West Bromwich Albion 1 - Norwich City 1

Date: Saturday 12th January 2019 
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Johnstone 6.6, Holgate 7.9, Dawson 6.8, Hegazi 7.5, Gibbs 7.0, Harper 7.1, Barry 7.6, Brunt 5.8, Rodriguez 6.3, Robson-Kanu 6.0 (Leko, 91 5.7), Gayle 7.0 (Sako, 85 5.8)
Unused subs: Bond, Bartley, Hoolahan, Adarabioyo, Field
Manager: Darren Moore 6.0
Scorers: Gayle (12)
Attendance: 26,544   Home Fans 6.6   Away Fans 6.0


So Harvey Barnes has gone. There is only one person to replace Harvey Barnes and that is Harvey Barnes. West Brom's hierarchy should contact Leicester soonest within the window, make an offer for Barnes that Leicester cannot refuse - and I mean, cannot refuse - and get him back; now. Any contract can incorporate all the niceties et al in the event Albion do not get promoted.

How truly ambitious is the chairman?? Forget the Bradley Dacks and all the other proxy Harvey Barnes play alikes; save a whole load of wasted money. What is £25m these days? The loan door has closed on Barnes; so open the buy door. Job done.

BBB - Bring Barnes Back

Brendan Clegg:

A bit unlucky not to win this one I thought - given the loss of Barnes and injuries to Phillips & Mozza.

We dominated large portions of the match and created decent opportunities.

I thought Norwich were really poor. Apart from their desire and seeming ability to get late goals they are a nothing side and it says a lot about the league that they are where they are.

On seeing the team my worry was our legs in the middle. Whenever we have to play more than 1 from Barry, Brunt & Mozza the pattern of games general sees us struggle to get going, then dominate when we get on the ball, then tail off badly. That said - I don’t think Big Dave had much choice today.

We actually started really quickly pushing from the front and had already created a couple of chances before our really lovely goal - Harper hitting the early pass wide (Livermore cannot do this), Holgate crossing as soon as possible and Gayle getting ahead of his marker at the near post.

We were the better team until 5 mins before the end of the first half when Norwich got forward a couple of times. We were so on top be needed that second goal.

2nd half was a different game but we were still the better side until on about 60 mins Barry was booked for a late tackle. It meant he could no longer fly-in as he was and he was close to a 2nd booking.

Norwich had a spell as our inevitable tail-off eventually came but we seemed to ride it and take control again. We still looked more likely to score but were leggy - the bench options a quandary as despite Brunt & Barry tiring, and Harper too in his first start, it didn’t seem like a game for any more kids. I can see why Big Dave stuck with it but we became more ragged and then Norwich scored a similar goal to ours. Big Dave should probably have changed something sooner - Our front 3 were hardly setting the world alight.

I felt it was harsh in us and despite us wobbling, even in the last 10 we looked more likely to score.

Lots of positives but Moore needs backing for a Barnes replacement. I felt that although he’s miles off where he needs to be, letting Burke go to Celtic before we’ve replaced Barnes left us under-resourced for pace in attack and Phillips’ injury (if it is that and not transferitis) amplified that.

  • SJ - 6 Some decent stops but I’m far from convinced.
  • Holgate - 8 Quick. Great quality, loves a tackle, crossing really good without dwelling on the ball. Really impressed. A definite upgrade.
  • Daws - 7 Was mostly really good.
  • Hegazi - 8 Won everything in the air and on the floor.
  • Gibbs - 7 For spells was absolutely brilliant but just dipped last 15.
  • Barry - 7 Until the booking was an 8 or 9. Ran the show and clattered into tackles but was a sitting duck afterwards.
  • Brunt - 6 Did okay and set plays were good but too many blind passes.
  • Harper - 7 Started well, then was hesitant, then for 60 mins really good but he tired at the end. Not out of place at all. Needs to keep playing. Instinctively a better footballer than Livermore already.
  • Gayle - 7 Great goal but not in the game enough - wasted out wide. Pace was important.
  • Rodriguez - 6 Some good moments and unlucky with a difficult snapshot but got in the way sometimes.
  • HRK - 6 Frustrating. Can see why he’s in the team as his strength gets us up the pitch and he caused them problems but really wasteful and poor decisions.


Robicer makes a strong point. I'm not sure Leicester would want to let Barnes go at any price, but why not give it a go? Look at the money we have wasted on players like, Chadli, Burke, Krychowiak's salary etc etc.

Chairman Lai has one roll of the dice at promotion before parachute payments dwindle. If we don't go up this season prime assets like Hegazi, Dawson, Phillips and Gibbs will be off. From there it is a downward spiral. Ask the likes of Sunderland, Forrest and Villa (haha). The Championship is a black hole we may take years to get out of if we don't do it this year. If Chairman Lai thinks the Albion were a bad investment now, see what he thinks in five years if we are still in the second tier, or worse. We don't want to see silly money being thrown at the Anelkas of the world, but Barnes is a proven player with a massive upside, whose value will only increase. Prevaricate at your Peril Mr Lai.