Albion News, in a snapshot
“Albion News? I never knew there was so much in it!” exclaims Mrs. E. Windsor of a castle near Slough. Is she right?
You be the judge with these edited highlights from Saturday’s upcoming issue.
“The Palace fixture is every bit as important to our season as the game against Manchester United was. If every one of us, players, coaches, staff and supporters, can be as good as we were against United for the rest of the season, then we won’t go far wrong.”
THE PRODIGAL SON
Darren Moore: “The change here over the last 13 years since I first arrived is huge. I remember when we used to train just over the back from where we are now, on the university’s pitches, changing in their little dressing rooms. It’s not that long ago, we were still doing that in the first season in the Premier League!
“Then we moved into the training ground and it was a small little building, one corridor, Portakabins in the car park for some of the staff. How it’s expanded is incredible, a great testimony to the success of the club and to the hard work that a lot of people have put into it, on and off the field.”
“The gaffer has got us well organised, we believe in what we are trying to do, and it’s very obvious that whenever we get good results, it’s off the back of everybody working for each other. That’s always been a big part of us staying in this division, because it has to be.”
ALBION 2 MANCHESTER UNITED 2
Even now, in these days of their discontent, it is not often that Manchester United are stripped bare and left exposed but these are times when, however much they might have spent on their finery, the erstwhile Emperor can sometimes look as if he has no clothes.
THE YOUTH OF TODAY
Kemar Roofe: “My goal this season is to make my debut for the Albion. I have been in and around the first team for a few years now, being involved in matchday squads and in training. I would like to think that this could be the year I break through.”
As a card carrying Throstle, this might not be a sentiment that goes down too well around here, but I for one will miss Neil Warnock when he’s gone. Warnock is a throwback to an age where speaking your mind, whether people agreed with you or not, was encouraged rather than reviled. But better that, surely, than the bland leading the bland?
If it hadn’t been for Munich, if Duncan Edwards had lived, and the likes of Roger Byrne, Tommy Taylor as well, how different would football history have been? What might England have done in the World Cup in 1958 and 1962? Would they have been the team that won it in ’58, instead of Brazil and Pele? If Duncan had survived, there might not have been any Bobby Moore either, certainly not as England captain.
LIVING IS EASY WITH EYES CLOSED
In these sanitised days when nobody is allowed to say anything in the least bit interesting on pain of death, having Roy Keane telling it like it is is a glorious throwback to an era long since past when we could be trusted to hear home truths laid bare around us without the nation supposedly risking a collective attack of the vapours. Hard though it is to believe children, there was once a time when broadcasters didn’t think it was their job to insult the nation’s intelligence.
SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION
You’re all aware of the game I’m sure, the idea that by six simple steps, everyone on earth can be connected to everyone else – a bit like using Luis Suarez’s dental records. We have a simpler method and we will be tracing the lineage that goes from Georgios Samaras all the way through to the King himself…
FOR CLUB & COUNTRY:
“It is incredible that some thousands of the best trained young athletes in the country should be complacently playing football while their fellow countrymen are giving up their good lives in thousands for the safety of those at home. Have these men no bowels of compassion? Do the dead and wounded of our little army in Belgium not cry to them as they put on their clean football shirts to go out in comfortable security to their green playing fields?”
WISDOM OF THE AGES
Cyrille Regis: “I look back at my career and I was lucky enough to get five caps for England. When somebody tells you Bomber got one cap, it’s staggering. His record is unbelievable, his goals, his loyalty to the club, it’s incredible. As a player, the only comparison I can see in the modern day is Frank Lampard and he got 100 caps!”
THROSTLE AT THE GATES OF DAWN
Life is a strange beast. You can be going along quite serenely, all looking set fair, and then, from nowhere, fate gives you a proper lamping and you’re left flat on the floor with your teeth all over the place.
Instead of the crowd being pleased at good play – as they should be – no matter by which side shown – they pelted Roberts, the Albion keeper (perhaps the best in England) with snowballs, as well as several of his confreres.
John Kaye: “Do you remember the balls we used to kick in with before the game? Rock hard. We used to throw them in the bath to try and soften them up! They were like medicine balls when you kicked them!”
THE END OF PATHS TAKEN:
Early elimination in the League Cup was frustrating, but we advanced in Europe again, playing sophisticated, intelligent football as we were going head to head with Liverpool on the domestic front. In the end, Liverpool just squeezed over the line by two points, but we had our compensation with a UEFA Cup final against Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Following a 3-2 defeat in West Germany, Cunningham had them on toast in the return leg, but the goal would not come, not until the 85th minute when finally he picked out one last perfect cross, substitute Tony Brown crashing the ball into the roof of the net to win the UEFA Cup with his last kick of a ball in an Albion shirt. No wonder he got a statue…
Albion News, just £3 from kiosks all around The Hawthorns. You know it makes sense.