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Bloggies 28 (What do we need?)

With a disappointing season over, there was at least a bright spot with the U23 winning some silverware following a penalty shootout won’t over the old enemy.

It was amazing to see the support and something I’m sure the youngsters will cherish on their journey into professional football.

However, the planning for next season should have (and has) begun.

Some transfer rumours look quite exciting as they are designed to do and others feel a bit odd.

So what do we need? and where can we get it from? These are two vital questions. In the championship it’s difficult as often we are constrained financially by the balance of competitiveness and sustainability.

I appreciated Ron Gourlay’s statement and agreed with it, we recently haven’t got good value in the market and teams with smaller budgets than us are achieving more.

I liked the honesty and openness and have also appreciated the same in Steve Bruce as well.

Anyway I digress, let’s take each department and have a look.

In goal

I don’t think we need to recruit. Button and Palmer can battle it out and Griffiths could go out on a short term loan, so that we can recall him if we need to. I have seen a link with Karl Darlow and although he would be a good signing, I don’t think it’s needed.

Centre backs

For me it’s an area we are overstocked in. We need to sign Matt Clarke and probably need to ship two out for balance.

Full backs

I think this is an area we need to add strength in depth. If we get an injury, yes we have players who can do a job there. TGH, Reach. But do we have genuine competition? I don’t think we do. 1 signing here please Mr Bruce.

Central midfield.

In terms of numbers we are ok. I think the issue is creativity if I’m honest. Swap sawyers for someone like Swift. We had more goals from defenders than midfielders and that needs to change next season.

Attacking midfield/wide players

In the system we play, we have neither attacking midfielders or wingers. We have more what I would call old fashioned “inside forwards“. I don’t remember them at the age of 33, but that’s the image I get. I think in a 4 2 3 1 formation you could get both width and cover as well as someone running in behind the front man. Jed Wallace would fit the bill.

Up top. Striker.

I think we are well stocked here. Grant and Dike is fine if we play one up top. Philips and Robinson can also do a job through the middle if we get a bit flat or fatigued.

So there you have it. 6 out, 4 in. If we did this it would be a decent amount of business. It would add balance to the squad as well trim the wage bill down a bit.

What are the barriers.

I think finding clubs for The outgoing players may be tricky. They would however be decent for a lower mid table championship club like Blackpool, but could they afford them?

For the incoming there will be competition for Wallace and swift. The unnamed full back needs to be a younger player really, as we are going for a more youthful look.

In the financial department, wages for the likes of Johnstone and Carroll are probably substantial enough to bring in more quantity than they have currently, so shouldn’t be an issue as we are looking at free transfers. If anything we could bring in a little profit for the outgoings?

I have a Facebook page called “West Brom fan page (Bloggies)”, where all of these articles will be saved as well as sharing news content about the club. Also, please follow me on twitter @gary_whitehouse or LinkedIn.

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Bloggies 27 (Stay or go)

We arrive at the last day of the season with a dead rubber against Barnsley. I am attending the game today and so far I haven’t lost any of the games that I have attended this season. I know good omen right.

For this article I wanted to look at the current crop of players and give my view on whether they should remain at the club or not. So let’s get straight into it.

Sam Johnstone.

Nice easy one. Out of contract at the end of the season. His time here is finished. I think he will be remembered fondly and rightly so, but onto the next chapter of his career.

David Button.

My view would be to keep him. I know there are talks ongoing currently. I think to change first and second keeper would leave us light with inexperienced names coming in. No1 next season with stiff competition from Palmer.

Alex Palmer.

Definitely keep. At 25 he’s someone who over the next 18 months could grow into the No1 spot well. Has gone out on loan the last couple of seasons and done well.

Josh Griffith.

Definitely keep long term. Would probably benefit from a short term loan but if we got an injury in that department he would need to be recalled. At 20 he has a bright future in the game.

Darnell furlong.

Again I think we should keep, I think he may struggle at times with a lack of competition so an area we could do with a signing in.

Conor Townsend.

I would definitely keep Townsend. Again not much cover for his absence . Both he and furlong are solid at this level.

Dara O’Shea.

Keep all day long. I thing he will be a regular starter next season and will get ahead of Bartley in the pecking order.

Kyle Bartley.

Bartley is a difficult one for me. He is a good defender and has been good while he has been with us generally. We are overstocked in this department. But, I would keep for the last year of his contract. If we go 4 at the back he might struggle for game time though.

Semi Ajayi

I think if we are looking at the overall quality he is our best defender. Keep

Matt Clarke.

He is currently in on loan and we are trying to sign him. We apparently need to move someone along to get him in Keep!!!!

Cedric Kipre.

Another difficult one. Val really fancied him and I thought he did really well when in the side, Bruce however doesn’t rate him it would seem. I’m on the fence but my instinct is he could be the one moved on.

Kean Bryan.

Had a really difficult time. I would potentially move on as long as we get Clarke. If not he stays as cover.

TGH.

Keep. Move on Gary, people have things to be getting on with!!

Jake Livermore.

I didn’t really understand the contract extension to be honest. He would have been a big earner moving on. However now he has signed, I would keep, but only play him on for one game in a week. I would remove the captaincy though.

Matt Philips.

Just returned from injury. He should stay and be a very useful squad player.

Grady Diangana

The 2022/23 season will define him as an Albion player. If he doesn’t perform again then there is still value there for the sale. Keep for now.

Jayson Molumby.

Just signed so keep. I like him to be honest. We do however lack creativity in midfield and I don’t think he is the answer to that.

Romaine Sawyers.

Move him on. Please? If he came back he isn’t as good as Mowatt, Livermore, Molumby, Reach or TGH.

Adam Reach.

I think he gets bad press to be honest. He is a utility player and never going to win games of football, but won’t lose them either. What is his best position? I’m not sure. Keep

Alex Mowatt.

I am definitely a fan. Keep. He illustrates the season though. Great start and faded quickly.

Rayhann Tulloch.

Loan out. He won’t get much game time with us and need to get on the pitch for development.

Quevin Castro.

I would keep. Put him on the bench every week and give him 20 minutes here and there. League cup starter as well. I think at 6ft 4 could be an imposing CM.

Callum Robinson.

I would keep, needs to be a little more consistent because his talent is there.

Keneth Zohore.

Bruce seems to want to give him a chance and to be fair he hasn’t really had a run of games. I guess you earn starts but I would move him on

Daryl Dike.

Keep. Big money signing I’m looking forward to seeing in full flow

Andy Carroll.

I would have given him a 6 month contract until Jan and see how he gets on. Has done well but understand Bruce feeling his wages could be utilised better elsewhere

Karlan Grant.

Undervalued at the club. Top scorer, keep.

So overall I think I have kept most of them. I know the term overhaul is being used a lot but I’m not optimistic. Also good management is about developing the players already here.

I have a Facebook page called “West Brom fan page (Bloggies)”, where all of these articles will be saved as well as sharing news content about the club. Also, please follow me on twitter @gary_whitehouse or LinkedIn.

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Bloggies 26 (End of season review)

So as the season draws to a close it’s important for us to look back and dissect it.

I think even the most optimistic fan would admit it’s been a season to forget, with early season promise mixed with an inconsistent middle and a wayward ending.

So let’s take a look.

August.

Started extremely well. On reflection this is startling considering that the first 4 games were against teams that will finish in the top 8. Then a pointless game against Arsenal was followed by a hard fought win against Peterborough. August couldn’t have really gone any better in truth. Pl 5 W4 D1 L0 PTS 13.

September.

September was a sign of things to come really. The international break did nothing really but break momentum. 3 draws against mediocre opponents took the gloss off a good start. Wins against QPR and Cardiff ended the month well but the picture was clouded by the unbeaten start. PL5 W2 D3 L0 PTS 9.

October.

This is where the wheels started to fall off. A first defeat of the season to Stoke started a turbulent month. There was however a pattern to things, LWLWL is satisfying from an aesthetic point of view. PL5 W2 D0 L3 PTS 6.

November.

In writing this review, it has become apparent that each month to this point is less fruitful than the last in front of goal. Can it not be august every month? I think by this point teams had found us out and our struggles in front of goal were laid bare in front of us 2 goals in 5 games set the tone for the rest of the season. 2 goals conceded also meant we weren’t the best team to watch play. Not one for the goal rush accumulator! This was however memorable as it was my away day for the season against Blackpool. PL5 W1 D3 L1 PTS 6.

December.

Business is starting to pick up? Back to back wins for what has proven to be the final time of this season meant we liked like we were starting to build momentum. We were brought back down to earth with only 1 point in the next two against what will possibly be the bottom to in the final table. The goal against Derby was memorable for all the wrong reasons. PL4 W2 D1 L1 PTS7.

January.

All of our prayers were answered by the purchase of Dike? A signal of intent from the club generated a spark from the fans. Any flame was quickly doused by a poor drawer, going out of the cup and Charlie Austin reminding us of his class. A 3-0 win against Peterborough couldn’t save Val as back to back defeats to end the month saw the end of a short tenure for him. Dike injured for the rest of the season. Dejected. PL5 W1 D1 L3 PTS4.

February.

Steve Bruce arrived! Our playoff hopes left. I am being a little unfair as the two things aren’t linked but that’s the take away. 4 defeats really ended any hopes of the playoffs especially as they were mainly against playoff rivals. A fortunate 0-0 against Blackburn all to show for a poor month. only a Molumby deflected tap in to cheer. PL5 W0 D1 L4 PTS1

March.

A mini revival. Unbeaten in March was too little to late really. It summed us up really that I was surprised that we scored 2 in a game against Hull. I did attend a further two games in this month against Fulham and Huddersfield which were fun to be honest. The Fulham game was the best we had played in a long time. PL4 W2 D2 L0 PTS 8

April

By now our fate was sealed. A dismal 1-0 defeat to blues where both teams deserved to lose and Stoke doing the double over us was polarised by a 2-0 win and a last minute win against Blackpool. we ended the month on a error filled 4-0 mauling and a forgettable 0-0 against Coventry last time out. I said we needed 14 points from April to have any chance we got 7. PL6 W2 D2 L3 PTS 8

May.

At this point who cares lmao. Games against reading and Barnsley to come. Had we have been in the mix they wouldn’t have been the games you would have wanted to have. As it stands they are the two games you probably want to skip.

I have a Facebook page called “West Brom fan page (Bloggies)”, where all of these articles will be saved as well as sharing news content about the club. Also, please follow me on twitter @gary_whitehouse or LinkedIn.

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Bloggies 25 (End of season player ratings)

I know what you are thinking. “It’s not the end of the season yet”. However for all intents and purposes it has for us. A top 6 finish is out of the question although technically possible.

I thought now was a good time to assess the players for what has been a disappointing season.

1. Sam Johnstone. 5 (out of 10)

Interestingly Sam Johnstone has proved me wrong several times in his West Brom career. I didn’t think he would do well in the prem and he did, and I thought he would be good in the championship and he hasn’t been. He has made some errors that have been very costly and that has made a difference. Out of contract at the end of the season and will probably be an anonymous prem number 2.

2. David Button. 6.

I like him as a goalkeeper. He hasn’t let anyone down and I think he would be a solid first choice with Palmer challenging him for the gloves. He is someone who likes the club and I think he will be offered a deal for next season.

3. Darnell Furlong. 6

Other than the nightmare against Nottingham forest I don’t think he has done too bad. ok going forwards and ok in defence he is reliable and has been part of a good defence. Throw ins are overrated though lol.

4. Conor Townsend. 6

Similar to furlong really. I think the championship is his level. What I would say is that I’m surprised by his age. He is 29 and I don’t think of him as such. He hasn’t really stood out positively or negatively for me.

5. Dara O’Shea. 6

He has been out for most of it so really unfair to judge him. I think next season he will be a very good player for us. Bruce likes him and so do I.

6. Kyle Bartley. 5.5.

I think he is a player who under achieves. For an experienced player he isn’t really a leader. I think he is the 4th best defender at the club currently. Will probably be a bit part player next season.

7. Semi Ajayi. 7.

Some players just work with certain managers well and others don’t. Wasn’t fancied by the previous manager, but has had a run of games. I think he will be with o Shea as the main starting CB next season.

8. Matthew Clarke. 8.

I completed a Facebook poll and he overwhelmingly came out as the Player of the season. He makes others look better, add balance to the team and gets forward as well. He looks very composed and we must go all out to sign him next season. If we do he should be captain.

9. Cedric Kipre. 5.

The complete opposite of Ajayi. I think he looked very good but Bruce doesn’t fancy him. I don’t think he has played under him yet but am happy to be proven wrong. I think we are overstocked in the CB department and he could make way in the summer.

10 Kean Bryan. 4.

How do you judge a player who has been injured all season. It’s very difficult. He came in as cover for O’Shea and immediately got injured himself. At 25 could give the more youthful look to the team moving forwards who knows?

11. Taylor Gardner-Hickman 8.5.

He has been fantastic in the games that he has played. Not played enough for player of the season but definitely and honourable mention. He is listed as a defender on the Albion website but has played in midfield. I think he is a versatile player but I hope that doesn’t hamper him. Next season needs to be played in a consistent position. Great prospect.

12. Jake Livermore. 6

The Albion captain is a really difficult one onto judge. As I mentioned in my video he can’t play 2 games in a week now. He hasn’t got the legs for it and it sets him up to fail. I don’t think he should be captain because he is ill disciplined. I think he is a useful player to rotate. Played 34 games and only had 6 shots on target and no goals illustrates perfectly another issue of lack of midfield goals. Reliable when utilised correctly.

13. Matt Phillips. 5.

16 starts and subbed off 13 times tells you everything really. He has the potential to bully people and has good quality but is too inconsistent. I know he has had some injuries this season. He is listed as a midfielder but has been played up too as well. Not going to get any better as is the wrong side of 30. Good impact player off the bench for next season.

14. Grady Diangana. 4

The most frustrating player in the Albion squad by far. He has star quality by it has been poor again this season. Next season will be the defining one of his WBA career. If he has another poor season he could be sold with a decent return as he will have 2 years left at that point.

15. Jayson Molumby. 6.5.

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I quite like him. I think him Mowatt and TGH would give a youthful look to the midfield moving forwards. We will probably sign him in the summer and at 22 years old will develop into a very useful player for us. Is he of premier league quality? Not at the moment but makes a different when he plays.

16. Adam Reach. 5.

I don’t dislike Adam Reach. I think that he doesn’t really fit into the formation being used. For me he is a left midfielder. He is a good option to protect the left back but we don’t have that option so he os shoehorned into the team and is a very selfless player who will play anywhere and do a half decent job. Very much a Meh kind of player.

17. Alex Mowatt. 7.

I am an Alex Mowatt fan I must say. He is like ABBA to me, you shouldn’t admit you like them in public lmao. On a serious note he doesn’t illustrate our season perfectly. I did a blog half way through the season and he was right up there with Clarke for me. Has lost his way in the second half of the season as has the team.

18, Callum Robinson. 6.

Most assist for the club and second top scorer would normally give a glowing reference for a player. However despite forming a decent partnership with Grant he has been underwhelming this season. Hasn’t turned up often enough and is marmite amongst the fan base.

19. Daryl Dike. 4.

An unfortunate introduction into the team becoming injured in his first start for the clubs. Excitement around shouldn’t be diluted by his injury and could be very important next season. Wanted by Val at besiktas apparently and that could be the modern version of Harry Redknapp and Jermaine Defoe. If he does go there he could win the Thanks for popping in award at Albion.

20. Andy Carroll 9.

Already a cult hero. Puts himself about and makes a difference. Gives 100% all the time sometimes to the detriment of himself. He will probably be a utility player next season particularly if Dike stays. When I did the pill on Facebook he was mentioned by a lot of people even though he wasn’t officially an option.

21. Karlan Grant. 8

I think he gets a bad time at the club. 15 goals is a very good return in a mid table team. You also need to look at where he gets them. Winning goals against Hull (twice) Luton, QPR, Blues and Blackpool have spared our blushes even more. I really like him and think him and Dike could be a very solid partnership.

Manager. Steve Bruce. 5

Underwhelming really. He has inherited the squad and I would be massively in favour of him staying next season. Needs to put his stamp on the squad next season

I have a Facebook page called “West Brom fan page (Bloggies)”, where all of these articles will be saved as well as sharing news content about the club. Also, please follow me on twitter @gary_whitehouse or LinkedIn

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Bloggies 24 (We couldn’t, Could we?).

It’s a funny old game and the beautiful game are often cliches often used within football by fans and pundits. They are very true, the defeat two games ago made the season look dead and buried. But one win, twinned with a couple of surprise defeats from those above has given a new (maybe misguided) optimism.

Now, we may be put out of our misery in the next game, against a very good team at this level and one who look dead set on the playoffs. However, if we can record back to back victories, we could be closing in on the unthinkable. We haven’t recorded back to back victories since we were opening our advent calendars in December, which let’s be frank, is a part of the issue.

Hope and despair are opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to the feeling around the club and we have bounced between them with the frequency of an Olympic table tennis match over the last 6 months or so.

If we do sneak into the promised land, it will be by the skin of our teeth and although I still think it’s beyond us, I am scared of the thought of believing otherwise just in case our dreams get dashed.

Either way, this season is going to leave more questions than answers. What I will say is that the intention is squad changes, whether we go up or not, are a certainty. How many and who will depend on which league we are in, as funds will be dictated by status.

Whether we play Wolves or Wigan next season is very dependent on the next few games. which even in the 92nd minute of the last game seemed like a millions miles away.

As we move into the home straight of the season, we are one of several teams with something riding on the last few games. What we know is that fate isn’t in our own hands and we are reliant on several teams slipping up, but we need to be in a position to capitalise.

How many points will be needed between now and the end of the season? 12 and even then the playoffs could be out of reach. Only twice in the last ten years has the benchmark been less than 72 points (once it was 72) for 6th place and that’s the absolute most we can get.

For a term like us to win what would be 5 in a row would seem out of the question. We did however win 4 league games in a row earlier in the season. It really is the hope that kills you!

I have a Facebook page called “West Brom fan page (Bloggies)”, where all of these articles will be saved as well as sharing news content about the club. Also, please follow me on twitter @gary_whitehouse or LinkedIn

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Bloggies 23 (Jekyll and Hyde)

I got the idea for this blog title from a Facebook comment describing us as such. I’m not going to lie I had to Google which way around they were but the essence of the comment is two things that are complete opposites in nature.

Albion are currently in this category. Recently we have taken 7 points from 3 teams who are in the mix for automatic promotion and 1 point from 3 games against mid table sides not going anywhere.

The usual order is that good teams beat average teams and average teams beat poor teams. The beauty of football is that is goes against the status quo in this way.

I can’t really describe the reasons for this inconsistency other than to say that it may be a mentality issue with the squad. We can beat most teams on our day but players struggle to motivate themselves for the monotonous, average games with respect to those teams.

Even the direction of the team is inconsistent, we have a message from Steve Bruce saying we need a youthful energy to the squad going forward. I find that inconsistent with the message of bringing sawyers back into the fold.

Fans calling for “complete squad overhaul” are giving their verdict of the current squad, although if we’re honest the solution is not a realistic one. We are not a club that can go and buy 20 new players and no club would contemplate that even if they could.

What Bruce acknowledges is that things as they currently are can’t continue if we want to get to the promised land of the premier league.

I think we have the basis of a good squad and with a few additions and some moving one can be more competitive. We also need the energy of a new season to reinvigorate the squad.

We are currently 8 points adrift of the playoffs and in my humble opinion we just need to be put out of our misery in relation to the playoffs.

I think we have some large issues within the squad, not least of all the goalkeeping situation although the detail is for another blog.

I have a Facebook page called “West Brom fan page (Bloggies)”, where all of these articles will be saved as well as sharing news content about the club. Also, please follow me on twitter @gary_whitehouse or LinkedIn

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Bloggies 22 (Missed opportunities)

We now have 7 games remaining of what is proving to be a fairly difficult season for the club.

The last two games have been particularly difficult to digest and have been a perfect illustration of the season in a nutshell. Only 1 point from two games against teams with very little to play for is very disappointing given that had we have won both we would be very much in the mix.

As it happens our season in petering out and each game is becoming less important than the last. 2021/22 is becoming a season of missed opportunities, false starts and a stalled engine.

There are many reasons for this season being one to forget and here are some.

1. Away record.

Only 5 teams have lost more on the road than we have this season, they unsurprisingly make up 5 of the bottom 6. We covered this in more detail in a previous blog and we haven’t been able to remedy the issue.

2. Individual errors.

Maybe I am being a little disingenuous here, as every team will be able to point to errors and fans will dissect every goal conceded to find a scapegoat. However we have made some glaring errors that we can objectively say have cost points. Johnstone vs Derby and Huddersfield, Townsend handball in the last game, several needless sendings off have all culminated in ground being lost unnecessarily.

3. Resilience

As a team we have only won once when going 1-0 down this season. That was against QPR and they scored before some fans had even sat down. The ability to overcome difficulties has meant that from a psychological point of view if we go one nil down we are not going to win. Firstly because we are not that prolific up top (we’ll discuss that soon) but secondly we don’t respond well to being behind.

4. Not enough goals.

I put out a Facebook poll in January pretty much the day after the signing of Dike asking who was going to get 10 goals by the end of the season, other than Karlan Grant. I didn’t think anyone would and it’s looking increasingly likely that I am turning out to be a young mystic Meg.

5. New signing.

We have been very unlucky with this one. £7m is a huge amount for a championship club to spend mid season and a signal of intent from the club. They were going to back the manager at the time and give him the player he has been asking for (and apparently wants again). Maybe in hindsight the Peterborough game was one too soon and maybe we could of managed it a little better, but I acknowledge that hindsight is 2020 in this case.

6. Hostile environment.

I’m not talking about the conservative parties immigration policy from a few years back.

This may be an unpopular opinion, however I do think fans have played their part. The manager was in my view treated unfairly by fans and there have been games where frustration has been apparent after 20 minutes if we’re not 1-0 up. It’s been better recently but we need to get behind the club and players.

So with 7 games remaining the playoffs are very unlikely now and the evidence overwhelmingly points to a mid table finish,

However Steve Bruce is the man we need in charge for next season. Although results haven’t really changed that much 9 points in 10 games is actually worse than Val’s last 10 league games, but Bruce knows there is a lot of work to do and has seen for himself where the gaps are.

I have a Facebook page called “West Brom fan page (Bloggies)”, where all of these articles will be saved as well as sharing news content about the club. Also, please follow me on twitter @gary_whitehouse or LinkedIn

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Bloggies 21 (run in)

As we move towards the penultimate part of the season, most teams are jostling for position in the final stage of the season

For a small but significant number of teams, the outcome of the season is pretty much known and the last 8 games or so represent a chance to prepare for the start of next season.

Very few fans wants to be writing off between 15 and 20% of the season, mid table mediocrity and frivolous claims of progress are all we can cling to.

I acknowledge that for newly promoted teams that is very much the dream but they are the exception.

What I fear is, that we are one or two bad results away from that being one of those teams.

What Bruce has given us is an unbeaten run that we can build on. My instinct is that we are going to fall short of the playoffs and I’m prepared to be proved wrong and would be delighted if I was.

Another thing the new manager has given us is consistency, the starting line up is becoming more settled and I see that Bruce has a vision of what he wants and who fits into that structure. We even have a number of options off the bench and a system that players seem to have invested in.

Should we be mid table? Almost certainly not! Does the table lie? Absolutely not! Having spent the second most money in agent fees (according to the daily mirror), we have higher means than most other clubs in the league.

So our next stage is a Derby with Birmingham, historically, perhaps not as big as the other two games, but important as anything other than a win and the aforementioned fear is the reality.

I would like to thank those who are reading the content on these Blogs, my Facebook fan page now has 100+ followers which although modest is much appreciated.

I have a Facebook page called “West Brom fan page (Bloggies)”, where all of these articles will be saved as well as sharing news content about the club. Also, please follow me on twitter @gary_whitehouse or LinkedIn

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Bloggies 20 (International football)

As we approach the international break, it’s a chance for all teams to take stock and refresh the squad. Particularly outside of the premier league the majority of the squad won’t be leaving to represent their country.

Listening to pundits international football is the pinnacle of the game and is the highest level. I would respectfully disagree with that view.

International football obviously has some of the best players on offer in the world competing for their respective teams, however it also has nations where the majority of their players are semi professional and have other jobs.

Now the reason for this can be varied. Low population or not being the main sport of a country can be some reasons, but no one can say England playing Luxembourg represents the biggest challenge for Harry Kane and the like.

Admittedly, it’s a different kettle of fish when you get to the World Cup. But even then group games against Panama or Iran are more about managing the occasion than the quality of the opponent

In my view, the champions league represents the highest level, as teams can use their financial clout in order to attract the best talent.

Now to confuse the issue, representing your country is a proud moment for players and their families and shouldn’t be underestimated. There is something often more personal about representing your country than playing for your club (particularly if your teams isn’t your boyhood one).

As we head into the international break I am looking forward to watching the England games, as for a change my team will be favourites to win and probably should, stark contrast to being an Albion fan.

As England fans we often have a bad reputation for being hooligans and that image won’t have been helped in anyway by the events of the euro final, however as always with these things the minority gives people a view of the majority.

Wembley is an iconic stadium and when I went for the nations league game against Croatia a few years ago I got a sense of occasion, an aura that has never been matched watching the Albion regardless of passionate a fan I am.

As a blogger this represents perhaps a wider audience than would normally be the case but please Like my Facebook page called “West Brom fan page (Bloggies)”, where all of my articles will be saved as well as sharing news content about the club. Also, please follow me on twitter @gary_whitehouse.

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Bloggies 19 (Touch and go)

As I write this article we have 9 games to go and it appears we are hanging on to the playoff group by the skin of our teeth.

The last two games have certainly changed the energy around the hawthorns, I was immensely proud of the last 20 minutes against Huddersfield and the whole of the Fulham match. In the latter, we gave them a well deserved standing ovation at half time because we outplayed a team top of the league and destined for the premier league.

What it did however highlight was an inconsistency, which has hampered our season throughout. No wins against Derby, Barnsley, Preston or Millwall could prove costly, and are games we should be doing better in. February was disastrous really, losing to 3 playoff rivals 2-0 has given them a head start we can ill-afford.

We are however in the mix albeit at the back of a traffic jam and already running late.

If we were to take a look at our last 9 games I think we need 18-20 points from them to have a chance. Looking at the teams we need to play with the exception of Bournemouth who are probably going to finish second, there are games we should be getting points from consistently.

Robinson and Grant seem to be working reasonably well together presently and Bruce has started TGH which has rejuvenated the squad, I think he is the legs that Livermore is losing and makes him and Mowatt look like better players.

I hope we can make the playoffs and then win them. That may sound obvious but there is a group of the fan base who don’t want us to go up as we will be outplayed in the premier league.

I say so what if we are, Steve Bruce is the man who can get the best out of a squad and can make some very astute signings on a modest budget.

I have a Facebook page called “West Brom fan page (Bloggies)”, where all of these articles will be saved as well as sharing news content about the club. Also, please follow me on twitter @gary_whitehouse.

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