Tag Archives: West Bromwich Albion

Virgil van Dijk: Liverpool will be back at their best against Roma

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Virgil van Dijk has admitted Liverpool let their standards slip against West Bromwich Albion but insisted that their home game against Roma will prove a welcome and contrasting proposition.

Liverpool squandered a two-goal lead on their visit to West Brom after struggling to cope with set pieces late on but Van Dijk is confident they will rise to the occasion in the semi-final first leg.

“We need to do better,” he said. “You have to tell each other the truth you cannot be nice and happy when we want to achieve so much as a team and a club. A draw is not good enough but there is no reason to panic. There is no need to stress.”

“I don’t worry at all. They [West Brom] are fighting for their lives so in the end they are very direct, balls into the channel, work hard, trying to get fouls and free-kicks and we didn’t cope with that how we should have. To concede two goals from set pieces as well where we have always the same roles to do and we didn’t do that. So it is disappointing but I am not worried at all.”

After witnessing Roma’s extraordinary comeback against FC Barcelona to advance from the quarter-finals on away goals, Liverpool, who will hold their pre-match team meeting on Monday, will not be taking anything for granted against the Serie A side.

“It will be hard work and we need to be ready for anything and then obviously the tough game in Rome,” Van Dijk added. “That will be a hard one as well, but we need to enjoy that because not many players, teams come to this stage and have the chance of getting to a final. We will prepare as well as we can and see what happens.”

“I have not played against Dzeko before but everyone knows the result against Barcelona. They are a very good team and we have to be ready. I don’t fear anyone. We play a different style to Roma. It will be a different game to this one. The system we played at the end today won’t be the same.”

West Brom chairman and chief executive sacked for poor run of results

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West Brom has sacked their chairman John Williams and chief executive Martin Goodman and placed them on gardening leave after a miserable sequence of one Premier League win in 25 matches.

The club lost 3-0 at Chelsea on Monday, and remain rock-bottom of the Premier League table.

Their only league win since they started the season with successive victories came against Brighton on 13 January, and they are five points adrift at the foot of the table.

“These changes follow Albion’s poor results this season which currently sees the club at the bottom of the Premier League,” a club statement said. “We would like to thank John and Martin for all their efforts since their appointments and wish them well for the future.”

West Brom had seen a change in managerial personnel in November, where the club appointed Alan Pardew in place of Tony Pulis; defeat by Chelsea on the reverse fixture led to Pulis’s dismissal then, and this latest move follows the defeat at Stamford Bridge on Monday.

Mark Jenkins is returning to be the club’s CEO, a role he previously held for 14 years. “There is much to do but for now the focus must solely be on the remaining games of this season,” Jenkins said.

The owner, Guochuan Lai, bought West Brom from Jeremy Peace in 2016 and appointed Williams, a former Blackburn chairman. Albion were last relegated in 2009.

In 2014 Williams was named chairman of the referees’ body, the Professional Game Match Officials, before taking over at West Brom at the recommendation of outgoing owner Jeremy Peace.

Jay Rodriguez double enough to oust Liverpool from FA Cup

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Jay Rodriguez scored twice as West Brom defeated Liverpool by 3-2 and ousted the Reds from the FA Cup in a fourth-round tie dominated by controversial video assistant referee (VAR) decisions.

Referee Craig Pawson ruled out a West Brom goal but gave Liverpool a penalty and delayed awarding the visitors’ third goal because of VAR referrals.

Rodriguez thumped an equaliser seconds after Roberto Firmino chipped an opener, then slotted another for Albion to go 2-1 up.

Poor defending then saw the culmination of Joel Matip’s own goal made it 3-1, before Mohamed Salah managed to pulled one back when he scored from close range from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross, but they could not find the vital equalizer they sorely needed in the end.

Liverpool’s first-half penalty, which Firmino missed, was a moment of VAR history — as it was the first time a referee in an English game had referred to a monitor on the touchline to make a final decision.

Almost three minutes passed between the initial incident and Firmino stepping up to take the penalty in which Pawson subsequently ruled — after a significant delay — that Jake Livermore had tugged Salah’s shirt, and pointed to the spot.

It was the second time in a few minutes that West Brom had been on the wrong end of a VAR decision, with Craig Dawson having seen a goal ruled out that would have put them 3-1 up.

VAR assistant Andre Marriner alerted Pawson to the fact that Gareth Barry, standing in front of Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet and interfering with play, was offside as Dawson headed in a Chris Brunt corner.

Pawson also seemed to check with Marriner after Salah slotted in Firmino’s lay-off with 12 minutes left, although there was no delay in play and no clear reason as to why the goal might have been in doubt.

Alan Pardew set to be appointed as West Brom manager

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West Brom are set to appoint former Newcastle and Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew as their manager in place of Tony Pulis.

The Baggies sacked Tony Pulis on 20 November after the club went for 10 Premier League games without a victory and was left just one point above the relegation zone.

Pardew, 56, who himself has been out of a job since he was sacked by Crystal Palace in December 2016, is expected to sign a deal until 2020 as he prepares to assume the role of Albion’s sixth permanent manager since 2011.

West Brom let slip a two-goal lead on Tuesday as they drew 2-2 at home to Newcastle, but moved up to 16th place in the table ahead of Everton.

Pardew will take charge of his first game against former club Palace at The Hawthorns on Saturday, as Albion then face trips to Liverpool and Swansea before a home fixture against Manchester United.

The English coach has also had spent time at Reading, West Ham, Charlton and Southampton in an 18-year managerial career, highlighted with two FA Cup final defeats.

Former West Brom boss Gary Megson has taken temporary charge since Pulis’ departure.

“I will meet the chairman at 10:00 tomorrow, what about? I don’t know,” Megson said following the draw against Newcastle. “Something has to be done at some point. I was just told in the interim period to take the team. What I’ve done the last eight or nine days is what I’ve done for the last 20 years, so I have enjoyed all that.”

“I haven’t applied for manager jobs in the last three years but whatever happens now, if ones do come up I will apply.”