West Bromwich Albion
|DATE||Saturday 25th November 2017|
|WEST BROMWICH ALBION SQUAD||1.
2. Allan NYOM
3. Kieran GIBBS
4. Hal ROBSON-KANU
5. Claudio YACOB
6. Jonny EVANS
7. James MORRISON
8. Jake LIVERMORE
9. Salomon RONDON
10. Matt PHILLIPS
11. Chris BRUNT
13. Boaz MYHILL
17. Oliver BURKE
18. Gareth BARRY
19. Jay RODRIGUEZ
20. Gregorz KRYCHOWIAK
22. Nacer CHADLI
23. Gareth McAULEY
25. Craig DAWSON
26. Ahmed HEGAZI
28. Sam FIELD
40. Alex PALMER
Since the last Premier League games, a few things have changed.
Most notably Robert Mugabe has been removed from power in Zimbabwe
after nearly 30 years. Tony Pulis has been removed form the
manager's job at West Bromwich Albion after nearly 30 years.
Well, nearly 3 years actually, but it must have seemed like 30 to
While Pulis got away with the style of football when the side were winning and in the top half of the table, the lack of positive outcomes (winning four of his last 22 Premier League games in charge) brought his tenure at the Hawthorns to an end. Albion probably have someone in mind to take over, but in the meantime, they have reverted to Pulis' assistant Gary Megson, who has been removed form the manager's office one before at WBA.
So, what do we expect from Albion at Wembley ? Megson's sides are likely to be in your face and with the likes of McClean, McAuley, Evans, Livermore, Yacob, Barry and Phillips all aggressive in closing down players and space. But they are missing James Morrison, Nacer Chadli and Craig Dawson, all experienced Premier League players who are capable of scoring goals, each in a different way. This puts a lot of emphasis on Hal Robson-Kanu and Salomon Rondon to do the business at the business end. They do get some support from midfield, but not as much as they would like, thus resulting in the Baggies not troubling the "Best Scorers" trophy judges.
As it is, the best part of their team looks like the defence on paper, with a reasonably settled unit. They have not provided much protection for Ben Foster though and he has been prone to mistakes, making it hard for Albion to pick up many points, with their goals for column looking forlorn. With the back line not functioning, it left too much strain on the front line to out-score the opposition. As Spurs are on a decent run, despite a small blip, they will probably approach the game at Wembley as a point to be gained and perhaps a set-piece or two offering them the opportunity of a greater reward.
Tottenham need to return to winning ways in the league after last weekend's set-back. We are starting to move the ball about quicker now and the performance in Dortmund in mid-week shows how they are able to manage a game, but that was against a team who were willing to play. Back in the Premier League, they will face a side who don't want to play ball. Rondon might be playing a lone striker role, with the midfield trying to get McClean and Phillips up in support of him as quickly as they can.
Even if Pochettino rotates the team a bit, here should be enough quality in the Spurs team to provide the ability to break down West Brom, get chances carved out for Kane and get others on the ball to test Foster from range. His shot stopping ability isn't too bad, but he can allow the ball to fall into areas where our players could chase in and make something of it.
There won't be another 4-0,
like we beat them at home last season, but three points should see
Spurs back challenging at the top.
|PREDICTION||Tottenham Hotspur 2 West Bromwich Albion 1|
|LAST SEASON'S MEETING||For a look back at the match report, click here.|
|RESULTS HISTORY||Click here for results, match reports and facts on meetings with West Bromwich Albion|
HOTSPUR TEAM NEWS :
Tottenham will still be missing Toby Alderweireld (hamstring) and Victor Wanyama (knee) for the visit of West Bromwich ALbion.
ALBION TEAM NEWS :
Former Spurs winger Nacer Chadli (hamstring) will miss the match at Wembley, as will defender Craig Dawson (knee) and midfielder James Morrison (Achilles).
available on BBC radio, it can supposedly be heard
in these countries on these stations ...
Saturday 25th November 2017
West Bromwich Albion
Kick off 15:00
|Kane 73m 16s||Rondon 3m 28s|
Dier (complaining about time-wasting ) 59
Barry (foul on Kane) 27
Gibbs (foul on Dele) 61
Nyom (time-wasting) 78
Foster (time-wasting) 83
|Crowd : 65,905||Weather : Chilly, dry|
|Referee : Mike Jones (Cheshire)||Assistant Referees : Mr. S. Ledger; Mr. D. Eaton|
|Fourth Official : Peter Bankes|
|Spurs kicked off and played towards the East Stand in the first half.|
|Game time : - 90 + 7 minutes.|
|Tottenham Hotspur :||kit||West Bromwich Albion :||kit|
|Manager : Mauricio Pochettino||Caretaker Manager : Gary Megson|
|Sponsor : AIA||Shirt sponsor : Palm|
|Kit Supplier : Nike||Kit Supplier : adidas|
With the first frosty morning on the day for football this season, Tottenham were caught cold by West Bromwich Albion who scored after just three minutes and then proceeded to frustrate us with defence in numbers and a huge helping of time-wasting, aided and abetted by weak refereeing from Mike Jones, meaning it took until the 72nd minute to get back n level terms. Pushing for a winner, Spurs were almost made to pay at the back end of the game, but both sides emerged with a point apiece from this match at Wembley.
Getting closed down just the Spurs goal side of the centre circle, Dele let the ball get away form him and Livermore took the ball and quickly played Rondon through, with Sanchez chasing. The West Brom forward held him off and scuffed a shot that took Lloris by surprise, meaning he couldn't move as it bobbled into the right hand corner of his net. You would have thought that Spurs were playing in Claret and Blue at the TaxPayer's Stadium with the amount of abuse that heaped down form the terraces. It's never an idea way to start a match, but there was a lot of time left. Well, there should have been.
With the inexplicable absences of Danny Rose and Erik Lamela, Spurs shaped up with a five man midfield, playing Son up along Kane in attack. Rose was not ready to play two games a week and will be ready for Leicester on Tuesday, while Lamela attended the birth of his first child, so hopefully might be ready to return to the first team soon. But WBA were closing down Spurs very quickly, sometimes very high up the pitch and with Spurs not moving the ball snappily or moving to receive it, thus pulling the visitors out of shape, the early goal allowed them to sit back and pack their last third. Spurs found it hard to find a way through. It also was part of caretaker boss Gary Megson's plan to ensure that Dele, Kane and Eriksen were all jumped on as soon as they received the ball. Criticism of Dele and Christian did not take into account the fact that two or three players were on them straight away when they got the ball and thus forced errors.
The ranks of green shirts between the Tottenham players and the West Brom goal were enough to prevent Foster being troubled until the half hour. All Spurs could produce in terms of a goal threat were crosses into the box, which the gigantic defenders had no trouble in defending. Jones was letting lots of heavy challenges on Spurs players go, while penalising the lightest touch on the visitors, but then surprisingly produced a yellow card for Barry, when he went in on Kane. And it was Harry who first worried the keeper with a snapshot after shifting the ball past a defender to make a yard for a shot from outside the box that went close with the keeper out of position. The came the first save, with Son cutting in from the left to hit a shot that Foster had to dive to his left to tip wide. Eriksen's corner was headed out and it dropped for Ben Davies to hit a shot that was deflected wide. Foster, as is the norm, kicked he ball away to waste time, but the ball boy went to retrieve it, only for the keeper to kick it out of his hands. The referee saw it and decided to take no action once again. Unbelievable !
When the roles were reversed, Christian's shot from Ben's corner went way over the top and then Son jinked past a couple of players on the left to fizz a low ball across the face of goal that Kane and Alli couldn't get on the end of. Dier slid a header across goal, but the keeper claimed it and then, into added time for time-wasting, Sonny hit another effort on goal, but it took a deflection. With Foster furiously back-pedalling, the ball looked as though it would beat him and it did, but nestled on top of the goal netting for another corner.
At half-time everyone could not understand why the referee was failing to punish the Albion keeper, who, when he had the ball in his hands, Kane had taken no standing in front of him holding his fingers up counting how long he was holding the ball. Eight ... ten seconds. Foster was making a mockery of the referee's authority, but there was no inclination from the official to take any action against him. Such laws of the game might as well be erased from the rule book.
The second half begun with Tottenham looking a bit more urgent in their play. Kane hit a shot straight at Foster, Dele and son made runs into the area, but were outnumbered by Albion players and Jake Livermore blocked efforts by Eriksen and Son. A Trippier cross had Ben Davies shaping up for a volley at the far post, but Matt Phillips, who looked like he has pile don some pounds, just touched the ball with his head, altering the flight of the ball enough to prevent it ending up on Ben's boot. Then Phillips was at the other end, played in on the right side by Barry's pass and shooting across goal, but dragging it wide.
When Foster again held onto the ball for ten seconds, the referee showed a yellow card. But not for the keeper. It was for Eric Dier in midfield, how had the temerity to ask why the ref wasn't doing anything about it. Then Gibbs was booked for a foul on Dele, before Poch brought on Dembele and Llorente for Winks and Vertonghen to shake the side up. It helped Spurs pile more pressure on the WBA defence, with Son hitting a shot too high, Dele heading the ball across goal and then Trippier hitting a corner at the far post towards goal, with Dele inches away from getting a touch on it that would have brought an equaliser.
The equaliser did come shortly after, when Kane tried to move the ball onto Eriksen, but the Dane got abuse form fans for losing it, but Harry had played a short pass to him, with two men marking him. McClean tried to run the ball away, but Trippier dispossessed him, played it outside to Dele, who put a low ball into the near post, where Kane ghosted in to nudge a shot between Foster's legs to make it 1-1. It was another neat piece of finishing and showed determination from Spurs, when the move broke down, to win it back and go again.
West Brom were pulling out all the dark arts, with Nyom taking an age over a throw, which got him booked and then he pursued the referee to complain. Barry went down injured and when he had been treated wanted to go off the longest way to the side of the pitch. Dele fired over when well-placed and then Trippier, who was a problem all afternoon for Albion, put in another cross that almost produced a winner, but Kane headed over at the near post, with Dele going for the same ball too. Finally the referee booked Foster for time-wasting, but he had wasted time doing it, leaving it until the 82nd minute. The keeper then began hurrying to take goal-kicks and clearing the ball from his hands, which would have had a greater effect had the ref booked him in the eighth minute, when he started doing it. Added to the fact that his incident with the ball boy might have brought a yellow, so he could have been sent off.
Spurs had rarely had decent efforts at the keeper and he proved suspect near the end as Kane struck a low shot that he fumbled and dele was nearly onto before Foster grabbed it at the second attempt, but things could have got worse for Spurs. Into the paltry five added minutes, a free-kick was headed down by Rondon and Robson-Kanu struck a shot which luckily went straight at Lloris and then Phillips was sent away on the right, with his low ball across goal deflected goal wards by Rondon, but from a couple of yards out, managed to guide it wide.
It was a slow, sloppy start by Tottenham and it was made a hard task to come back from it by Albion, who got nine outfield players back behind the ball every time they lost it. There was not enough movement off the ball to pull WBA out of their defensive shape and crosses into the box were mainly meat and drink for their defenders to clear away. It was only in the last ten minutes of the first half that Spurs got any tempo into their game and the second half was better, but they still lacked guile, when Albion had earmarked Christian, Harry and Dele for special attention. This should have left space for others to exploit, but it didn't happen.
They did keep plugging away and got a point, which, in light on the last couple of minutes of added time might have seen them have none. Two seasons ago it was the draws that killed us, so it may be that hinders us going for a challenge at the top of the table, but Manchester City appear to running away with it at the moment, so a place in the top four must be the target in view of the way clubs are playing against us at Wembley.
It would have been intensely irritating if West Brom had nicked anything in added time, as it was their persistent time-wasting that contributed to most of it. However, only having to watch them twice a season is a blessing.
West Bromwich Albion were
the first team to take their name from a part of the town they were
based in that doesn't exist. There is an East Bromwich, but no
West Bromwich, which would be Swan Village.
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|What you thought|
|Other scores during this week :|
|Crystal Palace||2||Stoke City||1||Saturday|
|Manchester United||1||Brighton & Hove Albion||0||Saturday|
|West Ham United London||1||Leicester City||1||Friday|
|Huddersfield Town||1||Manchester City||2||Sunday|
|League Table 2017-18|
|9||Brighton & Hove Albion||13||4||4||5||13||14||16||-1|
|17||West Bromwich Albion||13||2||5||6||10||19||11||-9|
|18||West Ham United London||13||2||4||7||12||26||10||-14|
Position before match :
Position after match : 4th
Position after the weekend : 5th
* Pub facts may not actually be true, but after a few pints everyone might think so.
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