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English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

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West Bromwich Albion

The Story So Far

Back on the 26th November a new manager was appointed at West Bromwich Albion, after a spell of 3 different managers in the same month, they appointed Journal on a long term contract with the club. Since then the Baggies have won 4 out of 4 games under the new man, which they have climbed into the play off spots and have a chance at not only automatic promotion but being crown champions of division 3. With just 5 games left its going to be an exciting finish to say the least one in which West Brom will hope to gain promotion to division 2.

No changes until end of season says Journal

Despite taking charge and looking to make the squad his, Journal has reiterated that his intentions for this season are to try and get promotion this season, meaning there will be no current changes to the clubs squad before the end of the season finish. Come 25th December, when the season finishes, their is expected to be a revamp of the squad and a spending spree on new talent despite which division they will be in. In an interview, Journal made it clear what his approach will be regarding to changes on the squad at the end of the season:

"My aim at this football club is to build a young side, I already have young players at my disposal but not enough, in my opinion. Players will be leaving the club at the end of the season in order to make way for new talent and this is at the end of the season when certain players will find out they will be leaving. I do not want to make changes to the squad as of yet due to the fact I have took charge of the team so late into the season and we want to go for it to try and get promoted to division 2 this season."

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Sahin set to be new WBA captain

It has emerged that looking towards next season Turkish international Nuri Sahin is to be announced the new club captain, succeeding current club captain Massimo Ambrosini, with the Italian expecting to return home to Italy after the season end after being with the Baggies for 3 seasons running. Sahin is thought to be part of Journal's future plans with the club and is loving life in the Midlands at the moment. The 25 year old has been with West Brom for 4 seasons now and being one of the fans favourite at the club it has emerged well with the fans, here's what the Turk had to say in an interview with WBA officials:

"I am flattered to be given the club captaincy at the end of the season. I have been here now for 4 seasons and all of them have been a real honour. We have had a lot of different managers recently but they way the new boss approaches the club is a way that is very bright for the future and I along with other squad members are very excited to be working under him. Our main priority is to finish this season as high as we can, hopefully gaining promotion to division 2, I feel our squad is already division 2 class anyway and we will cope well in there."

What do the fans think?

The fans are a massive part of a football club, so how West Bromwich Albions fans would react to Journal's future plans is interesting. With the club having 3 different managers in the last month, it's obvious they will be sceptical about the Englishmen and how he will approach the club but after 4 back to back wins since taking charge of West Brom and now being labelled as serious title contenders with 5 games to go, this is what the leader of the supporters club thought of Journal's ambitions:

"Our fans have reacted very well to his appointment, the previous 3 managers we have had at the club in such a short space of time had no ambition at all, they were dull and unclear of what they could offer to the club, with Journal it's different. He shows interest in the club and fans, the fact he has come in and made clear publicly of his plans for the club has gone well with the club. I'm speaking on behalf of all the West Bromwich Albion support here, we are very excited for the future of our beloved team. It will obviously be sad to see some regular faces go at the end of the season but the fact we will see fresh faces, that are young, full of ambition and hoping to build their footballing career.

We are already grateful for the impact Journal has made on our season and the fact we can still get promoted, even win the division, is just flattering. Even if we don't get promoted this season we are 100% in full backing of our new manager, he is looking towards the future of the football club and his understanding of football, despite being so young, has already made him a popular man around our parts. The season ends on Christmas day, that will sum up our season, but the future is bright."

5 games left, what will happen?

With just 5 games remaining, West Brom currently sit 5th in the division 3 league table and trailing division 3 leaders Swindon Town by just 4 points. The Albion are 6 points clear of 7th place in the play offs and with tough trips to Birmingham City and Nottingham Forest still on the schedule and home ties with Bolton, Stoke and the final game of the season Reading it will be a exciting finish for West Brom fans, which they hope it will be a successful one too.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

It was always going to happen.Rochdale lost 3-1 tonight and drop to third in Division 3 as our terrible form of late continues.

unlucky, I guess we took our chances in a tight game.

NOTTS C go into the last 5 games as one of six teams in with a chance of winning Division 3, we don't want to be in the play-offs as all the other 5 are strong sides.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

Derby County moved up to the top spot in Division 4 after a superb 3-0 victory against Luton Town. Zapata' date=' Wakaso and Huntelaar contributed in the scoresheet.[/quote']

Just above my OXFORD on goal difference. Not being funny but with that squad of yours you should rip this division up... still I'm happy to fight for 2nd ;)

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

What ever happened to the Transfer/Gossip thread guys? Did it just die down? We should maybe try and get in going again. :o

There was only a handful of people posting on it, and Im in my final year at Uni so couldnt commit to regular posting.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

Arsenal are on offer. They have players such as Casiallas, Iniesta, Schweinsteiger, Vidic, Lewandowski, Aguero, Cole, Mascherano, Konoplyanka, De Sciglio and my favourite player this season, Muriel. Need I say more. The manager who has the offer isnt on the forum so you'll have to watch this space.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

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West Brom Transfer News

Albion linked with many young talents around England

Tuesday 10th December, 2013

Although Journal has made it clear he doesn't want to make any changes to his squad before the end of the current season, that doesn't stop the speculation surrounding the club regarding who they will target in the season break. There has been many names linked with the Baggies, the most notable are Lewis Holtby of Derby County, Ross Barkley of Swansea City and Luke Shaw of Millwall although we understand their has been no official approach yet from West Brom. The availability of the players noted are unknown, although Journal reiterates that he wont make changes before the end of the season, I'm sure he wouldn't mind deals being agreed in advance, in a press conference ahead of Wednesdays home game against Norwich this is what he had to say:

"I understand there has been players linked with our club recently and I can confirm we have made it clear of our interest in certain players. The 3 I can tell publicly are Luke Shaw, Lewis Holtby and Ross Barkley, these are 3 signings I am hopeful I can make in the season break, obviously a long with many others too. But for now my focus is on the remainder of the season and getting our best possible finish with the squad we currently have and I can not stress that enough. The squad are understanding that there will be a change around very soon but for now they are all working together to get 3 points week in week out."

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Speaking with Dejan Lovren

Along with Nuri Sahin, Dejan Lovren has been told by Journal that his place is safe at West Bromwich Albion this week after it was feared the 24 year old defender would be part of the end of the season axe by the new manager. This is the Croatians sixth full season at the Baggies and has said how much he is enjoying his football with the club and how the fans make him feel at home, despite the various number of managers the club has been through recently. In an interview, these are the key things Lovren had to say about his new manager and future plans:

"I had a chat with the boss after he publicly stated that changes were going to be made at the end of the season to the squad, that fact he said big changes had me pondering over my future at the club, a club I have settled very well at in the six seasons I have had and counting with. I simply asked him whether I feature in his future plans and thankfully he said yes, not only did he say yes but he told me how crucial I am currently as well as moving forward with the team. This was a massive relief for me as I believe that the club has a bright future and at the moment, we could well be playing our football in division 2 next season if we keep proceeding each game well.

The fans at West Bromwich Albion football club are magnificent. Considering the consequences we have faced this season with all the new managers in and out of the club they have stuck by us home and away and still gave us amazing support and I speak on behalf of the squad ensuring that it doesn't go unnoticed and we really appreciate it. This motivates us, drives us forward even more to clinching promotion to division 2 this season just because of no matter what our fans always back the team, if not this season it will be equally as motivating next season I'm sure."

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

Just above my OXFORD on goal difference. Not being funny but with that squad of yours you should rip this division up... still I'm happy to fight for 2nd ;)

It all started in the mid season. As far as I can remember, Derby County were more than 10 points behind then-top place Oxford United. I once predicted we had a very slim chance of a promotion due to inconsistency in the league and an early exit from English Cup and English Shield. But with players like Mubarak Wakaso and Jan-Klaas Huntelaar, we managed to change our fortune and the 14 unbeaten league run proves that. With 5 games left in the season, anything can happen, from topping the table to play-off last spot. So it's still far from confirmed who will win Division 4. ;)

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

Well maybe things are turning for my Man U, its taken a bit of buying and selling but i feel we now have the basis of a very good first eleven, where as when i joined we had a huge good squad, will be clearing out a good few once the seasons over, but last 10 games have brought 6 wins 3 draws and 1 loss, now up to 13th:D

Im also the longest serving Man U manager with 141games :eek: But my points average is poor, but hopefully we can get that up now:o

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

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Grimsby Town Football Club

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Paparazzi await the arrival of new manager Tom T

New Manager Announced

Former Yeovil Town manager Tom T has been announced as the new manager at Grimbsy Town. Tom T previously managed Yeovil Town back in 2009 where he went on to manage 172 games at the club, becoming the longest serving manager in the clubs history. He even managed to win the Division 4 play off trophy during season 10, only the second piece of silverware the club has won. After managing Yeovil he went on to manager Wolverhampton Wanderers for 8 months. After not performing up to everyone's expectations he admitted that he made a mistake leaving Yeovil for Wolves and deciding to retire from the game ... until now.

As the season is drawing to a close, Tom T is in the perfect position to assess the squad he has and make preparations for next season. Grimbsy are the bottom club in the bottom division, something which Tom T has experienced before. When Tom took over at Yeovil, he took over a team with a low morale, a team with no hope at the bottom of the league. However, the next season he managed to clinch the play-off final trophy and get promoted to Division 3. The Grimsby fans will be hoping for the something of the same, but this time the challenge will be 10 times harder. The squad, on paper, is probably the worst in the entire league. There are only two players over the age of 22 and only 9 players in the first team squad - with three of them being on loan!

Its going to take a miracle to turn this club around next season, but Tom T thinks he its a challenge which will be an excited one. He said earlier "I know exactly what I'm coming into. Is the challenge going to be hard? Yes, but its one that I can't wait to get my teeth into. A lot of people are looking at the negatives, but I just want to look forward towards the positives. We have a large youth squad, which is hungry to show me what they can do. We have a few million available to us so hopefully we can get a few first team players in. Next season we want to aim high. A top half finish would be acceptable, and that's what we will aim to do"

Lets hope the young but experienced manager can do what he did with Yeovil and turn the club around.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

Kevin Junior earned a draw with Chelsea against Crystal Palace.

A thrilling match ended 4 - 4 between Chelsea and Crystal Palace in their Division 2 encounter.

Drogba scored a goal and was later voted Man of the Match for his performance.

Koné and Yarmolenko were also amongst the goalscorers.

What a high scoring game.

4 games left and still in 1st place with 69 points.

Behind Norwich with 69 points as well, just ahead by goal differential. +16.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

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O.G. 22' | Dost 11'

The Hawthorns (21,716)

Man of The Match: Bas Dost

DWWWW | LLLDDW

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(Dost producing a man of the match performance tonight at The Hawthorns)

Good point gained or missed opportunity?

The 100% win ratio under Journal ended tonight after the Baggies drew at The Hawthorns 1-1 with Bolton Wanderers in a game which was a fair result at the end of the night. The West Brom fans going home from the stadium could see it as both ways, a missed opportunity as Swindon, Notts County and Plymouth Argyle, all around West Brom in the league table, lost their matches, but at the end of the season this game could turn out to be a crucial point. With just 4 games left in continues to be very tight at the top of the table.

The game got underway, the home fans were jubilant from kick off but just 11 minutes in they were silenced by Bas Dost. The Dutch striker buried a low shot into the corner past Albion's Ochoa in goal who could do nothing about the power and pace in the shot. The Bolton fans were loving it, the way their side was playing it was looking like they would score more, West Brom just couldn't get going in the game. On the 22nd minute Albion got some massive fortune when a mix up between Rodrigo Ciao and Wojciech Szczesny in the Wanderers defence saw the Brazilian put the ball into his own goal. West Brom were back in the game from nothing.

Despite such a eventful start, nothing more happened in the game, there was chances for both sides but neither could pounce and grab all 3 points, in the end it was a fair result for both sides with Bolton being more happy of the 2 teams. There was some injury news for West Brom, Polish defender Boeinsch picked up a shin injury and will be out of the squad for 11 days, returning 2 days before the final game of the season. After the match we caught up with Journal, who spoke about his sides performance tonight:

"I think tonights result was a very fair one based on both the teams performances. Bolton had a great start and before our equaliser they could of scored 2 or 3 to really sink our hopes. But we got back into the game very luckily, a mix up at the back between goalkeeper and defender led to us being level, undeservedly I must say. From then on both sides gave their best but none could get that one goal that would of mattered for the three points. We can confirm that Boeinsch, who is on loan from Liverpool, got injured tonight despite playing on and the club doctor expects him to be back just before the final game of the season. We will now look ahead to the trip to Forest on Saturday, a game in which we will go for all three points."

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

Preston lost 1-0 to Charlton. The introduction of Loic Remy at half-time made the difference for the Addicks, providing the assist for Juan Mata. Dropped a place to 5th, with a 5 point gap to 6th, 7th and 8th.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

Niall Taylor steered Manchester United to victory against Huddersfield Town.

Manchester United outclassed Huddersfield Town and beat them 1 - 0 in their Division 1 fixture.

Suárez had an impressive game and was voted Man of the Match.

Touré was on the scoresheet for his side.

Now up to 11th 15 points off 4th, that was my target at the start of the season and ive come up well short! Oh well always next year

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

Preston young guns impress in demolition of Blackpool

If last night's friendly is anything to go by, then the future of Preston North End is looking brilliant, with a team containing a number of young players beating close rivals Blackpool 4-0 at Deepdale.

While the final result means nothing as far as Preston's promotion-chasing season goes, the performances of certain individuals, especially that of 20 year old striker Saido Berahino, gives Preston fans a lot of optimism going into the nail-biting conclusion of season 19.

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Preston made 8 changes from the team which lost to Charlton on Wednesday, with captain Steven Gerrard, Michel Vorm and Kevin Mirallas the only players to keep their place. Making their debut alongside Berahino was Welsh midfielder Jonathan Williams, with Matt Lowton, Jack Robinson making their first starts of the season.

Blackpool got off to the better start, with Sascha Riether and Jordan Rhodes testing Vorm in the Preston goal. However, Preston took the lead with virtually their first attack. Berahino held up the ball well under pressure from Marvin Compper, before laying the ball off to Mirallas. The Belgian winger hit a low left-footed shot which beat opposing keeper Nicholas Douchez at his near post.

Berahino played a role in the second goal, albeit a contentious one. The Burundi-born striker went down in the box under the challenge of former Preston defender Russell Martin. The penalty was easily dispatched by Gerrard, however replays showed that there was little to no contact between Berahino and Martin. The ball was rolling in Preston's favour, and Berahino nearly added a goal to his impressive performance so far, his audacious flick nearly catching Douchez out. Blackpool came close to halving the deficit through James Ward-Prowse, the England U21 international forcing a great save from Vorm. Preston made the game safe shortly before half time with a text-book counter-attack, with the architect, Steven Gerrard! His pass found Michu who had the composure to slot past Douchez. That was the Spaniard's first goal since October, and the relief in ending that drought was evident. The half time whistle blew to bring to an end an impressive first half if you are a Preston fan.

Preston continued their dominance after the break, and made it 4-0 not long after. Adam Lallana (thought to be the new Steven Gerrard) found Gerrard and the experienced England international hit a screamer over Douchez into the far corner. Blackpool made a few tactical changes in a hope to get back into the game, with Matej Vydra moving upfield to partner Rhodes and Emenike. That change made quite a difference, with Rhodes going close on a number of occasions. Blackpool's best chance fell to Rhodes as his header from a Wrad-Prowse free-kick went just wide of Vorm's post.

The final whistle was greeted with a loud cheer by the home crowd, despite the low attendance. We spoke to Preston manager James Burrow ahead of training this morning:

"It was a good performance, especially by the younger lads. I felt Saido had a great game, its often daunting playing as a lone front man, but he played the role very well, all that was remaining was a goal. Jonny Williams had a good game, but his booking made him not take as many risks. The defence impressed me the most, that was an entirely new back four from the previous game, and Lowton and Robinson had yet to play this season, so to keep a clean sheet is very impressive. Michu I think played very well. He needed tonight most of all, an opportunity to just play football without having the extra burden of not scoring in a while. We have plenty of depth available for the matches ahead, and all the players did a great job of working their way into my first team plans."

Scouts from Carlisle and Yeovil Town were spotted amongst the 3,000-strong crowd last night, with the media linking the Cumbrians with a £5m move for Matt Lowton. The same paper coincidentally links Blackpool's James Ward-Prowse with a move to Preston, a move which would surely rile the Tangerine faithful.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

Raul Albiol is available for transfer after his concerns went up to level 4. I didn't want to sell him, and I thought 15 appearances this season would at least be enough to stave off his concerns, but alas, this wasnt the case.

I'd prefer a like-for like swap, however all offers will be considered. That doesnt mean you can get him on the cheap, if I dont get any worthwhile offers then I'll leave him to the lottery of the level 5 concern. Happy bidding!

Final point, Albiol asked to play and got sent off, then while suspended he went to level 4, so it was destined from the start that he would leave.

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Re: English Championship 106 - Discussion Thread

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Grimsby Town Football Club

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New signing Raul Baena

New manager Tom T stepped into the transfer market for the first time since his move to Grimsby earlier this week. With one of the weakest sides in the league, and not a lot of funds available, attracting players to the club is a hard task, but something the new boss is looking forward in doing. The depth of quality and experience in the squad is rare. Grimsby have a young side, one of the youngest in the entire league. Tom T will have to make sure he gets the team playing well and with more confidence. The first signing he made was bringing in defensive midfielder Raul Baena (pictured above) from Rayo Vallecano, estimated to be around £4.6m. Tom T said how important it was to sign a defensive midfielder with quality, someone who can break up play and also get involved in attacks. Tom said "Raul is a class player. The way I want my team to be structured, its vital that we bring in a defensive midfielder of his quality. At still only 24, I believe that he will be with the club for a very long time, and he certainly has the quality to become a real fans favorite". Raul Baena said earlier "Many people have asked me why I have joined Grimsby in their current situation, but I think its a fantastic opportunity. They have many young lads with great potential, and with the new manager bringing in some good players, its going to be exciting going into the future"

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Chris Burke will be joining on a free transfer tomorrow

Another addition to the squad is the Norway attacker Ola Kamara. The young striker was brought in for around £4.5m. Tom T said "This lad is an exceptional talent, he has proved that he can score goals in the past, and still at 24 he looks a great asset to the team. I think he will thrive next to Saviola up top, and he will learn many things while being here". Kamara said in his press conference "Its time for Grimsby to push up the league. Next season I believe we can turn things around and hopefully I can prove the fans why I deserve to be playing here". With the club struggling, Tom T has also been looking towards the free agents on offer, and has managed to get a few on board. These include young Irish midfielder Callum Reilly, experienced goalkeeper Darren Randolph, Scottish right back Paul Caddis and young centre back Will Packwood. Tom T has also agreed a deal to get Chris Burke on a free, a player Tom rates well. He said "Burkey will be joining us tomorrow, and I'm pleased with this capture. I think he can cause real problems down that right flank, so I cant wait until he joins us so we can utilise his talent". He also went on to add "We are still bringing in players for next season, mainly to add depth to the squad. I will be also assessing the youth squad as well, and I will be giving opportunities to players who deserve them".

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