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West Brom 2-0 rovers. Match review


colin
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Hopefully a bit more to come on this, but for now........

West Bromwich Albion, like Rovers, are one of the founder members of the Football League which occurred back in 1888.

Albion were formed, so the story goes, by a group of workers from the George Salter Spring Works on 20 September 1879. They were originally called West Bromwich Strollers - changing their name to West Bromwich Albion one year later. Their first ever match was played on 13th December 1879 against Black Lake Victoria.

They entered the FA Cup for the first time in 1883. It took them three years before they reached the Final (1886) where they played us, losing 2-0 in a replay after a 0-0 draw. They also reached the final the following year when they also lost, 2-0 to Villa. In 1888 they reached the final for the third year running, and it proved third time lucky. They beat Preston North End 2-1.

In the same year they were invited to become one of the twelve founder members of the Football League. The first home game was a 4-3 win over Burnley. One hundred and eighteen years later and we can all raise a smile, and maybe a snigger. In that first season we beat them 6-2 at Ewood and lost 2-1 away.

It would have been a nice touch to have been able to report that 100 years ago the two teams met at The Hawthorns, but unfortunately they dropped out of the First division in 03-04 after finishing bottom and didn’t get back until 1911-12

(for more: have a look at the very excellent

http://www.baggies.com/ ] http://www.baggies.com/ [/url]

and its history page. Click on “All about” & then “history” You’ll notice I’ve done a copy & paste job on a paragraph or two.)

In more recent years our paths haven’t crossed too many times, and to be honest the games haven’t really been much to write home about.

In September 1999 we met at The Hawthorns in the old division two/the newer division one/now “The Championship” and came out with a 2-2 draw, Matt Jansen and Christian Dailly scored for us. Two names which possibly signify how life can change for a professional footballer.

In the return game at Ewood in February 2000, after Kidd had been replaced with Parkes, we won 2-1 with Keith Gillespie and (oh my god not again…) Christian Dailly scoring. The Baggies’ scorer was the wonderfully named Matt Carbon. I really do hope he has now gone into making pencils or toner powder for laser printers.

The next season saw each team win at home 1-0 and a complete snore-festival of one hundred and eighty minutes of football

Then we didn’t meet again until last season when, on the opening day, we saw a 1-1 draw at Ewood with Short & Kanu scoring. There was the same result at The Hawthorns with Richardson, on loan from Manyoo from a free kick, and Bert Emerton scoring from a Pederson cross.

This season on the 2nd October we really whooped it up big-time with a 2-0 win at Ewood courtesy of a Kuqi-monster double, and we saw the famous turf-splat for the first time.

For anyone traveling to West Brom, this link might be useful

http://dspace.dial.pipex.com/town/park/yfh45/westbrom.htm

It’s the highest league ground in England at 551 ft above sea-level. Boundary Park is only 501ft but by God I’ll bet my season ticket that it’s a lot colder. I’m still trying to get warm from the last time we played them, and that was pre-season friendly in July. Still, it could be worse, The National Stadium in La Paz (that’s Bolivia for those of you who didn’t pay attention in geography lessons) clocks in at 8,500ft.

Anyway, as this is a match preview, which usually consists of a Q & A session with a mate who supports the opposition I thought I’d better follow suit. Then I realized that I don’t know anyone who supports West Brom.

Frank Skinner? Only contactable through his agency. Sod that. Then I thought of “Godber,” Norman Stanley Fletcher’s cell-mate in “Porridge.” But that was just silly, although he was a Baggies fan.

So I sent an e-mail to Adrian Chiles. For those of you who live abroad or don’t know Adrian here he is:

Adrian Chiles

He’s a Baggies fan. A BBC presenter and appears on the radio & TV as an all round good bloke. As indeed he is, because he said he’d do me a Q & A. What a star.

(i)How did you become a WBA supporter?

My Grandad took me. My first game was April 1974. We drew 1-1 with Luton. Tony Brown scored a penalty for us. I was quickly hooked and assumed I would grow out of it but I'm getting worse all the time. The low point was this time last year when we were dead certs for relegation. It was a rainy afternoon and a tramp came up to me in Leicester Square, put his arm round me, and said "I'm afraid the Baggies have had it this season." His eyes were full of pity. When even the tramps feel sorry for you, you know something's gone wrong.

(ii) Last season you were the first team to be bottom at Christmas and escape the drop, and on the last day of the season too. Plus you were hosting Portsmouth who saw The Saints go down on the same day. It must have been one hell of an atmosphere at The Hawthorns. Where you there or were you working? Will you tell us about the full time whistle wherever you were.

I was there. I was quite calm until the last 20 minutes which were the longest of my life. I seemed to be the only person in the East Stand with a radio. By then it had boiled down to us and Palace. We were going to win so it just down to Charlton to keep Palace from winning. Unfortunately, they weren't doing a very good job of it. And once Palace had gone ahead the 5 live commentators were saying there was only one team in it. Misery. Then, bizarrely, everyone at The Hawthorns started cheering, a rumour having gone round that Charlton had equalised. As I was listening to the commentary from the Valley I knew this wasn't the case but I still stood up and cheered as if that might somehow make it happen.

Then things got really morose. Until Charlton scored. I leapt up and then so did everyone else. Mayhem and the longest ten minutes ever then followed. It was crazy. I'll never ever forget it and neither will anyone else there.

(iii) The Rovers’ crowd has been described as (something along the lines of) “less like 20,000 fans more like 20,000 critics.” Yet the Baggies fans are infamous for being all “boing boing” good times. Is it something in the water?

I think our away support is good but at home we're as miserably negative and frankly unsupportive as the next club's fans. If things go as badly against you as they did in our last home game against Sunderland then there's going to be real unrest. We'll give your 20,000 critics a run for their money, any day.

We've been through a lot in the last six seasons though: in 1999/2000 we avoided relegation on the last day of the season; then we made the play-offs; then we went up, unbelievably overhauling Wolves to do so; then back down again; back up again; then the Great Escape last year. This season it looks like it's going to be either relegation or a narrow escape again. We're emotionally wrung out.

(iv) I suppose work commitments must keep you away from far too many matches, but have you been to Ewood Park recently? What do you think of the place?

I get to every game if I possibly can, apart from Sunday games for which I have to be at work. I've been to Ewood a couple of times and I think it's a good ground. Last time I went though, on the long climb up to my seat, I saw a massive space in the stand behind the away end. I just wondered why no use is made of that. It just doesn't feel like a very vibrant place, somehow.

(v) This and (vi) are the usual two questions we ask. Which West Brom players should Rovers be wary of?

Of ours, Kanu, Kamara and Gera - the first two are in Africa and the third is crocked.

(vi) Which Rovers’ players do you think that your team should pay special attention to?

Of yours, Dickov and Bellamy are always a worry. And I can already visualise Kuqi doing that belly flop celebration at the Hawthorns.

May I ask a couple of questions which appertain to you as a BBC presenter rather than a West Brom fan?

(vii) Since that FA Cup semi-final last year against Arsenal, Rovers have been tagged as “cloggers,” “bully-boys” and general all-round thugs. Was this a fair assessment or just one that took off after that game and was then just a handy “tag” to attach to us? What was the feeling amongst your colleagues at Five Live and the BBC?

I don't honestly know whether it's a fair assessment. I suppose you'd have to look at your reds and yellows for the whole season. In any case it soon became a bit of a cliche so I tried to avoid it. If we did bang on about dirty Rovers it was down to laziness - more cock-up than conspiracy, definitely. I can promise you there's no Mr Big, who happens to be a Burnley fan, who's telling us to trash you.

(viii) You seem a WBA fan rather who is also a presenter, On 19th November you beat Everton 4-0. I don’t know what you were doing on that day but I’m sure that if I was trying to present any kind of programme on that evening I’d be insufferable. How do you cope with the ups and downs of The Baggies and retain your composure as a presenter?

On air I think I'm OK, but I'm bloody misery to work with if we've lost, and insufferably cheerful if we've won. The worst thing of all is 606 on Sunday evenings if we've played and lost that afternoon, especially if it was a 4pm kick-off. Last January we played Fulham away at 4pm. I was ###### off anyway because I had to be in the studio even though the Cottage is walking distance from my house. I watched the match with Gordon Strachan in the MOTD2 office but then, at 5.45, I had to go to the radio studio. It was 0-0, and still 0-0 when I got to the studio. At that point I'm watching Sky pictures on the monitor but listening to the 5 live commentary which is about 2 seconds ahead of the pictures. One minute to go and Fulham had a corner. As Sky showed them preparing to take it, the 5 live commentator was saying "it's in!" By now it was 2 minutes to six. Misery.

In my opening to the programme I said "ring me quick before I do something stupid..." My wife, Jane Garvey, was bathing the kids at home and wasn't amused when my oldest daughter, who was 5, got alarmed and started crying. That got me a bollocking from Jane, just to compound my misery.

Adrian, I salute you and thank you.

Edited by colin
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Good preview. Just one problem: In the past meetings you skip from our promotion season (the two 1-0 games) to last season. You missed out their last relegation season in the premiership when they drew 1-1 at Ewood 2nd last game of the season. Can't remember the score at their place that year but it won't be too hard to find.

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Good preview. Just one problem: In the past meetings you skip from our promotion season (the two 1-0 games) to last season.

379569[/snapback]

Sorry sir, I'll try to do better next time.

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It was 2-0 at The Hawthorns. Dwight Yorke penalty, then duffer rounding things off 4 minutes later.

379571[/snapback]

I remember Jason Roberts' speed giving our defenders fits. Monday night match, if I'm thinking of the same one.

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The Baggies have just signed Uruguayan defender Martinez on loan and sold Earnshaw to Norwich for £3.5m.

Huckerby and Earnshaw together are going to be a tough ask for second division defences.

This WBA game for us is in the MUST WIN category if we are serious about UEFA qualification. If we don't get anything out of tomorrow night, we could be in danger of losing touch with sixth place and if we get a great result a\gainst the Mancs, we can't afford to throw our advantage away.It is going to be a very tough one as the Baggies are fighting for their lives with BIG CLUB stirring and the sweetie store that is Pompey now.

We should have too much for the Baggies in every department except possibly in attack (Pongolle and Bentley together?). But the Baggies have upset a few big names at the Hawthorns as well as contriving to lose to Sunderland.

One thing is for certain, we can rely on Hughes getting the players' heads right for this one- something the previous management would have left as hit or miss.

1-0 or 2-1 to the Rovers. Please...

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I could well be at this one. I'm planning on bringing the new mrs and her boy to their first game. I'm in the process of creating a little rover, he is a chelsea fan at the moment but I'm working on him.

Just out of interest does anyone take their young 'uns to away games and how have they found it. It's his first game and I want to make it as enjoyable experience for him as possible. I'm toying with the idea of getting tickets in the family enclosure in the home end... just thought it might be a better environment for a 9 year old.

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Well done! Shame there are no questions about his bizarre move from Business lunch to MOTD 2.

Chiles' cheery face became synonimous with the school holidays for me. Waking up at 12.30 hung over, turning on the telly, seeing him entertain a lot of boring men in suits and watching him try to marshall discussions upon subjects which he clearly didn't know the foggiest about.

Happy days.

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The preview has now been expanded to include Special Guest Q & A. So just scroll yourselves back to the top right now. No messing about.

380295[/snapback]

Good preview Col - and I've always admired Adrian as a presenter. He seems very down to Earth and like a football fan should be - I think we'd all rather sit down and listen to Adrian Chiles/Frank Skinner type pundits rather than Graeme Le Saux/Rodney Marsh/Mark Lawrensen etc spout their @#/?.

It's the first away game I've been able to get to this season, and as I've never been to The Hawthorns before I'm looking forward to it.

1 - 0 to the Rovers.

Pedersen with one of his tap-ins from 20 yards. rover.gif

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I could well be at this one. I'm planning on bringing the new mrs and her boy to their first game. I'm in the process of creating a little rover, he is a chelsea fan at the moment but I'm working on him.

Just out of interest does anyone take their young 'uns to away games and how have they found it. It's his first game and I want to make it as enjoyable experience for him as possible. I'm toying with the idea of getting tickets in the family enclosure in the home end... just thought it might be a better environment for a 9 year old.

380282[/snapback]

I'm sure the little lad will soon realise his mistake! I've converted my granddaughter from being a ManUre fan and sh'e now a Rover through and through!

I've taken children of all ages and lurk in the JWLower at home. Though the kids have now deserted me for the Blackburn End.................

ooops - didn't finish the post...

Wouldn't ever sit them with home fans in someone else's ground though. Got some free tickets for the kids for Arsenal once from Rovers and they didn't appreciate being in with the Arse kids at all! Other than that they've loved going to away games with the Rovers!

Edited by roversmum
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I could well be at this one. I'm planning on bringing the new mrs and her boy to their first game. I'm in the process of creating a little rover, he is a chelsea fan at the moment but I'm working on him.

Just out of interest does anyone take their young 'uns to away games and how have they found it. It's his first game and I want to make it as enjoyable experience for him as possible. I'm toying with the idea of getting tickets in the family enclosure in the home end... just thought it might be a better environment for a 9 year old.

380282[/snapback]

I wouldn't if I were you. Being a family enclosure won't stop there being some rich langauge and you will still have to pretend that you're Baggies fans. That could seriously confuse a nine year old. I would go for seats with the Rovers fans. If it's not sold out you should be able to move around a bit if you get stuck behind somone who won't sit down or stop cursing.

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got my ticket ordered today, however Rovers must be running a scheme to help people with special educational needs if the person I spoke to in the ticket office is anything to go by. Dear lord, i usualy have no problems with the ladies who work there but the guy i spoke to today is either hard of hearing or stupid.

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The Baggies keeper, Kauczak (?), seems to be pretty special. If we get one or two past him we'll be OK.

Quashie will be making his debut for them- that's a very smart move in the transfer market as he's the ideal midfielder to shore up a struggling side. Fortunately, their Africans are still involved in Cairo.

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With the contact of CHILES surely he could give recommendations for his other footy mates to do previews for their teams eg Lee Dixon - Aresenal. Hansen - Liverpool. Lawro - preston.

Actually in thinking about this I ve just realised how many ex-Arsenal pundits there are:

Dixon

Adams

Wrighty

Seaman (occasionally)

Smith on sky

surely no other team has this number of pundits

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