Behind the scenes at The Baggies
JUST think, this time next week you'll be thinking: blimey, is it really a week since last Thursday's BAGGIE SHORTS?
Fear not, we will return before Christmas. And we'll be bringing mistletoe.
In the meantime, let's not wish our lives away.
Live for now, live for BAGGIE SHORTS.
Today we talk about the Victory Shield, offer travel advice to Loftus Road and recall the time Queens Park Rangers DIDN'T unveil Zinedine Zidane as their new manager.
ALBION had their heaviest representation at the Sky Sports Victory Shield this year, with four of the most promising youngsters at the club competing in the prestigious Under-16 tournament.
Adam Przybek, Tyler Roberts (both Wales), Jonathan Leko (England) and Dan Meredith (Scotland) all featured for their respective nations, and in the process made history for The Baggies.
Wales were outright winners of the tournament for the first time since 1948/49, with our very own Tyler Roberts captaining the Welsh to victory.
Congratulations to all four lads for taking part in the Victory Shield.
LOFTUS Road, a venue that reeks of romance. We thinks it’s romance, it could be the toilets. For Albion fans, it will always have the sweet smell of success about it after we clinched the League Championship there under Tony Mowbray in 2008. That was a memorable day in so many ways for when we arrived in Shepherd’s Bush, the Loftus Road press room was alive with speculation about a momentous announcement.
It was also alive with all manner of Amazonian Italian beauties, surrounding the club’s then owner, Bernie Ecclestone. Who knows quite what it was that they saw in the pint sized billionaire?
With Bernie’s billions, along with further input from Flavio Briatore, the sky seemed to be the limit for Rangers. What could this big announcement be? The smart money was on Zinedine Zidane signing for the Hoops for a valedictory season.
Before kick-off, a stand was erected in the centre circle. The pitch announcer told us to prepare for word that would transform Queens Park Rangers forever.
We were ready for the greatest living Frenchman to be wheeled out, anticipation at fever pitch.
As it turned out, they’d got themselves a new badge.
TONY Brown knows a thing or two about goals. As any goalscorer will tell you, patience, vision, anticipation and execution are paramount.
Which is just as well Bomber was on form during a previous visit to Loftus Road.
It was on Boxing Day 2012 that the Baggies legend set off down the M40 with Free Radio commentator Tom Ross.
Steve Clarke's men were to win 2-1, but the day wasn't without off-the-field drama.
To reach Loftus Road involves travelling past the Westfield Shopping Centre in west London...on Boxing Day...on the first day of the Christmas sales. What could possibly go wrong?
Bomber and Tom were making good time on their journey down, until they hit traffic at the end of the M40. Big traffic.
Needing to arrive in time to go on air at 2pm, this was clearly a problem for them.
Finally, the traffic cleared. And with the kind of driving last seen on Starsky and Hutch, Tom and Bomber finally screeched towards Loftus Road. Or so they thought.
The road outside the stadium was blocked off by a line of stewards and a barrier. Not quite. Spotting a gap, Tom just about squeezed his car through the gate as several stewards gave futile chase. Our duo arrived with a few minutes to spare.
So, Baggie Shorts offers the following advice for those travelling to west London this weekend: Take the train.
WERE we happier with Kieran Richardson on the afternoon of the Great Escape, or 22 minutes into last Saturday’s game with the Villa? Hard to tell.
Still, if there’s one consolation for Kieran, it’s that because of his red card and the attendant three match ban, at least he’ll get Christmas off.
In his case, it was pure accident, but there have been players in the past schooled in the dark arts of getting in a deliberate suspension.
Going back a few years, when Albion were in what was then the First Division, one player picked up an especially daft-looking booking around Christmas, all the dafter since it was his fifth of the season.
He didn’t seem all that worried that automatic suspension was about to follow either.
Until somebody told him that the suspension wasn’t immediate but that there was a two week waiting time on it and that he wouldn’t be serving the hard-earned suspension until well into January.
That order of additional Christmas pudding? Send it back, send it back...
ALBION players visited the Odeon Cinema in West Bromwich this week for the Junior Baggies Christmas party.
But it was an unnamed member of staff who was the most excited.
And it had nothing to do with our first team or any encounters with Baggie Bird.
The reason? She had just spotted White Dee from Benefits Street loitering outside the cinema.
No, we don't get it either....
See you next week. We'll bring the mince pies, you bring the sherry.