Tag Archives: hawthorns

Arsenal gunning for Tottenham after West Brom win at the Hawthorns

Watch out Tottenham: Arsenal are Gunning for you after West Bromwich victory

By
Laura Williamson

PUBLISHED:

21:30 GMT, 7 April 2013

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UPDATED:

07:10 GMT, 8 April 2013

Arsenal fans sang ‘Tottenham Hotspur, we’re coming for you,’ at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday as their team moved into fourth place in the Barclays Premier League for the first time since Boxing Day.

Their glee was understandable. Arsenal's victory at the Hawthorns was their sixth win in their last seven Premier League outings and allowed Arsene Wenger's side to put their feet up on Sunday and see how Champions League qualification rivals Tottenham and Chelsea responded.

'Playing on Saturday is fantastic when you win,' said Wenger. 'When you lose, it's a disaster. But, as long as we win, it's always better for me to play, if you can, before (our rivals).

Czech mate: Tomas Rosicky scored a first-half brace in Arsenal's 2-1 victory at West Bromwich Albion

Czech mate: Tomas Rosicky scored a first-half brace in Arsenal's 2-1 victory at West Bromwich Albion

Czech mate: Tomas Rosicky scored a first-half brace in Arsenal's 2-1 victory at West Bromwich Albion

Premier League table

'Ideally, I would like to be in the Champions League as well, but – if you are on a good run – maybe it can be a little advantage because you can recover more.'

Arsenal's league run has been marred by their FA Cup and Champions League exits and defeat in the North London derby, but Tottenham and Chelsea's exploits in the knock-out competitions have provided a little window of opportunity for Wenger's side.

Early bath: Per Mertesacker was shown a red card for hauling down Shane Long in the penalty area

Early bath: Per Mertesacker was shown a red card for hauling down Shane Long in the penalty area

Early bath: Per Mertesacker was shown a red card for hauling down Shane Long in the penalty area

Chelsea's FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City means their Premier League clash with Spurs at Stamford Bridge on April 14 has been postponed.

Arsenal will therefore contest two home games – against Norwich and Everton – before their main rivals for a Champions League spot play in the league again.

Chelsea and Spurs also, of course, have Europa League quarter-finals to consider. The scorer of both Arsenal goals in Saturday’s 2-1 win, Tomas Rosicky said: 'I hope that will happen (and we will take advantage).'

Gap: Arsenal are two points behind Tottenham with a game in hand after their rivals drew 2-2 with Everton on Sunday

Gap: Arsenal are two points behind Tottenham with a game in hand after their rivals drew 2-2 with Everton on Sunday

'We've got two home games which we've got to win if we're talking about fourth or third place. Our home form has to improve.

'But when you get a good run of results the confidence returns. Every day you have to be prepared 100 per cent to come to training and fight for your club.

'Sometimes it's not easy when you see and hear what is going on around. That's what you've got to do.

'We're in a position where we just need to concentrate on ourselves. Sometimes it is tricky to be saying where are Tottenham playing and when are Chelsea playing. It's important to just concentrate on ourselves and what we're producing.'

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Rafa Benitez press conference: Chelsea manager defiant

Rafa responds! Defiant Benitez insists he wants the fans to back him and the team

: West Brom 1 Chelsea 0 (Gareth McAuley, 82)

The Portuguese was supposed to be given the freedom to overhaul an ageing squad, but with a place in the top four and Champions League football slipping from Chelsea's grasp, Villas-Boas was given his marching orders in early spring. Di Matteo was brought in and delivered the FA Cup and Champions League trophies.

ROBERTO DI MATTEO

November 17, 2012: West Brom 2 Chelsea 1 (Shane Long, 10, Peter Odemwingie 50; Eden Hazard 39)

After leading Chelsea to a first Champions League title while interim boss, the Italian's permanent appointment was short-lived. A 2-1 loss at the Hawthorns, the team's first away defeat of the league season, was followed by a European defeat at Juventus which sealed Di Matteo's fate and saw Benitez drafted in.

Rafael Benitez crisis: Chelsea had Mourinho, Rodgers, Villas-Boas and Clarke – now they are full of resentment

Chelsea old boys Mourinho, AVB, Clarke and Rodgers are full of simmering resentment… is it any surprise after working at this club

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Roberto Di Matteo (Mar 2012-Nov 2012)
Rafa Benitez (Nov 2012- )

It was no surprise the combustible Villas-Boas and Mourinho fell out, but more damagingly Clarke and Rodgers now have one of the frostiest relationships in the game.

Clarke played a pivotal role in getting Rodgers’ career started at Stamford Bridge and was torn apart by the way he was treated by the Ulsterman when their paths crossed briefly again at Liverpool last summer.

Clarke, regarded as one of football’s nice guys, had put his own reputation on the line to get Rodgers a job at Chelsea.

Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers

Now and then: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was once youth and reserve-team boss at Chelsea

Can West Brom's grim reapers Bag another Chelsea manager's scalp

Rafael Benitez will not be happy to see Chelsea's next opponents are West Bromwich Albion – the grim reapers of Blues bosses.

The Baggies have hammered the final nail into the coffin of Benitez's two predecessors in the Stamford Bridge hotseat, Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Di Matteo.

Villas-Boas' reign was ended after just eight torrid months following a dismal 1-0 defeat at West Brom in March 2012, in which Gareth McAuley struck the winner.

Chelsea

And Di Matteo saw his reign terminated, despite winning the Champions League just six months before, after an unacceptable run of results culminated in a 2-1 defeat at The Hawthorns in November last year.

Shane Long and Peter Odemwingie scored the goals as the Italian's fate was sealed even before the Champions League defeat against Juventus three days later.

Yet when Rodgers arrived on Merseyside
to succeed Kenny Dalglish as manager, Clarke – the club’s
assistant manager – learned about his dismissal with a phone call from
the club’s human resources department, rather than from Rodgers himself.

Fortunately for Clarke, he has been able to rebuild impressively his shattered career at West Brom this season with the club standing seventh in the Premier League, and is too polite to follow Benitez’s example and go public with his grievances.

But as he walks out at Stamford Bridge this weekend, he’ll undoubtedly cast his mind back to 2004 when he was Mourinho’s assistant manager at Chelsea and Rodgers an unknown 31-year-old whose playing career had been cut short by injury.

When a vacancy came up as youth-team manager, Chelsea playing idol Gus Poyet was the hot favourite until Clarke remembered the keen young coach he’d met on a pro-licence course and recommended him to Roman Abramovich.

The rest, as they say, is history. Rodgers learned avidly under Mourinho and used four years at Chelsea as a springboard for his own managerial career, at Watford, Reading, Swansea and currently at Liverpool.

In all that time, Clarke felt his early assistance went unappreciated.

‘Even at Liverpool, Brendan never spoke to him through the process of Steve leaving his job. They knew each other well but he left it to another department to sort it out,’ confirmed a friend.

‘The thing that hurts most is he never got a thank you. It’s an understatement to say he was badly treated.’

Rafa Benitez will know how he feels. It must be a Chelsea thing.

CHELSEA IN 2007: WHEN ROMAN COULDN’T MOVE FOR MANAGERS…

Glory days: Mourinho and Clarke formed a strong bond which brought huge success to Chelsea

Glory days: Mourinho and Clarke formed a strong bond which brought huge success to Chelsea

JOSE MOURINHO (manager)
The Special One led Chelsea to their
first title since 1955 but was sacked after a Champions League draw against
Rosenborg. Now in charge of Real Madrid but tipped for a return.

STEVE CLARKE (assistant manager)
A former Chelsea player, he was able
to teach Mourinho all about the club’s history and tradition. After
being a long-time No 2, will be back at the Bridge this weekend as West
Brom manager.

BRENDAN RODGERS (reserve-team manager)
Clarke gave him a reference to become
Chelsea’s youth-team manager and he was promoted to the reserves. Now in
his fourth managerial job, at Liverpool.

ANDRE VILLAS-BOAS (scout and cheerleader)
Mourinho’s close friend from Portugal,
AVB was often a hot-headed figure seen on the Chelsea bench. Now
reinvented himself as a great thinker, he failed as Chelsea manager but
doing well at Spurs‬.

Michael Carrick, Daniel Sturridge and Jermain Defoe injured for England v Brazil

Triple injury blow for Hodgson with Carrick, Defoe and Sturridge out of Brazil clash

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

19:19 GMT, 3 February 2013

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UPDATED:

19:19 GMT, 3 February 2013

Roy Hodgson has been hit with three injury problems ahead of England's friendly with Brazil at Wembley on Wednesday.

Michael Carrick, Daniel Sturridge and Jermain Defoe are all set to withdraw from the squad and miss the game after picking up problems during domestic fixtures this weekend.

Sturridge is suffering from a thigh problem which he sustained just before half-time in Liverpool's clash with Manchester City on Sunday night.

Blow: Daniel Sturridge will miss the prestige friendly against Brazil

Blow: Daniel Sturridge will miss the prestige friendly against Brazil

Withdrawal: Michael Carrick will also be out of Roy Hodgson's squad

Withdrawal: Michael Carrick will also be out of Roy Hodgson's squad

The Reds January signing excelled, scoring with a rifled shot which flashed past his countryman Joe Hart.

Manchester United midfielder Carrick is also unavailable, for an as yet unspecified injury.

Defoe picked up an ankle injury in the clash between West Brom and Tottenham at the Hawthorns on Sunday lunchtime in a challenge with Shane Long.

The striker hobbled off in obvious distress and will undergo further tests to determine the severity of the injury.

Agony: Defoe injured his ankle and could be out for up to three weeks

Agony: Defoe injured his ankle and could be out for up to three weeks

Another injury problem has afflicted Brazil legend Pele, who was set to watch the match but will not make the trip to England because of a hip injury.

'I'd like to send my sincere apologies,' Pele said.

'I will come visit England soon, and I also look forward to seeing all of you next summer here in Brazil [for the World Cup].

'I would like to wish The FA a very happy 150th anniversary.'

Problems: Roy Hodgson (right) will consider some new options for his squad following the injuries

Problems: Roy Hodgson (right) will consider some new options for his squad following the injuries

Chelsea to launch 16m swoop for Alvaro Negredo

Chelsea plan 16m raid to make hitman Negredo the latest member of their Spanish Armada

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UPDATED:

00:35 GMT, 29 December 2012

Alvaro Negredo has been offered to Chelsea as they begin the search for another striker to provide support Fernando Torres.

The Sevilla forward is being hawked around Europe for 16million, but is just one of a number of names on Rafa Benitez’s wish-list.

The interim Chelsea coach has been assured by technical director Michael Emenalo that reinforcements will be brought in during the January window.

Scroll down for video.

Hotshot: Alvaro Negredo is a prime target for Rafa Benitez

Hotshot: Alvaro Negredo is a prime target for Rafa Benitez

Although Benitez and owner Roman Abramovich are delighted with Torres’ progress over the last few weeks, Chelsea want to add to their attacking options.

Negredo was a target for Benitez when he was at Liverpool. He has an impressive goalscoring record and has made an impact with Spain’s national team, and the valuation of the 27-year-old will not be a problem for a club of Chelsea’s resources.

They are about to offload Daniel Sturridge to Liverpool for a similar fee and will use the money to reinvest.

In form: Fernando Torres could soon by joined by another Spaniard

In form: Fernando Torres could soon by joined by another Spaniard

Chelsea have discussed recalling Romelu Lukaku from West Bromwich after his sparkling form for Steve Clarke’s side.

Lukaku is on a seasonlong loan at The Hawthorns, but Chelsea have an option to bring him back in January.

Despite the temptation, it is understood that Benitez and Chelsea’s technical staff believe it would be more beneficial to leave him with the Baggies until the summer so he can gain more top flight experience.

Discussions: Chelsea have thought about bringing back Romelu Lukaku from West Brom but believe it would be more beneficial to leave him at The Hawthorns

Discussions: Chelsea have thought about bringing back Romelu Lukaku from West Brom but believe it would be more beneficial to leave him at The Hawthorns

Lukaku became increasingly frustrated about his lack of first-team chances at Stamford Bridge after joining from Anderlecht in 2011 and the striker, 19, wants to remain with West Brom.

Chelsea also hope to sign Metalist Kharkiv’s attacking midfielder Taison next month.

The move for the 24-year-old Brazilian is complicated because he has not been capped at senior level, but Chelsea are convinced he can get a work permit based on ‘special talent’.

WHO IS NEGREDO

With Chelsea likely to be challenging on four fronts at home and abroad in the New Year, manager Rafael Benitez needs a frontman with a proven goalscoring record – and Alvaro Negredo could be just the man.

Since leaving Real Madrid in 2007 after failing to break into the first team, Negredo has been a proven goalscorer first at Almeria, where he notched 32 in 73 appearances, and now Sevilla.

In his four seasons at the latter, he has managed 65 goals in 150 games across all competitions, including 11 in 12 so far this season.

Born in Madrid in 1985, Negredo started out at local side Rayo Vallecano, the same outfit that Swansea's sensation Michu played for.

Proven: Accomplished both on the ground and in the air, Alvaro Negredo has scored plenty of goals for Rayo Vallecano, Real Madrid Castilla, Almeria and Sevilla

Proven: Accomplished both on the ground and in the air, Alvaro Negredo has scored plenty of goals for Rayo Vallecano, Real Madrid Castilla, Almeria and Sevilla

He was spotted by Real while playing for Rayo in the third division in 2005 and competed with Roberto Soldado for the striker's position in the Castilla ('B') side.

Fabio Capello realised his talent after Negredo scored 18 goals for Castilla in 2006-2007, but he wouldn't make a senior appearance at the Bernabeu.

After his two successful years with Almeria, Real bizarrely activated his 3m buy-back clause in 2009, but only fielded him in one pre-season game before selling him to Sevilla for 12m.

He won the Copa del Rey in his first season with the club and, following the departures of Luis Fabiano and Freddy Kanoute, became their first choice striker alongside Jesus Navas.

Energetic, quick and an accomplished finisher both on the ground and in the air, Negredo has also been recognised by national team manager Vicente del Bosque.

He has to date won 12 caps and scored six goals though he lies behind David Villa and potential Chelsea strike partner Fernando Torres in the pecking order.

VIDEO: Some of Negredo's goals for Sevilla

Romelu Lukaku wants to stay at West Bromwich

Lukaku boost for Clarke as on-loan Chelsea striker declares intention to stay at West Brom

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UPDATED:

11:43 GMT, 23 December 2012

West Brom boss Steve Clarke has received a timely boost in his bid to keep on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku following his late winner in the 2-1 home success over Norwich.

The Chelsea player headed home a deep cross from Baggies left-back Goran Popov with eight minutes remaining for his sixth goal of the campaign.

And the Belgium international has taken to Twitter to express his desire to stay at the Hawthorns for at least the remainder of the season.

Staying game Lukaku has pledged his desire to remain at the Baggies

Staying game Lukaku has pledged his desire to remain at the Baggies

He said on the micro blogging site: 'I'd like to stay here for the rest of the season and there’s no question about that !!!'

It was a rare start for Lukaku who has been kept out of the side for most of the season by leading scorer Shane Long.

But he justified his selection as his
goal ended Norwich's 10-game unbeaten run in the Barclays Premier
League and moved Albion back into the top six.

Clarke said: 'Romelu has done well, he is a big talent, he has got a big future ahead of him in the game.

'The fact he couldn't get in the team
for most of the season is down to the form of Shane Long who shouldn't
be forgotten today.

'Shane made a difference when he came
onto the pitch, he tied up the other centre-back, has given a bit more
space to Romelu, and maybe that's why he has got the space for the
winning goal.

'It's a team effort and we don't like to single out individuals.'

Lukaku had chosen the rap song 'The
Question (What Am I Doing Here)' as his musical choice which was
broadcast before the game.

Clarke quipped: 'At the moment he is doing okay so that's the answer to that one!'

But the West Brom manager was non-committal when asked whether Chelsea will recall Lukaku in January.

Clarke said: 'He is on a season-long
loan but there is an opportunity for the parent club to take him back in
January. I can't affect it so I don't like to talk about it.'

Winning ways: Clarke savoured victory after four games without a win

Winning ways: Clarke savoured victory after four games without a win

Clarke felt Albion were below their best in securing their first win in five games.

He said: 'It was another performance where we were a bit scratchy. We are not quite flowing as we were early in the season.

'When you are coming in after four games without a win, there comes a bit more pressure on it.'

On the slide: Peter Odemwingie evades Wesley Hoolahan's tackle

On the slide: Peter Odemwingie evades Wesley Hoolahan's tackle

West Brom 2 Norwich 1: Match report

West Brom 2 Norwich 1: Lukaku heads late winner to end Canaries' unbeaten run

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UPDATED:

17:09 GMT, 22 December 2012

West Brom striker Romelu Lukaku smashed Norwich's 10-game unbeaten record in the Barclays Premier League with a late winner at The Hawthorns.

Robert Snodgrass gave the Canaries an early lead after fit again Baggies keeper Ben Foster failed to keep out his dipping free-kick.

Canaries singing: Robert Snodgrass receives congratulations after netting the opener for Norwich

Canaries singing: Robert Snodgrass receives congratulations after netting the opener for Norwich

Match facts

WEST BROM: Foster, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Popov, Morrison, Brunt, Odemwingie, Gera (Long 61), Dorrans (Fortune 45), Lukaku (Tamas 83). Subs not used: Myhill, Ridgewell, Rosenberg, Jara.

Goals: Gera 45, Lukaku 82

NORWICH: Bunn, Whittaker (Martin 54), Bassong, Turner, Garrido, Snodgrass, Tettey (Jackson 83), Hoolahan (Howson 72), Johnson, Pilkington, Morison. Subs not used: Steer, Bennett, Barnett, Kane.

Goals: Snodgrass 23.

Booked: Turner

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Latest Premier League results, fixtures and table

But Zoltan Gera ended West Brom's
near six hour goal drought just before the break and then on-loan
Chelsea player Lukaku headed the winner with eight minutes remaining to
leave Baggies boss Steve Clarke hoping the Blues do not decide to recall
their player during the January transfer window.

Victory ended Albion's mini slump from which they had collected only two points from four games after climbing to third spot.

They deserved their success after
looking the more threatening during the second period. But Albion were
also indebted to another rock solid display from central defender Gareth
McAuley.

The Canaries came close to a share of the spoils despite the absence of key striker Grant Holt with a hamstring injury.

In addition to his goal, Snodgrass
was always asking problems of the Albion defence Lukaku came close to
opening the scoring for the Baggies after three minutes.

Dead-ball king: Snodgrass (right) curls the ball home from a free-kick to give the visitors the lead

Dead-ball king: Snodgrass (right) curls the ball home from a free-kick to give the visitors the lead

A big gift: Norwich keeper Mark Bunn reacts after West Brom level

A big gift: Norwich keeper Mark Bunn reacts after West Brom level

The striker made good contact on his glancing header from Goran Popov's deep cross but it flew just over the bar.

Snodgrass connected with a volley
from the edge of the Albion box but it was directed straight at Foster
who returned after a seven game absence through injury.

The first clearcut opening fell to Lukaku after 21 minutes when he took a pass from James Morrison in his stride.

On the slide: Peter Odemwingie evades Wesley Hoolahan's tackle

On the slide: Peter Odemwingie evades Wesley Hoolahan's tackle

But Lukaku failed to make a clean contact on his cross shot and Mark Bunn saved with relative comfort.

It proved a costly miss as Snodgrass
put the Canaries ahead three minutes later after Peter Odemwingie
brought down the midfielder.

His curling free-kick contained
plenty of power and, although Foster got a hand to the ball, he could
only help it into the roof of the net.

Knees up: Anthony Pilkington (left) vies for the ball with Shane Long

Knees up: Anthony Pilkington (left) vies for the ball with Shane Long

Helping hand: Goran Popov shoves Snodgrass out of the way

Helping hand: Goran Popov shoves Snodgrass out of the way

The shake of the head from the former England international conveyed the impression he should have done better.

West Brom tried to retaliate and a
goal-bound effort from McAuley was blocked by the body of Bunn following
a Chris Brunt corner.

But after 43 minutes Gera brought Albion back on level terms with his fourth goal of the campaign.

Bunn parried Jonas Olsson's downward
header from a Brunt corner onto the crossbar but Gera was on hand to
volley home the rebound.

Clarke replaced Graham Dorrans with
Marc-Antoine Fortune for the second period. McAuley rescued Albion with a
superb tackle inside the box after Steve Morison took advantage of a
mix-up at a short free-kick by the home side.

Norwich centre-back Michael Turner
headed wide from Snodgrass' centre before being booked for hauling down
Odemwingie in full flight.

Smash and grab: Popov leaves Snodgrass standing, despite the Norwich player's attentions

Smash and grab: Popov leaves Snodgrass standing, despite the Norwich player's attentions

Odemwingie had a low shot saved at
the base of a post by Bunn but chances were now at a premium. Clarke
brought on West Brom top scorer Shane Long – in place of Gera – in a bid
to add more fire-power.

Then with eight minutes left Lukaku
showed his power and strength when climbing above Javier Garrido to head
home Popov's deep cross.

Popov was booked in injury time for a foul on Snodgrass but Albion held on to claim their seventh home win of the season.

On the chase: Odemwingie puts Steven Whittaker under pressure

On the chase: Odemwingie puts Steven Whittaker under pressure

Why doesn"t Rafa Benitez want Romelu Lukaku back at Chelsea?

Chelsea can't buy a win with 50m flop Torres… so why doesn't Benitez want red-hot Lukaku back at Chelsea

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UPDATED:

09:32 GMT, 4 December 2012

Rafa Benitez will not recall Romelu Lukaku from West Brom in January – despite Chelsea's striker crisis.

Fernando Torres is the Blues' only recognised striker – but has scored just one goal in his last 11 appearances for the club.

Impressive: Romelu Lukaku has scored five goals during loan spell at West Brom

Impressive: Romelu Lukaku has scored five goals during loan spell at West Brom

Lukaku, 19, has impressed during his loan spell at The Hawthorns, scoring five goals as the Baggies have gatecrashed the top five in the Premier League.

Benitez has the option to invoke a clause in the deal, allowing the Blues to recall the 18million Belgian next month.

Hot shot: But Chelsea will not recall Lukaku

Hot shot: But Chelsea will not recall Lukaku

But Chelsea's interim boss Benitez said: 'We know Romelu has been doing very well for West Brom.

'But it's maybe best for him to stay there where he is playing games for now, as it will be better for his future development.'

Ryan Shawcross to pledge future to Stoke

I want to stay because of Pulis: Loyal Shawcross set to pledge future to Stoke

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UPDATED:

22:43 GMT, 2 December 2012

In an age when loyalty in football is the supposed to be the sole preserve of the supporter, Stoke City’s Ryan Shawcross appears to be a throwback to a bygone era.

With his contract running towards an end, a lucrative six-year replacement deal is on the table for the Potters’ centre-half.

Surely he could be forgiven therefore, having made the breakthrough into the England squad, if he were to set his sights higher

Loyal: Ryan Shawcross is poised to sign a new deal at Stoke City

Loyal: Ryan Shawcross is poised to sign a new deal at Stoke City

But Stoke’s captain believes he owes a debt to manager Tony Pulis. And that’s why he looks certain to tie up his contract before Christmas.

‘I want to stay and they want to keep me,’ he said, ‘the talks are on-going. I’m happy, the club is happy.

‘But the main reason I want to stay is the gaffer. He’s been great to me throughout my time here and made me captain at a young age.

'I’ve told him I want to stay here.

‘He’s improved me as a player every year — and he got me into the England squad because that was a goal of mine.

‘It’s been an issue. But getting a call-up shows a Stoke player can get into the England squad and I’ve been in the last couple now.

‘I don’t want to go — even if a top four club comes in for me — but it’s all down to the people above me now.’

Pulis said he has had to ‘slap’
Shawcross into line from time to time, but the fact the Potters boast
the second best defensive record in the Premier League is no fluke.

It
wasn’t pretty at the Hawthorns between these two — it rarely has been —
but it was mightily effective against a Baggies’ side that managed just
one direct effort on Asmir Begovic’s goal all afternoon as the Potters
grabbed their first away win.

West Brom head coach Steve Clarke has not fielded the same team in consecutive matches this season.

Influential: Tony Pulis (left) is one of the main reasons why Shawcross wants to stay at Stoke

Influential: Tony Pulis (left) is one of the main reasons why Shawcross wants to stay at Stoke

On the cusp: Shawcross has broken onto the England scene

On the cusp: Shawcross has broken onto the England scene

For that reason, he was not going to point fingers at the final whistle following six changes from the XI that lost to Swansea City.

‘The changes were made to freshen things up,’ he said, ‘I can’t keep saying I’ve got a good squad then pick the same players every week.

‘I’d be a liar if that happened. I can’t tell the players that I trust them the same and then not do it. It was a week to use the squad. And that’s what I did.’

Shane Long wanted by Liverpool

Rodgers thinking of going Long as Liverpool weigh up 12m move for West Brom striker

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UPDATED:

11:30 GMT, 2 December 2012

Knee-sy does it: Long has scored seven goals in all competitions for West Brom this season

Knee-sy does it: Long has scored seven goals in all competitions for West Brom this season

Liverpool are considering a 12million January bid for West Brom striker Shane Long.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is desperately short of attacking options and he is a fan of the Republic of Ireland international having worked with him when the pair were at Reading.

The 25-year-old's current deal at the Hawthorns runs to 2015 but Daily Star Sunday are reporting that he would be very interested in a move to Anfield.

Long has been in fine form for West Brom this season, netting five league goals to help the club into fifth place in the Barclays Premier League table.

West Brom do not want or need to sell Long, but it is thought they would be tempted by a 12m bid for a man they paid 6.5m for in August 2011.