Spyin' Kop: West Bromwich Albion (Away).

Posted by Rob K on March 28, 2006, 12:16:34 PM

After a superb 3-1 win against our (extremely)bitter neighbors on Saturday The Reds(minus a certain Mr Gerrard) travel down to West Bromwich for a game which over the last few seasons has seen a plethora of goals, with the reds putting eleven goals past the Baggies in two visits to The Hawthorns.  With Rafa and the lads looking to keep pace with Man United for 2nd and the automatic qualifying place for the Champions League a scoreline of the same ilk will certainly be favorable amongst the travelling kopites, and with our current goal-scoring form and The Baggies only managing a point in their last 6 games its certainly a possibility. 

West Bromwich Albion v Liverpool
The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
Saturday April 1st 2006, Kick-Off: 5:15pm

Team Info:
Ground Name: The Hawthorns
Capacity: 28,003 (all seated)
Team Nickname: The Baggies
Year Ground Opened: 1900
Shirt Sponsors: T-Mobile
Home Kit Colours: Navy & White
Away Kit Colours: Navy Blue With Red & White Stripes
Division 1(Old): 1919/20
Division2(Old): 1901/02, 1910/11
FA Cup: 1888, 1892, 1931, 1954, 1968
League Cup: 1966
Charity Shield: 1920, 1955(shared)

Recent Form(Last six matches):
West Brom: LLDLLL
Liverpool: LLWWWW

Thanks to Astle Smith(AS), Lee Price(LP) and Baggie Bob(BB) from www.westbrom.com for answering the questions.

Spyin' Kop:
Now the "business end" of the season is drawing near how do you feel it has gone so far for you?
AS: Nowhere near as good as expected. I thought we would be easily safe this
season - now we are fighting relegation (again!)
LP: As much as could be expected hopefully we will stay up.
BB: If we stay up we have done what we wanted to do.

What are your expectations for this season now compared to the start of the season? 

AS: I was hoping to survive and finish higher than last season to show that we
were building on our success and getting somewhere.
LP:  Same really just wanted to stay up for a second season and then build from
BB: Last seasen was to stay up, this year was to stay up although being more comfortable would have been nice. Still, 17th will do this season.

Who do you think has been your most important player(s) this season?
AS: Ronnie Wallwork has been brilliant and rose above previous criticism. Kanu
has been much better than last season and Tommy in goal has been great.
LP: Curtis Davies.
BB: Kanu, Robinsen, Kuszsckak during spells, Wallwork during spells, Kamara sometimes.

And your worst player(s)?
AS: Clement has made too many mistakes this season for me and whats happened to
Gaardsoe? He showed so much promise in the Championship!
LP: Greening-he just can't seem to get a cross in without having to beat the man
BB: Hoult, third keeper. Used to be great but he has done his back in.

Tomasz Kuszczak, currently keeping our very own Chris Kirkland out of your team and on the verge of taking Dudeks place for Poland at the World Cup, obviously a talented lad, so where'd you uncover him from?

AS: Not a clue, I just hope we carry on unearthing more gems like him and Gera.
LP: Signed by Gary Megson from Hertha Berlin when out of contract.
BB: Hertha Berlin gave him to us. Megsen found him, he had a good eye.

Any youngsters/hot prospects coming through the squad that we might not have heard about?
AS: Not that I know of. We only just got Academy status so hopefully we will
make some of our own stars soon
LP: Curtis Davies is our main top youngster.
BB: Nicholsen a young striker who is sh*t hot in the reserves, may be on bench against you. Only 20. Davies a young welsh lad in midfield and Hodgkiss a rb and we have a few talents popping up in the first years of the academy.

Thoughts on Bryan Robson? Is he the man to keep you in the Premiership?
AS: He pulled of the great escape last time, so why not now? This time its in
our own hands so we only got ourselves to blame if we go down. But, some of
his decisions have been baffling.
LP: Can get his tactics wrong at times but overall he is the right man for the
BB: Most fans don't really like him, a few base it on his record which they judge as crap. Myself, I think he is doing an okay job and he can stay until we go down or if something else happens. We need to back him now.

What sort of line-up do you expect he will set up against us?
AS: We need to attack. We need every point we can pick up.
LP: 4-5-1 Campbell up front on his own and go for the draw.
BB: Line up will prob be 442 with Ellington and Kanu up front. Gera may be back for that match and maybe Quashie although I don't think so.

What do you expect in the way of singing/banter etc from our away support? Do we compare well and how do you rate the atmosphere at your ground?
AS: The atmosphere this season has been very poor- mainly because of the rise in
the price of tickets. You lot have a reputation for being passionate so I
hope your lively. Just no slashing tyres this time! lol
LP: Always like it when Liverpool come to the Albion because of "You'll never
walk alone". Some of the banners that have been made about Frank Lampard
have made me laugh.
BB: Atmosphere at our ground was great but this seasen it has got to a level where it is embarrassing. If we go 1 up vs you we will lift the roof but not unless. I expect there will be a bit of banter, the usual for you "stereo tv video" "Sign on" all the stuff you hear every match. Should be friendly. On your day you can be amazing but away you are the same as most sides who beat us. Loved the Rafa Benitez song last year, timing was very good, best I have ever heard from a set of away fans. Well done, very funny.

Do you have any favourite chants and perhaps any that require an explanation?

AS: Look out for 'Boing Boing' (not a clue where it came from) and 'The Lords My
Shepard' (likewise).
LP: Boing Boing is my favourite one.
BB: Boing Boing, we love to do it because it means we have scored. If you thump us you may also see it come out. Dunno why, happened in 1993 when we got back up to the first division (championship) "boing boing were going to wembley". Then against Wolves next seasen in the big derby we beat them and it came out in force. Has stuck ever since. The lords my shepherd can also be impressive and may match you never walk alone.

Where do you expect yourselves and Liverpool to finish come the end of the season?
AS: Liverpool near the top, us near the bottom! (lol)
LP: West Brom 17th Liverpool 3rd
BB: I hope for 17th but I ain't too sure. You will be third although I hope next year you challenge them London fools who found it was a good tactic to try and wind us up because we had been better on the pitch first half.

Which Liverpool player(s) do you fear the most?
AS: Gerrard footballingwise, but I would be a bit scared if I saw Crouch down a
dark alley
LP: Gerrard-great player that can win us the World Cup. Jamie Carragher is also
a class act who we will have trouble getting past.
BB: Gerrard, Fowler, Cisse seems on form, Crouch(we struggle against big forwards), Sissoko for his pace and Riise who always seems to trouble us.

And your feelings on Liverpool this season? How well do you think Rafa has done?
AS: Not too bad. You were always going to be under pressure after winning the
Champions League! (Well done, btw!)
LP: Didn't think Crouch would be worth the money and in my view he won't ever
score as many goals in a season as Owen did but he offers something
BB: Had an okay season. Good luck in the fa cup, hope Chelsea and to a lesser extent West Ham don't win because of how they rolled over vs Pompey. Rafa is a very good manager.

And to finish, Scoreline? Care to hazard a guess?
AS: Errmmm, we always lose by loads to you lot. I'm just going for 2-0 to you
lot, but it could be alot more.
LP: 2-0 Liverpool
BB: I'm tempted to say 4-0 to follow the trend of your last few games at the Hawthorns but I'm feeling brave so I will say 1-1 draw. Watson to score for us and Fowler to score yours.
Good luck this season and fingers crossed we will be facing you and not the Dingles next season. Not confident but you have to keep the faith.

© rknowlesy 2006

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