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Bloggies 38 (turning point)

So another new manager at the helm and he has been in post for 3 games.

The first being a 2-0 defeat to Sheffield United, but since then there have been signs of life.

Back to back 1-0 scrappy wins with unlikely scorers at least threatens to build momentum, however I would stop short of putting up the bunting just yet.

The new manager seems to have stopped the rot and may have even broken a cycle of conceding first within 15 minutes.

When we score first we tend to do quite well and when we concede first we don’t. Football is a very simple game when you think about it lol.

Corboran will naturally have a look at the squad and decide who fits the bill and Kyle Bartley seems to have offered something that the new man likes.

So we move onto a game against a bogey team of ours next in Stoke. A win and we head into a winter World Cup outside of the relegation and things don’t quite look so horrific.

As for the World Cup, it will seem very odd to be opening my advent calendar whilst singing 3 lions. A fairly easy group for England should at least see us into the last 16 and then who knows. Is it coming home?

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Bloggies 37 (what needs to change)

As I write this, we have just lost 2-0 against what was a decent but unspectacular Bristol city team. A lot needs to change about things at the moment but what exactly?

1. The manager.

Clearly an easy win as he has already been sacked. It goes further than just the manager, it’s a philosophical change needed. Bringing in a defensive manager who can work wonders with nothing isn’t going to fix it.

2. Set pieces.

I was looking yesterday evening at the number of goals scored from set pieces (excluding penalties) and we have scored 4 goals from set pieces and have had 111 corners. One of those goals was O’Shea against Norwich. Assuming the other three came from corners we score from 1 in 37. A lot of work needs to be done on the training pitch on this.

3. The ownership.

A controversial one because it’s easier said than done, as it’s impossible for fans to force him out. He owns the club and uses it to finance his other companies. Hopefully he understands the strength of the feeling and sells up. The issue as I’ve said before is that we are seen as customers rather than fans and that is across the footballing world.

4. Speed of play.

It seems to be slow build up play has become the norm. High percentages of short passes culminating in a blocked cross for a corner is not working for us. I’m not advocating long ball football, but incisive and forward accurate passing. The amount of backwards or sideways passing makes us easy to play against.

5. Transfer market

We don’t tend to get much value in the transfer market and our wage bill is amongst the highest in the league.

I have to 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 36 (That’s it)

For the avid reader of my content you know that I am not a fan of the managerial roundabout where the rapid hiring and firing of people is the norm.

However the reasons to be cheerful are few and the strength of the feeling is growing.

I am of the firm belief that managers should be given a reasonable chance to stamp their authority and make the team their own. But the manager in return has to give a modicum of progress and return reasonable results to continue in their job.

Bruce just isn’t doing that at present, the game last night was very poor. Aside from Grady there wasn’t anybody who had a reasonable game. You could argue that changes have disrupted the rhythm but I would argue that their hasn’t really been anything to disrupt.

Occasionally one team drops from the premier league to league one reasonable quickly and I fear it could be us.

Does all of the responsibility lay at the managers door? No! But it very rarely is.

So, we could discuss the owners as well. If we forget the investment for a minute, the calibre of the players brought in is more than good enough to improve on last seasons side.

I’ll leave you with 3 questions to ponder.

1. Would you sack him? 2. If yes, who would you bring in? 3. At what point does a bad start to the season turn into a bad season?

I have to 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 35 (Getting going)

So having riffled around the footballing car boot sale after the window has shut we have added 3 names to the squad to add some depth to the squad

Kelly and pieters definitely look like short term utility players to add experience and cover for the first team.

Rogic looks like a really good find to start to add genuine competition in attacking midfield. A replacement for Robinson and someone to also rotate to keep the supply line fresh.

We now find ourselves a lowly 18th place and there is no better time than derby day to get the season going.

I genuinely believe we are one of the better teams in this league but we need to get points on the board and quickly. Sheffield United and Norwich are already looking very dangerous.

I feel that Bruce has done phenomenal work in the transfer market for £1.2m, but he needs to convert that work into wins on the pitch.

Questions over the ownership remains as we got a reported £2.5m for Robinson, I really don’t understand the undisclosed transfer fee. As fans are we entitled to see that information?

Looking over the next 5 games there are definitely some winnable games there.

Finally I was deeply saddened by the loss of the queen last week. Hopefully she gets a nice send off next week.

I have to 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 34 (Average start)

Football is a game of two halves and we currently sit in the bottom one.

The best thing so far ironically, has been the goal scoring despite having only one fit striker. 10 goals in 6 games isn’t a bad return and them being shared around, could be viewed as a positive?

I must say it’s starting to look bleak in places. We’re not even shopping in the reduced section of a budget supermarket, we are waiting by the skip of a 1 star hygiene rated food establishment for signings.

Twin that with the owner using us as his personal ATM and it doesn’t paint a picture of a well run club.

However saying “Lai out” doesn’t hold much weight as he owns the club and can’t be sacked, in the same way as I can’t be evicted from my house for having a poo on the neighbours lawn.

Where do we go from here? 1. Sign a striker on loan using Mowatts freed up salary. 2 tighten up the defence by adding genuine competition at full back.

I have to 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 33 (5 games in)

So the start to the season has been a very odd one. With the exception of a tepid Cardiff game, we have been playing well and just not getting the reward.

I think Grant gets a raw deal from fans. I think he is a striker but not the type who is going to beat defenders in the air, the cross has to be even more accurate and Grant relies on guile rather than strength.

Someone like Carroll would absolutely thrive with Wallace whipping in balls from the right. How many Carroll like strikers are around now?

We have however developed a rather nasty habit of conceding the first goal in 3 of our first 4 games. Once teams have the lead against us they then defend in a very organised way and we struggle to break them down.

Whatever the post game comments about playing well and being unlucky, points = prizes and we don’t have as many as we would like. Although we are not in danger of being in a relegation battle, we are at risk of having to make up a big gap on the top 6.

I have to 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 32 (Glass half full?)

So two games into the season and on the face of it there’s not really much to write about, but I’ll have a go anyway.

Two points from two games looks fairly average but other than a sloppy first half against Middlesbrough, I have been impressed.

Them and Watford should form two of the top six and we have at least held our own against them, Grant off the mark and the signings making an impact is all you can ask for really. Yes there is something for the doom and gloom brigade to get behind, but I’m definitely glass half full.

So onto the next game as always, but what do we need to succeed? For me it’s about rest and rotation now. The league cup game against Sheffield United will be a chance the shuffle the pack. I imagine Robinson, Zohore, Mowatt and Bartley will get game time to make a claim to start against Blackburn.

We will definitely need our squad depth throughout the season and with injuries to Dike and potentially Diangana, we are already starting to look thin up top. With Grant not really able to rotate with anyone he will quickly become fatigued.

I think tapping into the loan market for a striker would definitely be of benefit to add depth to the squad.

We also still have time for outgoings and although Zohore should be amongst them, should we really be moving a striker on at this stage?

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 31 (Nearly there)

So we have a week to go until the new season starts and overall I must say I’m happy with the business so far.

Now 3 players signed for less than a Tesco meal deal (other supermarkets are available) wouldn’t normally sound like something to write home about. However the players are proven and directly resolve issues in the squad we have been talking about for a while.

Now oddly we are at risk of being short in defence early in the season. We have few centre backs to choose from having let go of kipre and Taylor on loan and not resigned Clarke. We need to make sure Bryan, O’Shea, Bartley and Ajayi stay fit. We should be ok if we play a back 4 to. Be honest but just something to consider for Bruce.

If I’m honest the most disappointing news was the loan situation with the owner. We know these things happen but he has missed several repayments of the loan and that doesn’t do anything for relationship building with the fans.

However football is such that we are not seen as fans, we are seen as customers and customers of Asda (to use a different supermarket) are not bothered about the finances of the business. Let’s be honest it’s a common mistake that owners make and one that can be damaging

So overall I would give the summer a solid 8 out of 10. It would be a 9 had the financial report shown an effort to repay debt.

So although my hopes are high my expectations as always supporting Albion are are more moderate. I think we could be presently surprised though.

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 30 (new fixtures)

After a short break following the end of the season the fixture list is the first real sign of the new season replacing the old one.

It gives fans the opportunity to plan their away day and to book the annual leave needed whilst also giving the “experts” a chance to predict the outcome of the season. Predictions are futile really at this stage as there is so much business yet to be done and teams at the bottom such as Cardiff are doing quite a lot already.

However looking at the start of the season we look to have a challenging time with Watford Norwich and Burnley in the first 11 games.

For me though I don’t think the fixture list has too much influence over end of season standings as you play everyone home and away so why bother worrying.

Looking at the business done so far it looks very shrewd. Creativity was an issue last season and bringing in Wallace and swift looks exciting. it brings competition and a much needed clinical edge. Add to that Molomby joining permanently to add steel

Grant gets a lot of stick but he got 18 goals last season and must move chomping at the bit to get going.

In the outgoings department, Andy Carroll, Sam Johnstone and Matthew Clarke (loan end) being unsurprising but I would love Clarke back

I would describe the window so far as Being functional and efficient and that’s absolutely fine by me.

Hopefully we can start the season fit and firing and this season can be one to celebrate.

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 29 (In attendance)

I think as football fans we can all relate to the feeling of going to a game. Whether your a season ticket holder, or your someone who’s attendance is the result of a special occasion such as a birthday or Christmas/Eid gift, the excitement is the same.

For most people that excitement is contained within themselves and they enjoy/endure the game (depending on the events of the game).

However we have to remember that we have a responsibility as fans to behave in a respectful and dignified manner. We should remember what we have the right to do and what we don’t have the right to do.

We have the right to cheer or jeer. We have the right to chant for our favourite player or managers. We have the right to be elated or deflated. Football can do so much to you in 90 minutes.

However there are certain things we need to remember that we don’t have the right to do under any circumstances.

1. Invading the pitch.

We must remember we are a paying customer and respect that. Whenever I see pitch invasions, I always fear for the safety of all involved. The incident at forest was shameful and disgraceful but was as the result of mob mentality. People have said it’s the minority, but thats not true. If you have invaded the pitch you have contributed to the anarchy that led to the incidents.

2. Discriminatory behaviour.

It’s important for us as a socially to move forwards. Chanting about the colour of someone’s skin or of a homophobic nature is not ok. I must say West Brom have always been great ambassadors for diversity in the game

3. Screaming abuse at officials

People from behind the goal screaming at the linesman for an offside decision has always struck me as odd. You can’t see the angle he can. He’s impartial and although they make mistakes, they deserve to be treated respectfully.

Players and manager exasperate the issue by blaming them for their teams shortcomings. That red card in the 94th minute did not result in your 6-0 home loss to Salford.

4. Aggressive behaviour.

Fans being aggressive towards one and other. When we strip it back, people are fighting because another person has a different colour t shirt on. Think about that. The other people happen to be from a different part of the country and like orange.

My best man was a wolves fan, we have the usual football banter but that’s where it ends.

5. Causing damage.

This follows on from the previous point. Fans ripping seats off or breaking doors and toilets in the ground. Why? For what purpose?

Football is an emotional game, but we have to remember we are customers. You wouldn’t scream abuse and invade the stage at les miserable (other plays are available).

We have a responsibility to be role models for children attending the game, so that we can eradicate the awful behaviour into future generations.

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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