Blog: West Brom must improve with Arsenal

Not a classic week - West Brom's defending was more jellied eels than pearly kings down in the East End last Saturday, writes blogger Warren Stephens.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - West Ham United v West Bromwich Albion - Upton Park

A game that we might conceivably have harboured hopes of getting a result from at West Ham was as good as over within half an hour.

Despite the occasional goal, Andy Carroll’s performances against the Albion in the past could often be described as anticlimactic.

This time, however, the pilfering pony-tail was afforded far too much generosity and Albion paid a heavy price.

Where was Paul Scharner when we needed him?! Newcastle United at home, circa 2010. I would love to be able to provide an informed view of the game’s critical moments.

However, a London Underground timing mis-judgement, a trip to the toilet and a premature clamber for the exit doors - very much out of character - meant that I missed three of the four goals and the sending off!

Also, if you’re anything like me, you will generally limit your own exposure to highlights, media coverage and league tables in the aftermath of a defeat.

It's a belated attempt to numb the pain that comes with it. Suffice to say, we were not good enough and it’s not too often we have said that this season.

The defeat certainly serves as a sobering reminder that Albion can’t drift in this league, we need to be on top of our game to be consistently picking up results.

It will also provide Steve Clarke with more evidence of areas he might need to improve in the summer months.

Saturday’s defensive showing suggests it’d be useful to have extra competition in that area.

With the seemingly impending departures of Romelu Lukaku and Peter Odemwingie, among others, we could be approaching a crucial transfer window for the club.

There was further disappointment from Saturday’s game in the form of a three-match suspension for Youssouf Mulumbu.

To me, not being old enough to see the beginning of Bryan Robson’s career, Mulumbu is far and away the best midfielder I’ve seen in an Albion shirt and we miss him badly when he’s not there.

Historically, James Morrison has been asked to sit deeper in the absence of Mulumbu or Claudio Yacob, although the added responsibility seemingly detracts slightly from his overall game.

Let’s just hope the team handles the absence of Mulumbu better than it did in January!

This weekend sees the visit of Arsenal, whose fans face the unspeakable prospect of not winning a trophy for the eight consecutive season, how must they sleep at night?

Disappointingly for us, they are in the midst of their annual springtime resurgence, which inevitably results in them overhauling  Tottenham to finish in the final Champions League spot.

On a more positive note, at least Marton Fulop won’t be in goal for us this time around.

I must admit I like Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, stubbornness and inability to rationally observe a controversial incident involving his own players aside.

His pursuit of success through his principles is fascinating and the English game would be a poorer place without him.

I enjoy watching his team although there is an element of Tony Mowbray syndrome to Arsenal at the moment.

A similar ailment to the one that saw us field Kim Ho-Deon, Borja Valero and Robert Koren across the midfield in a must-win home game against tough-tackling Newcastle a few years ago!

I only hope our fragility that day is similar to what Arsenal might be capable of this weekend if we start the game well.

We have given them a few good games in recent seasons and, hopefully, can do again. Come on you Baggies!

Comments for: "Blog: West Brom must improve with Arsenal"

astleistheking

I too missed the sending off as I'd had enough. It must be the 1st time I've walked out of a game whilst still in play, but I just wanted to get on the tube home as it was freezing. It was just one of them day's when you're team just don't turn up, simple as that! West Ham weren't that good, we were just quite bad.

Anyway Arsenal are a dirty cheating team who I really can't warm to, after that last game with 2 penalties which really were very dubious indeed. We do have a fairly ok record against them and hope that our Home advantage will swing it, but I will be happy with a draw at this point given the missing players from the team. I read a post where Tamas should be given the chance to partner Jacob in Mulumbos absence, I agree as he want's to prove himself once again and is a good player IMO.

Anyway Happy Birthday Super Kev, wish I could be there at the Vine but sadly can't make it.

Tipton

After the West Ham game I saw that the happy clappers were out on force saying never mind look where we are in the league blah blah blah i'm sick of hearing that rubbish it's not an excuse to play badly.

You should HATE losing! Not say oh never mind we move on to the next game (TONY MOWBRAY)

Also iv noticed on here if someone speaks their mind and questions the team/ a player/chairman they automatically get shot down by the happy clappers and get called a "dingle" or not a real fan.

Happened to Do Lallytap but he does speak sense and at least he has the balls to speak his mind.

I can see why a few people are a bit worried though with our 2 best goalscorers Odemwingie and Lukaku off in the summer because that leaves us with Shane Long who is injury prone and is never going to be a 10-15 goal a season man

Will we find replacements? I hope so because we haven't got the best spending record have we?

Loan signings and freebees won't work forever it's about time we had some ambition i'm not saying splash 30 million but some spending to be done.

We need 1 or 2 wingers who can take people on as we haven't had 1 for the last how many years. Fed up of seeing central midfielders or strikers out play out wide.

A solid right back as Reid is getting old and injury prone and Jones is not defensivly good enough

A left back ? Is Ridgewell good enough? Hmmm can Popov step up if we sign him? Better than Ridgewell IMO not scared to put a foot in.

Cover for Mulumbu and Yacob (can't keep dropping Mozza back!!!!! )

3 strikers.

And a replacement for Gera as much as I love the guy age is not on his side.

Anyone agree?

baggieboy

i agree with you Tipton 100%, ive said everything you have said, in fact sure as night follows day they will say ive wrote that post, Truth is they never go to the games so makes no diffrence to them if we win or lose.

BilboBaggieboy

I'll be at the game tomorrow, my good friend Gandalf the Wizard will transport me there by flying through the air towards middle Earth on a bed of nails, it will hurt I know.

Wall Heath Baggie

I actually agreed with an awful lot of that particularly about cover for Yacob/Mulumbu.

The Do Lallytap talking sense bit i could not disagree more especially when the bloke his challenged he then says we are not proper fans and calls us names .As for Baggieboy he is a Dingle and you should not be fooled by him.

For the record i have followed the Club since 1969 and i have been a Season ticket holder for most of that and used to go to all the away games but the cost of living at the moment stops me from attending away. I doubt Do lally went to Valencia and Belgrade away like i did in the late seventies. Also for the record i have no idea what Fox TV is.

Happy to converse with you in the future and at no point in the above did i call you a Dingle.

Jack ♣ Hat.

Wall Heath,

Cyril uses the Fox site myself I prefer the Wizzywig site. They are the sites on which we watch games on computer mate.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Tipton

Thanks for the reply, and I don't agree with most things Do lally says all the time he just speaks his mind like how you do.

Also i'm not doubting that you are not a real fan.

Jack ♣ Hat.

Tipton,

Smashing Dinglish, who do you support?. L☺Ls.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

CantelloRocket 78

'Tipton'-

I found your post very welcoming, after such a long spell of freezing weather, it's great to see all that hot air flyin' around from your direction.

Funnily enough, after reading a few words, I thought 'this is identical to 'DoLalley', loud, arrogant, insulting, and full of jibes at the Baggies-

then you praised the Dolally one, wot a surprise........

you obviously see yourself as a massive fan, who wouldn't miss the Arsenal game, so if you want a sensible, intelligent conversation, call in The Vine after the game, there'll be many of us there to discuss the Baggies, and you might be surprised to find we'll ALL have our take on things, that's if you have time to listen to opinions other than your own.......

Tipton

I am not Do lally and i am not arrogent, far from it what a suprise my point exactly is in the post above *sigh*

Jack ♣ Hat.

Tipton,

Come over again in English, please.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

The Real Bully Hoo.

Tipton.

Unless you've changed your name then you're a relative newcomer to this site, nothing wrong with that and may I say welcome. I've never seen any of the so called Happy Clappers accuse people of not being real fans, maybe sometimes questioning their style of 'support.' As for accusing a poster of being a 'Dingle,' the fact is that we do get a lot of undercover Wulfies on here (they may all be the same person) but if somebody gets mistaken for one perhaps it says something about the content of the posts.

PS. Happy Clappers is a term widely used by followers of Wolverhampton Wanderers rather than Baggies. Hope you don't interpret that as an accusation just that I don't want it spreading over here.

On the subject of hating losing. I've supported the club for 52 years and no I don't want a medal and it doesn't make me a better supporter than somebody that's been going for 52 weeks. I hate losing. it ruins my weekend so how dare you suggest that us so called Happy Clappers are lesser supporters than you because we don't come on here with knee jerk posts attacking the chairman, the manager, the players or the tea lady. What some of us do is look a little deeper to see why we lost and realise that because we are WBA doesn't give us some God given right to win every game.

I apologise because I set out to write a reasonable post to answer your points and I've veered away from that. The truth is that I'm fed up with pussy footing around people that think it's okay to come on here slagging the club and then get all precious when anybody puts a different point of view.

Jack ♣ Hat.

Bully,

Thanks for a brilliant post, The type you refer to wouldn't know an ALBION positive if it smacked them in the gob, and they aren't even open enough to use their usual nom de guerre, proving they are creeps from the dark-side (or other source), mate. Even if I go on the dark side I still use my own nom de guerre and wouldn't dream of using any other even if my posts, as usual over there get binned, their loss, but their mods have all the fun. Cheers to you, cheerios to them.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Tipton

Oh dear yes I agree there are a lot of undercover dingles on here but believe me i'm a baggie.

Yes I came across strongly but I did make a few good points regarding the players at the end

CantelloRocket 78

Bully,

there's absolutely no need to apologise to 'Tipton'-

for a 'newcomer' to come on this site, and immediately blast a number of long term posters as 'happy clappers' ( an insulting term used by wolves fans ), and say we're talking 'blah, blah, blah' - a term MANY wolves fans are using in relation to Dean Saunders in recent weeks - is abrasive, arrogant, disrespectful and insulting.

'Tipton' must be one of two things-

Either a wolves fan stirring up trouble,

or an Albion 'fan' who needs to learn good manners and should now apologise to US.

But I for one won't be holding me breath.

Tipton

I'M NOT A DINGLE.

Just because I have different views

And no I will not apologize I didn't direct straight at YOU did I?

Get off your high horse

CantelloRocket 78

'Tipton'-

you really need to practice reading PROPERLY-

1. I didn't say you were 'DoLally', I said you posted in the same style, and agreed with him.

2. I didn't call you a dingle, I said one of the possibilities is you COULD be a Wolves fan.

3. I said you need to apologise to US, meaning long-standing regulars, not specifically me-

and I hinted I didn't expect you to offer an apology, spot on.

4. I see you completely backed away from meeting us in the flesh, not even a reason that you avoid talking to Albion fans on match day, again I'm not surprised.

5. I think the last time someone told me to get off my high horse was a wolves fan, 'Realist', months ago.

Oh well, altogether now,

BAGGIES AY WE...........

Warren

Tipton,

I agree you should hate losing and I do as much as the next, BUT I think you also have to hold a sense of realism and in this league we just ain't gonna win every week, particularly with the comparatively poor financial resources we have.

Re: Do Lallytap- I was one of his critics after he said he'd openly boo our players as he would cheer them. To me- and I've said this to him- we're supporters and not neutral observers and there's a difference.

I actually agree with much of what you say about individual players there, the thing that I can't agree with is spending money we don't have.

If our current policy leaves us with an operating loss before player sales, how can we sustainably increase spending without just accumulating debt? And what does £30m get you? Borja Valero? Scott Carson? Luke Moore? Abdoulaye Meite?

Our best buys have included Yacob, Mulumbu, Olsson, McAuley. I'm with you that it's a big transfer window, just don't buy that spending £20m gets you proportionally more success than spending £10m. If it did, we'd be light years behind QPR, Stoke, Fulham etc. We can only stay true to what we are.

Tipton

Thanks for the reply.

Ill admit I went over the top I was in a right foul mood last night!

I haven't seen all Do lally taps posts but their are a few I agree and disagree on.

I'm just pointing out that he speaks his mind and I don't think he is a dingle

And wow I feel like a right idiot now you mentioned the money we wasted on Valero, Moore, Carson and the bargains we had in Yacob, Mulumbu, OIlsson, McAuley.

You can add Mozza and Dozza to that list too!!

But like I said i'm not saying splash 30 million like QPR or Stoke but just invest in a few a solid players who can nail down a spot.

astleistheking

Don't let em wind you up mate.

B90 Baggie

Amen!!!... I agree with all your points (although I won't have a bad word said against Mowbray, most exciting period of my Albion supporting life!!)

Tipton

Thanks for the reply I also enjoyed Mowbrays time here but my point was after every game we lost he would say nothing other than "we move on to the next game" lol

astleistheking

I agree with most of you're comments Tipton. I think the idea of being comfortable may possibly be in the back of the players minds, but it was only one bad game tbf so maybe we should judge them after the Arsenal game. If they play like they did against the hammers then you know that the above theory does have substance.

I don't think you should be worried about appropriate replacements for our strikers as we've not been let down before have we? lets face it Lukaku is a one off opportunity which we did well to grab, so maybe you (we) should be thankful we managed to get a £19m striker. Our standards have obviously been raised due to that so the next search for a striker will become ever more intense.

Cover for Mulumbo = Thorne?

Replacement for Gera = Gardner from Sunderland?

Albion til I die!

Jack ♣ Hat.

Tipton,

That's got that little lot off your chest Mr. Tap.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Hugh Lurker

Warren .....

..... First time i've witnessed you openly stating that weaknesses in defence require attention. You rightly get praise for many of your blogs, it will be interesting to hear any opposing views on this occasion.

What holds you back from naming names ? the season is drawing to a close, i for one would like to read your views, regards what players are 'non starters' next season. You obviously have made your observation's, (''areas he might need to improve'') but you prefer not to deliver.

Warren do you think SC would, could rest Olsson or McAuley, should their form falter ?

I am not a Ridgewell fan, Dawson 'must' be given his chance regardless of any repercussions, so yes i agree changes (cover) are required in the back four positions.

stripes ay we

Warren

Hi Hugh,

Cheers for reading.

The reason I didn't name names is because as I openly admitted, I missed the first 15 minutes and two of their goals and if I'm honest I'd had a skin full before the game so I couldn't be too specific!!

If you pushed me I'd say Ridgewell concerns me at the moment, he's looked vulnerable for a few weeks e.g. sending Swansea's pacy winger down the outside twice nearly cost us the game. I think we might see Popov this week.

I'd also say Olsson's not been on top of his game and probably needs more competition. I think we'd all like to see Dawson given a chance, he scores a lot of goals but how good a defender is he??

McAuley's been immense but is 31 and won't last forever. If we don't gradually evolve in that area we could be in trouble in a year or two, definitely a big summer ahead!!

Goonerman

Bryan Robson was a powerhouse, endless stamina coupled with bravery!

kev in mallorca

Warren

I'm on 'oliday and you know what that means so can't be bothered to comment on your words of obvious wisdom but can only offer an invitation for you to join me in a drink before or after the Arsenal game in the Vine, if it's before you will have the privilege of meeting New Max,which is a reason in itself.

Adeu

Warren

Sorry Kev,

I've only just read this. Will you be back again before the end of the season? I was going to suggest a traditional end-of-season meet-up like Jarrod used to.

Jack ♣ Hat.

Worrow Warren,

Said the same as your Scharner remark, He knew how to handle the Carroll threat. We weren't so good but not woeful either, The goal that knocked Manchester United out of the F.A. Cup was like Andy Carroll's second goal against us, but no-one was saying United were woeful and making a song and dance about them. Not forgetting all our players who were called on by their Countries. West Ham deserve credit rather than our players be trodden on by the local media. I myself don't think they can stand Albion being where they are. We even have that lot from the dark side saying we played the worst football ever. Now I don't mind them showing their jealousy. But some of our own fans go beyond the norm to run the squad down, but rarely do they say much when we win. I would bring in Tamas to cover for Mulumbu who is missing because of a foolish tantrum. Yes, the game would be worse without Wenger but the same can't be said about Redkrapp and Warnock, mate. Just a point to finish with, Kick off has now become a joke, the Chelsea match kicked off with the ball going directly back to their player, a game I saw the other day saw the ball travelling along the halfway line. Most games are started illegally these days, maybe referees need to get their heads in the rule book.

With that lot off my chest, thanks to your blog, mate, I can sit back and enjoy the rest of this campaign. Onward and upward with the BAGGIES.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

roblox

respect, jack i find your posts amusing in the true baggie mould.

but

i just felt the need to say tamas for mulumbu is a no go, i believe sc will call upon either brunt or morrison. who ever it is needs to be able to close down and also be a good distributor.

in some of your past posts, i, like yourself had witnessed an improvment in tamas's game, when covering in centre of defence, so i do understand where you are coming from. i'm not sure whether tamas is the way forward for wba, i strongly believe he will be on his way.

Jack ♣ Hat.

roblox,

Tamas is an experienced player in my view mate, he won't let us down. With respect.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

roblox

Jack ♣ Hat, your were right he never let us down.

;o)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

AGE

Will be watching the match in a Milwaukee "soccer bar" called The Highbury, (my usual haunt), will probably be the only Baggie, as per usual and just hope we start well. Great blog btw.

AGE

what!

no JtH lecture?

oh wait, i didn`t really express an opinion

here`s one for yow

JP sucks! he has raised my expectations and now i think we are going to win every game

when we don`t i`m devestated

Jack ♣ Hat.

AGE,

Milwaukee!, isn't that wolf country?.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

fren

they are the form team of the EPL at the moment. its a long shot, but i think we can try to score 2. we will need to because i don't see how we keep a clean sheet in this one. their midfield is too strong even if we had Mulumbu. we will need to take advantage of set pieces, however we will also need to get it into their side of the field. their new french striker has the kind of style that can be very hard for us as he looks physical but also very capable of setting up his teammates. they look dangerous up in front, and we look a bit in retreat at the moment.

Cyril Randle

Warren, I'm telling teacher about you nicking my homework ! Then adding a bit about toilets and such was something I hadn't thought of. Although our performance did act as a reminder. I too am a great admirer of the French expert who will not lower his standards come what may. It will be a day of reckoning, that's for sure.

Raggybaggy

Morning Warren,

I dont know why but i actually didnt have much hope of a result on Saturday, I just felt that with all the negative press we seem to be attracting at the moment and our record down the smoke that it would be one game we "should" have been able to look at getting at least a point but in reality, as you rightly say, it was all over in half an hour.

I rate JO as a great CH but his defending on Saturday was poor on both Carroll goals, i presume he would have been tasked with marking him. Its not like his to duck out of a battle. I think i would also like to see Reidy & Popov back as well now they are fit & available for selection.

I think the fact we are going to be without YM for the games in April might make me think even more that we are going to be grateful we got the points in the bag when we did!! I think the sending off was just the final straw for YM and the passion he shows is totally admirable and long may it continue but we all know what happened in January when he was away playing in the African Cup!!

I think we may need to see one of our busiest transfer windows but thats to worry about after the end of the season.

I have always been a huge PO fan but i think this time he'g gone too far and needs to be left out for his own good and the good of the team. It was a mixed reaction in his first home game after his last outburst but i dont think he will get away with it this time at all and i wont be cheering or booing him if and when he does his warm up along the touchline. Tomorrow might be a long enough 90 mins as it is!! As Big Cyrille has said he has almost made his own position untenable and i dread to think of his value at present.

COYB

Warren

Morning mate,

I can't disagree with anything you've written, good post.

I didn't want to mention Odemwingie as he's already taken enough paper space and I think we're all fed up with him, but the reaction at West Ham from our away supporters- generally the most hardened- suggests it might be quite a cauldron of hate this weekend.

I'd like to see Brown, Berahino or Nabi get a bit of time in and around the squad at his expense, it can't do them any harm.

It might also help Rosenberg to get more time on the pitch. To me, he's not a winger, we didn't buy him as one, but other than about an hour he's spent all his time on the wings and is being judged as one.

A friend of mine went to the sponsors' do recently and watched the players train, he said he was taken aback at Rosenberg's finishing- he looked lethal. Yet when have we seen him in the opposing penalty area on the pitch?

He admittedly hasn't done himself many favours but a goal or two for him before the season's out might take the pressure off going forward, assuming he's not being sold.

Wall Heath Baggie

Personally i think the English game would be better off without Wenger . His one eyed Wenger vision drives me to distraction as does his pathological aversion to tackling. His Squads over the years have been made up virtually of foreigners to the detriment of the England team and if one of his few English players do get called up he moans like a drain about it and does everything in his power to get the player removed , Jack Wilshere for example against Brazil. He is very lucky to be still Arsenal manager with no trophies since 2005 and personally i will jump for joy when English Football see's the back of him.

I have noticed recently the name of Borja Valero rearing its ugly head. £ 4.7 million record buy who in his season with us scored no goals , had no direct assists and moaned about the amount of tackling he was supposed to do. Factor in that when we were relegated he could not wait to jump ship , i can only say that any potential suitors whoever they maybe are welcome to him.

Tipton

Valero is suppose to be a really good player now what a shame was it Mowbrays style that didn't suit him?

Jack ♣ Hat.

Tipton,

Borja Valero is a fine orchestrator, pity he was never used with that in mind whilst with us.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Davo from Dudley

I remember the corresponding fixture v the Arse(nal) last year when we had a certain Mr Fulop making his debut.... nuff said. This year we will be without YM through suspension, and even with the benefit of hindsight, this will be a bigger blow than last year.

Like Raggybaggy above I felt we didnt have much of a look in before kick off last week, and unfortunately I have the same feeling this week.

Too many players already broke up for their summer hols me finks !!! JO certainly hasnt looked his best for a few games, too many passes going astray from midfield putting the defence under pressure etc etc. Despite it being a great season, it needs to finish sooner rather than later.

Frank

I don't care that PO has a empty head as he is by far the best striker we have got, For me Steve Clarke has to man manage him. Showing PO the exit in the summer is by far the easy option, Getting him to behave and play well is the hard bit but that's why SC is manager and gets paid.

Every club has players that do similar but PO went on tv for the whole of the world to see, I can understand that he may be a bad apple but does that mean you get shut? no. Teddy Sheringham and Dwight Yorke didnt even speak to each other but Fergie got them playing together as a striker partnership.

If we sell PO how much will we get? £3m? Long gonna supply us the goals to stay up next year? i can't see it. Lukaku will return to Chelsea as he is a great striker and will try and get in the first team depending who the manager will be, even if the new manager loans him out he won't return to us.

I am already nervous for next season as i think some fans on here are getting a bit giddy and think we are a automactic safe from relegation side and mid table at worst. The fans need a reality check as we will be fighting for our lives if we lose Lukaku and PO,Yes we could buy 1 or 2 strikers but the money we can afford it will be a gamble, proven scorers in the prem are way out of our budget, it can be done look at Michu at Swansea!

Jack ♣ Hat.

Frank,

I reckon we are safe from relegation. You are right about reality check, some fans forget the powers that be brought in the likes of Lukaku and Osaze in the first place, right or not?. Why shouldn't we believe in them to do a brilliant job again?. The Premier league will always be a stern test, that is the enjoyment of being here. No-one but no-one is going to have an easy ride and ALL our fans know this. What I do know is our club will give it a damn good go again, next season. Onward and upward with the BAGGIES.

AGE

So not worried about next season and any who stays who leaves stuff, what ever happens we will improve the squad and keep moving up

Jack ♣ Hat.

AGE,

Got it in one, Mr. S. A. R. Castic.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

CantelloRocket 78

Warren - good day to you, Sir.

Another thought-provoking piece, well done Mate. I did submit a lengthy reply by carrier pigeon last night, but I think he had trouble with his sat-nav, so it ain't arrived.

Anyway, I'll cut it short-

due to the fact that we're in the unusual position of being safe well before the season's end, quite a few guys seem to be a little in limbo, or expressing concern about next season, so as usual I'll approach it from a different, hopefully positive, angle-

the way I see it, we have this extra time to assess the squad before the summer break, so with a new T.D., we may already be contacting potential targets for next term, we can offer them pretty much guaranteed premiership football, and as a club we stand to benefit from the financial windfall that's coming the way of the English top-flight.

So basically, let's try to relax and gain as much enjoyment as we can from the remaining games, personally I would use this time to experiment and try out a few squad players plus some new ideas, and assess the feedback.Whatever, it's still great to be a Baggie!!!

( Kev's over for his birthday - are you around this weekend? ).

The Real Bully Hoo.

Hi Rocket.

We do have a lot of Chicken Licken's don't we?

Personally I find football too trivial to worry about when I'm sure that next year I'm going to catch bird flu just before a tsunami washes my house away and then the North Koreans launch a nuclear attack but then I count my blessings and smile because at least I don't support the Wolves.

CantelloRocket 78

Bully,

alright mate...

Yep, I've enjoyed football for most of my life, and when I focus on it I'm still passionate about seeing the lads emerge from that tunnel, but if we found the Baggies had hidden, massive debts, and closed down tomorrow, my life wouldn't fall apart-

maybe I'd go fishing more at my favourite venue of Bewdley on the mighty Severn, then pop 3 miles down the road to watch Kiddy Harriers play.......who knows?

As for now, we waited years to get top flight games back at The Hawthorns, so I'm soakin' it in at the present moment, milkin' it for all it's worth, because whether we sign Lionel Messi, or a Joe Mayo clown, sorry clone, next season, if the number 74 bus hits me tomorra, it won't make the slightest bit o' difference to me...........;)

The Real Bully Hoo.

Morning Warren.

I read the opening of your piece and was thinking, 'I'll find out now what the peformance was really like,' only to find out you didn't see it. I find you are a very good barometer of the team, you don't get carried away with a win or a defeat. I call some people moaners and they accuse me of wearing blue and white specs, perhaps we could all learn from your brand of constructive criticism. Anyway now that I've finished embarrassing you.

Saturday is interesting because last year we should have beaten them. I don't feel as confident as I did a few weeks back because as you say, their form has picked up and with a fair wind and a good referee behind them they'll take some beating.

The thing I don't like about Wenger is that he always wants to change our football to be like Europe, the latest example being the winter break. Our football isn't the most skilful in the world but it's the best to watch, worldwide TV viewing figures don't lie and the Championship is the fourth most watched league in Europe. Sometimes as Joni Mitchell says, you don't know what you've got til it's gone.

One other thing. Various people have touted Billy Jones to play wide right. I don't normally like square pegs in round holes but I think this might work. Billy has the sort of energy that could go towards replacing the loss of Youssuf and when he gets forward he doesn't get a nose bleed in the opposition box.

PS.

Totally agree with Raggybaggy. Let's not boo Odemwingie, why not take a leaf out of George Orwell's book and make him a non person. He's a glutton for self publicity, let's just starve him.

..... West Brom's defending was more jellied eels than pearly kings down in the East End....love it. Anyway, feeling a bit pessimistic and I just hope we don't fade away for the rest of the season. But the Grand National is here without worries of relegation or missing promotion. Is Tipton a Dingle?

Jack ♣ Hat.

!,

Is Tipton a Dingle?.

Smells like it.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Tipton

That had yer day it Jack

Jack ♣ Hat.

Tipton,

I just repeated what Bromham said "Is Tipton a Dingle?". then I answered "Smells like it." jokingly. If that had me, Amen.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Bromham Baggie

The above was by me, don't know where my soubriquet has gone. Pass that one by, if you can, JtH. Re: Arsenal overtaking Spurs, well let's face it, Spurs can easily blame it on Gavin Bale being injured. Probably we'll only win 2-1 on Saturday. Top marks to Wenger. He turned the dourest team/club ever into one of artistry. I always blamed MClintock and O'Neil for finishing the King's career a bit prematurely.

Tipton

Jack ♣ Hat.

Bromham Baggie

Just answering your question by stating "Smells like it." mate.

Sometimes my nom de guerre disappears. My post is then signalised by the below. Sorry if my post was deceptive.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

earl phil

Love the 'annual springtime resurgence' part of this article. Very funny.

'The Class of 68'

I have always had respect for Arsenal, they went through many years of being stubborn with a capital S, winning games by the odd goal.

Wenger's unbeaten wonder team (2005 ?) was about as good as it gets.

In the very early 60's there were three teams that could be awesome and when they came to the Hawthorns, a worrying sense of fear would envelop, Arsenal were one of those teams the others being Man U and Everton.

Tottenham, Burnley and Sheff Wednesday were close behind in the fear stakes.

Seriously there was a sense of uncomfortable fear around the ground, so different a atmosphere to todays games.

Everton for some reason were by far the worst regards the fear factor, they were such a powerful team, and they had a player 'Alex Young' an Everton legand, he used to give me nightmares ..... Google him, he was awesome.

Having said that, WKWWA ..... fear factor my buttocks.

COYB ©

Jack ♣ Hat.

'The Class of 68',

Everton umm, that was the side we beat 6-2 at the Hawthorns when the great Derek (The Tank) Kevan scored five goals, I know where the fear was that day, sure!. Kevan, Kevan, that shout stuck fear right through them and the hairs stood up on the BAGGIES collective neck.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

P.S. Maybe that match report could be honoured by our program.

'The Class of 68'

Jack ♣ Hat .....

..... Speaks for itself

WBA 6 EVERTON 2 - 1960 EVERTON TEAM

Albert Dunlop > Alex Parker > Brian Labone > John Bramwell > Mick Meagan > Bobby Collins > Jimmy Gabriel > Micky Lill > Tommy Ring > Jimmy Harris > Roy Vernon

WBA 0 EVERTON 4 - 1963 EVERTON TEAM

Albert Dunlop > Alex Parker > Brian Labone > Mick Meagan > Tony Kay > Jimmy Gabriel > Derek Temple > Alex Scott Alex Young > Roy Vernon > Dennis Stevens

WBA 2 EVERTON 6 - 1968 EVERTON TEAM

Gordon West > Brian Labone > Tommy Wright > Ray Wilson > John Hurst > Howard Kendall > Alan Ball > John Morrissey > Joe Royle > Jimmy Husband > Alan Whittle

That 63 team was awesome, and the 68 team don't look so bad.

Jack you jumped in with both feet, i was talking football in general, not glorifying in WBA.

The Real Bully Hoo.

Co68.

That post just made me realise something. I hadn't started going in 1960 but I saw the 63 game and yet I haven't heard of Albert Dunlop because at that time I was only really interested in the Albion players.

Looking at that 68 team again just makes me think 'how the b****y hell did we beat them.' Ray Wilson was as good a left back as I've seen, Howard Kendall oozed class, we all hated Alan Ball but he was world class and Joe Royle if he was around now would be worth £60 mill of anybody's money. For younger viewers it would have been like beating Man Ure now.

PS.

I recently watched the 68 final and was surprised at the quality of the football played. I know the pace was much slower then but the balls used back then were like inflated cannon balls compared to the ones used now.

Bromham Baggie

He wasn't a legend, he was a vision, or so I'm led to believe.

Jack ♣ Hat.

Bromham Baggie,

If that was my ball mate, He came through their defence like a thunderous tank and nothing like a vision, sure as Johnny White (Spurs) was "The Ghost", be told by one who was there, many times. Derek was a "Tank".

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

'The Class of 68'

Jack ♣ Hat is your reply to Bromham Baggie appropriate for i feel sure he is replying to my post, with regard to 'Alex Young' and not the great Derek Kevan.

COYB ©

Jack ♣ Hat.

'The Class of 68',

There was no nom de guerre stating who Bromham Baggie was replying to, so I took it as an open house post. Thanks for your information now ignore my offending reply.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Kali

Hey Warren,

Permit me to say first and foremost that your blogs, as incisive and thought provoking as they come, are too few and too far between; then again that's just my opinion.

To be completely honest with you Baggies defense has been the team's strongest department all season and believe it or not even when we loose against better organized, better composed and better coached sides, our defense keeps us in the game.

This might sound like worn out cliche but I strongly believe the best form of defense is offense. Show me an attacking team that makes its living on the opponents half of the field and you got yourself a winning team even when they are not clicking on all cylinders. An attacking mentality be it in the cunning, slick and tip tap variety we see in Chelsea and Arsenal or the quick, explosive and in your face run at goal that the Manchester sides employ not only provide the goals required to win games they take pressure off the defense.

The key is the middle of the pack, the center of the field where it all begins. You know what they say when the center cannot hold. Yes THINGS FALL APART. and the defense gets the blame. Any team is as good as its weakest link and for the Baggies its defense is certainly not its weakest link.

Putting the ball inside the opponents net has been the challenge for this team all season particularly after the first thirteen Premier League matches. What is the Baggies goal difference ? Yes 0, Zero! Top goal scorers Lukaku 13 (on loan from Chelsea), Long 9 (record signing from Championship) and Odemwingie 5 (proven Albion scorer turned Rebel). Last 10 games 3 wins, 2 draws and 5 losses. 12 goals scored 15 goals conceded.

All the 7 teams above the Baggies on the League Table have double digit goal difference United 39, City 29, Spurs 15, Chelsea 27, Arsenal 26, Everton 12 and Liverpool 19 and believe me we were neck and neck with then in the first third of the season. So yes we need to play better but more importantly we need to score more goals. And we need to start with ARSENAL at the Hawthorns.

One last thing, we know Mulumbu who has started contract extension negotiations with the Club, will begin his 3 match ban on Saturday and return in May, can someone please tell me when Popov will complete his 3 match ban for spitting in the general direction of Spurs Walker? Or did the FA ban him for the reminder of the season?

Best Regards Warren.

Frank

Jack ♣ Hat.

Yes i know we are safe THIS season Jack, well done but i think you know i meant next season. If we are without Lukaku and PO and don't get decent replacements we will struggle and thats a fact, if you think we are safe already then you are clearly one of the many deluded fans.

Get safe then relax, according to you we will be having a right old jolly next season.

It's worrying to say the least, Better clubs than us have struggled and dropped out of the premier league.

Let's see what happens in the summer

Jack ♣ Hat.

Frank,

I have already stated there is no easy ride as you well know I have. What I can't comprehende amigo, is the sheer dread of some of our fans that if Lukaku and Osaze leave, nothing will be done to replace them. The confidence those fans show in our powers that be are on par with the situation down the road. That isn't warranted as we have never been let down by Jeremy Peace since he has been No1. Yes, I do have every confidence of staying up next season, baring the Hawthorns isn't blown sky high that is. Oh! and worse clubs than us have stayed up, those down the road for instance AND three times on the trot as they were quick to inform us. Onward and upward with the BAGGIES.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

BIG <

Ease off Frank the years catch up with all of us eventually ;o))))))))

AndyH

Evening all,

top blog - personally i like Wengers style of football even if his "blindness" to any aresenal foul / off-sides etc is annoying. He has a philosophy and sticks to it....might not work all the time but SC does something similar are at times this season our football has been sublime.....at bit like under Ozzy and TM only with a little better defending.

As for the comments on who to play tomorrow in Mulumbu's abscence....i think i'd put Reid or Tamas into the middle alongside Yacob....Brunt needs to play wide left and Jimmy M or Dorrans need to play behind Lukaku. Not sure about right hand side though....i think PO's time has come so maybe long out there from the start??? I would like to see Brown get some time and MR off the bench up front - as a striker and not a sort of makeshift midfield player....anyway Arssenal may be the form team in this encounter but they are beatable...and we owe them....

regards

AndyH

'The Class of 68'

Bromham Baggie .....

..... Nice one, players of old are worshiped, we have many.

When i think of club 'legends', Alex Young is right up there and i had the plessure of watching him in full flow.

Your are right, Evertonians regarded him as a vision, he certainly was something very special.

He was one of those players that opposing surporters were in awe of, he was a skilful powerhouse.

COYB ©

AGE

off topic but i need your help on this

first time ron atkinson returned to the Hawthorns after what i call "the betrayal", what was the score?

CantelloRocket 78

Age ?-

Based on your posts here, I agree with you that you're in need of help, but this isn't the place for therapy........

The Real Bully Hoo.

To quote Miranda when replying to her mom, 'it's not what you call the betrayal, it was the betrayal.'

EX39 Baggie

I did say a few weeks ago that SC isn't the right man. We are not performing and haven't done for most of the season.With a potential mass exodus in the summer relegation next season is more than likely.

Get shot of the coach after the Man U game, then bring in the new man who will have time and money to build his team in readiness for the new season.

The problem is who should be the new coach ?

Answers on a postcard to JP please.

The Real Bully Hoo.

Must be Dean Saunders.

EX39 Baggie

Well do you agree with me now? Yet another below par performance. Just glad we have 44points.

GET RID Of HIM

The Real Bully Hoo.

No.

EX39 Baggie

So you all wear the same rosé tinted glasses?Just take a look at the results since the win at Sunderland.Without the Honeymoon period we would now be in big trouble.

Just mark my words. SC isn't the right man. So we should be glad that we got away with it this season and moved on.

Warren

Thanks for all the comments