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Baggie Shorts 27.11.14

27 November 2014

Behind the scenes at the Baggies

Guess who's back, back again, BAGGIE SHORTS is back, tell a friend....or so went Eminem's famous lyrics. Well, kind of.

It's time for the latest instalment of our sideways-look behind the scenes at all things Albion! 

So let's get this party started.

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Claudio Yacob is the resident clown prince of the Albion training ground but even he had his usual sunny demeanour forcibly removed at Stamford Bridge.

Yet that sense of humour briefly returned this week.

Claudio suffered a head-on ‘collision' with our media man Ian Skidmore as both men tried to negotiate the same bit of corridor.

As the two men shrugged off their minor coming-together, the Argentinian turned to Skiddy, held aloft an imaginary card and declared 'now THAT is a sending off'.

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Speaking of Claudio, he was among the first-teamers involved in the filming of this year's Christmas message - more of which we'll tell you about soon.

Following our '12 Days of Christmas' last December, we've gone for something a little different this time.

Good work to our players, not least those for whom English doesn't come naturally.

Claudio, for instance, was concentrating so hard on his English-language address that he stumbled when it came to his Spanish message.

Needless to say, Claudio has had few problems with his Anglo-Saxon...

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Perception can be misleading.

Take John Terry for instance.

The Chelsea captain was the perfect host after Saturday's game with Albion, going out of his way to shake hands with members of Albion's media team.

BAGGIE SHORTS are reminded of the time Terry missed a Boxing Day game in 2008.

The defender, suspended after being dismissed in the previous game, walked into the Stamford Bridge press room and made a point of wishing each journalist a Merry Christmas.

Perhaps he's not as bad as he's painted out to be...

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Joleon Lescott was a pundit for ITV during their coverage of Manchester City's Champions League game with Bayern Munich.

But giving his verdict to watching millions was small fry compared to the grilling he received from the Year Seven pupils at Sandwell Academy as part of the Albion Foundation's visit.

Lescott led his side to victory in the school's very own Question of Sport quiz - his younger team members winning tickets to an Albion game - before the defender took questions from the audience. 

Among the questions asked were his favourite player (Messi), the one team he would love to play for (Real Madrid), the best player he's played alongside (David Silva) and the toughest striker he's faced (Louis Saha).

One young lad was less successful in his quest for an answer, earning a swift rebuke from his teacher for his question: "How much do you earn?"

A career in journalism surely awaits...

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Meanwhile, over in Edgbaston, Georgios Samaras addressed pupils at West House School.

Sammy was a natural, answering some brilliant questions from the 11-year-olds.

The questions came to a natural conclusion and, we assumed, Sammy would be free to go.

Not so.

The Greece international launched into an impromptu team-talk to a group of the boys who were due to play a football match later that day.

"Don't be nervous, enjoy it....it's about how you help your team-mates and if you lose, don't blame the coach or team-mates, you look after your own performance. Go out there and enjoy it."

And with that stirring message, the 11-year-olds were sent on their way.

Sammy said afterwards: "I've played in front of 60,000 at Celtic Park...but I think I was more nervous before I walked in here!"

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Arsenal await this weekend.

The record crowd at The Hawthorns came for a visit from the Gunners in the FA Cup in March 1937. 

Some 64,815 people crammed into the stadium, bringing in gate receipts of a faintly scandalous £3,913, or 50 tickets and enough change for a cup of tea at Stamford Bridge these days. 

The only way we could get 64,815 in The Hawthorns now is if all of you let two people sit on your lap. There's cosy.

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And finally...

Overheard during a tour of the environs of Stamford Bridge last Saturday, as we stopped to look at the statue of Peter Osgood. "It's not as good as mine!" (Mr. AJ Brown, Walsall).

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See you all next time! BoingBoing

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