It's pretty hard to believe that the transfer window doesn't actually open until July 1st when you consider the number of deals that have already been done and the amount of money that has already been spent. Alongside the confirmed deals, there is of course plenty of gossip/rumours regarding every club’s potential targets going into the transfer window. West Brom are no different, with a number of names being linked with the club. Steve Clarke has already said he expects little business to be done this month, with Albion only making one signing in June last year, which was Ben Foster on a permanent deal.
For a club renowned for its stability, this summer is certainly shaping up to be an interesting one for West Bromwich Albion and its fans. Depending on your outlook on life, this may be a source of great excitement or a source of apprehension and worry. The summer transfer window is looking interesting because it seems as if it will be one of the biggest turn over in players that the club have had in many a year as Steve Clarke looks to put his own stamp on the side. Gonzalo Jara and Jerome Thomas have both already left the club, while it is in contract discussions with Steven Reid and Zoltan Gera, where it remains to be seen whether these veterans stay at the club.
Head coach Steve Clarke led West Brom to a record breaking season in the Premier League, scoring a record number of points, wins and a highest Premier League position. In such an outstanding season, it is difficult to pick out the most outstanding matches, but that is what I am going to attempt to try and do. - Fiorentina swoop for Mulumbu Top 5 matches 1. Liverpool(H) Saturday 18th August 2012 It is difficult to say that West Brom had a defining moment in their season, but this match was certainly a key result in their season, even if it was the opening fixture.
The season finished with West Brom in eighth place, their highest finish ever in the Premier League. They recorded a record amount of Premier League points for the club, 49, and a record amount of wins, 14. On a whole, Steve Clarke must be pretty pleased with how his first season as a head coach/manager went. Although The Baggies didn't reach his target of 50 points, it may be understandable considering how fast West Brom managed to reach the safety of 40 points. - Clarke not expecting spending spree So, what did Clarke do well in his first season and where are the areas he will be looking to improve for next year?
Not a bad game to end the season! West Brom’s 5-5 draw with Manchester United at The Hawthorns on Sunday was the craziest and most enthralling matches I have ever seen, particularly the second half. It is not very often a team comes back from three goals down against Manchester United to get a point, so for West Brom to do that in the last 10 minutes is practically unheard of. Any such comeback didn't look likely in the first half when Manchester United went 3-0 up inside half an hour and looked as if they could score as many as they wanted.
Sunday's match with Manchester United will undoubtedly be covered widely by the media as Sir Alex Ferguson takes charge of his 1500th and final game as Manchester United manager. However, it is not just Ferguson who will be saying goodbye at the final game of the season at the Hawthorns, as a few of West Brom players could well be saying their final goodbyes. - McAuley agrees to new deal One of these men is Peter Odemwingie. It has been pretty much confirmed that the Nigerian will be leaving the club which was inevitable after the issues in the January transfer window and the tweeting incidents that followed.
West Brom's performance against Norwich was nothing short of pathetic. In the battle of the birds, it was The Canaries who won out, trashing The Throstles 4-0 at Carrow Road in what was by a long way West Brom's poorest performance of the season. - Match report: Norwich 4-0 West Brom Trying to remain objective and considerate in the aftermath of a performance like that is quite difficult which is why I can understand much of the frustration being expressed on Twitter and fans forums immediately after that display, especially if they attended the match.
West Brom can come away from their 1-0 loss at the Etihad Stadium with a great deal of pride after a promising performance against Manchester City. In the end, it was only that final bit of quality that was the difference between the two sides. Of course that should be of little surprise considering the talent in the Manchester City side. While West Brom retained the ball well, particularly in the second half, they couldn't quite work that final pass or shot unlike Man City whose one moment of magic was the difference.
West Brom's 3-2 loss to Wigan at the Hawthorns will have served as a stark reminder to Steve Clarke of the areas where the club will need to strengthen in the summer transfer window. The three goals Albion conceded against Wigan were all poorly defended, which goes against the standard of defending that was first seen under Roy Hodgson and has continued under Clarke. Since the turn of the year, Jonas Olsson has failed to hit the same level of form that he displayed in the first half of the season, much like other key players in the side.
West Brom's win over Southampton last Saturday was a hugely impressive display, particularly when you consider that a couple of key players were missing through injury and suspension. One of those was Youssuff Mulumbu, who returns for the game with Wigan this Saturday, when he will once again join forces with Claudio Yacob. After the sending off, the question was asked if Yacob would be able to perform as well without Mulumbu alongside him on a regular basis and I don't think that a firm answer can be given as his performances in the three games were a mixed bag.
It was fun in the sun for West Brom as they secured a 3-0 win over Southampton Saturday at St Mary’s, which was reward for a bold tactical decision by manager Steve Clarke. Albion were missing Chris Brunt through injury and Youssuf Mulumbu was serving the last game of his three-match ban and Clarke could quite easily have gone to try and contain the Saints. However, he took a risk and started with a three-pronged attack of Marc-Antoine Fortune, Romelu Lukaku and Shane Long. The three forwards did their job expertly, in terms of both attacking and defence.
It's become somewhat of a familiar pattern for West Brom fans over the past month or so. The game starts poorly and sometimes gets worse up until the half-time whistle. In the second half, it is as if West Brom have a different set of players. There is more tempo, the passing is better, it is the opposition who struggle to cope with them rather than the other way around. This happened in the draw with Newcastle, to some extent in the 2-1 loss to Arsenal and also against West Ham in a 3-1 defeat before that.