Archive for the ‘West Brom’ Category


When a certain type of person talks about “social media,” I tend to get my guard up about “old man-ism,” the tendency of older folks to wax poetic about the days of rotary phones, calling cards, and chance meetings on the street. This makes me of two minds about West Brom manager Steve Clarke’s remarks on Twitter in the wake of the Peter Odemwingie’s latest string of inappropriate Tweets.

Let’s start with the sensible. Clarke began:

“Everyone has to be open-minded about Twitter, although it’s not a concept I’m comfortable with. I don’t understand the attraction of faceless media.

“I try to sort things out face-to-face with people and I can understand the tone of questions better when they come from someone in the same room.”

This is actually a very apt criticism of the medium. On Twitter tone is lost, inflection is lost, and the difference between intent and expression yawns fairly wide. Sometimes something as little as a missing exclamation mark can wreak havoc in friendly relations. Face-to-face chats are always better, followed by phone talks, then…what? Text I guess.

Now the not-so-sensible:

“Social media, including emailing, is impersonal but I have to try to understand it better.

“A lot of people obviously love it. I’ve got kids who use it.”

Well, that’s a little more:

Email as social media? Now you’re just acting the grandpa. Moreover, there is nothing inherently impersonal about Twitter or Facebook. The problem often is social media sites allow users to get way too personal, which means a player like Odemwingie will be more inclined to say hurtful, damaging things he would not say in personal company. And there is no “understanding” involved here. If someone says something shitty on the Internet, it’s still shitty in real life.

Finally, the elderly do, in fact, use Twitter too. As do middle aged people. And yes, children too.

So I have to admit, I have no idea what happened with this Peter Odemwingie business, wherein the WBA striker simply drove to Loftus Road expecting QPR to…what? Let him in and hand him a contract simply because he went to all the trouble of driving down? I do think that’s the sort of thing Redknapp might do if common sense had momentarily left him, as it tends to on Transfer Deadline Day.

Anyway, Ian King has thoughtfully written about it here. The pertinent bit:

Now, it could be argued that Queens Park Rangers had been dragged into a situation that was partly of their own making, here. After all, the club had been reported as having made a £2m offer for the player that had been turned down by West Bromwich Albion earlier this week. However, with commendable restraint they wouldn’t allow Odemwingie in to sign the contract of his dreams, leaving the player stranded outside Loftus Road facing the daunting prospect of having to return to The Hawthorns to explain himself and, perhaps more significantly from the point of view of a professional footballer, come face to face with the other Albion players. He was, however, sent home from this morning and now, to no-one’s surprise, will not be involved in their match against Tottenham Hotspur this weekend.

What would Odemwingie have listened to in his car trip down? That’s what I’m thinking is the most important question here. Harry Redknapp I think coloured the situation best when he said, “I think there was a mistake. He travelled down and I think he thought the deal was done and that is why he turned up. I think he thought ‘I better get down, have the medical, sign the forms.’”

So the general feeling would have panic, mixed with blind hope. Something supremely confident. I’m going to guess Born to Run, maybe? Or “My Way” by Sid Vicious?

Or if we’re in the punk vein, Joan Jett, Bad Reputation?

Another game, another nail in Reading’s coffin — or so it seemed. With eight minutes to go the fans at Madejski Stadium prepared to accept another defeat, this time at the hands of West Bromwich Albion. In an otherwise dour day of EPL fixtures the Royals refused to capitulate.

Trailing 2-0 in the 82nd minute, Jimmy Kébé got one back. An Adam Le Fondre penalty in the 88th minute tied the game. They finished the comeback in style. Pavel Pogrebnyak connected on to Adam Pearce’s headed pass off a set piece and sent a left footed strike past Ben Foster, consigning Madejski into hysterics in the process. Reading are now three points from safety thanks to Aston Villa’s loss at home to Southampton. Their chances at staying up remain grim, but games like these can change the fortunes of a club seemingly destined for relegation.

Obligatory zany Russian highlight pack:

Simon Gleave, Infostrada’s man about town, had these interesting factoids up moments ago in relation to West Brom’s current drubbing at the hand of Swansea:

Moreover, their Total Shots Ratio this season so far is .437. Their average last year was .469. So, in fact, there is evidence West Brom are performing a little better than their dominance on the pitch would suggest.

Surely a better explanation for their current drubbing than the BBC’s Mark Lawro Lawrenson’s assertion West Brom “believe their own hype”? And certainly reason to think a correction of sorts may be in the offing for the Baggies as the season progresses.

Hyperbole, perhaps, but the feel good story of the season lives another day. The Hawthorns is as formidable a place to play as any other ground in England.

Albion have got to where they are — fourth place in the table — by beating teams they should. As Everton’s loss to Reading proves, this is easier said than done. Wins today, against top flight clubs like Chelsea, are a bonus.

Shane Long opened the scoring in the 10th minute, but the Irish striker was terrific in every facet in the game. Holding up the ball, playing off Peter Odemwingie — he did it all. The Baggies have lost three times this season, two of those losses have come from last minute goals. Cruel — those bastards from Opta have left their mark.

Chelsea leave the midlands with the same old questions. Do they have the depth to compete in a 38 game season. Once again Fernando Torres was absent for most of the match. His lieutenant, Daniel Sturridge missed another sitter that would’ve seen the Blues get at least a point.  Their champions league fixture against Juventus this week takes on more importance – they haven’t won a league game in their last four attempts. Somewhere Pep Guardiola strokes his chin, contemplating what to do with Fernando when he takes over the reigns.

But this day belongs to Steve Clarke and his side. After making a bold decision to leave his job as Chelsea’s number two — a job he claims he could’ve had for life–Clarke’s strengths as a gaffer are on full display.

Sitting one point behind his former team, Clarke and the Baggies are playing above their weight. We’ve seen early runs curtail as the season wears on –it’s highly possible this is one of those flashes–but we’d do well to embrace West Brom’s run while we can. With a trip to the Stadium of Light next week the chances this run continues for at seven more days are quite good.

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