Sunday, 6 February 2011

Roberto Di Matteo Sacked - Why and What Now?

I'm going this way..........

So RDM has been sacked, sorry 'relieved of his duties'. WBA have been on a very poor run without question but it seems very strange timing all the same.

The transfer window closed one week ago and WBA brought in only one loan signing. Who knows if other targets were highlighted by RDM and turned down by the board, or did RDM think what he had was good enough to stay in the Premier League?

If RDM was to be sacked (and I don't think he should have been), the time to do it was surely before the transfer window as it would have given the new manager an opportunity to bring in his own players rather than having to work with those already at the club.

The appointment of Michael Appleton as caretaker is obvious but this kind of move always seems strange to me. Appleton worked under RDM, the players already know him and are used to working with him under RDM, so what exactly is going to change with them to win the West Ham and Wolves games???

As for who is next?? The obvious names will appear such as O'Neill and Jol, but to me they seem unlikely. Allardyce's name has been mentioned but I think that would be a backwards step and would be a very unpopular choice amongst WBA fans.

I feel sorry for RDM. I think he should have been given the whole season to see if he could have pulled the team through. I think most WBa fans will wish him, and Eddie Newton and Ade Mafe, all the best for the future.

Manchester City 3 - 0 West Brom - The Aftermath

Do I have such things as regular readers? Anyway, if I do, people may have noticed that I'm not an 'original' West Brom fan. I am a Chelsea fan and have been all my life, but due to geographical reasons and friends being involved with the club I have been going to WBA for 3 years now and I love it and feel some affinity with the club and the current players, but have something of an objective detachment that you cannot get with your own club.

My point is that days and games like today are all about expectation. If Chelsea went to Eastlands and came away with a result like this, I would be seriously disappointed. But West Brom, with their resources, away at the richest club in the world? There should only be one winner every time. The problem is that WBA's fantastic results at the Emirates, Old Trafford and Goodison Park have caused some West Brom fans to expect WBA to pick up points at places like Eastlands and unfortunately it's not going to happen.

Manchester City were excellent today. Their movement is phenomenal and the way they play between the lines of the oppositions defence and midfield is brilliant and ensures that opposition defenders are constantly being pulled out of position and WBA simply couldn't handle it. The constant pressure that WBA were under also no doubt contributed to the needless penalties given away by Steven Reid and Jerome Thomas. In Yaya Toure, David Silva (and particularly) Carlos Tevez, WBA came up against three of the Premier League's best players and they simply could not match them for quality.

This is not to deflect blame from WBA. They lacked any kind of physical presence or threat up front and once again too many players underperformed. But a defeat away at Man City can be written off as long as it is followed by wins at home to West Ham and Wolves.

Over to you lads..........

Saturday, 5 February 2011

IPWYMTSBlog Weekend Football Preview

Manchester City v West Bromwich Albion

This is an important game for both teams but for very different reasons. City have come off the back of two disappointing results against Midlands clubs and need a win to keep pace with Man Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea. WBA on the other hand will feel they dropped two points against Wigan at home in midweek and will be hoping to take anything they can from Eastlands.

Man City will be expected to win the game comfortably with the players at their disposal, but West Brom have taken points away from Old Trafford and Emirates this season. WBA must sort out their terrible defensive record if they hope to take anything from the game.

I hope RDM plays Vela upfront at City. He looked slightly lost out on the right wing against Wigan, especially as he had to keep cutting in on his left foot. Its highly unlikely though that RDM will change from 4-5-1 so I half expect to see the more pragmatic James Morrison come in for Vela.

Nicky Shorey will also have to play with Marek Cech being ruled out. I think Shorey is a class act but he seems to struggle to get games at clubs where he has been recently. Does this suggest some kind of attitude problem? Who knows, but in my opinion he is twice the player Cech is.

I think Man City will be too strong for WBA tomorrow and will have too much quality going forward for WBA to deal with.

IPWYMTS Prediction - Man City 3 - 1 WBA

Chelsea v Liverpool

Sometimes football just turns up these delicious moments that you think the gods must have created for our enjoyment. This game is one such moment. Two rival teams meeting, with one team having bought the others star striker who will play his first game against his former teammates. It's an incredible coincidence or excellent foresight by the Premier League.

This game has already been hyped beyond normality but the most intriguing thing for me is how Chelsea will line up. Tuesday night at Sunderland suggests that Ancelloti will go back to the often used (but not often successful at Chelsea) diamond formation. Rather than trying to shoehorn Frank Lampard into the crucial 'head' of the diamond position, on Tuesday that tole was played with aplomb by Anelka who was magnificent in his almost free role. That would suggest that it's most likely to be Soloman Kalou who drops out for Torres, meaning a front 5 for Chelsea of Lampard, Essien, Anelka, Torres & Drogba. Frightening.

Liverpool have won 3 in a row but Chelsea will be by far the biggest test Liverpool have faed since Kenny Dalglish's return. They would love nothing more than to ruin Torres' big day and the recent form of Raul Meireles and the pace of Luis Suarez against John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic suggest they have a chance.

IPWYMTS Prediction - Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool (with Torres to score the 2nd......)

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Location:Birmingham,United Kingdom

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Transfer Deadline - The Aftermath

Fernando Torres to Chelsea

It's a lot of money. A huge amount of money. But this signing is a huge statement of intent by Chelsea.

1 - People have been saying that Roman Abramovich has lost interest in the club and doesn't want to invest any more money. Well there are 70 million reasons why that's not true (if you include the money for David Luiz as well).

2 - It may be too late for Chelsea to win the title but this signing shows how much Chelsea want and believe they can finish as high as they can this season as well as win the Champions League.

3 - BUT..... It also raised lots of questions for Chelsea. Where does FT9 play, what does it mean for Drogba, Anelka and the midfield shape. I'm sure it's a problem that Mr Ancelloti doesn't mind having.

Andy Carroll to Liverpool

Carroll is a good player and has a lot of potential. A mate of mine has played against Carroll a number of times over the last few years and says that he is a very difficult player to play against.

But £35million?????

Newcastle simply couldn't turn down money like that. Carroll has only had half a season as a Premier League regular and has also struggled with fitness.

It's a huge gamble for Liverpool. An even stranger decision than signing Carroll in the first place is the fact that Liverpool have not signed a winger. Liverpool are one of the narrowest playing teams in the Premier League and they have signed a striker who thrives on Service from wide positions.

The pressure on Carroll will be enormous and he has proved already he is maybe not the most reliable of characters. Kenny Dalglish's reputation will also be on the line depending on how Carroll performs......

West Bromwich Albion sign...... Nobody

I'm amazed at the lack of action from WBA on deadline day. I still think that Vela will prove to be an excellent signing, but it doesn't seem to be enough.

West Brom still lack a specialist right back and will have to soldier on using Jara and Reid. WBA also have to hope that Jonas Olsson stays fit for the rest of the season as the hoped for central defensive reinforcement did not materialise.

One wonders whose decision it was not to go for any signings? Is RDM happy to stick with what he has? Or did the club not make any money available?

What is infuriating though is WBA not using their Premier League loan allocation to the full. A good young defender was available in Jeffrey Bruma from Chelsea (which would have also been reasonably cheap....). Bruma would have been perfect for
WBA but no approach is made and he ends up at Leicester. In the Championship. Don't tell me that Chelsea or Bruma would have preferred him to sign for a Premier League club.

3 points are crucial tomorrow night at home to Wigan otherwise the natives could get very restless....

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Location:Birmingham,United Kingdom

Saturday, 29 January 2011


I love my job. Genuinely. Love the company, love the people, love the work, live pretty much everything. I'm very lucky.


If a rival company wanted to pay me more for doing the same job and I had the chance of being more successful right now, I would think very seriously about leaving.

Now if I didn't like my current job and had reservations about the future of the company I work for, that would make that decision to leave even easier.

I'll stop the talking around the subject. I have always struggled to understand the incredulity at footballers changing clubs and the cries of WHERE'S THE LOYALTY???

If someone in regular society betters themselves and gets a better job with a better company, they are congratulated. Not in football.

A huge majority of the Liverpool fans who are moaning about the prospect of Torres leaving would leave their own job for a better paid job with a more successful company. And yet they will not be vilified as being disloyal.

Maybe Liverpool should look at the conditions within the club that made Torres want to leave in the first place rather than simply crying DISLOYALTY....

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Location:Birmingham,United Kingdom

WBA Transfer Targets

So there is one week left of the transfer window and WBA are yet to conduct any business at all. This post is simply a bit of folly about who may be available and semi-realistic for the Baggies to buy or loan.

I see the Baggies priorities as being a Centre Back, a Right Back, an Attacking Midfielder and a Forward. Get your chequebook out Jeremy Peace, you might need it......

Jonathan Woodgate

Should be a no brainer. He's an upgrade on all of WBA's Centre Backs, he's available for loan in order for him to gain match fitness and he would bring much needed leadership and experience to the team. Would he be able to maintain a level of fitness that would mean being able to play twice a week for five months. Surely worth a look on loan if he's available.

Jeffrey Bruma

Bruma will slip further down the pecking order at Chelsea with the imminent arrival of David Luis. Chelsea do not want to sell Bruma though and a loan deal could suit Chelsea and give Bruma some crucial experience. Strong and quick and decent on the ball, Bruma can play at both Centre Back and Right Back.

Wes Brown

Brown's contract at Utd expires at the end of the season and there is no sign of a new deal. he would bring a wealth of experience at both Right Back and Centre Back and would be available at a knock down price due to his contract situation. Whether Brown would consider WBA as a viable option is unknown!

Michael Johnson

When Sven took over as Man City manager, Michael Johnson lit up the Premier League for a few months, causing city fans to call him the new Colin Bell. A succession of injuries and off the field problems though have curtailed his career and he now cannot get a look in at Man City. A move to WBA could be just what Johnson would need to get his career back on track and it would give WBA the Attacking Midfield presence that James Morrison is not!

Jamie O'Hara

O'Hara was Portsmouth's best player by a mile last season but injuries have meant he has not played one minute for Tottenham this season. He would bring bite, strong workrate and a wand of a left foot to the WBA midfield. He would also bring Danielle Lloyd to the midlands which can only be a positive.

Stephen Ireland

He's proved his Premier League quality at Man City and cannot get a look in at Villa. Surely worth a cheeky loan bid???

Nico Krankjar

Another player with proven Premier League experience not getting a look in at his current club. Harry Redknapp has already said he would be willing to let Krankjar go if the right offer came in. Considering that Spurs almost stole him from Portsmouth initially you would imagine that offer wouldn't have to be very high!

Zoltan Gera

Another ex Baggie whose also not getting a look in at his current club. I think he would be welcomed back far better than Davies would!

Michael Owen

Why not??? The former boy wonder is not the player he used to be but surely he is a trade up on anything the Baggies currently have? No, I can't see it happening either.............

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Location:Birmingham,United Kingdom

Carlos Vela Signs For WBA on Loan

After a month of frustration for WBA fans due to a lack of action in the transfer window, a flicker of action today was the cause of hope for Baggies fans due to the signing of Arsenal's exciting young Mexican international, Carlos Vela, on loan for the rest of the season.

WBA have been in the market for a front man having been strongly linked with John Carew earlier in the month. While I think Vela is a good signing and will bring much needed quality to WBA, I'm interested in RDM's thinking. Signing Carew would have made an obvious tactical statement. Either the Big Man/Little Man combo with Carew and Odemwingie or Carew as the focal point of a 433 with Odemwingie pushed out wide. Vela will not bring the same physicality that Carew would and it seems unlikely he will play as that focal point and Vela's dribbling ability and creativity might see him take up similar positions to Odemwingie. We shall have to see how RDM plays it.

It is at least something for Baggies fans though and an undoubted quality signing. Friends of mine who are Arsenal fans have questioned whether Vela has the heart and desire to truly make it at the top level. I guess we will see how he handles a relegation battle.

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Location:Birmingham,United Kingdom