The Season So Far...
It might seem a bit early to review the current season, but Zoe Kingston has put this little gem together to provide a bit of light relief from the stress and strain of it all. Well, we here at BOING felt better for reading it anyway!
Coming soon: Sunderland v WBA: The Musical, Gary Megson's post-match interview in Operatic form and the Gospel according to Geoff Horsfield. Possibly.
West Bromwich Albion: Season 2003/2004
Our season started as bright as they come
With six new players joining the scrum.
We waved goodbye to a skipper of old
As one Sean Gregan stepped up to the mould,
Spirits were high, though away from the elite,
Sadly our season started with a defeat.
Bescot – the venue for our first away day
But it seemed like our team weren’t ready to play.
As we kicked off in the August heat
The line-up made fans twitch in their seat:
Four new signings and Siggy in back
Johnson and Koumas in with the pack
Dichio and Hulse partners up front
Surely this Albion would come up trumps?
A 4 – 1 defeat and a Koumas goal
The Albion hordes crawled into a hole.
So back into training, lessons were learnt
Cause come Tuesday we wouldn’t get burnt...
Tuesday began our Carling Cup run
Once we kicked off, Brentford hardly begun
A goal from Bernt Haas and two from Rob Hulse
Dobie to finish – it quickened the pulse!
After that day we were unbeaten in twelve
A string of 1 – 0’s released a pressure valve.
Warnock’s revenge was oh so sweet
When Albion lost in a 2 – 0 defeat.
The Canaries flapped and the Albion roared
Jason Koumas settled the score.
And then came the Carling Cup Third Round
Where Newcastle were driven into the ground
They scored an own goal, which gave us the lead
Then Hughsey came on and made their hearts bleed.
The Albion were crowned ‘Giant Killers’ that day
But also remember it was a win away.
The following week was a Sunderland draw
Then a trip down South – we were destined to score.
West Ham was one of those monumental games
A day we put The Hammers to shame
The first fifteen minutes we didn’t show up
They’d netted three before that time was up!
Few travelling fans bid farewell
To what seemed to be the day-trip from hell!
Then there sounded an almighty roar
As our Hulsey went through to score.
By the time the halfway whistle blew
Hulsey had already brought back two.
Defoe’s dismissal changed our luck
The Hammers were left as sitting ducks.
Minutes later they had scored again
This time into their own pen.
With an own goal, the score was tied
Would the Albion just bide their time?
Dobie came off and Hughsey came on
Surely we wouldn’t score another one?
As the 80th minute passed
We saw “The Ninja” of the past.
James was beaten, not once, not twice
But four times in just one night!
Upton Park fell silent that day
Apart from the Boinging Baggie Brigade.
After West Ham and the Carling Third Round
They were ready to do the home fans proud.
December saw the arrival of Sir Alex’s men
Would we be crowned ‘Giant Killers’ again?
A volley from Bernie in the first half
Left Man. United on a stray path.
The second half was backs to the walls
When Gary decided to settle the scores.
Dobes first touch was a glancing head
That left Manchester United seeing red!
So we were through to the Fifth Round
When Arsene’s Army would come to town.
A trip to Bradford and one from Crewe
The Skipper saw the Albion through.
When Arsenal arrived on the Tuesday night
Megson’s men were ready to fight
Ref. Jeff Winter had red in his sights
Which proved to end Albion’s plights
Out, we bowed, of the Carling Cup
Was this the end of Albion’s luck?
Saturday was another derby day
With new striker Geoff Horsfield leading the way
A mistake by Moore opened a hole
That Coventry used for their single goal.
Then Boxing Day proved to be
The worst game in Megson’s history
FA Cup dreams died in the Third Round
As we travelled to Forest’s ground.
Walsall arrived at the Shrine on Friday
When the Albion proved they didn’t just win away.
Albion’s revenge was signed and sealed
By a winning goal scored by Horsfield.
Next on the cards was an away journey
To the unknown battlefield of Burnley.
Hulse hadn’t scored since that day in the East End
His frustration was there from beginning to end.
Burnley began with a load of missed chances
And Rob Hulse was angered by May’s advances
Minutes later our lead scorer was off
The ‘incompetent’ referee had had enough.
The inevitable happened with a goal scored by Blake
That spawned from Chambers’ single mistake.
Albion morale stood good and strong
As Horsfield scored in the wake of a song
The cries went up: “FEED THE HORSE!”
Albion’s promotion was back on course.
However the party didn’t last long
As we quickly realised something was wrong
Hughes out for the count and Hulsey suspended
Dobie was injured – our strikeforce upended.
The rest of the team was beginning to shape up
Kinsella’s arrival bought us new luck.
The midfield was strengthened and the back line gleamed
With Big Dave’s return to a re-shaped team.
In came Facey and Scooby Doo too
Both here to prove they have a job to do
Things went well when Watford came
But Preston was altogether a different game
Our Clean Sheet King was beaten by three
There was a problem there, plain for all to see...
Eight months was the prognosis given at most
The least was two weeks away from the posts
Murphy stepped into Russell Hoult’s shoes
Ireland’s Number One – how could we loose?
Remember the day we made Liverpool sick
When Murphy denied Owen’s spot kick!
Valentines Day welcomed Cardiff at home
It was flowers and roses by mid-afternoon.
Next was a trip to Bramall Lane
To settle accounts from that game of shame.
The Battle of Bramall from our Promotion Season
Saw Warnock cheat without any reason
Two years on from the infamous day
It seemed that Warnock hadn’t changed his way.
Warnock’s men just could score
It took an own goal from Big Darren Moore
But it wasn’t defeat for the travellers yet
As Big Darren Moore found United’s net!
Warnock swore and the Albion cheered
As our Great Dane headed us clear.
The following week was our turn to host
With our Number One back between the posts
Rotherham gave us the run around
A shock defeat at our home ground.
The top of the table clash was no bore
Even though 0 – 0 was the score
Huckerby was there ready to fight
But our James Chambers was on him all night.
The Coventry game was a special day
With three goalscorers leading the way
Horsfield opened with a screaming strike
Much to the Baggies fans delight
Hulsey hadn’t scored in nineteen games
It was about time he scored again
His confidence lacked and he missed one goal
But his second shot was the Rob Hulse of old!
The Albion team were soaring like birds
When Mark Kinsella netted our third
The victory was sealed; the race was on
As the Baggies entered the Final Furlong.
This season has seen players leaves and arrive
New faces have helped keep spirits alive
Appy retired and Roberts moved out
But he wouldn’t leave without having a shout.
Dichio departed for the New Den
But not without slagging the morale of our men!
A journey to Crewe in front of the cameras
Showed the pressure felt by those all around us
The late kick-off gave us the advantage
As we knew the Norwich were beaten by Cardiff
The cameras went on and the goals went in
Crewe opened the score; they were desperate to win
The Albion refused to bow out of the crowd
A.J went through to do the lads proud.
The goals were level; the stakes were high,
Enter The Ninja – it was do or die.
Ten minutes to go, we increased our work rate
But it was a Lee Hughes strike that sealed our fate.
Wigan came to the Hawthorns on a Tuesday Night
This time in a promotion fight
A Baggies win would send the play-offs packing
And prove our team was far from lacking.
When we kicked off we went out for a war
But this time it took a penalty to score.
The atmosphere rocked as the stands sang loud
The Albion fans did their team proud
In the crowds stood a Captain of old
Derek McInnes watched them going for gold.
The ground fell silent with some words from Webb
Bernie led with his hand instead of his head
The penalty was given and the Albion roared:
“You should’ve stuck to Rugby, you’ve never scored”
But despite all the jeers the penalty went in
Some said Albion’s prospects were grim.
Morale were still high and the team didn’t fade
Who are you to silence the Baggies Brigade?
That’s when it happened; Lee Hughes was through
All you could see were white stripes and blue!
The Keeper came out and down went Lee Hughes
Their keeper was carded - we weren’t gonna loose.
The Baggies fans cheered and were silent again
As the realised what a state we were in
Remember Balis – Bradford – Away!
These were the murmurs heard straight away.
Out fans sang loud as the penalty was struck
Lee Hughes converted and changed Wigan’s luck!
The Hawthorns exploded with songs filed with praise
As it brought back memories of earlier days
As the 90th minute ticked away
It was a Central Defender that saved the day
In the final minute the goal went in
The Gaardsoe strike that gave us the win.
Wigan were silent and their faces turned grim
As they realised that Albion had stolen a win.
The club has changed over the past two years
And much has been said over after-match beers
The squad has grown both in talent and size
So I bring some unsung heroes before your eyes
Robbo’s arrival strengthened the squad
A Natural Defender is a gift from the Gods
His presence is felt by both players and fans
An asset for the manager’s best-laid plans
Next the partnership that makes the fans sing
Lloyd Dyer and Robbo working the wing
Dyer, the local lad with some pace
Proving to us he’s up for the chase.
Now for a player in teams new and old
Our own Neil Clement breaking the mould
On the pitch he’s full of that Baggies spirit
Proving the Albion are in it, to win it
Finally a mention to a man we all know
Who’s shown the Albion the right way to go
Sean Gregan always does his best to please
Filling McInnes’ shoes with relative ease.
So we look towards a return to the elite
The fans all wanted a Premiership seat.
So united we stand out on this ridge
Looking towards Highbury and Stamford Bridge.
We own no racehorse, or infamous Dutch
But have a Great Dane who can do just as much
The top flight is littered with goalscorers galore
But we have the ‘H-force’ who are destined to score
In 2001 our enemies arch
Had gone past their best by the beginning of March
This year our fans hope and pray
This Albion side can hold out til May.