Roberto Di Matteo salutes West Brom victory over Chelsea

Former West Bromwich Albion boss Roberto Di Matteo believes the sky is the limit for his old club after the in-form Baggies sent his Chelsea side into post-match meltdown.

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Steve Clarke’s side beat the European champions 2-1 at The Hawthorns to climb to fourth in the Premier League and spark a furious inquest in the Chelsea dressing room.

And Di Matteo reckons “anything is achievable” for Albion.

Blues players were heard rowing in the dressing room and one official claimed Di Matteo was overheard telling his players: “Call yourselves a Champions League winners’ side and you can’t beat them.”

But the Italian, who led the Baggies back to the Premier League in 2010, paid tribute to Clarke’s high-flying side.

They now have 23 points from 12 matches after their fifth home win out of six and are just a point behind third-placed Chelsea.

“You can see they have gained a lot of Premier League experience,” said Di Matteo.

“There are a lot of players here from my time and they have signed a few good players too. They have goalscorers.

“At the moment, with the way it’s going, anything can be achievable for them.

“Their home form is very good. Whether they can stay up there probably depends on how well they do away from home.

“Apart from Saturday, I am pleased for Steve.”

Clarke paid tribute to his players after they beat the Champions League winners without No.1 goalkeeper Ben Foster and key defender Gareth McAuley, both injured.

He said: “Before Saturday’s game I asked them a little question. I said: ‘The good start’s over; now we’ve got to build on it.’ They gave me a really good answer.

“I’ve got a really honest group of players here. No matter what changes I make or how I shuffle the pack, the ones that have gone on the pitch have been different class.

“Saturday’s game summed it up. There were moments when we had to play football, and we did.

“There were moments when we had to dig in in defence, and we did.

“Towards the end it was getting more and more difficult. Youssouf Mulumbu had seized up with cramp, so we were down to 10 men – but we defended for our lives.”

Comments for: "Roberto Di Matteo salutes West Brom victory over Chelsea"

Colin Houghton

The best all-round performance for 30 years.

astleistheking

Have to agree there although I can only span back to 1990. Every player wanted to win that game, you could see the determination in their running, blocking, clearances, tackling. The strikers were doing all they could. So happy with that performance.

ian cartwight

Not seen a team complete as this since 81. Strength in depth and so hardworking for each other. Yacob is signing of the decade. Just wishi wasnt 12000 miles away but never miss a game no matter what time kick off over here is ...COYB !!!

JimDavis

Seriously, what are they doing in trainnig that has transformed the crosses. Week in week out our crosses have been a joy to behold this season.

Jon

Its actually SIX home league wins out of seven... Not five in six as stated in the article

The Real Bully Hoo.

The media have tried to turn RDM's comment (if it was ever said) into an insult to us but is it really an insult? Our starting XI cost around a combined £15 mill (if that.) Chelsea's team of 'superstars' probably cost at least 10 times that, so perhaps his question was understandable and if anything a great compliment to our club and the way it's run.

Baggie Boy Roy

What a fantastic team performance against Chelsea the current champions of Europe. I thought that Shane Long had a great game and caused the Chelsea defence all sorts of problems with his strength, pace and distribution. What a great player Shane is and look how well he is linking up with Peter Odenwingie. Remember Astle and Brown they were deadly, I think that we have the best two strikers at the Albion since them. YES it's a great time to be a Baggies fan!

Well done Steve Clarke! Come on you BAGGIES!!!!!

The Real Bully Hoo.

Just checked out our illustrious neighbours site despite my new years resolution not to. On an article about Frimpong going to Charlton we have.

Rancor_Bait

November 19, 2012 12:15 pm

Is the plan that he plays for Charlton til Jan to get his fitness up then we take him on for the rest of the season???

I'm sure this is a Baggie with the biggest tongue in his cheek ever, at least I hope it is because the alternative doesn't bear thinking about.

ChelmsleyWoodWolves

November 19, 2012 12:41 pm

You Steptoes makes me laugh, you shop at Tesco whilst we can pay top transfer fees and wages, you go to the supermarket whilst we go to Harrods. Look at most of your team, free transfers such as Reid, Jones, McCauley,Jacob and the list goes on. We looked at Long and Ridgwell and could see that they weren't good enough, so let them go to you when we wanted better, could you have afforded the likes of Johnson ? We went for a manager with Champions League experience whereas you chose a No 2 who had only been at clubs like Liverpool and Chelsea. You play tip-tappy football whereas we go for route 1 which brought us all our success in the past which excites the crowd, Stale is trying to play possession football but we know that the long ball pays better dividends and he just needs to realise that for us to push on and win this League, we did it last time with that style and we can do it again, this modern game lacks the excitment of the 50's, some things never improve with time and that's why we will always be a big club.

We Only Need One Half!

TRBH, I saw that, its got to be a wind up, hasn't it? although I m sure Ive seen the posters name before, mind you, when they have posters claiming, in all seriousness, that they should be higher than us because they get bigger gates (???????) it may just be genuine!

BoingBoing666

Oh good God, how embarrassing for him! I used to live in Chelmsley, can't say I am surprised with this guys warped stance, no offence to my former Chembo's...but, ya know, some of them let the side down.

London baggie

Big tongue, we call it spin in The City, always good to get the opposition going, Chelsea fans are getting.it too, just hope they don't screw up their trades today

Jack ♣ Hat.

London,

We wheeled Chelsea's barrow, through streets broad and narrow,

Shouting, we've beat them we've beat them; as arguing they go.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

'The Class of 68'

Fair play to Roberto and more, more, more please to S Clarke ..... I don't think i have ever known Baggies fans submitt their appreciation in such great numbers. There is no doubt that the squad harbours many youngish talented players, and S Clarke sounds chuffed when he says they listen and put into action his requests, plus the two equally important qualities of good 'atmosphere' and 'squad spirit'. I believe these attributes are driving the Baggies forward, and i think the best is yet to come.

London Baggie

I think the success of the team is down to the Manager since he selects the team based on the opposition we are playing, there are only certain players guaranteed a place, opposition coaches are unable to plan against us due to this, Clarke thinks about the match and plans to win, those losses and draws through bad luck could have seen us in a better position, we live the dream unlike those down the road who live the nightmare, our Chairman deserves our gratitude for making.us proud again and choosing managers who have got us playing with style again, also a big thanks to our scouting network which he has built to be club linked and not manager controlled, take a bow Jeremy

CantelloRocket 78

London Baggie,

I'm glad you've mentioned Chairman Peace, I've been meaning to say a word myself.

Some time back, maybe 2 or 3 years ago, I saw a short interview with JP on the local BBC TV news.

At the time, he was getting a fair bit of stick on here for not 'spending enough', and not being ambitious enough.

In the interview, he said a club like Albion needed to keep building carefully, to strengthen each season, and to be patient as they worked on achieving a solid base.

Well in more recent times, I see much praise for Dan Ashworth, Steve Clarke, and most of the Baggies squad, but relatively little comment about our Chairman, so I just felt it's time to praise a man who, directly or indirectly, has brought EVERYONE to the club.

So stand up and take a bow Jeremy, it's very richly deserved.

Penkridge Baggie

Couldn't agree more. Has long as mr Peace is running our football club the better we will become

Jack ♣ Hat.

London,

That is the difference with us and them down the road, Great football knowledge at board level plus a damn good Technical and Sporting Director plus patient fans. Oh! nearly missed superior players. Don't want them on my case now, do I.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Jack ♣ Hat.

Steve,

This squad is formidable and some said Osaze and Shane couldn't play together, yet they make scoring chances for each other like nobodies business. The secret ingredient is how you set up the squad for each game, only a top class Head Coach can do that. He must spend hours training them and that is where a Technical and Sporting Director comes in to allow this freedom. Cheers to you and the lads.

Now this Sunderland game!, come on you would be Head Coaches, lets be having you.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

We Only Need One Half!

Jack, IMHO, keep Fletcher out the 6 yard box, job done!

Jack ♣ Hat.

One half,

I believe the lads can manage that regarding Fletcher. Ben Watson (Ex-loanee) is out of commission with a broken leg. It would be nice if we won again, smarten up our away record.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Jack ♣ Hat.

What has happened to the "Match report" site?. the posts have disappeared.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Todd Nash

The gremlins got them - they should be back now Jack.

baggie boy in Canada

when you see the lads at the final whistle it shows how together they are.

Yacob is world class an honest

PO was working like Long, they bring the best out of each other.

And look at a lousy neighbors, not up to much I see.

I'm trying not to get carried away, be happy with a point at Sunderland

Robin Brittain

I think Roberto has to realize that passion and team spirit are major assets to any team. When you add this to a group of good players you become a force to be reckoned with

Baggyjon

Totally agree, Barcelona without work rate would not be as formidable as they are, out of possession they are still awesome

Baggies 1959

Sunderland will be tough nut after there result.But starting to believe.hats off Mr Peace i was a critic but now not nuff said. Any one know whats happened to Thomas and Ghanassy

Cyril Randle

Nothing to do with football but if E&S will allow this, spare a few minutes to watch a 7 year old genius conduct a full orchestra, never seems to need the score. You won't regret it. And boy, will he have the ladies swooning !

7 Yr.old Edward Yudenich conducting J.Strauss ~Overture to "The Bat"

1954 baggie

Did'nt dare believe we could beat Chelsea again

weve always had a terrible record against them

In truth we made the most of our chances they did'nt.

Was concerned with absence of Foster but Myhill magnificent

and even Tamas performed well. Chelsea need to tighten defence

but going forward terrific. Some said it was a weakened side

but RDM has one eye on europe, fail there and he's out.

Can we maintain the good form it depends on being felatively

staying injury free. I am a realist and think we'll finish mid table

we certainly dont want europa lge look at what its doing to Newcastle

Sunderland next and Lukaku to return.

WakeyBaggie

A fantastic performance and we were worthy winners. Skill, desire, the team showed everything the fans want to see. Interesting to note that whilst SC does rotate the squad Foster the back four along with Yacob and Mulumbu always play if fit. He only tinkers with the attacking midfielders and strikers and it is working a treat. I am saving my air miles for our european campaign.

Jimmy

I love to say I expected this win. What I love as well is my mate who is a proper man utd fan (yeah I mean he's from London) was saying how he would be happy with a point when they come to the "Hawthorns House of Pain". To use boxing terminology I'd say we were the best £ for £ team in premier league. Imagine how we could invest the 50 million Torres cost!

Clive Buckland

Steve Clarke is doing a great job but what we are enjoying now is the end product of a ten year plan which has not always been an easy ride as we have yo yo up and down and kept our powder dry rather than risk waste, Even good managers sometimes have a blip in their records and I believe much of this success is down to timing. Like our last great team that was taught possession and organisation by Giles for Atkinson to eventually add a more devilish attacking style so Hodgson has done the same this time for Clarke to use his experience as a coach to tinker with and improve as a collective. Neither Atkinson or Clarke would have been so successful if it wasn't for the style of their predecessors and i think its a case of the right style manager at the right time. This team is not as exciting as the early eighties team but given the change in football finances and style its probably an even more remarkable achievement this time round to be where we are.

We Arent´t Beatable

Now we have clinical team and we have world class goalscorers in the team (Odemwingie, Long, Lukaku, Morrison, Gera) who can score with full of confidence.

We can afford put some of our reserve team scorers even on loan to Championship level like New Zealand international Chris Wood (scored winner for Millwall against Leeds) who has scored more goals at Championship level than any Wulfie this season.

There are huge cap between midland rivals nowadays. Possession is overrated, we did have passing side under Tony Mowbray some yrs ago but did we win at Premiership level like we do nowadays. Clarke is magic...he has midas touch at Midlands.

But why we won Liverpool 3-0 and Chelsea 2-1? Because we can defend so well and we are so well organised team. When we sign new player he have to be better than player who will go out the club like Foster is better than Carson or Yacob better than Scharner, Ridgewell better than Shorey etc.

Stourbaggie

The interview on Talk Sport with Dean Kiely was very interesting.He said on Sunday morning the players who did not play on Saturday trained as hard as any bunch he has ever seen.They all want a bit of action.Thomas just cant wait to get a run out.Competition for places with good players to come in is something we have not had for years.

May need someone to step up this weekend rumours are Mulumbo is out for 10 days.

It is also time for me to eat humble pie ,I have been in the past very critical of our Chairman, now I realise what a great job he has done for this club and how far we have come since Summers the shed.Our friends down the road are welcome to Bob the Builder Morgan.

We Only Need One Half!

Stourbaggie, Ref Mulumbu, I feared that as soon has he pulled up, but 10 days, seems a very short spell for a hamstring, but a long time for cramp, so what exactly is the problem I wonder?

CantelloRocket 78

WONOH,

Mulumbu had an hamstring scare a few days before the Chelsea game, but I scanned the net an hour ago and couldn't find any article about him being injured at present, so it may just be that rumours are currently circulating about his state?

Completely changing the subject, I know you've been a military man, so what do you make of this story that an SAS guy's been jailed for owning a gun........???????

Stourbaggie

10 days was on his twitter page on Sunday perhaps few days rest will be ok