Trending now:   Manchester United  •  Liverpool  •  Arsenal  •  Chelsea  •  Barcelona  •  Tottenham Hotspur  •  Real Madrid  •  Manchester City  •  Ghana  •  AC Milan

West Bromwich Albion

Teams /  England  / West Bromwich Albion 
West Bromwich Albion have 169 fans
 
 
 
 
 
Stoke make virtue of England's vices to punish soft West Brom
Joe Lovejoy at The Hawthorns - 6 years ago

More food for thought here after a week which resurrected the hoary debate about why England cannot play like the best teams on the continent. West Brom are trying it and getting thumped by the good old Anglo-Saxon approach favoured by Stoke and Blackpool, to name but two.

Albion, like England, simply do not possess sufficient players blessed with technique good enough to make it work, and while trying to play a more sophisticated game is clearly a laudable objective, it is destined to fail in the short, or even medium term.

The Baggies stuck to their high-minded principles under Tony Mowbray and were relegated and, with one point from their last five matches, Roberto di Matteo's class of 2010 may well go the same way. For much of the match they were the better, more cohesive team, and the scoreline flatters Stoke – inflated as it was by two goals in the last five minutes, when Albion pursuit of an equaliser.

Unfortunately for the purist, however, their easy-on-the-eye approach work came to naught for the want of an accurate final pass and Tony Pulis's more rudimentary style prevailed. Like England, Stoke deploy two holding players in midfield and two wide men to supply their forwards. Again like England against France, the service provided to the main striker was so poor that Kenwyne Jones, like Andy Carroll, had to fight for scraps.

The difference, of course, was that West Brom, unlike the French, were powder-puff in attack, and Stoke were able to win with the considerable assistance of two disputed [aren't they all?] penalties. Matthew Etherington tucked away the first and was later substituted in favour of Jonathan Walters, who safely dispatched the second, then completed the scoring in the final minute to cap a memorable week in which he was capped by the Republic of Ireland.

The result leaves Stoke in the top half of the table, with three successive wins at the top level for the first time since February 1984, when Steve Bould, Alan Hudson and Sammy McIlroy were too good for Ipswich, Coventry and Notts County.

On Saturday, a big, rugged defender in Bould's image was Stoke's best player. Pulis said of Ryan Shawcross: "For me, he is the best young English centre-half in the country, and I've had a chat with him about England. Ryan's just got to keep playing well and hopefully one day he will get what we're all desperate for him to get – and that's an England cap.The kid is only 22 and he's got as good a chance as anybody of being a future England captain."

Man of the match: Ryan Shawcross.

This is not a news report and may contain views expressed by the author which are not supported by GNM.

Share your thoughts

Latest News, Blogs & Podcasts

Newspapers
 
Blogs
 
Podcasts
 
• Baggies are chasing the 27-year-old after missing out on Schneiderlin• Player was late substitute in Hull’s win over Bournemouth at weekendWest Brom have made a £10m offer for Hull midfielder ...
Spurs picked up their sixth consecutive Premier League win with a dazzling performance at White Hart Lane. English Premier League: Harry Kane (81') Tottenham 4-0 West Brom Maur ...
Mark Hughes urges patience in Stoke City's pursuit of West Brom striker Saido Berahino. Stoke manager Mark Hughes has said talks have reopened with West Brom in a bid to finally thrash out a dea ...
Mark Hughes urges patience in Stoke City's pursuit of West Brom striker Saido Berahino.
Mark Hughes remains "hopeful" Stoke will sign West Brom striker Saido Berahino in the January transfer window.
• Defender submitted transfer request at Elland Road last summer• Palace raise bid for Leicester’s Jeffrey Schlupp to £12mLeeds United have rejected offers of £7m from West Bromwich Albion, Mi ...
Plymouth’s defence was classy and defiant, Ndidi excelled on Leicester debut, Batshuayi proved little and Stourbridge showed romance is alive, even in defeatThe triumphant celebrations after Plymout ...
Matt Phillips staked West Brom to a 1-0 lead over Derby, but the Baggies eventually fell 2-1 in the FA Cup third round. For the second consecutive season, West Brom crashed out of the FA Cup to oppos ...
Tom Ince, left, scored Derby County's equaliser in the 51st minute. Derby boss Steve McClaren hailed his victorious side after they knocked West Brom out of the FA Cup. Tom Ince and Darren Bent s ...
Tom Ince fired Derby into the FA Cup fourth round as two quickfire goals for the visitors stunned West Bromwich Albion. The winger grabbed a second-half winner just three minutes after Darren Bent equ ...
West Bromwich Albion Derby County 1 2 FT Game Details  ...
Said Berahino is no stranger to disputes with West Brom. West Brom misfit Saido Berahino is at odds with the Baggies over his fitness. The club and player, who are in contract talks, disagree over his ...
• Striker has been frozen out of the first-team squad since October• Berahino’s current contract will expire at end of seasonTony Pulis has confirmed Saido Berahino was offered a new deal by Wes ...
Preview followed by live coverage of Saturday's FA Cup game between West Bromwich Albion and Derby County.
West Bromwich Albion Derby County 3:00 PM UTC Game Details  ...
Robert Snodgrass gave the struggling side a first-half lead against West Brom, but the manager was disappointed to see them throw it away to lose
The Baggies fought back from a goal down to emphatically dispatch Hull City at the Hawthorns. Tony Pulis was proud of his West Brom side's 'togetherness', as their drastic seco ...
The Baggies fought back from a goal down to emphatically dispatch Hull City at the Hawthorns.
Tony Pulis was proud of his West Brom side's 'togetherness', as their drastic second half turnaround earned a win vs. Hull.
In-form West Brom accepted Hull City’s gifts to pile more misery on the Tigers. Chris Brunt and Gareth McAuley cashed in on errors before James Morrison clinched a 3-1 win for the Baggies at The Haw ...
   
Kick4Life - changing lives through football