Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Interview 92 - West Bromwich Albion FC

West Bromwich Albion FC, West Bromwich, Sandwell, West Midlands
Arch-Rivals: Wolverhampton Wanderers
Nickname: The Baggies
Founded: 1878

West Bromwich Albion

The quickfire interview was done with Vicki, @wbavicki on Twitter. Also she has a tumblr account 

Q1. What do you think of Roy Hodgson in his WBA career?

Well considering the short period of time he has been at the club there is not much you can fault him on. Must admit, I was very pro Di Matteo and was shocked/saddened by the sacking at the time but Roy has done a superb job in turning around our fortunes, with the same players! We have found a winning way under Roy, a “never say die” attitude which you can see has been drilled into the team. 

Q2. What are your expectations for WBA in the coming season?

I'm hoping for another mid-table finish, being realistic. We will never be one of these teams that will splash the cash so mid-table will always be over-achieving with the resources we have. Hopefully we will keep our more inspirational players such as Odemwingie, Mulumbu and Brunt as they help the team show a lot more ambition and commitment on the pitch. I have trust in Roy Hodgson to push the team to improve and maintain the attitude they showed towards the end of the season!

Q3. Which match defined your team last season?

I know that this game was quite late on in our season but for me it was away at Sunderland. We went 1-0 behind, from a Shorey OG and on usual away matches the team would easily have bottled it straight away but they maintained a fighting spirit. We ended up winning the game 3-2 and once the final whistle had gone you could see how much the players wanted to win this game. It probably helped with the huge number of fans which went to the game, fantastic support. 

Q4. Who do you tip for relegation from your league?

Obviously I don’t want to put ourselves into this position, but I’m just hoping we avoid the “second season syndrome” jinx. In all honesty I do believe that 3 teams that have been promoted from the Championship will struggle. Still think Blackburn need to improve to try and avoid the dreaded drop too.

Q5. Which player would you realistically like to sign?

We are currently linked with David Vaughan from Blackpool on a free transfer. Ok, midfield is probably not an emergency field to improve on within the team but he is a quality player. Goalkeeper is an area of concern though, maybe a cheeky bid for Robert Green? I trust Dan Ashworth in finding quality players in any position- just look at Odemwingie, Tchoyi and Mulumbu? All down to Ashworth’s scouting. 

Q6. Which of your players will have a point to prove this season?

Somen Tchoyi. He has done an exceptional job at popping up with goals in his first season at WBA but he often went missing in so many games he started with (exception being Newcastle). Also, Scott Carson if he remains at the club, would love to see him keep good form over a season and not just in short spells. 

Q7. Who are you most looking forward to playing?

Not any of the Midlands derbies! I get so nervous on those days. I’m quite looking forward to Norwich, Swansea and QPR. Will be interesting to see how they manage in their first season back in the Premier League.

Q8. What team do you hate playing?

Hate to admit it but we have two bogey sides, Villa and Stoke. Villa because it’s a huge family rivalry between me and my father on match days and I don’t really enjoy watching Stoke’s style of play (apologies to any Stoke fans). 

Q9. What ground do you look forward to playing at most. (Away league games only!)

May not be an enjoyable result but I love Arsenal away. We’re linked quite often because of the way we play our football, usually ends up as an attractive game. Liverpool will also be a tasty affair with the Roy Hodgson link now!

Q10. Do you look out for any other teams in the league? If so, which one(s)?

I always look out to see how the Midlands teams get on. I’m not the typical “hater” when it comes to Villa and Wolves, unless we play them haha. Have a soft spot for Arsenal though too, very disappointing to always see their season fall apart recently. 

Q11. Do you have any match superstitions?

I have a lucky bracelet! Well I like to call it lucky. I just tend to wear it to most the games, however when we played Villa at The Hawthorns I forgot to wear it and we won! I may need to reconsider wearing it for this season coming up. 

Q12. Sum up West Bromwich Albion FC in three words.

Rollercoaster, stressful and passion. 

Q13. Favourite WBA player of all time?

May not be the most skilful player that would have ever graced our club, but Darren Moore. His loyalty when he played for us in defence and still to this very day is amazing. Still a brilliant servant and loved by the fans.

Q14. How will you fare in the cup competitions?

We have performed quite well in recent years, not forgetting reaching the FA Cup semi final a few years ago. I would like another crack at the FA Cup personally but I think maintaining a mid table league position again is the main priority. 

Q15. Name three things you could improve to do with West Brom (Money excluded!)

Firstly, would love to get the Hawthorns lively again and bring back a brilliant atmosphere (although this really did improve last season). Secondly, it would have been improvements to the stadium itself for example capacity but this is going to be done in the next few years, brilliant news. Finally, get a better away kit for this season! The black one last season was too boring and I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of our new kits for this season.

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