No banana skin as talk of Fortress Hawthorns gathers pace

A home fixture against bottom of the league, we’d not conceded at home, they were yet to win, writes West Brom blogger Warren Stephens.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - West Bromwich Albion v Queens Park Rangers - The Hawthorns

QPR hadn’t in fact won at The Hawthorns in the top flight since 1985. Even Mark Lawrenson and Stan Collymore predicted comfortable home victories. What could possibly go wrong?

Well thankfully nothing did. I must admit I’d fully subscribed to the idea that this was something of a banana skin, that things were progressing too well and the Steve Clarke Express could grind to a shuddering halt at any moment. It may well still do but perhaps this team, this squad in fact, is made of sterner stuff.

Certainly for the vast majority of Albion’s Premiership life, we’ve been bestowed the title of unfashionable underdog. Even during the relative success of the last two seasons, victories seem to come along in the more unexpected places - Villa Park, The Britannia Stadium, Anfield, The Emirates - and winnable home fixtures have often become a source of frustration.

Unfamiliar as it may feel, perhaps it’s a sign of how far we’ve progressed that no longer do we automatically assume underdog status, that even those outside the West Midlands boundary are beginning to talk of a Fortress Hawthorns and that with 14 points from 7 games, the phrase ‘relegation dogfight’ may well be confined to the distant past, unless of course coined sympathetically in the ear of a Villa-supporting friend over a pint!

This is all of course an assumption, tougher times will undoubtedly come and our situation could still horribly worsen until we reach the magical 40-point barrier, but in the meantime, despite some tough upcoming fixtures, most Albion fans can feel a warm satisfaction about our current predicament.

We came shooting out of the blocks on Saturday and for the second time in five days, QPR found themselves 2-0 down early in the game. As statuesque as their defending often was, to attribute our advantage to this alone would be hugely discrediting the fantastic Shane Long, whose sheer energy, presence and pace caused them all manner of problems along with the enterprising James Morrison and Zoltan Gera.

Indeed, for the second time in a week we seemed to relinquish some level of control in the game by taking Shane Long off. Romelu Lukaku seems to thrive with a bit of company around him when he can turn defenders around and run at them, perhaps something we’ll see more of when chasing the game rather than protecting a lead and leaving him slightly isolated.

Albion displayed some patches of beautiful intricate interplay intertwined with a few moments of mediocrity. However even during the latter our Congolese-Argentine contingent of Mulumbu and Yacob always make it so difficult for teams to play through us, the talented Adel Taarabt eventually assuming a wide role and a word also for Gareth McAuley, who I thought was excellent in his epic physical duel with Bobby Zamora. One disappointment was Markus Rosenberg when he came on but in his defence he was filling in a role behind the main striker that probably doesn’t come naturally to him, he undoubtedly needs more match-sharpness.

Taarabt-inspired QPR had their moments, none more so than the last kick of the game, but fortunately Jose Bosingwa took aim for Albion’s supporters rather than our goal-nets and I think we probably just about deserved the three points. One notable statistic I’ve since read is that QPR’s second goalscorer, Esteban Granero, reportedly cost more in transfer fees than the entire Albion XI on the pitch at the time. I suspect the current market value of many of our players is somewhat higher than their original cost after the start we’ve enjoyed.

This weekend sees an international break and the mouth-watering prospect of England hosting San Marino. I say that sarcastically of course, yet I feel I shouldn’t. I’m English, my family are English, I’ve always lived in England and I vociferously support England in any sporting competition, yet I look towards this weekend with a tinge of disappointment as I secretly crave a return to Fortress Hawthorns.

Is it because Albion are flying at the moment and that England continually disappoint in major football tournaments? Is it a feeling of disaffection with some of the highest-paid players who represent us at international level or maybe a reflection of the standard of opposition we face this weekend? I can’t work out if it’s any or many of the above.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d take enormous pleasure in spending the summer of 2014 in Rio de Janeiro watching Andy Carroll baffle the Brazilians with his box of tricks, but I sometimes ask myself England to win the World Cup or Albion to win the Premier League/FA Cup, which would mean more, and I always arrive at the same answer: Albion, every time. So where do you stand on the Albion/England debate?

Comments for: "No banana skin as talk of Fortress Hawthorns gathers pace "

Baggie Big T

Without England Coming In For 'Uncle Roy', We Would Not Have 'Super Steve', So 'Good Old England'. However We Will Need To See Who We Get As A Replacemnent For 'Dan' And How He Does, Before We Get Too Happy On That Front

Wall Heath Baggie

Morning Warren and i hope you are well. Good blog mate and lots of restraint shown regarding our chances this season.

I used to be in the England Travel Club , i have attended two World Cups , several Euro's and i have been to most Capitals in Europe following the three lions, so it saddens me to say that these days my love of it has reduced considerably. I still watch the games on TV but find myself getting more and more frustrated with it.

The players are trying but they just do not play as a team and frankly the players we have to chose from are not good enough and not numeros enough ( to many foreigners in the Prem ????). Look at Spain for instance and then look at the England squad , we are poles apart in numbers and ability.

I have always believed that Country comes first and i cannot understand players not wanting to represent their country , i know i will be in the minority on this but you asked the question and you have my reply.

Warren

Cheers mate. I didn't know you were an England follower, you'll have to fill me in next time I see you, I love a good jaunt across Eastern Europe.

I agree that we're some way behind, but then again any nation that tells it's kids "if in doubt", "put it in the stands", "aim for the big man" and makes sure an 8-year-old wins at all costs above developing himself will probably struggle to compete with the Spanish. I played at the back, until I got to 12 the concept of playing it out on the ground was alien, I'm still surprised I wasn't picked up by Wolves.......

Jack ♣ Hat.

Warren,

Blimey, I nearly started with Jarrod. Regards the England conundrum the Throstle always wins over the Lion for me, when I flip the coin. The Q.P.R. tussle was our toughest game of the season when considering the booby traps. We are better when on our passing in your face football as shown in our first half performance, but like any good chess player we need to vary our moves to catch out our opponents, so we do need a certain amount of long ball, not too much mind. The Man City skirmish can be no more difficult than the Tottenham and Everton games in my book. The squad we have assembled over many slow but sure seasons is now coming to fruition and we are on the verge of another exciting ALBION era. Cor waet me, con yo?.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Warren

I hope you're right Jack but with the embarrasment of riches Manchester City have, I fear it makes a mockery of fair competition and will be difficult to compete with them.

Jack ♣ Hat.

Warren,

David and Goliath, say no more mate. I just look at what our squad cost and feel proud of what they are doing for us, as many of us do.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

wbabomber

Superb blog Wozza!

No contest for me between Albion and England, Albion always and forever. I followed England during my earlier years but my dis-association has grown with my grey hair. I no longer even look forward to international games, my only enjoyment coming from watching a game with friends who support other clubs.

I noticed you selected Markus Rosenberg for a special "disappointed", mention. Are you allowing a few pre judgements to cloud your perception of him? I remember you did question his signing before he arrived.

I thought he played well when he came on, he was obviously asked to keep it neat and simple to hopefully retain possession, as we did come out in the second half and give the ball away more times than at any time this season.

I thought he did this reasonably well operating in a position lying deeper than Romelu Lukaku, but opinions differ, i have spoken to other fans whose view is more akin to yours, maybe i am the one who has a pre-disposed mind set to like him??!!

I found the whole game a bit strange, we scored three wonderful goals, the first and third were simply beautiful. Then a combination of a referee who was awful and an inability to pass the ball meant we were determined to let QPR back into the game in the second half.

The game did serve to highlight our current weak spot at right back. Jara Reyes may have played well in his role for the third goal, but he could have caused us to concede two before then as his passing was sloppier than a three month olds nappy. Our options are plentiful, but the quality is lacking. Steven Reid is rarely fit, Billy Jones is inconsistent, and Jara Reyes imo is a midfielder (and switches off too often for rightback). Gabby Tamas is steady, but due to his lack of pace gets booked too often if faced with pace.

January window, right back please Mr Ashworth before you go off to the FA.

Warren

Cheers Jarrod!! I actually like Markus Rosenberg and would love to see him do well, unfortunately with Lukaku here I expect it won't be until he's recalled (January I suspect) that Rosenberg gets a fair crack of the whip in his preferred position.

I just thought he seemed a bit lost when he came on Saturday, then again by his own admission he's no attacking midfielder. It also pushed Morrison to the right, who seemed to be itching to drift back in where he's best. A couple of times Jara Reyes had possession and looked for Morrison to burst down the channel, Morrison would cut in and he and Rosenberg would be like a couple of young lovers at a school disco.

Like you say though mate, all down to opinions, we could well be both wrong!! I agree on right-back though, none of the candidates fill me with massive confidence!!

The Real Bully Hoo.

Hallo to my two all time favourite E&S bloggers.

Towards the end Lukaku took the ball off Rosenburg's toe when Rosenburg would probably have scored, Lukaku was offside and missed anyway, Rosenburg was onside. Had it been the other way round I'm sure Rosenburg would have been crucified on here but as Lukaku is a favourite nothing has been said.

I'm not sure about Lukaku being recalled. He was sent here to develop and although he oozes natural ability he's still a long way frmn being the finished article. In my opinion SL and PO are both streets ahead.

To my mind it's too soon to write off Reid as a crock, too soon to write off Jara on half a game's evidence and too soon to write off Jones who is an improving player.

Kev in Mallorca

Trbhoo

I think it's too late to be too soon to say the Reid is a crock, my understanding is that he was signed on a crock contract as was JT meaning that the club signed them knowing that were liable to injury which is reflected in the terms of their contracts.

Adéu

Warren

TRBH

Good to hear from you. I agree on where Lukaku is in terms of his development. The recall I was predicting purely on the basis that Chelsea have one senior striker. I'm not sure that was their plan when they loaned him out and Torres has been playing in all Capital One and European games. Unless they sign someone else (always possible with Abramovich's millions), I'd expect them to take him back to give old 'Nando a rest.

JimDavis

Was Jara Reyes poor distribution down to him or a midfield that become increasingly narrow and stagnant after the first 30 minutes? I'd also like to point out he never got beaten by Taarabt and won back pretty much every ball he gave away. He even restrained himself in situations where once we would have clattered the opposition.

Kev in Mallorca

While I'm of the same mind in your defence of Jara after some undeserved criticism I'd question how many times he clattered opposition as you seem to suggest that it was a big part of his game?

Adéu

The Real Bully Hoo.

Jim.

There are many times on here when I think 'I wish I'd said that' and this is one of them.

Kev in Mallorca

Your youthful good looks belie your true knowledge of Albion history,sympathetically in the ear of a Villa supporting friend indeed? At least something worth while came out of that hellish school playground.

I would also congratulate and thank you on showing the way to the "experts" amongst us on how to transfer their opinions on a player to print with your comment "he was filling in a role behind the main striker that doesn't come naturally, undoubtedly he needs more match sharpness" instead of their usual confidence sapping drivel.

I'm glad you mentioned Gareth McAuley cause it just prompted me to share a rendition of "He came from Ipswich" with the good folk of Calvia Mallorca.

As for Albion/England, it's no contest after the antics of the "misunderstood" little rich kids over the last few years and although there have been a few good performances over the last 20 yrs my interest died when Bobby Charlton retired,it returned briefly when Cyril played and I must admit since Roy's

appointment it has been slightly stirred but more important than that is where's your photo ? I'll there's disappointed young ladies this week.

Adéu

Jack ♣ Hat.

Kev,

Dead right mate, these undesirables have undone England's good reputation that Derek Kevan, Don Howe and Bobby and Brian Robson helped to create.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

P.S. Now expect you know what on here.

Warren

Cheers Kev for the kind words, I hope the locals enjoyed your rendition, our football for the 1st and 3rd goals may have been more worthy of a chorus of 'Viva Espana'.

As for any ladies, they should be grateful they saw the picture with the full pint and not the one 6 hours later slumped next to a tramp.

E1 Baggie

Warren,

That's a terrible thing to say about your other half!

*runs away*

Warren

Ha ha, good retort. She does read this actually so if you get an angry response, it's nothing to do with me!!

Kev in Mallorca

I'm not a BETting man that's why I forgot.

Adéu

We got solbakken the club

It's the Albion choice for me. I found out recently nobody,s bothered bout England.

Au revoir our kid...

CantelloRocket 78

Solbakken-

Not that your worthless opinions have any interest whatsoever to us, but yet again you've got it completely wrong-

of course England are important to some football fans!

At every England game, you see groups of guys from little lower division clubs, waving their 'Accrington','Crawley','Crewe',etc., flags-

It makes them feel like they'm bigger and more successful than they really are.

As a wolves fan, you must surely relate to this, right?

No wonder you're so passionate about the national team......

We got solbakken the club

Thanks for comIn out and showin your true national colours old pal. There was obviously no need for you to duck and dive a few weeks ago regarding players not wanting to represent their countries, I understand if you couldn't bring yourself to agree with me, but hey, we got there in the end. Enjoy your holiday .

Au revoir our kid...

CantelloRocket 78

Solbakken-

Your 'comments' a few weeks ago were to slam Ben Foster for wanting to spend time with the young family he loves, and to concentrate on the club who pays his wages, rather than travelling with Terry, Cole, Crouch,etc., to other countries and be photographed drunk in nightclubs, and chasing women around hotel rooms.

Let's face it, you read every word over here, and look for any opportunity you can find to criticise Albion players.

As for my 'true national colours', I've said on here that I watch and support England, I was born on St. George's Day, and in the past I've often celebrated my birthday with a red rose in my lapel.

In future, I'll type slowly so you can understand what you're reading, and have the chance to catch up.......

Au revoir, saft Sid.

Jack ♣ Hat.

Sobackinthechampionship,

Never ever thought in my wildest dreams that you would put ALBION above wo1-Ves. Thank you so much.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

CantelloRocket 78

Jack,

'Solbakken' said the other week that he wasn't coming on here again, then he started turning up everyday-

he then called the East Stand fans 'cavemen', and came back with a grovelling apology.

Now, as you say, he's the only wolves fan who 'visits' us, and he's placed his preference vote for the Baggies.

I bet the other wolves fans are well impressed with their 'representative'.

He makes 'Saft Sid' look like Einstein.

Solbakken and Sid- truly 'sol brothers'.

Ha ha ha ha........

Jack ♣ Hat.

Cantello,

He has proved his unstinting and undying love and respect for our beloved ALBION.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Jack ♣ Hat.

Cantello,

I know mate but I'm so glad he has renounced wo1-Ves on here and voted in our favour, it is on par with king David in biblical times. I believe he has a deep seated love for our club and this is the dawning of *SoIaman ALBIONfan*. He wants to be in the Premiership and he knows we are staying up. Maybe he is smarter than we give him credit for.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

P.S. *So I am an ALBION fan*

CantelloRocket 78

Warren, mornin' mate,

Albion (the ancient word for England), or England (until recently full of ancient players)-

who will it be?

Personally, I don't even have to think, it's the Baggies every time, no contest.

And I'll tell you why, in simple terms (which for me is less than 8,625 words)-

like you, I'm English, my Parents also English, I was even born on St. George's day in the centre of the country. But as a child,you develop most of your beliefs and strongest impressions at a young age,so picture this-

I grew up little more than 100 yards from the Albion ground, my Grandparents were even CLOSER than us, on the Albion Estate.All my family were Baggies fans, and so were their friends.

I went to school at the Albion Junior, in Halfords Lane (I could even see the turnstiles from the classroom window), and by the time I was at Senior school my Dad was running the Albion Supporters Club,also in Halfords Lane.

Basically, to me, West Bromwich Albion wasn't just a football club, The Hawthorns was an extension to my family home, and the people at the club were like relatives, some I'd met, some I hoped to get to know later.

As for England, I wanted to watch my favourite Albion players in the national team, but time and again we were snubbed for those at more 'fashionable clubs' (look at the 1966 World Cup team- most were from Manchester, Liverpool, and London clubs, ring any bells?).

As for more recently, England and the F.A. have been knocking on our door-

they want Ben Foster because most of the 'top clubs' have foreign 'keepers, and English stoppers are in short supply, and they wanted to 'cherry pick' our talented staff, take 'em away permanently and leave us to pick up the pieces.

I'll watch and support England because I'm English, but they'll never be above the Baggies in my personal 'order of importance'.

Derek - South Africa

West Brom over England every time! It helps that I was born in Scotland and live in South Africa haha, but must admit that West Brom winning the league or FA Cup would be better than the Springboks winning the Rugby Championship (where they just finished second) or winning the World Cup again.

Warren

Derek, whatever got you supporting the Baggies?

Derek - South Africa

Hi Warren

The name!!!!!!! I loved the name "West Brom" and started supporting them when I was in high school in South Africa, about 30 years ago. I had posters of Cyril Regis, Bryan Robson, Remi Moses etc etc all over my bedroom walls.My wife continually tells me that I'm the only West Brom fan in South Africa, which is fine because we don't just accept anyone!

Warren

That's a great story, do you ever make it to any games?

I've spent the afternoon trying to think of any South African players we might have had, I can't think of any. Perhaps next time you come you could bring Bryan Habana to play on the wing......

CantelloRocket 78

Warren,

I forgot to say-

we were disappointed you didn't get to The Vine for a drink before the QPR game, but in anticipation, I came up with 'plan B'-

remember that photo of you on here drinking a large German lite bier?

Well, I blew up the image on me laptop, then printed it off 'life size'.I then stuck it to a 6 foot piece of cardboard, and placed it next to me in the pub.

But I'm afraid things didn't go too well.

A guy near to me thought you were a 'tight wad' for making one beer last you all lunchtime.

Another one came over and thumped you on the nose for constantly smiling at his girlfriend.

And finally, Suki kicked you out for drinking beer on the premises that he doesn't sell.

I think you'll have to drink in the Sportsman in future.

Sorry, Mate........

Warren

CR78

Hello mate, very good post.

I'm sorry for not making it for a drink Saturday. It was firmly a part of the plan but in the words of my other half the woman in front at Great Bridge hairdressers kept changing her mind and clogging the queue and my decision to wait for her to finish meant I didn't board the 74 until near enough 2pm by which time I assumed you'd have gone!!!

It sounds like the cardboard cut-out had an identical night to the one when the photo was taken!!

I agree on Albion/England. I think both represent an identity but Albion in many cases carries a family connection, often a love of or a loss of the one(s) who introduced us to it. I guess in that respect it's difficult to replicate.

I will definitely come and join you pre City or Southampton if you're about.

Kev in Mallorca

It's funny you should put the story about the hairdressers in a reply to Mr Barnett himself cause he always keeps us waiting up the Vine for the same reason.

Adéu

CantelloRocket 78

Kev,

You may mock, but I remember seeing you in The Vine's toilet, secretly looking in the mirror as you enviously tried on your 'Cantello' wig.

But talkin' of hairdressers,I can't wait 'til I reach pension age, so I can get a reduced rate for my planned blue 'n' White rinse.......

Adeu.

CantelloRocket 78

Alright,mate-

this may sound a bit strange, but I'm sure that's nothing new from me-

when we support England, we're supposed to 'cheer on' players from our local rivals, plus guys like Ashley Cole and John Terry, who many around the country normally boo loudly.

Now if a European XI played the Rest Of The World XI, we'd be cheering on French and German players, and if they manage to find life on Mars, an Earth team would play 'em, so we'd have to get behind everybody on the planet.

So yet again,me local club is where me heart lies.

I'm afraid I'm goin' on holiday this weekend, I should still be on the net, but will miss the City game.

Hopefully see you anytime after that?

Bromham Baggie

No contest After years of enduring England failing to deliver I've found I even prefer re-runs of Startrek Next Generation over the national team's televised games. When Star Trek finishes you can still catch forty minutes of the game and either be pleasantly surprised that England have scored, or feel justified in not watching the game. Has anybody else noticed how crap TV has become in the 8.00-9.00 slot?

Wall Heath Baggie

I think you need to get out a bit more mate.

Bromham Baggie

If only the ramp wasn't so steep.

Reddiebaggie

Since the times when Statham was ignored for Sansom who was a pale imitation, John Wile was ignored for Foster and his headband and Bomber who was ignored almost completely how could you choose a team based on who they play for rather than ability.

Happy_baggie

Agreed about only "big" teams getting a look in - Tom Cleverly is the perfect example..... he spent 3 seasons on loan at Wigan where was voted player of the year and he didn't get a sniff of England - he returned to Man Utd, played 45 minutes in the charity shield and was in the squad the following week.... literally !!

I had hoped Roy would have realised that life doesnt stop at the top 6 but he seems to be following the party line... shame.

CantelloRocket 78

Reddiebaggie,

'Bomber' Brown was one of the most prolific scorers in the top flight for years, and if I remember correctly he was given one friendly game for England against Wales then pushed out for good.

Since the mid 60's, It always seemed that Albion players had to achieve twice as much as those at 'fashionable' clubs, then they had a short spell in the squad before being discarded.

At the same time, even if 'favoured' players looked poor, they were given many games and many chances to establish themselves.

It just completely put me off watching the national team.

The Real Bully Hoo.

Reddie.

Totally agree that not only the Albion but players of all Midlands clubs have largely been ignored for England recognition for many years. Any player with ambitions in that direction has needed to leave the area. Is it just a coincidence that our area has been in the football doldrums for so long? Perhaps we need a national newspaper based here to fight our corner as we all know that the press pick the England team. I think Roy knew this when he accepted the poison chalice. (That's the chalice from the palace not the vessel with the pestle which contains the brew that is true.)

Shropshirebaggy

That my friend is why England will never win a major tournament

SedgleyBaggie

Afternoon Warren, another good blog mate! I echo the thoughts of many on here and put Albion first ahead of England every day of the week. Good to read a blog so level-headed and not getting carried away with our chances this season. Many already eliminating the potential threat of relegation, strange as we know what the Baggies put us through. Get to 40 points as quickly as possible is the main aim and then see what we can achieve after that. Another top 10 finish would be a very successful season. Happy to see David Moyes get manager of the month, I do hope Steve Clarke was also strongly considered though having comfortably seen off Everton at the beginning of the month. Agree with many that a right-back in January is key, Tamas and Jones lack pace, Reid is injury prone and Jara is better suited as holding midfielder.

COYB

Warren

Cheers Sedgley, much appreciated.

You mention David Moyes winning Manager of the Month, his league record in September was P4 W2 D1 L1, identical to Steve Clarke's. Furthermore, Everton's defeat came at our place, their wins came at an out-of-form Swansea and at home to newly-promoted Southampton. Aside from the league they were dumped out of the Capital One Cup at Leeds.

AVB's league record for September was P4 W3 D1 L0, including a win at Old Trafford and progress in the cup.

West Ham, Sunderland, Newcastle, Chelsea and Man City were also unbeaten.

Seriously, who picks these awards?!

I can see there has to be some discretion in terms of relative expectation on each team/manager but I can't see that Everton have achieved anything in September to warrant Moyes receiving that.

Mboy

Warren - be careful about saying nice things about AVB - Max won't be happy!!!

SedgleyBaggie

Some good points, personally I was surprised the award didn't go to Di Matteo or AVB myself. Quite thankful Steve Clarke didn't get it to be honest, could bring a bit of bad luck with it. Also it's nice to carry on under the radar with teams still underestimating us!

Baggies USA

I was born in 73 into an Albion family, i think the first words my dad ever said to me were if you want to live under my roof then you will support West Brom. But like most watching England was a joy, a pleasure it had that excitement when going to a game, traveling across Europe to watch them play you knew they had the passion even if our bottle could never hold out. But now i watch the games on TV, i get a bet hesitant before the whistle but then i am disappointed even when we win as the games are dull. I miss the likes of Sheringham, Gascoigne, Lineker, Robson to name but a few. Winning anything with England seems a millions miles away but at the moment winning something at the hawthorns seems a reality, the players look like a unit, the manager has that passion and a point to prove, the fans are boinging and i love and i am proud being a baggies fan at the moment!!

Brummie roader Ryan

Albion over England all day for me.

It now disappoints me when we have an international break as iv gave up on the England team

Jack ♣ Hat.

There are many fans who read the posts on here and would love to contribute, my message to you is: Select a nom de guerre and come on this site and say "Worrow" or "Hello" if you like. You will soon get in the swim, all ladies welcome. Hope to hear from some of you soon. Come on you BAGGIES.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

The Real Bully Hoo.

Spot on Jack, and they don't have to fear the wrath of Max's tongue as I have exclusive rights. Come on readers become writers, the more the merrier.

Jack ♣ Hat.

Bully,

Maybe we could arrange a free go at Wall Heath to the first five newbies ☺☻☺☻s.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

P.S. Onny jowkin maet.

Netherton Baggie

I recently mentioned Brian Clough's description of Brooking,as 'floats like a butterfly and stings like one.

Seeing Derek Statham's name crop up earlier,another Cloughie gem came to mind,when he described Kenny Sansom as a deformed dwarf.

The Real Bully Hoo.

Netherton.

Perhaps you should change your name to 'The Voice of Cloughie.' Anyway if you have any more of his one liners keep them coming, they are like the man himself was, brilliant.

Unlike Kenny Sansom who regularly appears on Talksport telling his anecdote '...and I said to him that's Wembley mud' which is just as funny the 98th time you hear it as it was the first

Baggiebird

Hi Lads, Thanks Jack the Hat (love that moniker) for the invitation have been reading all your posts as I always do and having a really good laugh, must admit I agree with all the comments I am a converted WBA fan 'cos I married a fella who has been a baggies fan for 58yrs, I am now a season tkt holder in the East Stand.

I was a Villa supporter back in 1965 oooops sorry lol, hubby took me to the game where Albion beat the Villans 6-0 think it was 1966 and have been a baggiebird ever since, you have probably heard me as I am the one in the stand that shouts louder than all the rest put to-gether LOL.

Kev in Mallorca

Sorry to here about your troubled childhood and happy you came through a dark tunnel to see the light, welcome to these forums and may I suggest a way to help you feel your feet is to converse with the other poster who is secretly following a similar path in life We got solbakken the club,maybe both of you chatting will help him to come and shout it to the world.

Adéu

We got solbakken the club

Nah, doubt that very much mate. The whole purpose was to get the Rocket off its launch pad and flying one side of the universe or the other. It's took light years, but eventually landed on my planet. That mission is complete so I'm looking forward to re-fuelling and taking another small step for wolf-kind. May the source be with you, and some of this Bilston rain if you want.

Ajoo our kid...

CantelloRocket 78

Solbakken-

when you first came over here, you put on the occasional lengthy, smug post and thought you could fool the Albion fans.

Because I instantly sussed you, and after a string of embarrassments, you now come running over here two or three times a day, showing much irritation and stroppy moods.

It must be hard work rushing back and forth, whilst we sit here loffin' at ya?

Be brave, be bold, consider yourself told........ha ha.

Jack ♣ Hat.

Baggiebird,

Welcome aboard buddy, glad you like my nom de guerre because there are lots of the orange shirt brigade who do not. Bet you felt better after the conversion job☺☻☺☻s. Hope you get plenty of messages from our regulars.

Un arl be evun mooer happeya if yo con post regla, see yo sewn me wench.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

CantelloRocket 78

Baggiebird,

Hi, nice to hear from you.

The first away game I ever saw was at Villa in the mid 60's, and I remember going to that other game you mentioned when Albion won 6-0.

I also sit in the East Stand, so maybe we already have one or two things in common.

There are some fans who read these posts but feel a bit shy or unsure about coming on here, but it's mainly for fun, and a chance to get things off our chests.No one can see us, so nobody's gonna jump out a cupboard at home if we say something they don't agree with.

I have a feeling you've been here on the odd occasion before, so as they say, don't be a stranger.........;)

AGE

West Brom over England everytime, though the rate they`re looting us England will be WBA soon. Thinking of getting a baggies tattoo, was going to get the club shield but found an old away jersey that has the coat of arms of West Bromwich on, going to get that instead

Robin Brittain

I am with you Warren , in fact my views are probably more extreme on the Albion versus England topic. I have little interest in tomorrow's game and will not bother to watch it as the result is meaningless. All I know is that we are deprived of another weekend of Premier League football at a time when our team is doing well. As I have said before it's time for the Premier League to go it's own way and make sure our season is not continually interrupted. I see that the FA's latest brainwave is to make all the current England squad sign a code of conduct charter. Sounds like boot camp to me.

Thank goodness the best goalkeeper in the land decided to ignore the England calls to devote time to things that really matter in his life. He has my utmost respect for doing that.

mancbaggie

Albion everytime. Statham / Sansom STILL gets me angry... how sad is that? Seeing a rerun with Baines / Cole. No competition. Never has been.

AndyH

Evening all,

i do find the debate about country v club always interesting.....club is an everyday thing whilst country is the iceing on the cake. As a scot though......they go hand in glove for me. The albion is and always will be very important but my national side is.....well as a smaller country with a proud sporting history..... It may sound silly but i only have to hear flower of scotland and i get just a little emotional - even more so when we are not doing so well. And it's great to have Jimmy and Dozza in the scotland squad and playing well at the moment. And how many scotish players have found a home at the shirne and performed well for both?? Club v country....to me they both matter!

regards

AndyH

Jack ♣ Hat.

AndyH,

Thanks, you have given me an idea. If our fans had a choice of having a new national anthem what would you choose?.

My coice,

Know your enemy by Green Day

AndyH

JTH,

good choice that - i'd proabaly end up going all Scotish and have to have the Proclaimers 500 miles. But if you wanted songs to sing at our friends from staffs we could sing the bay city rollers bye bye baby every time they get relegated or lose when we beat them again....or maybe cool and the gangs "relegation time"

to many songs to choose from......

Baggie bird

Hi Lads

Thank you for the warm welcome, yes CantelloRocket 78 I have been on here before but some of my posts were er not posted, think it was the comments on the orange shirt brigade LOL, I sit down the front in the East Stand got a brill reputation for having a go at the officials especially when they get it all wrong, some of the opposing teams players get it in the neck as well when they foul my beloved baggies.

As for Solbakken, the deluded 1 LOL surely he would want to support a team that is doing exceptionaly well instead of that team down the road lol.

Will definitely be back on here now I know I am welcome, roll on the Man City game getting withdrawal symptoms.

Netherton Baggie

In common with the vast majority of our fans,Albion always come first.On the subject of our players getting a derisory number of England Caps,does anyone else remember back in the 60's,when Alan Peacock of Leeds,had to pull out of an England match.His obvious replacement in everyones opinion was Johnny Kaye,who I believe was in the squad.

Lo and behold who got the nod,Barry Bridges.England who cares?

Jack ♣ Hat.

Baggie bird,

Last time I was at Villa Park Graham Williams was fouled by big Tony Hately. Graham was on his knees and Hately bent over him. Don't know what Hately said but he never saw Grahams upper cut. Needless to say our ten men lost. All the best me wench.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.