A point gained - or two lost?

This is my first blog and I approach it with a slight sense of trepidation, I think I can speak for a lot of E&S regulars when I say that Jarrod Hill’s done a fantastic job over the last five years and will be an extremely difficult act to follow, writes our new West Brom blogger Warren Stephens.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Aston Villa v West Bromwich Albion - Villa Park

I can only imagine this is how Dan Ashworth’s successor is going to feel, I just hope I can emulate Jarrod by unearthing a few more Claudio Yacobs rather than Tininhos!!

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I should probably introduce myself, my name’s Warren Stephens, I’m 31, I sit in the East Stand and the likelihood is that I’ll be extending Jarrod’s legacy by erring to the side of caution above expectant optimism. I’ve posted on the site for a number of years under the imaginative pseudonym ‘Warren’ so our paths may have crossed before.

What better/worse (can’t decide which) place to start than a local derby at Villa Park? The relevance of this derby amongst our supporters seems to depend largely on age and geographical location. Those old enough to remember top-flight rivalries with Villa in the early 80’s and beyond, and also anybody brought up in an area densely populated with Villa supporters, tend to regard this as a main derby. A majority probably cite a much more natural rivalry in terms of size and history with Wolves.

Personally I grew up in Great Barr in the 1980’s and am still haunted by the endless derision I was subjected to daily on the school playground by Villa counterparts, as such nothing would have given me greater pleasure than for us to have replicated last year’s victory there. Alas it wasn’t to be and a hard-fought 1-1 draw was probably a fair reflection on the balance of the game.

Villa supporters may like to refer back to 1982. Sorry that’s a mistake, I’ll start again. Villa supporters may like to refer back to the last 10-15 minutes of each half when they were undoubtedly in the ascendency, but the outstanding Shane Long’s early missed header, a penalty shout against Marc Albrighton, Long’s disallowed header and Romelu Lukaku hitting the woodwork late on are evidence to suggest Albion were always in the game and capable of snatching all three points. The players displayed a wilful determination to get a result, even after losing Chris Brunt and Billy Jones to first-half injuries, and it’s difficult to criticise any of them.

Sunday also saw a debut for our new Macedonian maestro Goran Popov. A couple of questionable balls across his back-four aside, I think it was quite an impressive debut, particularly given his lack of match-fitness. He was competitive, displayed a willingness to get forward- something that’s becoming an eminent feature of our full-backs under Steve Clarke, even if it occasionally means they leave space behind them- and he showed a couple of impressive moments of composure. He also played a couple of beautiful Beckham-esque cross-field passes in the second half and we can look forward to seeing more of him. Indeed I felt our entire back-four coped admirably with a barrage of set-pieces and crosses into our box, arguably until the equaliser itself.

We seemed to lose impetus late in the game when Lukaku came on for Long, the latter having run Villa’s back-four ragged, and we struggled thereafter to get the ball to stick in their half. However given Long’s work-rate prior to the substitution and Lukaku’s contribution from the bench over the season, I don’t think many can argue it wasn’t a logical substitution to make and I’m sure had we not made it and gone on to draw 1-1 anyway, many would’ve questioned why Lukaku wasn’t introduced.

The old adage reads that if you draw your away matches and win at home you’re doing okay and if we can get a positive result at home this weekend, the point at Villa can seem like a point gained rather than two relinquished from a winning position.

QPR are our visitors in a game that also signals the return of enigmatic striker Peter Odemwingie from suspension following his petulant kick at Craven Cottage a fortnight ago. From the exhilarating to the exasperating, few players at the club seem to polarise opinion in quite the way that Odemwingie does.

With Chris Brunt likely to be sidelined, Steve Clarke will have a decision to make about whether to bring Odemwingie back into the side or ask him to fight for his place back. I personally think the latter, particularly given the nature of his offence, but only those close to him will know what sort of mindset he is in. I would hope he feels a sense of debt to his team-mates and the fans and I certainly feel that if we can field a motivated Odemwingie (a big IF, obviously), he’s still a very dangerous player and a major asset to the club.

Our next opponents have encountered some disciplinary difficulties of their own in recent months. Our old friend Neil Warnock blamed players talking to his Chairman on Twitter for his sacking, one suggested culprit Joey Barton has since been farmed out on loan. They’ve brought in some big-name players, including a Real Madrid midfielder and a goalkeeper once described in Italy by Gianluca Pagliuca as ‘the best in the world’, he’d obviously not seen much of Ben Foster!!

Despite reportedly paying even the likes of Nedum Onouha money which would make mine and your eyes water, QPR remain submerged at the foot of the table after a difficult start. It certainly highlights that money can’t bring you love, and increases the satisfaction we can feel about the way our club is run in comparison.

Even so, despite their position, with the calibre of player QPR now possess, this game certainly supports the notion there are no easy games in the Premier League. They’re likely to start firing at some point, let’s just hope it’s not on Saturday, particularly as we have two difficult games after this weekend. However, after a positive start we should feel confident of a result.

In the immortal words of Jarrod Hill, Come on you Baggies!

Comments for: "A point gained - or two lost?"

Steve Powell

You'll do for me Wazza,GOOD BLOG Mate

Albion Fan 20

Good maiden blog Warren :) Keep it up Boing Boing!!!

Bromham Baggie

Best wishes for becoming the new blogger. Did you sometime post as "Warren, Manchester" on the Daily Mail site defending Roy Hodgson? If so, it was very erudite, as opposed to my calling the journalist some sort of absolute tisser.

I've enjoyed your posts on the E&S pages, regarding them as very reasonable and well informed- mind you, when has the voice of reason ever won the day in football debate? I'm sure you know you shouldn't take the inevitable criticism personally. Good luck for the future.

Warren

Cheers Bromham. I did yeah, was it Martin Samuel backing his old chum 'Arry for the England job??? No shock there. It was probably a reasoned response as the previous angry rants hadn't got through!

Bromham Baggie

Yes, Martin Samuels. He still thinks 'Arry is in with a shout.

Kev in Mallorca

Bloody hell Warren the blog is nearly as long as that larger yowm drinkin'

Adéu

Bromham Baggie

Tempting fate and not using the correct mug for my tea can have a devastating effect on matchday outcomes. Therefore I won't say anything about QPR's development strategy.

astleistheking

Wodoh Warren, blinding debut I must say and well balanced too!

Why not give El Ghannsey a start? maybe a game like QPR could be the stage he needs. In saying that maybe Pete on in the 1st half then hopefully if we have a lead give him the chance in the Latter stages. Hopefully Steven Reid and Ridgewell will be ready too.

The point about 2 lost or 1 gained will always be up for debate as Vile had their chances as did we. If they had scored before us then we would have a different opinion so in my mind a draw was a fair result (bar the penalty for handball).

Brother_Russell

Good first blog!

I think it was two points lost (that is a statement of just how far we have come on as a club in the last few years) But a point away from home is never to be sniffed at.

Due to work I had to Sky+ the game and watch it later. But Albion definitely had the better chances. Dare I say it Villa were a bit hit and hope, and only scored or looked like scoring from pinball style ricochets’.

Plus we had to make two forced subs, so could not really make tactical changes to the play apart from Lakaku. Gera looked knackered from the 65 minute mark. I was amazed when the Sky commentators stated that Villa were the better side (I wonder if that was sour grapes from Gary Neville after he got the run around at the Hawthorns and retired soon after?)

I still would like us to play with an out and out Winger (even just for the last 20 minutes) as I think we could cause some real damage when play is stretched.

The Real Bully Hoo.

Welcome to the job Warren.

I can't think of a better man for the job. I never mentioned you in my runners and riders last week because I thought distance would rule you out but as usual that's me 'Living in the Past.' That's my attempt at doffing my musical cap to your early effort at following in Jarrod's footsteps by getting a Beatles and Stones title into the blog. PS it's Can't Buy Me Love not Can't Bring You love.

Excellent blog ("who the flip is Jarrod Hill") only joking Bomber.

Kev in Mallorca

Times am a changin' Warren, I was talkin' to the son-in-law this mornin' and he said we looked like a Premiership team who played the better football while they huffed and puffed and never stopped runnin' so maybe it will be a little easier for the kids of today at your old school.

Well done on your first blog,I don't think it's as good as Max's would have been if he had got the gig but I'm sure the E&S can afford to buy you a chainsaw once you find your feet.

He gives me enough stick so expect a rollocking from Cyril about drinkin' on the job and I hope you turn up for your blog more times than you turn up to watch the match.

Adéu

PS.Please don't try and use you new celebrity status to get JT his place back cause you dow wona end up as West Brom's Rupert Murdock.

PPS I ony drink red wine and real ale that's why I cor spell laRger

Jack ♣ Hat.

Kev,

I've just noticed that long drink of ice water Warren is holding it should be "Lump hommer", "Dark Ruby", or "Ma Pardoe's Black Swan", Shame on him for not partaking in real ale and where is the bag of scratchings?. Mind yo maet ay it toime thut thay naermed one afta me dow yo think. Aersabaert (How about) Jack-Ommer thet ud dew woodunt et.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Warren

It was taken in Berlin Jack, they didn't have any Bathams or Jack-'ommer!! As for the format, I've no idea mar mate, I just send it in and they do what they will with it. In fact, I only sent in a piece of paper saying 'I thought we played well' so they've done a half-decent job with it!!

Jack ♣ Hat.

Warren,

Apologies mate, I've over magnified 250%, now reduced to 200% and problems have disappeared. Learn something every day. Thanks for helping.

Oh, then I will forgive you for not going camera.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Jack ♣ Hat.

Warren,

Now you are in position to find out what it is like in the high chair. Good blog but can you find out why these posts obliterate half your blog and why the first posts are squeezed up the one side and your blog up the other please. These two mistakes ruin an otherwise good format. Eagerly awaiting your reply.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Wall Heath Baggie

You sly old fox , kept that one quiet mate. May as well start as we mean to go on , i do not agree that Odemwingie is an asset to this Club anymore in fact i think he is a luxury we can do without and you can throw Brunt into that category as well. I was surprised Hurst was loaned to the Blues considering our problems at right back and i was even more surprised you did not open your first blog with an impassioned defence of Jerome Thomas , Kev woulda loved it.

Anyway congrats on your new job and all the best with it.

Jack ♣ Hat.

Wall Heath,

I vehemently disagree with you about Osaze mate. His pace and goals are what is needed to ensure our place in the Premiership. Chris has a wonderful left peg and would get in most teams if they had the chance, at times he is underestimated. Obviously Hurst is deemed not ready yet by Steve Clarke and his boys (Coaches). Thomas is injured and out of the equation.

Mind you I agree with the last line of your post mate, ☺☻☺☻s.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Baggiedad

Jack.

I vehementy disagree with you about Osaze mate.

Wall Heath is right, Odemwingie should be got rid of ASAP, as I believe he will!

And, "his pace and goals are what is needed to ensure our place in the Premiership".

You regularly post about how far we have come as a club and the stablity that our senior management have given us, so surely we are now looking to do more than that!

Jack ♣ Hat.

Baggiedad,

Don't agree but respect your opinion mate.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

wbabomber

Urrrrhh, that was like coming home and finding the missus in bed with another man, (a better looking man at that, who does things better and has bigger muscles than mine).

Warren superb debut, great blog, the first of many to come.

Re the game, i thought the draw was a fair result.

Re Peter Odemwingie, my thoughts are not so much should he play for us but more on where should he play for us. I can forgive his mishap at Craven Cottage, but i see him as a striker, not a left winger. If Chris Brunt is out next Saturday (has anyone heard how he is?) i would prefer to see us play a midfielder in that position rather than asking a striker to fill in.

Against certain teams i can see why he would be suitable out wide, but i dont see QPR as one of them.

Anyway Warren, great blog loved reading it and thanks for your kind words.

Will be in the sportsman Saturday with Danckert/Hilltop to anyone who is out for a beer.

Kev in Mallorca

Bomber

Warren wow be up the Vine he'll still be drinkin' that one.

Adéu

Kev in Mallorca

or even the Sportsman!

Adéu

StreetlyBaggie

Good luck in the blog job Warren, I am sure you will carry on the good work from Jarrod with your balanced opinions on everything that is Albion. By the way which part of Great Barr are you from ? as I grew up there in the sixties and seventies and yes I remember it was a 50/50 split of Baggies & Villa fans but you could always tell who the Villa fans were as they only had one eye and nothing as changed with them since.

Warren

Streetly (and Happy Baggie). Cheers to you both.

I grew up on Hamstead Road and went to Hamstead and Dartmouth. We were dreadful at the time as well so Villa probably held a slight majority. I can sympathise with both of you, it was certainly a character-building experience!!

StreetlyBaggie

I lived in Howard Road and went to Grove Vale and then the some what rougher school than Dartmouth which was Churchfields !!!!

Can you imagine what I went through in 1980/81 season when we were both at the time going for the title until the infamous Batson backpass at Villa Park handed the title to them and then to go and top it all they won the European cup the following season.The biggest scandal of all was that our 78/79 team won nothing and that was some team !!!!

Warren

I was quite near to Howard Road, just around the bend from the turning into Hembs Crescent. I was in the Hamstead pub on Saturday afternoon as it happens.

Grove Vale to Churchfields? Christ, that must've been some transition!! I can only imagine how unbearable that would've been, the Monday morning after Woking will stay with me forever!!

Kev in Mallorca

Streetly

I'm quite offended to that remark mar mate! I went to Churchfields and although my English is a little ify as Robin Britain has pointed out I was very happy there.

I was there from '63 to '68 and in Fraser how about you?

Adéu

StreetlyBaggie

Kev in Mallorca

63 T0 68 must have been the golden period.I was there from 72 to 77 and lets just say it was quite eventful - Teachers beaten up,mass brawls. I didnt feel safe until around 1975 when we became the older kids, hey I was no angel getting on a bus to the Sandwell Centre during a cross country run and hitting the Head Teacher( Bassett) with a snowball and yes I was spotted and slapped hard across the face.

Warren

Streetly, was a Shirley Stephens in your year?

Oh please

This is like a school reunion. I went to churchfields as well 1974-1978

Boing! Boing!

StreetlyBaggie

Warren,

Can`t remember a Shirley Stephens.

BAGGIEWILK60

You must remember Shirley Stephens she was the one with eye patch, the broken nose and the wooden leg. She won the Churchfields Miss Sweetness and Light Pageant 1977.

Happy_baggie

Hi Warren - I was wondering who's name would be on the blogg this week and i must say i was delighted to see your appear.... always enjoyed your posts on here.

I like the fact that you said you would err on the side of caution - and then refered to Popov as our "Macedonian maestro" - quality !!!

I also grew up in Gt Barr (a little earlier than you did...) and so have always thought of the villa as our main rivals - but wolves are easier to laugh at so I guess they took over.

I would give PO a run against QPR in place of Brunt - he has something to prove and usually plays well with Long - but Clarke has many options and I'm sure will get it right.

So good start mate - looking forward to your future bloggs !!!

Mboy

I was a bit worried about making the last substitution with more than 20 minutes left, as we'd already had 2 go off injured and nearly had another ( Macauley). A good point, but disappointed that there were too many Villa fans in The Arthur.

As for Saturday, Odemwingie must start, especially as Brunty looks like he'll be out.

Kev in Mallorca

Mboy

Being as you have more tactical knowledge than any of our coaching staff cause when ever they use the subs it's ether too late or too soon so how about you take a florescent pink flag to the match and raise it when the right time comes.

Adéu

Mboy

Am I not entitled to an opinion? Or maybe I should use a loud haler with a light bulb on it!!!

Wall Heath Baggie

MBOY

I reckon the pink flag would go lovely with the rest of your attire.

Kev in Mallorca

As I said the other day, yes you are and so am I.

Being as you mentioned my loud hailer, am yo the "person" that pinched it?

Adéu

We Only Need One Half!

Can I borrow after you, so Cantello can spot me in the pub!

CantelloRocket 78

This is more like it,I've missed the 'heated debates'.

When I said yesterday we'd have a mass Saloon bar brawl,with Big John and Black Bart chuckin' chairs over The Bartender's head,I never thought it would actually happen.

Now pour me two fingers of red-eye,and pass me a colt 45....hee hawww!!

We Only Need One Half!

I ve got a John Wayne Winchester and Wells Fargo Shotgun for sale on UsedSandwell, if that's any use to you?

Bromham Baggie

Last time I asked a barman for two fingers of red-eye he stuck out his forefinger and middle finger and poked me in the eyes.

CantelloRocket 78

Bromham,

It sounds like you use our local.

I think the staff training program's improved lately,they've now got that guy down to using one finger.

Although I won't tell you where he puts it to keep it warm.......

CantelloRocket 78

Warren,

alright me ol' Manc. in a Bank (well, you do work in some area of finance) !!-

I'm really pleased you've got the gig,great blog mate.

Having met you a few times,and read all your posts (devotedly),I have to agree wholeheartedly with Bully that you're the perfect choice to take on Jarrod's previous great work.He lives deep in Wolves country,and you grew up in the heart of a Villa community,so you both have enough courage to be enroled into the 22 SAS regiment.

Actually,it's uncanny you've turned up,because I've been thinkin' about something that's right up your street-

it seems to me that over the last 2 seasons, the media keep talking about how poor Villa are struggling to 'gel' their young players into a team,and how hard it is for these inexperienced 'lads' to compete in the premiership.

Now hang on a minute-

haven't Villa been in the premiership since it first began,and received countless millions from it?

Haven't they got a billionaire owner?

And didn't two of their subs,Bent and N'Zogbia,cost them around 35 million quid?

In contrast,I looked at the Albion team that walked off the pitch after sunday's game,and thought about how much they've cost us.The figures are very rough,because we don't always get the hard facts,but approximately-

Foster- 3.5 mil.

Morrison- 2 mil.

Tamas- 800k.

Olsson- 650k.

Mulumbu- 175k.

Dorrans- 100k.

McAuley- Free.

Gera- Free.

Yacob- Free.

Popov- Free.

Lukaku- On loan.

I make that a complete team (that looked better than Villa) costing us about 7.2 million to assemble!!

No excuses. If clubs like Villa are struggling,it's bad management and bad decisions. They're responsible!!

Hopefully,see ya soon for that long awaited drink?

Kev in Mallorca

Knew yo'd try an get in his good books by talkin' about money!

Adéu

Warren

That's my next blog on our team costing peanuts compared to Man City's out of the window.........!!

Very true what you say. I'll look forward to discussing it in greater detail. May be out for a couple before Saturday's game if you, AITK and any others are?? I'll let you know before then.

astleistheking

Touch and go for me as I have to work on sat a.m. I will be be straight in the car up the M4 ASAP but doubt I will make a beer beforehand.

Bromham Baggie

Shouldn't we wait till closer to the end of the season before making these boasts?

Robin Brittain

Good first blog Warren and may you enjoy your stay at the top table.

I think the topic which is likely to divide all Albion fans in the run up to the QPR game is the recall of Peter Odemingie . Whether we can afford to leave out arguably our best forward will be a mute point. I recall his displays against QPR last season when he exposed their lack of pace and watching QPR last night they still have the same problem. You have to ask the question would we have won with PO playing at Villa Park. I think we may have done. Leave Long up front and play PO in place of the injured Chris Brunt.

Jack ♣ Hat.

Robin B,

Good shout mate, it is about time our goal ratio was upped.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

We got solbakken the club

Are you in the East Stand when the photo was taken only it looks pretty crowded? You wanna buy an iron aswell.

Just banter Waz, enjoy your new experience and good luck. The 3 points from QPR will break the ice for ya.

Au revoir our kid...

CantelloRocket 78

solbakken the obsessed-

considering wolves are making yet ANOTHER offer of handing out free tickets to fans, in an attempt to fill up the many empty seats down the Mol,it's yet another embarrassing 'own goal' comment from you.

As for 'banter' with Warren,I know him personally,and he's both intelligent and fair-minded.

So the two of you have absolutely nothing in common.

Now go away,I see the big news at wolves today is about complaints of delays for match day pies,ha ha ha.......!!

(by the way,that reminds me,didn't you tell other wolves fans awhile ago that you weigh 26 stone?- what on earth has that got to do with football?)

Wall Heath Baggie

Whatever happened to that diplomacy you were on about the other day ?.

CantelloRocket 78

Alright,Max?,

now y'know me by now,when I replied to you yesterday I had a big grin on me face,it was all in fun,I don't really think you'd spark a riot in a Tombstone Saloon bar,although Wyatt Earp's still watchin' out fer ya.

I did have a good laff though when Bully came back slightly 'vexed',he's one of the friendliest,most laid back guys I've ever met,yet you manage to turn him into a green-skinned giant with a ripped shirt and a bad attitude.

How'd ya do it? I luv it.

Now get ya wallet ready for Saturday,there's a Barmaid at The Vine waiting to pull yer.......a pint or two!

We got solbakken the club

Just for the record Rocket, banter is not a small chicken. You're right though about tellin people I'm a big bloke, I need to keep it to myself cos it always starts other folks small man syndrome off. Mix it with a sense of humour by-pass and It could be dangerous.

Au revoir our kid...

CantelloRocket 78

Solbakken-

problem is,you're full of contradictions.

You whinge about not being 'allowed' banter,and yet before wolves recently won a couple,I couldn't even see any of your posts when I browsed on the wolves site.

You just said 'I am a big bloke,I need to keep it to myself',well I know about it because my mate saw you broadcasting it on the E&S site-

Then the other week you said you were stopping posting on here,and hours later you were back here annoying us all.

A string of Albion fans told you the other week if you wasn't happy then stay away-

what part of that don't you understand?

Jack ♣ Hat.

Cantello,

.....if he is that big then in football terms, he would play as a wide man, He comes on here and it must be like learning his granny to suck eggs, he is trying to ease the pain of yet another loss by wo1-Ves,☺☻☺☻s.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

CantelloRocket 78

Jack,

when 'Solbakken' first came on here,he tried to hide a few jibes at Albion in his posts,and cover them with a 'cheery' attitude,no doubt thinking Baggies fans would be fooled by his 'superior intellect'-

so after instantly getting sussed,it punctured his overblown ego,and instead of hiding away in embarrassment,he keeps coming back in the deluded believe that he's cleverer than us,and will eventually 'come out on top'.

Which has so far resulted in a long string of humiliating failures,as he tries to 'take his rightful place'-

is anyone the slightest bit surprised that he's a wolves fan.........lol.

Jack ♣ Hat.

Cantello,

Went on the dark side after him, one of my posts got passed the mod but he must have been a green horn as it was soon clocked and removed.

SobackintheChampionship uses the same tactics as Odd Fellow and neither can't mask their snide remarks, sometimes I feel sorry for them and their lack of success. Cheers mate.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Shropshirebaggy

Great first blog Warren, I can't think of a better person to take over from Jarrod. On the Odemwingie debate, I think he's a class act and we would do well to have him in the side, given that we've lack something without him. It's worked well with him at left mid so why change it?

CantelloRocket 78

Warren,

I don't want to 'nit pick' mate,but you mentioned that P.O. had 'a petulant kick at Craven Cottage'-

I just wanted to say that before I got married,my future wife lived just past Witton,and every time I travelled to see her,I'd stop off and have a petulant kick at Villa Park.

I usually hurt me toes,but it was well worth it........:)

Warren

Cheers for all the kind words, I genuinely appreciate every one of them. As Jarrod rightly said in his last blog, this is mostly about getting a bit of a debate going, so thanks to Max as well!! I'll do my best to try and prolong the success of the page!

Some good points on Odemwingie already. Bomber- I agree that as a wide player we're often asking him to fill in and do things he doesn't want to but Robin makes a good point about QPR's lack of pace (did he set up or score the equaliser at Loftus Road last year?). Max, I know he's frustrating mate but I think we're in a difficult position whereby his market value won't replace his goals.

Isn't there an argument we can sometimes be a bit too narrow if we fill the wide areas with central midfielders? Perhaps a marauding Popov might help solve that...!

Jack ♣ Hat.

Warren,

I was also thinking when games get tough Ridgewell would do a job wide left and his defensive qualities would be welcomed. Just a thought.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Steve Poole Baggie

Congratulations Warren to your position as Albion blogger. Having seem some of your comments on these pages before, I look forward to your blogs. Despite living down in Dorset, I grew up in Great Barr and spent most of my life there. To me the main derby was always Vile and I have both fond and not-so-fond memories of games against them. Derek Statham scoring away in the Leage Cup quarter final, Thommo and Cyril scoring three late goals at the Hawthorns are good memories but the Batson back pass which resulted in Withe scoring literally presented the League to Villa in '81.

The Wolves became the local derby but I guess that was because we played them more regularly. In the end that became too easy a game!!!

With regards to QPR, I am a ilttle apprehensive. They do have on paper some quality and you do think that they surely will come good as some time. But please let it be after Saturday.

I think that Peter O will probably be on the bench but will get on at some stage especially if the game gets stretched. I cannot understand the PO knockers. The guy is a talent. He let the team and supporters down against Fulham but apologised just like any decent person would. It happened - now move on. I do think that Chris Brunt will be a big loss. I feel that players like Foster, Olsson, MaCauley, Yakob, Mulumbu, Morrison, Long and Brunt are 'must's' on the team sheet and the other places are up for grabs. Hopefully he will not be out too long.

Anyway, good first blog and let's hope that next wee's blog is a happy one reporting on another win!

Come on you baggies!

We Only Need One Half!

Well it was a lot more entertaining than the last Villa game we sat and watched together at ours, congratulations on your appointment, now, if you can only sort these pesky mods.....?

Kev in Mallorca

WONOH

They ain't bin too bad of late probably cause The Daft Dingles have more or less disappeared up their own plimsolls so there are no replies to bin.

Sorry about the other wik in the Desi but I was that busy trying to find a pub with the match on I just thought you knew where we had gone.

I asked Cantello if he had spoke to you but he said didn't see you,he also said he knew were a big bloke who wears a hat, well he must have had his grannies glasses on cause how he missed a bloke standin' 6 foot away built like a brick --ithouse wearin' a straw hat is one of life's mysteries, anyway sorry mate.

Adéu

We Only Need One Half!

Hi Kev, yes its like a breath of fresh air now they seem to have disappeared up their own chocolate whizz whams, reference big, hat, 6 foot away, I was puzzled by that too, then I came to the conclusion it was because I want carrying my club! it must be the military training, I just blend into my natural environment, I'm like a Beverly Hills Ninja!

CantelloRocket 78

Kev,

oi,don't blame me,I followed yer closely out the Desi,and I aye sayin' y'om a big bloke as well,but yer blocked out the sun when we went outside.

I cudn't even see the No.74 bus,let alone WONOH,I wus nearly in yer pocket carryin' a pint an' watchin' I day spill any.

wor mar fault.....

Kev in Mallorca

Anybody's is tu yo,yowm the ony bloke who has to look up to inch eye private eye!

Adéu

Ian Heathcock

Warren Hi,

Like the Baggies... a good start to the season, deffo a 3 pointer for your first outing. Keep it real and from the heart and you won't go far wrong. Remember we feel the pain and want to moan about it when we loose and the converse when we win.

Arsenal have been awarded more penalties in the EPL over the last 3 seasons than anyone else (49) - Chelsea (46), Liverpool (44) and United (38).

Who says referees don't suck up to big clubs?.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

We Only Need One Half!

Jack, I think we had the most penalties awarded against us last season too, (cant remember if it was 9 or 10?) because we are such a dirty, dirty team, strange than we only picked up one red? umm??

CantelloRocket 78

WONOH,

good to have you back,apart from all else we missed the mine of information.

Although time really has flown,it seems like only yesterday we were chatting.........;)

Jack ♣ Hat.

One Half,

Nice to see you back mate.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

TB

Congrats on your new position, Warren. Will certainly look forward to reading your blogs.

I felt we lacked width in the first half against Villa. Both Brunt and Gera had a tendency to sit very narrow, although Dorrans improved things when he came on. He certainly did enough to warrant a starting spot on Saturday.

Ideally, I'd like to see some pace out wide at home on Saturday. But then a (hopefully) hungry Odemwingie from the bench is an enticing prospect.

hill top baggie

Welcome on board Waz, great debut, good read and provoked the right amount of debate. I'm in the Odemwingies got a lot to offer group, and as such id play him as soon as hes ready. But hey who are we, its hard to criticize much at the moment, would have loved to have beaten the vile, and gone 3rd, but 6th will do for now. Hopefully see you in the sportsman, with bomber, and a few beers

The Reverend Derek Statham

Good blog, good choice, good continuity from Bomber, I'll look forward to reading your thoughts. Your posts were always reasoned and articulate. Just like most Baggies...

And a genuine laugh out loud bit for me with the Villa 1982 reference. Quality.

Nice one.

Cyril Randle

Welcome Warren. I was instantly reminded of a comment by a Stone Cross little girl

when she called to play with my kids just after we returned from 2 years in Bridgnorth: "Dow her tork posh". Our Deb was puzzled but she soon mastered the local lingo and was accepted into the fold. You've always talked sense on here, (folks I agree with always talk sense, naturally). I wish you all the best and more importantly, GOOD LUCK ! Something Jarrod had in abundance overall having presided over a Baggies Rebirth.

PS: I nearly had a new right eye yesterday, but not quite. Cataract, cataract on my shoulder, I'll be the leader. In and out the fairy bluebells, I'll be the leader.

PPS: It's called Second Childhood.

Cyril Randle

Can't put this anywhere else, so:

Ben Foster says 'sign up Jonas and Big Mac whatever it needs to do it'

If JP needs any help, I'll lend Max my new chain saw.

Lone wolf

Mon, yam back !

Ive been sooo miserable without you, it was almost like you were still here. Lol

Youve been gone for about 3 months ( which coincidentally is the jail time for dole fiddling ? )

Glad your back and hope your well. Almost took an invite from Rocket to come an av a pint with you in the desi junk the other week but was to late. Luckily.

Between me and you i think Rockets a bit sore he didnt get the Bloggers job.

Glad Wozzas got it though. Nice bloke, if not a bit fussy. lol.

But i hope he dont do it in work time...... cus remember... we pay his wages.

Anyroad Mon, dont be a strangler, and looking forward to 5 on the bounce for the real black country boys tonight.

Kev in Mallorca

I know for a fact that Max,Tan,Saft Sid and Cantello turned the job down.

Adéu

Wall Heath Baggie

SUPER KEV

You have already upset MBOY with your pink flag gag ( which gave me a proper belly loff ) but comparing Rocket and I with Saft SId and Tan is beyond the pale old bean. I am just glad Bully did not get it cos i ay got three days spare to read it .

Adeu.

CantelloRocket 78

Morning Max,

you might have guessed by now that I have a vivid imagination,so when I saw Kev's suggestion about the pink flag,and you saying it would go well with MBoy's 'attire', I had an image in me 'ead that caused me to fall off me chair and roll around the floor in a state of merriment.

If only WONOH wore the same gear,I might be able to spot him in the pub........

Kev in Mallorca

Max

The belly loff has been reciprocated with the three days gag.

Adéu

CantelloRocket 78

Kev,

hola,

If Max,Tan,Saft Sid and Me were doin' the blog,it wouldn't only be the 'News Of The World' that goes out of business.

Adeu.

Kev in Mallorca

Cantello

That's why WONOH had to leave the army, he insisted on wearing his shocking pink scarf and matching gloves and he kept getting captured by the Japs but they kept letting him go cause he was eating all the grub.

Adéu

We Only Need One Half!

Your almost right, pink is my favourite colour incidentally, even had my Tranny resprayed that colour I liked it that much (ask Warren)

I will admit to having a girlfriend at the time (my lads mom as it turned out) knit me a Pink Panther I used to take it with me on exercises, it used to sit proudly on my desk next to the radio sets, and when a superior was being there usual annoying selfs, I used to beat the crap out of it till I had calmed down, saved me a lot of jail time that Pink Panther did!

p.s. before you loff at my colour choice of vehicle, the S.A.S. desert vehicles used to be called Pink Panthers, because pink is apparently the best colour to blend in with sand! (although I must concede their choice of shade of pink was not quite as shocking as mine!)

CantelloRocket 78

WONOH,

if you used to 'beat the crap' out this Panther,I'd have thought it'd be more black and blue than pink?

And do the RSPCA,or more importantly,Peter Sellers, know about this.......?

We Only Need One Half!

Hiya Lone, nah I ve not been in prison, just in exile on another publication from Birmingham (although there are similarities)

How you been anyway? You should have come the Desi, at least you can spot me (sorry Rocket you never going to live that down!) That said, there's only Rocket and Kev who have kept me company on the other side.

Bad luck on the 5, but be fair, Palace aren't in the bottom 3 like your previous 3 opponents were!

John Clarke

Warren great first blog mate and all the best with the future, now to answer your question, yes i was abit dissapointed we didnt take all three points i think we all was because when your 1 nill up with ten mins to go naturally you think youve got a chance of getting all 3 points but what weve got to remember is i can recall a time when we used to get turned over by villa both home and away we simply couldnt compete and ive been witness to this 1st hand many times, its only been recently that weve actually started getting anything against villa and in my honest opinion i belive we are now a superior team to villa and thats great testimony to where we are as a club now, i think this is the best albion team ive seen as a fan bare in mind that when i first started going up the albion we had a strike force of don goodman (my hero at the time) now wolves turncoat and kevin bartlett lol but i genuinly think weve got a good team now i really do although id be happier if we had a good solid reliable young centre half but apart from that i think we will do ok.

Warren

Hello mate, cheers for reading it and leaving a response. It's not me that comes up with the blog title, the editors add it on themselves. I agree with you that Sunday was a lot more pleasurable than watching Tony Daley leave Stacey North in a daze!! I actually liked Kevin Bartlett although I'm not too sure what his main attributes were other than lightning pace!!

I agree with you on the centre-half point, it's one area where we lack depth. I hope Dawson proves himself but I'm not convinced at how good a defender he is yet. People seem to be judging him on being an Under-21 and that he scores goals which isn't really his job??

Kev in Mallorca

John

I know it ain't your fault but you haven't got a lot there to compare the present squad with.I know I can speak for fans of all ages in saying that our present squad is the best we have ever had, I'm not saying it's the best ever team cause in years past your best team played every week baring injuries,unlike in today's game they use the whole squad more.

As for the young reliable centre half, what's wrong with Dawson? I think he's coming along very nicely,not the finished article but all he needs is experience IMO.

Adéu

Cyril Randle

A centre half does not have to be young gents. Jonas is 29 and Big Mac 31. You won't find a braver, more solid pair than those two. We shall discover how important they are if they leave soon.

Kev, agreed about Dawson too. This will never do. Remember sitting in that old railway carriage in Northern France signing our Armistice ? Have we mellowed that much ?

Popov was an absolute delight on Saturday too. They needed to be brave as some of the tackling was 'juicy' to say the least.

I think the QPR game will be just like Reading. They dare not lose, we're expected to win. Many of us remember the League Cup Final in 1967 and the FA Cup semi in 1981 at Highbury. Let's hope for a good ref then.

Robin Brittain

Cyril

Don't worry too much about QPR , they are losing £5M a week and their major investor is talking about walking away. I think Mark Hughes is on borrowed time and some of their players don't seem very interested. I think that if we can score early we may go on to a big victory. I have done well so far this season with my score predictions and I think I will have a little punt on 4 or 5 nil. In my opinion I believe Reading to be much superior to QPR so prepare for a goal feast.

Bromham Baggie

Mark Lazarus, back from the dead?

BAGGIEWILK60

Streetly

I was at Churchfields 72-77. Youve bought back memories!

StreetlyBaggie

BAGGIEWILK60,

You must have been in the same year as me, whats your name ?

BAGGIEWILK60

It's Jeremy St John-Fotheringham actually and you were one of the rough boys that used to make fun of my name and I still can't understand why.

Jack ♣ Hat.

Ever felt as if you are in a time warp?, I'm wearing this post box out, any chance of a later model or I will be forced to talk about tiddlywinks. Warren HELP! another blog please.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Kev in Mallorca

Bloody hell Warren the blog is longer than that pint of larger yowm drinkin'.

Adéu

CantelloRocket 78

Kev,

you said that two days agoo-

Have yer been kicked in the 'ead by that stroppy donkey agen?

Adeu.

Kev in Mallorca

o' cor fink of enyfink else tu say on vis subject.

Adéu

Kev in Mallorca

Steve Powell

You'll do for me Wazza, good blog mate.

Kev in Mallorca

Albion Fan 20

Good maiden blog Warren:} Keep it up [as the actress said to the Bishop}

Kev in Mallorca

Broham Baggie

best wishes for becoming the new blogger, did you sometime post as "Warren Manchester" on the Daily Mail site defending Roy Hodgson? if so it was very erudite {dow know what wallpaper paste has got to do with it?} as opposed to my calling the journalist some sort of absolute tisser.

I've enjoyed your posts on the E&S pages,regarding them as very reasonable and well informed[All be it 90% of them are talking about money,must be some Jewish in the family}_mind you,when has the voice of reason ever won the day in football debates? I'm sure you know you shouldn't take the inevitable criticism personally. Good luck for the future.

Thank you and good night, off to feed the donkeys now and lets hope that's the end of this one,no offence intended Warren.

Adéu

Cyril Randle

Robin, I wasn't aware of the mess QPR are in. How I long for the day when all clubs MUST balance their books each season, which might lead to a pay cap and we'll all be equal once again. I've got nothing against Man.City or Chelsea as clubs, but I am delighted when they lose just to : a). Hear Mancini do his nut, b). see the expression on Abramovich's face just before he takes off in his private jet and scares all the Minorcans.

I shall not forecast any score for I am the Kiss Of Death !