Tag Archives: odemwingie

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.

Loic Remy injured for two months

Blow for QPR's survival hopes as 8m Remy faces TWO MONTHS on the sidelines with groin injury

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

15:22 GMT, 4 February 2013

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UPDATED:

15:27 GMT, 4 February 2013

QPR fear that 8million striker Loic Remy could be out for two months with the injury he suffered in training last week which forced him to miss Saturday's 0-0 draw with Norwich.

The France international scored on his QPR debut in the 1-1 draw at West Ham after signing from Marseille during the transfer window.

Headache: Remy's injury leaves Redknapp short of options up front

Headache: Remy's injury leaves Redknapp short of options up front

Headache: Remy's injury leaves Redknapp short of options up front

Rangers boss Harry Redknapp was hoping that Remy could spearhead the club's survival bid as they look to bridge the six-point gap to safety in their remaining 13 games.

But now he faces the prospect of being without Remy for the next six games – including relegation clashes at Aston Villa and Southampton in March and possibly the visit of Wigan in April.

Redknapp initially said the injury was a tear after the Norwich game, but assistant manager Joe Jordan told the BBC it was a 'slight strain'.

Off to a flyer: Remy scored on his debut

Off to a flyer: Remy scored on his debut

'I have no idea how long he will be out. We will have to see how he is on Sunday and Monday,' Redknapp said.

'It was in the last minute of training, and he just struck a ball and felt it go.'

After failing to land Peter Crouch and Peter Odemwingie on deadline day Remy's injury leaves Bobby Zamora and Jamie Mackie as Redknapp's only fit first-team strikers.

West Brom will not sell Peter Odemwingie to QPR

QPR dealt blow as West Brom refuse to sell Odemwingie in January transfer window

By
John Curtis, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

07:56 GMT, 24 January 2013

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UPDATED:

07:56 GMT, 24 January 2013

Peter Odemwingie has been told that he will not be allowed to leave West Brom during the current transfer window, the club's new sporting and technical director, Richard Garlick, has confirmed.

The Baggies striker is a target for QPR who have already had one offer rejected – believed to be 2million.

But Garlick insists the Baggies will only allow players to leave on their terms.

Staying put: Peter Odemwingie (centre) will not be leaving West Brom

Staying put: Peter Odemwingie (centre) will not be leaving West Brom

He said: 'Last summer there were supposedly players leaving but we kept hold of most of them.

'We don't have to sell any of our players. It's only on our terms.

'It's well documented about Peter. We had an offer and we don't intend to sell any of our players.

'When an offer comes in, we speak to the player out of courtesy. We've had that chat with Peter and he knows the situation.'

Albion also rejected a 5m bid from Rangers for defender Jonas Olsson who only signed a new four year contract in October.

In the market: Harry Redknapp was keen to sign Odemwingie for QPR

In the market: Harry Redknapp was keen to sign Odemwingie for QPR

Garlick does not expect West Brom to sign any players before the transfer window closes a week today.

He said: 'We're happy with the squad we've got and there are no immediate plans to bring anyone in.

'If an opportunity presents itself, then we will look at that, but we're looking more towards the summer.'

Peter Odemwingie makes top six pledge to West Bromwich Albion

Odemwingie makes Baggies pledge to fight for top six finish as he turns back on Nigeria

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 25 December 2012

Peter Odemwingie says Nigeria’s loss could be West Bromwich Albion’s gain as he targeted the club’s best-ever finish in the Premier League.

The striker was omitted from the Super Eagles’ squad for the Africa Cup of Nations starting next month and will spend his New Year helping the Baggies build on a surprisingly encouraging start.

Odemwingie revealed that head coach Steve Clarke was unhappy with some of what he saw during Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Norwich. But, ahead of a trip to Loftus Road, he says the Black Country club could be on the cusp of an historic campaign.

Aim high: Peter Odemwingie is desperate to keep West Brom in the top six

Aim high: Peter Odemwingie is desperate to keep West Brom in the top six

‘West Brom are on a mission,’ Odemwingie said. ‘We have started so well and maybe this could turn out to be a very great season.

‘I’m in good form and if I score
goals and bring points, then I’ll be very happy at the end of the
season. It’s also a plus that I can continue to be here.

‘It was a difficult one for me, had I
been called into the camp. My son is due to be born on January 11. I
would have had to go, come back and then go again.’

West Brom finished 10th last term,
which was their best finish in the Premier League and a far cry from the
recent yo-yo years when they were often relegated to the Championship
before bouncing back again.

Injuries and suspensions caused a
recent stutter in form, and Odemwingie added: ‘We have lost points in
the past three weeks, but then we didn’t expect to start so well. We can
stay close to sixth.

‘But the manager said with our
quality, the performance against Norwich was not good enough. He told us
we showed a good work ethic but we can play better with our quality. He
wasn’t pleased. He sets high standards.’

West Brom 0 West Ham 0: Match report

West Brom 0 West Ham 0: Baggies and Hammers serve up laborious bore draw

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UPDATED:

18:21 GMT, 16 December 2012

James Morrison was twice denied by the woodwork but West Brom failed to score for a third successive game in a dire stalemate with West Ham.

The Baggies at least had the consolation of ending a run of three successive defeats and maintained their place in the top six.

But Sam Allardyce's side were worth a share of the spoils in a game which seldom moved out of second gear.

Tussle: Mark Noble (right) vies for the ball with West Bromwich Albion's Hungarian midfielder Zoltan Gera

Tussle: Mark Noble (right) vies for the ball with West Bromwich Albion's Hungarian midfielder Zoltan Gera

Match facts

West Brom: Myhill, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Popov, Brunt, Morrison, Mulumbu, Gera (Lukaku 75), Odemwingie, Long (Rosenberg 83).

Subs: Daniels, Dorrans, Lukaku, Dawson, Tamas, Fortune.

Booked: Jones, Mulumbu, Olsson.

West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Demel (Tomkins 81), Reid, Collins, O'Brien, Noble, O'Neil, Jarvis (Maiga 76), Nolan, Taylor, Cole.

Subs: Spiegel, Spence, Moncur, Lletget.

Booked: O'Brien, Tomkins, Nolan.

Attendance: 24,186.

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

Morrison posed Albion's most creative threat despite operating in a deeper role in the absence of the injured Claudio Yacob.

But the Hammers showed plenty of resilience with central defender James Collins a rock solid performer.

The home players wore black armbands in tribute to long-serving club masseur Derrick Jones who died earlier this week.

West Ham were only able to field six
substitutes due to their current injury crisis after Mohamed Diame was
ruled out with a hamstring injury.

Albion made a promising start but the
first semblance of a chance fell to the visitors with Mark Noble
heading a deep cross from Carlton Cole over the bar.

West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie
was on target with a low 25-yard drive although Jussi Jaaskelainen got
his body behind the ball.

Hotly contested: Billy Jones (left) tries to beat Matt Jarvis to the ball

Hotly contested: Billy Jones (left) tries to beat Matt Jarvis to the ball

A rare attempt: Cole tries to find the net but his effort is snuffled out

A rare attempt: Cole tries to find the net but his effort is snuffled out

Pile up: Carlton Cole tries to keep the ball away from Jonas Olsson (behind) and Gareth McAuley

Pile up: Carlton Cole tries to keep the ball away from Jonas Olsson (behind) and Gareth McAuley

But there was little goalmouth action
in the opening quarter of the game as both sides struggled to find a
creative spark although Morrison ventured forward to fire a low shot
past the post.

Shane Long created space for himself
on the edge of the Hammers' box after turning past Noble but dragged his
drive into the side-netting.

Joey O'Brien became the first player
to be yellow carded after half an hour for a touch-line challenge on
Baggies midfielder Zoltan Gera.

Chris Brunt drilled a long-range
attempt into the hands of Jaaskelainen before Winston Reid spurned a
gilt-edged chance for West Ham.

Collins headed a Noble corner back into the danger area and Reid volleyed over the bar.

Carlton Cole stung the palms of
Albion keeper Boaz Myhill with a 30-yard drive but it was Albion who
started the second period on the offensive and Morrison's hooked volley
struck the top of the bar.

Then the Scottish international
sliced his shot wide after Gareth McAuley had headed a fourth successive
corner from Brunt into his path.

High flying: Steve Clarke's West Brom have performed well this season

High flying: Steve Clarke's West Brom have performed well this season

Tracking: Shane Long tries to escape the attention of Noble

Tracking: Shane Long tries to escape the attention of Noble

Reid got into another good position to attack an inswinging corner from Noble but could not keep down his near-post header.

Jaaskelainen failed to hold onto a powerful attempt from Gera but Long could not take advantage of the rebound.

Reid produced a vital clearance to turn a low Odemwingie centre over his own bar under pressure from Long.

But West Ham looked dangerous on the counter-attack and Joey O'Brien volleyed over at full stretch from a deep Noble free-kick.

Morrison struck the bar for the second time with 17 minutes remaining with a header from Brunt's corner.

Youssouf Mulumbu, Kevin Nolan and
Hammers substitute James Tomkins were all booked in quick succession by
referee Phil Dowd in the final stages of the game.

Cole nearly made the breakthrough in
the final seconds when his snap shot had Myhill scrambling across his
line to save at the foot of a post but a draw was a fair outcome.

Sam Allardyce

Gera challenges O'Brien

Waiting for action: Sam Allardyce (left) oversaw a very tight first half in which neither side made many openings

West Ham fan in a Santa beard

West Brom fan in a chicken hat

Bored This West Ham fan made his own fun by wearing a Santa beard, while he found a rival in this West Brom fan (right), who decided to wear a less seasonal piece of headwear

Steve Clarke fumes at Santi Cazorla dive

Clarke fumes at Cazorla penalty dive as West Brom fall to Arsenal

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UPDATED:

19:16 GMT, 8 December 2012

West Brom manager Steve Clarke hit out at referee Mike Jones after he failed to spot a dive by Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla as the Gunners recorded a 2-0 Barclays Premier League win at Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal took the lead in controversial fashion midway through the first half as Spain midfielder Cazorla flung himself to the floor following a challenge by Steven Reid, with replays showing there was no contact.

Mikel Arteta converted the resulting penalty.

Easy as that: Mikel Arteta scored his first goal from the spot

Easy as that: Mikel Arteta scored his first goal from the spot

MATCH FACTS

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Coquelin 77), Cazorla (Podolski 87), Giroud, Gervinho (Rosicky 81)

Subs not used: Martinez, Squillaci, Jenkinson, Ramsey

Booked: Mertesacker, Giroud

Goals: Arteta 26 (pen), 64 (pen)

West Brom: Myhill, Reid, Olsson, Ridgewell (Popov 6), McAuley, Morrison, Brunt, Mulumbu, Gera (Rosenberg 75), Long, Odemwingie (Lukaku 62),

Subs not used: Daniels, Tamas, Dorrans, Fortune

Booked: Olsson, Brunt, Reid

Referee: Mike Jones

Attendance: 60,083

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The Baggies, who lost twice last week
to halt their fine start to the season, never really recovered from the
sense of injustice and there was no way back once Arteta converted from
the spot again on 64 minutes after Chris Brunt had tripped Alex
Oxlade-Chamberlain – which Clarke felt had come following a foul by the
midfielder on Goran Popov in the build-up.

'There was zero contact, it wasn't even close. I am not sure what the referee saw,' said the angry West Brom manager.

'It was a bad decision for us and obviously changed the shape of the afternoon.

'It could have been a nervous afternoon for Arsenal, at 0-0 they hadn't created too much.

'We knew the longer the game went the
more pressure would come on Arsenal and then we would have a chance.
That decision changed it.'

Clarke continued: 'The second was a
clear penalty, no complaints, Chris fouled Oxlade-Chamberlain – but
Goran Popov was fouled in the lead up to it and for some reason the
referee, who gave soft free-kicks all afternoon, decided not to give
that one.

Arms aloft: Arteta wheels away after the penalty hit the back of the net

Arms aloft: Arteta wheels away after the penalty hit the back of the net

Bust up: Mike Jones is surrounded by West Brom players after awarding the first penalty

Bust up: Mike Jones is surrounded by West Brom players after awarding the first penalty

Another poor decision for us, you
can add the [Per] Mertesacker handball in the first half – it was a
normal ball into the box and somehow the officials decide it was a
free-kick as it's the easy way out.

'They gave it for a free-kick on somebody but I've seen the replay and for the life of me cannot see a free-kick.'

Clarke stopped short of calling
Cazorla a cheat, though, adding: 'There is a share of culpability, but
on that one it is so clear there was no contact, the referee has to be
better with his decision..

Contact Santi Cazorla won the penalty but there appeared to be no touch from Steven Reid

Contact Santi Cazorla won the penalty but there appeared to be no touch from Steven Reid

Not even close: Cazorla went down easily in the box

Not even close: Cazorla went down easily in the box

'I don't want a witch hunt on
referees, in his country we have fantastic referees and a fantastic
group that work hard to make the game the game it is.

'We have to try to work as hard as we
can with the referees, in this game unfortunately it was the poorest of
a really good group.

'We have a number of good referees, we have to find good more referees. that is the way forward.'

Up and away: Jack Wilshere battles for the ball

Up and away: Jack Wilshere battles for the ball

Mismatch Wilshere squares up to Jonas Olsson

Mismatch Wilshere squares up to Jonas Olsson

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had not reviewed the incident, but revealed Cazorla insisted there had been contact.

'I am sorry if it was not a penalty,
but I have spoken to Santi and he said he was touched, lost his balance.
Has he made a bit more of it I don't know,' Wenger said.

'When he [a player] is touched, he goes down, the referee can give or not give the penalty.

Catch me if you can: Goran Popov slides in on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Catch me if you can: Goran Popov slides in on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

'Of course [I will speak to Santi if he has not been touched]. I will look at it, don't worry.'

Despite its controversial nature, it
was a much-needed first victory in four matches for the Gunners, who
have moved back up the Premier League table as a result.

'Overall we played well. We were
maybe a bit lucky on the first penalty, but we created chances and kept a
clean sheet,' Wenger said.

'We have shown a great spirit, which many people questioned after our last game, so we did our job very well.

'You could feel we were ready for a fight and that we absolutely had to win this game, which is what we did.'

England midfielder Jack Wilshere produced a composed display and was the heartbeat of the Arsenal side.

Wenger said: 'Jack is getting closer to the player we know he is and today I think he made a big step.

'You could see it already this week
in training, that he has gained a little burst again, a little zip in
the first three or four yards.

'In football, you have sometimes to
be patient. He can only gain it by playing but of course in the first
games you cannot be at that level.'

You again! Arteta scored his second penalty of the game

You again! Arteta scored his second penalty of the game

Vying: Olivier Giroud and Jonas Olsson battle for possession

Vying: Olivier Giroud and Jonas Olsson battle for possession

WENGER WATCH

Wenger watch: Arsene Wenger

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger went into today's match against West Brom under pressure following four matches without victory. Here, Nicholas McAvaney takes a look at how he performed.

BODY LANGUAGE Looking sharp in his suit, Wenger (right) lasted five minutes before donning his winter coat – not because of a frosty reception from the fans however.

Often out of his seat in the opening half, Wenger stormed to the bench on 22 minutes after venting his frustration on the turf following Gervinho's missed.

Even Mikel Arteta's goal three minutes later could not remove the Frenchman's scowl, which remained until the whistle. Arteta's second goal also failed to excite the manager, who was a touch more animated in the second half, mostly in the final 10 minutes when the victory was assured.

At full-time and following a quick handshake with Steve Clarke, he was off the pitch without hesitation.

TACTICS Opening with a 4-4-2 formation, Arsenal dominated possession and regularly peppered the opposition goal, albeit with little success.

Wenger resisted the urge to shake up his forward line soon after the break, much to the frustration of fans who grew tired of Gervinho's wasted opportunities 15 minutes into the second half and vehemently appealed to Wenger for an urgent substitution.

Francis Coquelin and Tomas Rosicky helped strengthen his midfield with 10 minutes remaining at the expense of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gervinho.

INTERACTION The Frenchman was unusually quiet with the officials across the first 45 minutes, only once questioning a call that saw Oliver Giroud writhing on the ground clutching his lower back just past the half hour.

He was quickly out of his seat in the second half, though, exchanging words with the fourth official to little effect.

He vented with greater aggression five minutes later after a questionable call against Arsenal, then spent the remainder of the half with his hands in his pockets, only occasionally commanding player movements in the final 10 minutes.

FANS The home fans reserved any stick for the manager for prior to kick off. An ironic cheer erupted on 10 minutes as the manager craftily flicked the ball back from the bench for a throw in, but few had anything to say to the Frenchman throughout the half.

Fans seemed happy with Arteta's brace all but assuring Arsenal of the three points, and dutifully applauded the boss for a job well done on 90 minutes.

Roberto Di Matteo promises changes after seeing West Brom extend Chelsea"s poor run

Di Matteo promises changes after seeing West Brom extend Chelsea's poor run

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UPDATED:

23:33 GMT, 17 November 2012

Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo is set to ring the changes and alter the formation of his side after their poor run of form continued with a 2-1 defeat at West Brom.

The Blues have taken only two points from their last four league games to leave Di Matteo rueing another bleak November for Chelsea.

Di Matteo was rational and calm when facing the media but it is understood he was furious with his players behind closed doors in the dressing room.

Peter Odemwingie scored the West Brom winner after Eden Hazard had cancelled out Shane Long's opening goal.

Breached: Shane Long (bottom left) scores past Petr Cech

Breached: Shane Long (bottom left) scores past Petr Cech

Chelsea dominated for long periods but Di Matteo was unhappy with the defending for both of the home side's goals and is set to shake his side up.

He said: 'It is a ground we find difficult, last season when we lost here, and now this season again. We know they are very good at home.

'But giving away goals like we did today makes if difficult to win the game.

'You have to score three goals to win then and our defending was very poor today.

'We didn't concede many chances but, the ones we did, we had to do better.

Chelsea have operated an attack-minded 4-2-3-1 formation under Di Matteo but that looks set to be reassessed.

At a loss: Chelsea have taken two points from a possible 12

At a loss: Chelsea have taken two points from a possible 12

Di Matteo said: 'This season we are playing a little bit different but we might have to go back (to a previous formation) to be able to win games, and make sure first and foremost we don't concede.

'Maybe it is the time where we might have to change a little bit in terms of our selection and the way we play.

'For some reasons, November for our club is a bad month and it seems the same again this year.

'We are disappointed and maybe it is time to look at things, maybe change it a bit and get a win.

'We will look at the set-up of the team and maybe sacrifice a bit the attacking options to go a little bit more defensive.'

Di Matteo made five changes but insisted: 'It was based on the midweek (international) games. The players were all over Europe and the world, long flights, five or six hours' time difference. They were not in a condition to start or last the game.'

Desperate times: Cech attempts to beat West Brom keeper Boaz Myhill

Desperate times: Cech attempts to beat West Brom keeper Boaz Myhill

West Brom boss Steve Clarke is not allowing himself to get too excited after his side climbed into fourth position.

He said: 'I'm delighted, a great three points, good attacking play, two fantastic goals, and dogged determined defensive play towards the end.

'Can we think of the Champions League I don't look that far ahead, I look from game to game.

'It is a great time to be at the club and if the supporters want to dream a bit, they can. But within the camp, we will keep our feet on the ground.'

Clarke paid tribute to Long after another fine performance following the death this week of his grandmother.

High praise: Long (centre) came in for praise from Steve Clarke

High praise: Long (centre) came in for praise from Steve Clarke

He displayed a T-shirt which said 'Rest In Peace Gran' after scoring his sixth goal of the campaign.

Clarke said: 'I've run out of words to describe his performances this season.

'Shane produced another fantastic performance in what has been a difficult week for him.

'He wanted to play. He is going back to Ireland tonight to be with his family for the next two or three days.'

Manchester City v Aston Villa, West Brom v Chelsea plus four more live Premier League games

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Follow the action from around the grounds as it happens

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UPDATED:

16:19 GMT, 17 November 2012

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League as Manchester City host Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium in one of six 3pm kick-offs. Elsewhere it is Liverpool v Wigan, Newcastle v Swansea, QPR v Southampton, Reading v Everton and West Brom v Chelsea. Send me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.

Live scores

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Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham FT

Liverpool 1-0 Wigan

Manchester City 2-0 Aston Villa

Newcastle 0-1 Swansea

QPR 1-2 Southampton

Reading 1-1 Everton

West Brom 2-1 Chelsea

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All the latest from the Championship

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16.15: GOAL! Newcastle 0-1 SWANSEA

A poor clearance from Krul leads to Pablo Hernandez crossing from the flank into the penalty area where Michu powers home with a header.

16.12: GOAL! MANCHESTER CITY 2-0 Aston Villa

Absolutely bizarre scenes at the Etihad Stadium. The host win a penalty in the softest of circumstances after Silva's corner takes the slightest of brushes off Andreas Weimann's arm.

There is no sympathy from Sergio Aguero though who buries home 12 yards.

16.11: PENALTY (Manchester City)

16.10: GOAL! LIVERPOOL 1-0 Wigan

Finally some action! Raheem Sterling wins the ball before crossing from the byline for Luis Suarez to fire home.

16.09: GOAL! READING 1-1 Everton

The Royals have improved on a poor first half showing and equalise as Nicky Shorey's free-kick is converted from close range by Adam Le Fondre.

16.09: GOAL! WEST BROM 2-1 Chelsea

Now this is against the run of play following Chelsea's quick start to this half as Long's cross is bundled in by Peter Odemwingie.

16.08: GOAL! QPR 1-2 Southampton

Mark Hughes' half-time team-talk looks to have had some impact as Taarabt's cross is headed home by Junior Hoilett.

16.06: Chelsea start much better at West Brom as Boaz Myhill reacts well to block a snap shot from Sturridge.

16.04: One change for QPR as Jamie Mackie has replaced Alejandro Faurlin.

16.03: Away we go again for the second halves of the Premier League.

16.00: From InfostradaLive:

David Silva scored his first PL goal since April 11. The club have won each of the last eight PL matches in which he has found the net.

15.57: Not too many goals in that first half, but it can't just be me that notices the goals tend to rifle in after the break.

Will there be any for QPR though If the Hoops can't score past this leaky Southampton defence then it's crisis o'clock at Loftus Road.

15.54: It sounds like Sportsmail's Dominic King is enjoying himself at Anfield:

Half-time 0-0. Can't provide anything witty or insightful other than saying it is a pretty humdrum game with some odd refereeing decisions.

First to the ball: David Silva pounced before half-time to put Manchester City in front against Aston Villa

First to the ball: David Silva pounced before half-time to put Manchester City in front against Aston Villa

15.51: And now it's finally half-time at Anfield.

15.48: It's half-time everywhere but Liverpool…which I promise has actually kicked off.

15.47: GOAL! QPR 0-2 SOUTHAMPTON

What a disaster for QPR. Southampton have been much the better side so far and take a deserved two-goal lead after Jason Puncheon beats Julio Cesar at his near post with a curling effort.

15.45: GOAL! MANCHESTER CITY 1-0 Aston Villa

The champions finally make a breakthrough as David Silva shows he is the most alert player on the pitch after bundling home a loose ball from inside the box.

15.43: GOAL! West Brom 1-1 CHELSEA

It's against the run of play but Cesar Azpilicueta's cross is converted by Eden Hazard inside the box, taking a touch of Billy Jones along the way.

15.41: More goalkeeping masterclass at Reading now, as Federici rushes off his line to prevent Leon Osman from doubling Everton's lead after a through ball from Naismith. Alex McCarthy might not get his place back in the Royals goal at this rate.

15.38: Williamson nearly goes from hero to zero at Newcastle. The defender hesitates on the ball, allowing Swansea's Itay Shechter to get a shot in on goal, only to be denied by the onrushing Krul.

15.35: Don't worry folks I haven't forgot the action at Anfield – it's just there isn't much to report so far. We've had just one shot from Liverpool against Wigan and it wasn't on target from the hosts.

Red alert: Rickie Lambert heads Southampton ahead at QPR despite the best efforts of Samba Diakite

Red alert: Rickie Lambert heads Southampton ahead at QPR despite the best efforts of Samba Diakite

15.32: Despite that Benteke chance, it's backs to the wall for Aston Villa who are frustrating Manchester City with men behind the ball.

Yaya Toure sums up the frustration of the home side with a long distance strike that flies well over.

15.29: Newcastle go close to opening the scoring against Swansea as Demba Ba heads Hatem Ben Arfa's cross off target.

15.26: From InfostradaLive:

QPR conceded the opening goal for the ninth time this season – they have drawn two and lost six of the previous eight.

15.24: GOAL! QPR 0-1 SOUTHAMPTON

Scrappy as anything I have ever seen but this goal is huge. Following a scramble inside the box, Puncheon is denied on the line by Armand Traore before Rickie Lambert eventually smashes home.

15.21: But this is an even better save from Joe Hart. Christian Benteke out jumps Matija Nastasic to head into the turf, but the Manchester City keeper leaps to tip away the ball and deny Aston Villa the lead. Almost Gordan Banks-esque.

Heads I win: Shane Long nodded West Brom in front after peeling off Chelsea's David Luiz

Heads I win: Shane Long nodded West Brom in front after peeling off Chelsea's David Luiz

15.19: Still Swansea attack at Newcastle and this time the visitors get past the defence but not Tim Krul, as the Toon keeper parries away Michu's shot.

15.16: Jason Puncheon has hit the post for Southampton at QPR, but the hosts respond as Adel Taarabt dancing past three defenders before forcing a smart stop from Paulo Gazzaniga.

15.13: GOAL! WEST BROM 1-0 Chelsea

The Blues started well but they have fallen behind after Shane Long lost David Luiz at the back post to head home. The striker then revealed a shirt reading 'RIP Nan.'

First blood: Steven Naismith handed Everton the lead at Reading

First blood: Steven Naismith handed Everton the lead at Reading

15.11: GOAL! Reading 0-1 EVERTON

And now for something completely different. Reading make an absolute hash of clearing the ball from their box and after some deft touches from Marouane Fellaini and Jelavic, Steven Naismith rifles home.

15.09: And even more great defending – this time from West Brom! Victor Moses cuts the ball back from the byline after being set clear by Daniel Sturridge, before Ryan Bertrand's shot is cleared off the line by Liam Ridgewell.

15.06: Top defending from Mike Williamson. Nathan Dyer looks to be through on goal for Swansea but the Newcastle defender gets across to make a great tackle.

15.03: Fast start from Everton and they nearly take the lead. Adam Federici makes a top save from Phil Jagielka before Nikica Jelavic volleys into the ground and over.

Denied: Everton's Phil Jagielka sees his shot saved by Reading keeper Adam Federici

Denied: Everton's Phil Jagielka sees his shot saved by Reading keeper Adam Federici

15.00: Away we go then folks.

14.57: The teams are out across the country – let's hope they can follow the lunchtime kick-off where Arsenal recorded a 5-2 victory over Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium.

14.54: So as kick-off approaches why not check out Martin Keown's boot room where he previews all of this weekend's Premier League action.

14.51: Last but not least from the Madejski Stadium where Reading are searching for a first win and Everton will want to continue their challenge for a Champions League spot:

Reading v Everton
Reading: Federici, Gunter, Morrison, Gorkss, Shorey, Robson-Kanu, Leigertwood, Tabb, McAnuff, Roberts, Le Fondre. Subs: Stuart Taylor, Mariappa, Pogrebnyak, Hunt, McCleary, Harte, Cummings.

Everton: Howard, Coleman, Heitinga, Jagielka, Baines, Naismith, Osman, Fellaini, Hitzlsperger, Pienaar, Jelavic. Subs: Mucha, Oviedo, Distin, Vellios, Junior, Kennedy, Duffy.

Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

14.48: It seems like madness but a win for Wigan today and they would go above Liverpool in the table, full team news from Anfield:

Liverpool v Wigan
Liverpool: Reina, Wisdom, Agger, Skrtel, Jose Enrique, Johnson, Gerrard, Allen, Sterling, Suarez, Fernandez Saez. Subs: Jones, Sahin, Cole, Henderson, Coates, Carragher, Shelvey.

Wigan: Al Habsi, Ramis, Caldwell, Figueroa, Boyce, Watson, McCarthy, Beausejour, Maloney, Di Santo, Kone. Subs: Pollitt, Jones, Gomez, McManaman, Boselli, Stam, Miyaichi.

Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

14.45: Interesting game at West Brom as Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo returns to the club that sacked him only last year…how times change:

West Brom v Chelsea
West Brom: Myhill, Jones, Olsson, Tamas, Ridgewell, Morrison, Yacob, Mulumbu, Gera, Long, Odemwingie. Subs: Luke Daniels, Reid, Popov, Rosenberg, Brunt, Dorrans, Fortune.

Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz, Bertrand, Romeu, Mikel, Hazard, Sturridge, Torres, Moses. Subs: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Cole, Ramires, Mata, Oscar, Marin.

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

Forced to sit out: Senegal have evoked a clause preventing Papiss Cisse's (left) from playing for Newcastle

Forced to sit out: Senegal have evoked a clause preventing Papiss Cisse's (left) from playing for Newcastle

14.42: Two mid-table sides at St James' Park who will fancy their chances of three points and a push for a European spot. Full news:

Newcastle v Swansea
Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Steven Taylor, Williamson, Santon, Ben Arfa, Anita, Tiote, Ferguson, Sammy Ameobi, Ba. Subs: Elliot, Amalfitano, Bigirimana, Marveaux, Shola Ameobi, Tavernier, Abeid.

Swansea: Tremmel, Rangel, Williams, Monk, Davies, Britton, De Guzman, Dyer, Michu, Hernandez, Shechter. Subs: Cornell, Chico, Graham, Routledge, Moore, Tiendalli, Agustien.

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

14.39: Mario Balotelli is again left out of the Manchester City squad as the Barclays Premier League champions take on Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium.

The controversial striker, who played in Italy's friendly against France on Wednesday, does not even make the bench for his club side for a second successive week.

Maicon and Samir Nasri come into the City line-up for Pablo Zabaleta and Aleksandar Kolarov while Villa are unchanged from the side beaten by Manchester United last week.

14.36: Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo makes five changes for the Barclays Premier League clash with his former club West Brom at the Hawthorns.

Strikers Victor Moses and Daniel Sturridge, midfielder Oriol Romeu and centre-backs Gary Cahill and David Luiz replace Juan Mata, Oscar, Ramires, Branislav Ivanovic and the injured John Terry respectively.

Gabriel Tamas replaces injured Albion centre-back Gareth McAuley (hamstring) while midfielder Zoltan Gera and striker Peter Odemwingie come in for Chris Brunt and ineligible on-loan Chelsea player Romelu Lukaku.

Incoming: Victor Moses (centre) and Gary Cahill (right) feature for Chelsea but Juan Mata makes way

Incoming: Victor Moses (centre) and Gary Cahill (right) feature for Chelsea but Juan Mata makes way

14.33: QPR and Southampton both name unchanged starting line-ups for today's vital encounter between the Premier League's two bottom sides.

The hosts name Fabio on the bench after a two-month absence with a hamstring problem, while Bobby Zamora misses out on the squad with a hip injury.

Southampton name the same side that drew 1-1 with Swansea last weekend, with 17-year-old Luke Shaw again preferred at left-back.

14.30: Reading boss Brian McDermott makes two changes for the visit of Everton as he goes in search of the Royals' first Barclays Premier League win of the season.

Hal Robson-Kanu and Adam Le Fondre are introduced by McDermott with Garath McCleary and Noel Hunt both dropping to the bench.

David Moyes hands midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger his first Everton start in place of captain Phil Neville with Steven Naismith replacing Kevin Mirallas who misses out with a hamstring injury.

14.27: The big one. QPR boss Mark Hughes has already led a rally cry before the Premier League's bottom two in the table battle it out. Here are the full line-ups from Loftus Road:

QPR v Southampton
QPR: Julio Cesar, Bosingwa, Ferdinand, Nelsen, Traore, Diakite, Faurlin, Granero, Taarabt, Hoilett, Cisse. Subs: Green, Derry, Wright-Phillips, Mackie, Dyer, Da Silva, Ehmer.

Southampton: Gazzaniga, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Shaw, Schneiderlin, Cork, Puncheon, Ramirez, Lallana, Lambert. Subs: Kelvin Davis, Hooiveld, Steven Davis, Rodriguez, Fox, Ward-Prowse, Mayuka.

Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

14.24: Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is dealt a blow as he is unable to name striker Papiss Cisse in his side for this afternoon's Barclays Premier League clash with Swansea.

The 27-year-old is conspicuous by his absence amid a row with the Senegal Football Federation following his failure to report for international duty because of a back injury.

He and the injured Yohan Cabaye and Jonas Gutierrez are replaced by Sammy Ameobi, Cheick Tiote and Vurnon Anita.

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup makes two changes to the side which drew 1-1 at Southampton last weekend, meaning there is no place for Wayne Routledge on his return to St James' Park with the winger and Ki Sung-yueng being replaced by Nathan Dyer and Itay Shechter.

Back up to speed: Maicon (left) impressed after coming off the bench for Manchester City last weekend

Back up to speed: Maicon (left) impressed after coming off the bench for Manchester City last weekend

14.21: Three points for Manchester City and they will go top until at least tea-time, here is the team news from the Etihad Stadium:

Man City v Aston Villa
Man City: Hart, Maicon, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy, Toure, Barry, Silva, Tevez, Nasri, Aguero. Subs: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Lescott, Dzeko, Sinclair, Kolarov, Javi Garcia.

Aston Villa: Guzan, Stevens, Vlaar, Clark, Lowton, Bannan, Westwood, Agbonlahor, Ireland, Weimann, Benteke. Subs: Given, El Ahmadi, Albrighton, Holman, Delph, Bowery, Baker.

Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)

14.18: Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina is named in the starting line-up for the first time since October 7 for the visit of Wigan.

The Spain international missed four Barclays Premier League matches with a hamstring injury and his return is one of three changes from the draw at Chelsea with Martin Skrtel and Suso also restored.

Wigan, unbeaten in five matches against the Reds, name the same side which lost to West Brom.

14.15: But if it's goals you want first folks (and red cards) then may I point you towards our live coverage of the north London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham at the Emirates Stadium. Click here to follow a game which has already had five goals with Rik Sharma.

14.10: No propeller kicks today folks, (it seems you have to go to Serie A to have a chance of seeing that sort of action.)

But from the 3pm games this afternoon I can bring you matches involving the Premier League champions and the European champions – that has to top Zlatan Ibrahimovic's acrobatics surely Team news coming up.

Six of the best: Liverpool, Manchester City, Everton and Chelsea feature in six 3pm Premier League fixtures

Six of the best: Liverpool, Manchester City, Everton and Chelsea feature in six 3pm Premier League fixtures

West Bromwich can stay at top, says Steve Clarke

We're here to stay! West Brom have quality to battle with the big boys, says Clarke

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UPDATED:

14:51 GMT, 11 November 2012

Wigan 1 West Brom 2

Read the match report here

West Brom boss Steve Clarke is convinced the strength of his squad can keep the Baggies riding high in the Barclays Premier League after their 2-1 win at Wigan kept them fifth in the table.

Clarke took the brave step of dropping Peter Odemwingie to the bench despite his two goals to sink Southampton last Monday, and was rewarded as James Morrison and a Gary Caldwell own goal steered his side to victory.

Clarke is reaping the plaudits for his start in front-line management since taking the decision to move up from a series of high-profile assistant roles in the summer, and his side's quality was plain to see in an attractive DW Stadium clash.

Playing away: Morrison wheels away after scoring against Wigan

Playing away: Morrison wheels away after scoring against Wigan

Clarke said: 'We've got a lot of options in our squad which gives me some fantastic problems.

'We play with intensity going forward
and I was a little concerned the ones who played on Monday night might
be carrying fatigue. I've got a quality squad and I have to use them.
They know they're all valuable in terms of the club going forward.'

It was Morrison, one of Clarke's four
recalled stars, who set the Baggies on course for their first away win
of the season when he met a Chris Brunt cross with a bullet header on
the half hour which left Ali Al Habsi helpless.

Billy Jones came close to adding a
second before the visitors doubled their lead in the 43rd minute when a
powerful drive from Jones was deflected into his own net by the hapless
Caldwell.

Wigan responded immediately, with
Arouna Kone nodding home a Jean Beausejour cross at point-blank range,
but for all Wigan's efforts in the second half, boss Roberto Martinez
conceded his Latics did not do enough to turn the game around.

Heads up: Morrison nods home for Wigan and Caldwell scores an own goal (below)

Heads up: Morrison nods home for Wigan and Caldwell scores an own goal (below)

Heads up: Morrison nods home for Wigan and Caldwell scores an own goal (below)

'Arouna's goal was one positive to
take from the game and there were other good things to reflect on, but
we need to start developing an understanding of what to do when these
kinds of situations present themselves,” said Martinez.

'We have many players heading off to
join their national teams so we'll regroup on Thursday and get ourselves
up for another exciting match against Liverpool at Anfield.'

Martinez has some concerns over keeper
Al Habsi, who played despite tweaking his shoulder during the warm-up,
and who pulled off a sensational point-blank save to deny Romelu Lukaku
in the 56th minute.

Martinez is not the only one with
concerns over his goalkeeper, with Clarke revealing his regular number
one Ben Foster underwent an operation on a groin injury, with Boaz
Myhill expected to continue to deputise against Chelsea at The Hawthorns
next week.

Clarke said: 'Ben had a minor
procedure but he's back and he's comfortable and hopefully he is going
to start training next week. He is doubtful for the Chelsea game but I
still haven't ruled him out and beyond that we're hopeful.'

Maintain the pressure: Clarkehas warned his team against complacency

Maintain the pressure: Clarkehas warned his team against complacency