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Terry's Baggies Blog

BAGGIES THANK YANKS AS RANGERS SPANKED

02-10-2007

Albion fans have been treated to twelve goals in two games in the space of five days. And as Terry Wills reports, a former U.S. Presidential speech writer watched their latest victory, a 5-1 thumping of QPR.

What a difference four days makes especially when the Yanks come a visiting!

Yes the 4-2 exit against 'Dads Army Cardiff City' was an unpalatable shock but not as great as it would have been if the team had been unchanged from that which had crushed Scunthorpe just four days earlier.

It wasn't - and that was the problem. Suffice to say the restructured, on-trial back four fell asleep in the first 30 minutes, played like passing strangers and paid the inevitable price.

Tony Mowbray, realising his 'new' recruits' simply weren't up to the job, subsequently rang the changes at the break.

On went Jonathan Greening and Filipe Teixeira and thankfully this had a modicum effect on the final score. 'Tiny' Miller netted twice (reducing the defeat to an 'acceptable'(!) margin but that was it. We were out of the Carling Cup but eh, who wanted to visit Anfield in the next round anyway!

Lets get back to 'Fizzy Pop' league action starting with the visit of John Gregory's Queens Park Rangers.

A bumper crowd ( including two VERY unique American supporters watching their first ever Albion game, but more of them later) confirmed what everyone in football knows only to well - reduce prices and the turnstiles will be forced to work overtime.

Poor John Gregory. With Tony Mowbray reverting back to what is clearly becoming his preferred starting eleven, the ex-Villa manager could only squirm in embarrassment as Rangers were put to the sword.

There was no darkness to cover their departure as they 'crept' away from the Hawthorns on the back of a 5-1 thrashing and deep down the agitated Mr Gregory must have known Albion could and should have surpassed Portsmouth's seven goal hammering of Reading the previous day.

No the sun had shone all afternoon. Albion had played some magnificent passing, creative football that would have tested a lot of the 'Greed League' teams (were you watching Derby County!?) and the fans were in seventh heaven.

Opening goals from 'Tiny' Miller and Kevin Phillips set the standard. A defensive error led to Rangers netting their solitary goal but when 'Super Kev' netted his brilliant second the game was good as over.

The second half was a sheer delight the only thing missing being the ratio of goals scored from chances created.

Robert Koren and Jonathan Greening rounded off the scoring in fine style and although Koren was voted the Sponsors Man of the Match it could have gone to any or all of the team (apart from Dean Kiely of course who was rarely called into action!).

So a happy afternoon for anyone privileged to have seen this performance. Which brings me back to our American visitors.

Setting the scene back in 1931 when Albion beat Birmingham City at Wembley to win the FA Cup one of the players was a certain Tommy Magee.

Well his grandson, Ed Vilade, born locally but taken to the States at an early age, was visiting the UK, meaning he and wife Alice had the opportunity to take in a visit to the Hawthorns for the first time to watch his proud grandfather's 'Throstles' in action.

Naturally they were made very welcome. Given a tour of the Hawthorns, plus meeting various groups of officials and supporters before and after the game.

The fascinating aspect to this story being that Ed, semi-retired but still working for the US Government had, believe it or not, been a speechwriter for the ex American President George Bush!

Chatting to them before kick-off I remarked that if, no WHEN, Albion scored they would have to pump arms in the air and chant 'Boing Boing'.

A puzzled look before Ed wryly remarked "I guess we'd better join in the ritual then!"

From that I have to presume he became the first, and probably the last American President speechwriter, to join in this unique Baggies celebratory ritual. Not once but five times?!

Musing on to what Ed would compose, if asked, to write a short speech for Tony Mowbray, before leaving the UK would it go something like this?

"Go to it guys. You've set the standard. The fans, know what you can do. We're second in the table. Have scored more goals and conceded less than any other team in the Division. Send them home happy as often as possible starting against that lot from the Potteries, Stoke City. We owe them big-time so get out there and do it.

"God bless Jeremy Peace for giving me the money that's enabled me to bring in you players who are playing some of the best football in the country"

Ed we agree 100%

"Come on you Baggies!

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