Baggies can hit heights says Steven Reid

West Brom defender Steven Reid today claimed the Baggies can emulate Newcastle’s charge into Europe and declared: “The sky’s the limit”.

ALBION44SL18

But the Hawthorns favourite insisted Premier League survival remains the first target for Steve Clarke’s side despite their flying start to the season.

Reid hopes to return to the Baggies squad to face Chelsea on Saturday with Clarke’s men sitting fifth in the table with 20 points from their opening 11 games.

And, while he insists Albion cannot become complacent, he believes they can follow in the footsteps of Newcastle, who made a surprise charge to fifth place last season to claim a Europa League spot.

“It’s the highest points total that I’ve had at this stage in 10 years as a Premier League player,” he said. “We’re in Champions League form at the minute and, on the whole, we’re steering clear of major injuries. If we can do that and try to keep a fully-fit squad there’s no reason we can’t kick on.

“We’ve got to get to that 40-point mark. It’s boring to say it, but we do, and I think the real aim for this season has got to be minimum top-half.

“There’s no reason, with this squad, why we can’t sort of do what Newcastle did last season. But you can start getting carried away.

“If players start thinking like that then you can become unstuck.”

Comments for: "Baggies can hit heights says Steven Reid"

astleistheking

Even the team are listening to Max!

Robin Brittain

Steven Reid is showing optimism without going overboard . As to whether he will play on Saturday that it is a matter for debate. There is no question that Reid is one of our best defenders and we have missed him while he has been injured . In the past I have been critical of Billy Jones believing him not to be a premier league player but his last two performances have been very good indeed , so Steve Clarke has a difficult decision to make. On balance I would keep Jones in the team for now.

astleistheking

I doubt he (Reidy) will start, Jones looked from my limited knowledge of the Wigan game to have played a blinder, and deserves a start against Chelsea as he's on a high.

What happens with Dorrens now Jimmy is back? in saying that what formation will we playing on saturday?

Robin Brittain

There is a question over what role Graham Dorrans will play in the team . I watched him against Southampton and he seemed to be off the pace. That injury he had has really taken it's toll on a player who before the injury looked destined to be one of our greats. I know he prefers to play centre midfield rather than wide but I think the problem lies with his fitness.

Also of concern is to whether Shane Long will return unscathed from the Ireland game for which he has been picked to start. It's beyond me why a player carrying an injury is picked for another meaningless friendly.

Jack ♣ Hat.

Steven,

Good blog, us fans realise the priorities must be in the right order. While we are playing to get to forty points at the moment we are also consolidating in the top half. Billy the Kid cannot be dropped after his last two performances as they have been solid and his raiding has been prominent. Hope the yellow peril plus other hindrances come after our forty point target is reached. Hope for fair officials and the best for you and the lads.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Cyril Randle

The dilemma is: We have a really promising young player who is playing out of his skin right now and a reliable older player who reads a game perfectly but lacks a bit of pace, is a bit ring-rusty and one of them must play against Chelski.

We are not expected to win in all honesty and have one or two key players out.

My choice would be to stay with Billy Jones. If he performs as against Wigan, he won't be the reason if we drop points. One minor point. That shot Jones put against the outside of the goal post at Wigan was hit with his left foot, instinctively and well nigh perfectly. His other 'shot' was a pass to Shane but did an in-off-the-cush to score, just as Bully said earlier.

Great Exspectations

It is the kind of poser Albion need in all positions, what do they say strength in depth, keeps the so called ever presents on their toes. Billy is still learning his trade at this higher level, and he appears to be coping very well, i think i would stick with Billy, tough call.

Baggiedad

Billy Jones or Steven Reid, I think i'll pick the one who Steve Clark sends out on Saturday.

In over 50 years of going to games home and away, I've never felt more confident in a manager. It's all very well to have these discussions of who'll be in or out, but in reality we never know all the facts.

Steve Clark does! And he is a man of the highest integrity, who will pick a team that he believes will get the result he wants, win or draw.

What, with him and JP at the helm there has never been a better time to be a Baggie.

My only real concern is that we are able to find a replacement of the same quality for Dan Ashworth.

There is so much more to football these days, that has nothing to do with what goes on on the pitch, but is just or maybe even more important!

Jack ♣ Hat.

dad,

Obviously Steve doesn't take any notice of our little game of "Pick the Team", even if he could find the time to read these posts. There isn't a Baggy fan who would even try to tell him who to pick, we aren't the Dingles mate, so I wouldn't worry about it if I were you and just join in the fun. I agree that there is no better time to be a BAGGY especially for the younger fans who are witnessing this new era, as for Dan Ashworth's replacement, He, Jeremy Peace and the board haven't let us down yet. Like you say there is a lot of planning going on at boardroom level as regards expansion of our club, I just wish some of our fans realised how much these things cost when they start the "Where's the money gone" madness. Mind you there is the fair share of Dingles who join the blog heckling, as you can read the word for word in their posts on the dark side. Any-road, What we do know is the lads will do their best to bring home the bacon.

We will Wheel Chelsea's barrow,

through streets broad and narrow,

Crying, we've beat them, we've beat them,

by five by five-o.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Keith, Great Expspectations

Baggiedad, we're two of a kind 50 years on and off following the Baggies, mostly home games. I totally agree with your comments 100%, and Steve Clarke comes over to me as possibly the finest Manager (coach) we have ever had in my time. I can't add to your comments, well said.

The Real Bully Hoo.

Baggie Dad.

Jack calls you dad, is this to be the subject of a paternity suit. We know from his posts that Jack is of 'advancing years' so just how old does this make you?

Baggiedad

Bully

Not guilty your honourI Jacks comment is merely a respectful term of endearment rather than a request for answers to his parentage, which is regularly questioned by many a Wulf!

As to my age; not as old as Cyril but old enough to have seen Bobby Robson pull on the blue and White stripes.

1954 baggie

I think acheiving europa lge place would be a big mistake

history proves involvement is tough on players and affects

pl form!! also its a finacial loss maker.

Agree Jones has been good going forward but not so defensively

we'll do well to get anything v Chelsea they'e impressive and of

course Lukaku not available plus international calls unhelpful.

astleistheking

Have to agree on the Europa league, IMO it's a pretty worthless competition even if you get Channel 5 coverage. The travelling around Remote European locations in the winter would seriously affect our squad.

mancbaggie

I was 14 the kast time we played in the UEFA cup. I dont care if I have to watch a reserve side playing in outer mongolia! I want to see us in Europe.

The Real Bully Hoo.

Interesting argument this one. I can see both points of view.

In recent years we've had the Cup run debate IE should we risk our PL place for a good run in the cups and up until this season I've always come down in favour of the PL place must be retained at all costs. We now have a big enough squad to do both.

The question is do we want to risk what seems to be our now safe-ish mid table security for an adventure in Europe. I tend to think yes especially for the sake of Mozza, Mulumbu, Olsson and other players that have remained loyal to the club. Whatever happens I'm just enjoying a great season and I think I'll leave the big decisions to JP, SC and DA (for the time being.)

CantelloRocket 78

I've recently read an article about Albion's 'performance statistics' this season, and I also came across a piece that Steven Reid wrote for an Irish newspaper about Shane Long, both of these items made me think a little deeper about the way SC shapes the Baggies, and what's potentially his blueprint.

It's interesting that 17 premiership clubs have more possession of the ball than us during games, yet we're in the top 5- is this a fluke, or, as ridiculous as it sounds, could there actually be a degree of deliberate planning to this?

I have played chess in the past, and sometimes you allow your opponent to 'attack' you with the purpose of giving them the impression they have the upper hand, then hit them when they over commit and lose focus.

Albion now have a strong spine to the team, we've a confident, solid central defence, so after allowing the opposition to move into our half, we also have Yacob and Mulumbu to break things up-

statistics show that we're playing more long balls this season, at the same time we've introduced more pace with Lukaku, and Reidy claims Shane has added an extra yard to his game since the summer, so along with P.O., the idea of quick counter attacks (and Jimmy running through the middle) seems paramount to Steve's thinking.

Much of this may sound obvious to many fans, after watching us so far this season, but it makes you aware of which players are most vital to our success.

In which case, although we have a strong squad, there's maybe six or seven players that we really need to have available during the rest of the season, and if they can be called on, we could end up in a pretty lofty place.......

The Real Bully Hoo.

Rocket.

Statistics are dubious at best. Every week the BBC match statistics are vastly different to the ones in various newspapers. Possession is another dodgy statistic, when we beat Wolves 2-0 at home last season they had more possession than us but most of it was spent knocking the ball about in their own half. Sometimes the corner count gives a much more accurate reflection of a game as well as the more obvious shots on or off target.

CantelloRocket 78

Bully,

I mentioned this article I found about 'Baggies game statistics' on one of the Boaz Myhill threads, and I said at the time that I've no idea how accurate they are, because it doesn't even mention the source of the information they're using.

Having said that, it did remind me that in several of this season's games, the opposition team seem to have had quite a bit of the ball, but we often absorb the pressure then hit 'em on the break.

To be honest, I'm not really so concerned about percentage of possession, because I think back to when we first came up to the premiership under GM, and at that time we worked very hard, pressured teams, but they'd create a couple of chances then tuck 'em away, leaving us with nothing to show for all our efforts.

I'm just wondering if SC spends part of his training sessions drilling into players the fact that 2 or 3 goals can take seconds to score, but they can often settle the outcome of 90 minutes hard graft.

Effectiveness is usually more devastating than efficiency.

We Only Need One Half!

The only way to use statistics is to find a source that you like, and stick with it, that way you get a modicum of stability. If you start looking at various sources it can drive you nuts. Bit like political parties and companies commissioning their own surveys, they are always going to be biased, or, at the very least favourable to who is ever footing the bill.

Jack ♣ Hat.

Cantello,

While I agree to a certain extent with your reasoning, Steve's experience allows him to change plan in mid air if need be and we have the depth of squad to allow him to do this mate.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

CantelloRocket 78

Jack,

I did say near the end of my post that we now have a strong squad, and a few weeks back I mentioned that we have more quality players at our disposal than I can ever remember, some weeks we've got six or seven full international players on the bench.

All the same, I think every successful team's got a few players that are a cut above the rest, and they can be hard to replace when they're forced to miss a game.

In recent weeks, I've watched Yousouff Mulumbu put himself in-between 3 or 4 opposing players, then somehow come away with the ball, and I've thought 'how on earth did he do that at this level?', it's obviouly just great natural ability.

Nevertheless, I firmly believe we have enough good players to see us chalk up another successful season, so I'm very much enjoying the ride.

Brierleyhillbaggie

Evening all

I think Steve Clark will now start to pick either one of them for different games last season mr jones got snowed under playing against Newcastle as he wasn't tall enough and against a few other teams he did too as where as mr Reid did lack a bit off pace at times ( but rarely had the run around) but hey what a predicament for mr Clark me personally would go with mr jones as Chelsea ain't a big team there a passing team also I don't think mr Reid can play forty odd games a season any more !!!!! Some great posts again

Brierleyhillbaggie

Just been on the dark side pages for the first time ever (and last deluded morons ) here they are again banging on about five million player here three million pound player here six mil here and so on they just don't get it do they it ain't what they cost its how good they are and players to do a job not just cause he costs five mil well baggies at least we're safe in the knowledge that the dark side will be dark for years to come if they follow there deluded half wit supporters what a joke it's hilarious they ain't got a clue and they think they should be playing Real Madrid every week hahahahahahah aha your gonna win sod all

The Real Bully Hoo.

BHB.

Your very respectful use of the title Mr Jones made me wonder if you were going to try to get Kev to start singing Counting Crows 'Mr Jones.'

Andy Hodgkinson

If Gareth McAuley is injured then surely SC has to go with Steven Reid as he`s

the better defender and can help Tamas out with any aerial battles.

I`d go with this starting 11 and have El Ghanassy on the bench for his pace.

MYHILL, REID, TAMAS, OLSSON, RIDGEWELL,

YACOB, MULUMBU, MORRISON, ODEMWINGIE, LONG, GERA.

SUBS: DANIELS-GK, POPOV, JONES, DORRANS, BRUNT, EL GHANASSY, ROSENBERG.