Xtratime Community banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

Third Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
12,813 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Johnson's Gerard vow Dec 23 2004
By Hyder Jawad, The Birmingham Post

Andy Johnson will go into West Bromwich Albion's match against
Liverpool on Boxing Day with a promise to ensure that Steven Gerrard
hates every second of it.

It is, he admits, a tall order - Gerrard of Liverpool is a player he
regards as one of the best in the world - but it is a function that
is likely to be the key to Albion's hopes of securing a surprise

"If I am given the role to mark him and make sure he cannot have much
of the ball, that is great," Johnson says. "It means I will enjoy the
match less - but it also means that he will enjoy the match less. And
it means that we will have more chance of getting something."

But Johnson, the Albion midfield player, knows that The Hawthorns is
a place where Liverpool can thrive. He was in the team when Liverpool
played away to Albion in April 2003 and the result, a 6-0 defeat,
still torments him.

"It haunts me and I think it haunts West Bromwich Albion," he
says. "But that was a rare experience. Apart from that, we were never
thrashed that season. It was odd, because we were virtually already
relegated, while Liverpool were on a high.

"What made it worse was that everything Michael Owen did seemed to
end up in the goal. It was amazing from his point of view. But it did
not affect our season because, as I say, we already knew that we
would be playing in the Football League the next season.

"The thing with Liverpool is that they change without you really
noticing. They have always had a great team and this season is no
different. I did not play when we lost 3-0 at Anfield earlier in the
season but I believe that they are a terrific team.

"As for Steven Gerrard, he is the key to the way they play. I would
say that, in Gerrard and Frank Lampard, there are two midfield play- ers ahead of anybody else. The important thing for us is to stop
Gerrard from playing. We will have more of a chance of we do that."

Of course, the Premiership table, which reveals Albion at the bottom,
suggests that Johnson and his team-mates will have to show a dramatic
improvement from recent results.

The 3-2 defeat away to Portsmouth and the 1-0 home defeat to Charlton
Athletic were bad enough, but the 4-0 defeat away to Birmingham City
last Saturday was, to quote Johnson, "embarrassing".

He takes too much pride in his performances to dismiss the match as
merely a bad day at the office.

"The biggest emotion from the past few matches is frustration,
really," Johnson says. "OK, the 4-0 defeat to Birmingham City was
embarrassing, and the fans were right to vent their frustration, but
overall our results have been much worse than our performances.

"I often wonder how different it would have been had we defeated
Portsmouth 2-1, as we should have done, instead of lost 3-2. It would
have given us a different mentality for the matches against Charlton
Athletic and Birmingham.

"It is baffling. How can we draw 1-1 away to Arsenal yet lose 4-0
away to Birmingham?

Sometimes I wonder if West Brom are really two different teams. But
that is why I love football so much. One good result does not mean
anything for the next match."

But style of play does. There is little doubt that, since Bryan
Robson replaced Gary Megson as manager, Albion are prettier to watch.
But no victories in six matches since Robson arrived tells a
depressing tale.

Perhaps, in the pursuit of success, Albion might have to return to
their ugly way of playing - or, perhaps, go back to the future.

"The funny thing is, we are playing some good football," Johnson
says. "I would say that in the 312 years I have been here, this is
the best football in terms of passing the ball and creating chances.
But it does not matter because results are bad.

"Maybe we should start playing ugly football because I would prefer
that and win than to play prettier football and lose. Nobody wants
that. I want wins, no matter how they are achieved."

The supporters feel the same way. They were united in their
disapproval of the way the match went against Birmingham and, at one
point, they sang "there's only one Gary Megson". Some say the job is
more difficult that Robson first thought but Johnson dismisses that.

Some say that Robson is being punished for the mistakes of the Megson
era. Johnson, aged 30, believes that Robson should only be judged
when changes have been made and new players signed.

"I do not feel sorry for Bryan Robson because he has one of the best
jobs in the game," Johnson said. "Being the manager of West Bromwich
Albion is a privilege. No matter what your results, this is a great
club with great supporters. How can you feel sorry for him?

"Obviously things are not ideal. He inherited the squad and, in some
ways, he is being blamed for things that are not his fault. But that
is part of being a manager. He will make changes, he will sign new
players in January, and he will restore confidence.

"Trust me, if I was not confident, I would say so.

But I am confident. History is against us but I have faith that we
could become the first Premier-ship team to be bottom at Christmas
and still avoid relegation.

"The arrival of Bryan Robson was important for me. For some players,
you can be at a club too long and feel that you are becoming stale.
For others, the change can come when a new manager arrives.

"When Bryan Robson came, it was like the lights had been switched on
again and we felt that sense of optimism. There was a spark. OK, the
results have been poor, but there is still a belief that we can avoid
relegation. There is certainly more believe now than there was at
this stage two seasons ago.

"Then we always felt that, however hard we tried, we never really
stood a chance. We did not sign enough players and there was always a
feeling that we were not good enough. This time, I feel differently.
I know we are good enough."

Andy Johnson, always good for a laugh!

Winter is Coming.
8,131 Posts
Balis old buddy,
I told the boys to lay off but they would have none of it ;)

wasn't the greatest boxingday for you mate, could almost say i'm sorry for you, hope your next few games are much much better. :)


65 Posts
I stayed p all night here in australia to watch the football Arsenal v fulham,Man u v Bolton and WBA v Liverpool which finally came on at 4am. :yawn: :yawn:
I reallythought after the performance against ther blues that Robbo would have had the baggies a little bit 'fired up' but it ended ubeing the most one sided game I've seen in the premier league this year.
It almost feels like Robbo has lost the dressing room If I was a baggies fan I'd be very deprsed after that game,nobody hould get beat 5-0 at home in the premier league.

Third Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
12,813 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh this isn't the half of it.
I really think until we sign some centre backs and Almeyda we will keep on getting stuffed. :( :( :(

If Horsfield had managed to look up and pass to Earnie at 0-0 it maight have been different, but GH is tooooooo slow, far too slow for the Prem. Other striking options Hulse? LOL!!! Kanu and Earnie are our only 2 options.

3 poitns for Man City on Tuesday.

Third Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
12,813 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Liverpool eased to victory over a despondent 10-man West Brom.
John Arne Riise struck the opener when he drove in an angled shot after Steven Gerrard's lofted ball.

The Baggies were down to 10 men after Cosmin Contra handled a goalbound Antonio Nunez header but Milan Baros saw the resultant penalty saved.

Florent Sinama Pongolle volleyed home, Gerrard powered in a free-kick, Riise rocketed in a fourth and Luis Garcia tapped in to complete Liverpool's win.

Gerrard was typically at the heart of Liverpool's play from the opening whistle and he quickly threatened with two well-struck long range shots.

West Brom were gifted an chance when central defender Jamie Carragher's stooping header fell to striker Geoff Horsfield and he had a clear run on goal.

But Horsfield's lack of pace allowed Sami Hyypia to get back and tackle before the visitors immediately went up the other end with Milan Baros going close.

The Baggies clearly lacked confidence and were playing with an inhibited air at a subdued Hawthorns.

And the atmosphere exaggerated when Liverpool took the lead after Riise met Gerrard's lofted ball with a first-time shot across goal and into the far post of keeper Hoult's goal.

Liverpool should have doubled their lead shortly before the interval when Contra was sent-off for handling a goalbound Antonio Nunez header and referee Rob Styles pointed to the spot.

But Hoult saved a tame penalty from Baros and in the ensuing scramble Pongolle slipped as he attempted to score from the rebound while Baros had a shot cleared off the line by Darren Purse.

Riise then helped set up Liverpool's second after the break when he gathered Pongolle's long ball before crossing for the striker to volley home from eight yards.

The signs were looking ominous for the Baggies and their predicament only worsened when Gerrard powered in a 25-yard free-kick low into Hoult's net.

The game was won for Liverpool barring a remarkable comeback and boss Rafael Benitez took the opportunity of taking Gerrard and Baros off to preserve them for a busy festive programme.

Riise thundered in a fourth for the Merseysiders and Garcia tapped in late on with the home fans streaming out of the ground as Liverpool totally dominanted on the way to recording only a second away win this season.


West Brom: Hoult, Scimeca, Gaardsoe, Purse, Clement, Koumas, Johnson (Gera 45), Greening, Contra, Horsfield, Earnshaw (Hulse 72). Subs Not Used: Robinson, Dyer, Kuszczak.

Sent Off: Contra (39).

Liverpool: Dudek, Finnan (Warnock 70), Carragher, Hyypia, Traore, Nunez, Gerrard (Alonso 62), Hamann, Riise, Sinama Pongolle, Baros (Luis Garcia 66). Subs Not Used: Diao, Harrison.

Goals: Riise 17, Sinama Pongolle 51, Gerrard 55, Riise 82, Luis Garcia 89.

Att: 27,533

Ref: R Styles (Hampshire).

Third Place Winner, December 2011 Photo Contest
12,813 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
God help us when we play a team of pidgeons as they will **** all over us ;)

A point against City means nothing in reality, the performance wasn't up to much.
1 - 8 of 8 Posts