Arsenal v West Bromich Albion – January 2nd 2021
The club was founded as West Bromwich Strollers in 1878 by workers from George Salter’s Spring Works in West Bromwich, in the Black Country . They were renamed West Bromwich Albion in 1880, becoming the first team to adopt the Albion suffix; Albion was a district of West Bromwich where some of the players lived or worked, close to what is today Greets Green.The club joined the Birmingham & District Football Association in 1881 and became eligible for their first competition, the Birmingham Cup.
They reached the quarter-finals, beating several longer-established clubs on the way. In1883, Albion won their first trophy, the Staffordshire Cup. Albion joined the Football Association in the same year; this enabled them to enter the FA Cup for the first time in the 1883–84 season. In 1885 the club turned professional, and in 1886 they reached the FA Cup final for the first time, losing 2–0 to Blackburn Rovers in a replay. They reached the final again in 1887, but lost 2–0 to Aston Villa. In 1888 the team won the trophy for the first time, beating strong favourites Preston North End 2–1 in the final. As FA Cup winners, they qualified to play in a Football World Championship game against Scottish Cup winners Renton, which ended in a 4–1 defeat.
In March 1888, William McGregor wrote to what he considered to be the top five English teams, including Albion, informing them of his intention to form an association of clubs that would play each other home and away each season. Thus when the Football League started later that year, Albion became one of the twelve founder members.
Albion’s second FA Cup success came in 1892, beating Aston Villa 3–0. They met Villa again in the 1895 final, but lost 1–0. The team suffered relegation to Division Two in 1900–01, their first season at The Hawthorns. They were promoted as champions the following season but relegated again in 1903–04. The club won the Division Two championship once more in 1910–11, and the following season reached another FA Cup Final, where they were defeated by Second Division Barnsley in a replay.
Albion won the Football League title in 1919–20 for the only time in their history following the end of World War I, their totals of 104 goals and 60 points both breaking the previous league records. The team finished as Division One runners-up in 1924–25, narrowly losing out to Huddersfield Town, but were relegated in 1926–27. In 1930–31, they won promotion as well as the FA Cup, beating Birmingham 2–1 in the final. The “double” of winning the FA Cup and promotion has not been achieved before or since. Albion reached the final again in 1935, losing to Sheffield Wednesday, but were relegated three years later. They gained promotion in 1948–49, and there followed the club’s longest unbroken spell in the top flight of English football, a total of 24 years.
The speed with which the club became established following its foundation is illustrated by the fact that it outgrew four successive grounds in its first seven years. The first was Cooper’s Hill, where they played from 1878 to 1879. From 1879 to 1881, they appear to have alternated between Cooper’s Hill and Dartmouth Park. During the 1881–82 season, they played at Bunn’s Field, also known as the Birches. This had a capacity of between 1,500 and 2,000, and was Albion’s first enclosed ground, allowing the club to charge an entrance fee for the first time. From 1882 to 1885, as the popularity of football increased, Albion rented the Four Acres ground from the well-established West Bromwich Dartmouth Cricket Club. But they quickly outgrew this new home and soon needed to move again. From 1885 to 1900, Albion played at Stoney Lane; their tenure of this ground was arguably the most successful period in the club’s history, as they won the FA Cup twice and were runners-up three times.
The throstle effigy has been a feature of the Woodman corner since the 1970s.
By 1900, when the lease on Stoney Lane expired, the club needed a bigger ground yet again and so made its last move to date. All of Albion’s previous grounds had been close to the centre of West Bromwich, but on this occasion they took up a site on the town’s border with Handsworth and Smethwick. The new ground was named The Hawthorns, after the hawthorn bushes that covered the area and were cleared to make way for it.
|Premier League Away Games|
It’s been three years since we last played the Baggies at the Hawthorns and we drew the game 1-1. Our overall away record has been positive but we only managed to win one point in our last three visits, however those games were played between 2015 & 2017.
|Arsenal v WBA – Away Games|
Albion have a miserable record so far in the 2020/21 Premier League, they have only gained eight points from their first sixteen games. It appeared that their new manager, Sam Alardyce, had them on a corrected course with a determined 1-1 draw against Liverpool but that quickly changed with a 5-0 loss against Leeds United.
What team will show up against Arsenal?
TA’s Preferred Lineup v WBA:
I know this will not be popular with many but I would start Willian today. He has had a good rest and will relish to play with his fellow countryman, Martinelli, and the super talented Saka around him in this formation (which will suit him much better). I get the perceived lack of work-rate thing and that he is a former Chav and all that, but I still rate him highly. I would be happy to see another start for Mari but a rest will do him good and we could do with Luiz’s leadership and balls over the top tomorrow. Elneny may have played too many games in December but I still think we need him to start again. He is the most natural available partner for Xhaka and together they will do another cup-game sort of performance. However, I am hoping that AMN will see some action in midfield too tomorrow.
Up-front it is a toss between Auba or Laca. I feel Auba has a brace in him but for this he does not necessarily need to start. So I would go for Laca to run the defence down and Auba to pick them off from the 65th minute or so. Saka could do with a rest but he is in such good form right now and we really could do with making it three in three wins, that I don’t think we can keep him out. Hopefully Nelson or ESR will get some playing time in Saka’s position later on.