led so impressively by Marc Antoine Fortune.

January 25, 2012
Posted by Matthew Evans on 01/25/2012

The impossible was made possible, the unexpected was achieved, West Brom finally beat Stoke! I have to say that I am still in shock from Saturday's rollercoaster of emotions.

The first of those emotions was utter despair when I saw the team that Roy Hodgson had put out. I knew that Hodgson had pulled some decisions out of the blue the last time we played Stoke away from home, bringing in Abdoulaye Meite who hadn't been seen in a matchday squad let alone the first team in a league game but I really did question the side he had put out.

We had our two best strikers on the bench, Peter Odemwingie and Shane Long, with Marc Antoine Fortune starting up front having previously been on loan at Doncaster. We then had Simon Cox starting on the right hand side of midfield and Gabriel Tamas at right back, three decisions that were, quite frankly, baffling.

December 23, 2011
Posted by Matthew Evans on 12/23/2011

After the home loss to Wigan, Albion seemed like they'd be in for a poor festive period as following this game was two away games with Blackburn and Newcastle, both tricky encounters in their own right, before a home game on Boxing Day to Man City.

Albion have never won a Premier League game in December, and this run looked like it would continue with the loss to Wigan. But now Albion are sitting pretty in 10th place going into Christmas following two fantastic away wins, though both games weren't easy watching for anybody of a nervous disposition.

It was not just the results that were great, but also the performances-as a whole team and individuals. I think a lot of this is owed to a slighty change in personnel from Roy Hodgson, who moved Chris Brunt back to the left hand-side, putting James Morrison on the right and Paul Scharner brought back into the middle.

October 24, 2011
Posted by Matthew Evans on 10/24/2011

Paul Scharner should be considered a shining light amongst modern footballers. Ever since joining West Brom, Scharner has proven a hit with the fans. This is not just through his ability on the pitch, but his interaction with the fans through Facebook. But now Scharner is no longer a hit with the fans, he is no longer a fan favourite; he will now be revered by every Albion fan for his winning goal against Aston Villa this past Saturday. If you don’t quite understand what I mean, here’s some of the post from his wall;

"Legend" Multiple times

"Hero" Multiple Times

"Paul I have waited 32 years for today, thank you!!!"

We have waited so long for a victory away at Aston Villa, and whoever scored the winning goal would always be a legend in Albion eyes. But it was not just the goal from Scharner, it was his all round performance. Scharner had many brilliant games last year, but he will be the first to admit that this season he hasn’t been at his best. Until now! The past two games Scharner has come back to being the player that Albion fans loved last year, with tackles flying in, some great attacking runs and of course, some brilliant celebrations with the fans.(See the boing boing after Saturday’s game)

October 17, 2011
Posted by Matthew Evans on 10/17/2011

A supreme display from Shane Long was the catalyst for Albion's first top-flight victory in the Black Country derby for 28 years. Long terrorised Roger Johnson and Christophe Berra at the back, his impact on the game being so significant even the Match of The Day team picked up on it! The fans were certainly delighted with the victory, and also the performance to go with it.

Once more, Albion had less possession in the game and at times did persist with a more long-ball tactic. However on this occasion, it seemed that this tactic was a plan rather than just panic on the ball. This was clearly a ploy by Hodgson to get Somen Tchoyi and Long in behind a Wolves defence seriously lacking in pace, and the plan worked a treat. But unlike previous weeks, Albion also showed a return to the more attractive football that they have become known for, with the 2nd goal the main example of this, Paul Scharner's sublime back heel the stand-out moment.

Roy Hodgson must take a lot of credit for Albion's victory at the weekend, he made some big calls and all of them paid off. I have been slightly critical of Hodgson in previous blogs for his tactics, but he was absolutely spot on this time. Paul Scharner was brought back into the centre of midfield and he looked back to his best, winning the ball in midfield and also pushing on into attacking position. Scharner clearly thrives on the big-game atmosphere created at the Hawthorns, geeing them on and then delighting them by revealing his under-shirt with an Albion badge drawn on. This didn't go down well with Stephen Hunt but the Baggies fans clearly enjoyed the bravado of it all.

September 11, 2011
Posted by Matthew Evans on 09/11/2011

Ask me what I think the worst performance of Albion's season thus far was, and I'd say it was Sunday's performance. Yet, here I am sat typing this, the happiest I've been so far this season with three points on the board - after a 1-0 win against Norwich - and the table looking a lot better for it!

First game of the season against Manchester United, we put in a very resilient performance. Second game of the season against Chelsea, we could have beaten them if Shane Long had managed to give Somen Tchoyi the right pass with the goal gaping. Third game of the season against Stoke, it was close but I’d say we were the better side. Yet what did the table show: West Bromwich Albion 0 Points.

On Sunday Albion rode their luck, it was not a stellar performance by any means. But it was a performance I wanted to see. This match showed that alongside pretty football, The Baggies can grind out a result even if the performance was not to the usual standard. It’s not to say Albion didn’t create a lot of chances, they of course missed a penalty and hit the post. But Norwich seemed to have far more of the ball, and although they didn’t create many clear cut chances they certainly peppered the penalty area and Centre Halves were tested. However, they came through it, we kept a clean sheet.

Instead of the usual match report, I thought I’d sum up my feelings by going through stages of the match and what I was feeling at the time.

August 21, 2011
Posted by Matthew Evans on 08/21/2011

I don’t intend on pretending that we should all be happy with this result, as it was clear even from Match of The Day highlights that are so often edited to suggest the “small” club did nothing of significance in the game, which the Baggies could have taken something from this game. Had Shane Long managed to square the ball into the path of Somen Tchoyi with the goal at his mercy, Albion would have been 2-0 up at Stamford Bridge and in dream land. As it is, the otherwise impressive Irishman failed to find Tchoyi and we all know what happened next.

However, I never expected to be coming away from a loss to Chelsea away from home disappointed, surely this should be of some encouragement to the fans. The way we normally perform against Chelsea it is a relief to get a way without our goal difference being significantly affected.

August 15, 2011
Posted by Matthew Evans on 08/15/2011

A wise man once said, what doesn’t hurt you can only make you stronger. And that is the attitude we should take to Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Man United. Although the loss was disappointing, it is not these fixtures that will define the season, it is picking up points against those clubs in and around us that is important, although getting points against the “big” clubs is always nice.

Roy Hodgson will no doubt have been encouraged by many areas of the game, both from a team and individual standpoint, which merited a draw in his and many other’s opinion. For the first 30 minutes, Albion had to withstand heavy pressure from United and the new-look frontline of Somen Tchoyi and Shane Long were forced to feed on scraps and the midfield forced to battle for every ball. And no Albion fan can argue that United deserved their lead when the outstanding Wayne Rooney fired a shot between the legs of Gabriel Tamas and past the unsighted Ben Foster, although there was doubt over whether Ashley Young was in an onside position at the beginning of the move.

December 11, 2010

West Bromwich Albion have one real derby: it is against Wolves. Apologies to Sky et al, but it's not legitimate to hype this game up as worth more than three Premier League points. What's that? They've done it anyway? Oh.

September 20, 2010
Photograph: Frances Leader/Action Images

In the free market ruckus that is the Premier League there's little room for generosity, not even between neighbours. Yet Birmingham's visit to the Hawthorns initially appeared to buck that trend as the Baggies contrived to offer Alex - new deal - McLeish's side a plethora of early chances - one of which gave Cameron Jerome the opening goal of the game with just 15 minutes gone.

September 11, 2010

West Brom ae going to beat Tottenham 1-0 today.You need to b here to wintness it.

Once again I will defend my lack of season ticket: I’m moving away to university in October so couldn’t buy one. PLUS you all get to have me doing liveblogs on games – you luck so and sos.

August 24, 2010

Tonight's game is neither important, nor intriguing, so why not join TWBB for it? Or don't - whatever.

August 21, 2010

The West Brom Blog can only apologise for Its absence yesterday - It had more important people to see and better things to do. Rest assured the promised post mocking the fool that is Ethan Dean-Richards will come soon, but today is about West Brom vs Sunderland. Why is The Blog not at the game? Becasue It doesn't have a season ticket this time around, due to an immenent change of scenery. Now, enjoy:

August 14, 2010
January 29, 2009
Posted by Dino Pasalic on 01/29/2009

Saturday’s lunchtime kickoff between Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion was the curtain raiser to this years’ edition of the Premiership season. An opening match against one of the big four could have been contested as a rude awakening for this years’ newcomer, but although losing, it was a hard fought match by Tony Mowbray’s men. The Baggies proved they might just possess the grit and tenacity necessary to cope with the challenges of life in the Premier League.

Returning to England’s top flight as champions and heavily utilizing the transfer window should be enough reason to fancy West Brom as the likely candidate for survival among this seasons newly promoted sides. With editions such as Marek Cech from Porto, a player with Champions League experience and ex-England keeper Scott Carson, West Brom seem to have the resources to finish 17th or better. However, survival is not their primary target according to manager Tony Mowbray. “We are all looking forward to this season. There’s no thought of hanging in there or finishing seventeenth. If we can we are gonna go and try to compete in the league.” said Mowbray following Saturdays season opener.

From the first whistle, the Gunners seemed raring to be released from the chains of preseason football and quickly began bombarding the West Bromwich goal with waves of numerous attacks. The Baggies defenses were punctured after only 4 minutes as the newly signed Samir Nasri scored on his Premier League debut for the Gunners. Emanual Adebayor, William Gallas, Bacary Sagna, and once again Nasri threatened to double the lead as Arsenal consistently created chances near the goalmouth all prior to the 20 minute mark. However, West Brom coped with the Gunners’ resilient pressure. After the opening 20 minutes of the match it seemed as if Albion were gradually settling into the flow and tempo of play.

West Brom’s best attempts came from Ismael Miller and Paul Robinson after 50 minutes. A through-ball from Kim Do-Heon to Ismael Miller left the powerful striker with a fantastic opportunity on goal. However, Almunia produced a save that would rebound just outside the 16 yard box into the path of midfielder Paul Robinson who struck a shot that seemed destined for goal until young Gunner Djourou cleared the ball of the line. Less than two minutes later, Emmanuel Adebayor created an equally brilliant opportunity to extend his teams lead, however, his curling shot glided slightly past the bottom right hand post before going out of bounds.

As the match progressed Albion seemed to cope well with the fluency and rhythm of Arsenal. The Gunners had several decent opportunities courtesy Nicolas Bendter, Emmanuel Eboue, Emmanuel Adebayor, and substitute Robin Van Persie, however Arsenal didn’t resurrect the same impressive force utilized to pummel Baggie defenses during the opening minutes of the match. As for West Bromwich, although they never realistically pressured enough to level the score-line, the Premiership newcomers proved they were a side that could respectively challenge even the pinnacle of quality in English football.

November 22, 2008
Posted by Dino Pasalic on 11/22/2008

Stoke City's Mamady Sidibe grasped a goal in the 84th minute at the Britannia as the Potter's edged out 1-0 victors against promoted counterparts West Brom. Fullback Danny Higginbotham provided a drifted cross into the box, left unchallenged, Sidibe rose to connect with his head and struck the ball convincingly past goalkeepr Scott Carson. Sidibe's strike assured that Mowbray's Albion would witness their sixth defeat in their last seven Premeir League matches.

A crowd of over 26,000 will surely be overjoyed with the win, however, the match unfortunately provided one of the most shocking presentations of the beautiful game that I've seen all season. Yet it's that old sports cliché that will always ring true, at the end of the day it's the scoreline that counts, as it did once more.

November 15, 2008
Posted by Dino Pasalic on 11/15/2008

Well I hate to say I told you so, although I couldn't take any credibility for an almost obvious prediction of West Brom's result against the table-toping Blues. Chelsea provided yet another blow to Albion's hopes of surviving in the Premiership, in the form of a 3-0 shellacking.

Albion showed some promise in the opening 30 minutes of match, courtesy of a 20-yard effort from James Morrison that traveled just too high over Scott Carson's goal. Midfielder, Borja Valero was the catalyst for what was Albion's most prominent opportunity of the entire match when he made a fantastic 50 yard run and slipped the ball into the path of striker Ismael Miller's run. Miller conjured a convincing strike, but it flew across the face of goal.

David Young Matthew Evans: I've supported West Brom all my life, and it's fair to say that they give me my fair share of ups and downs. I'm always guaranteed an emotional rollercoaster of a season whatever division the Baggies are in. I try to remain positive in my views on Albion, although that is impossible at some points. My favourite Albion player of the moment is Youssuff Mulumbu, and of my lifetime it has to be Super Bob Taylor.You can follow me on twitter @MattEvansWBA

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