Alan Pardew

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Pardew ‘furious’ after four WBA players steal taxi in Spain

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At least when you’re bottom of the Premier League table and appear headed for relegation, as West Bromwich Albion now find themselves, you can take the positive approach that “the only way to go from here is up.”

[ FA CUP: Man United advance, drawn against PL opposition in QF ]

Alternatively, four of your most senior players — Jonny Evans, Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore and Boaz Myhill, in this case — might have other ideas and elect to steal a cab during a late-season training camp in Barcelona. That’s the current state of affairs for the Baggies and manager Alan Pardew, who openly admits he was “furious” and felt “let down” — quotes from the Guardian:

“This is obviously not ideal. They broke the curfew and that’s unacceptable and I feel a bit let down by that.”

“It’s difficult for managers. Obviously, I was furious with what happened but at the same time I’ve got to stay faithful to the players and give them a chance to remedy the situation.”

The night’s timeline reads something like this: the quartet wanted to go out in the city center, but everything was closed late at night; they got a taxi to a McDonald’s by the Barcelona port; the driver left the car, at which point the players decided to drive back to the team hotel around 5:30 a.m.; the care was returned to the cab driver around 8 a.m.

Evans was stripped of his captaincy for Saturday’s FA Cup fifth-round defeat to Southampton. The players have since released the following statement through the club’s website:

“We felt it important we identify ourselves as the players involved in an incident which occurred during the training camp in Spain this week out of respect for team-mates who otherwise could be implicated by association. We freely acknowledge and apologize for the break of curfew which we accept represented a breach of the standards of professionalism required of us as representatives of West Bromwich Albion.

“The club has informed us that it will now conduct its own inquiry into the incident and we will cooperate fully. In the meantime, we would like to assure our supporters that this incident does not reflect the determination and resolve we possess to do all we can to recover a difficult season.”

With 11 games left to play, West Brom currently sit seven points adrift of safety; Pardew’s position grows more and more tenuous with each point dropped; and three of their final 11 games are against Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.

Daniel Sturridge out a week or two with new hamstring injury

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Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge – on loan at West Bromwich Albion – will miss a few more weeks of time after picking up a new hamstring injury just four minutes into the 3-0 loss to Chelsea on Monday.

Sturridge was withdrawn in favor of Jay Rodriguez after getting tangled up with Cesar Azpilicueta near the touchline.

The 28-year-old has been struck with a brutal spell of injuries in the past few years. Most recently, he missed six weeks after picking up a hamstring problem in training in early January. He had only just returned after moving on loan to West Brom, playing 78 total minutes through a trio of losses before re-injuring himself.

“We need him up and running as it’s goals we’ve struggled with,”West Brom manager Alan Pardew said after the loss to Chelsea. “He felt his hamstring after a 60-meter sprint in the first moments of the game. We’ll have to nurse him. He won’t play next week but hopefully the week after.”

Sturridge missed time with hip and hamstring injuries last season that sapped him of any type of consistency and form and leaving him to make just seven Premier League starts. The year before, he made just 11 Premier League starts while missing a full four months with knee, hip, and hamstring problems.

“It was a blow to lose Daniel on his first run,” Pardew said. “That didn’t give us the perfect start. We just can’t seem to get the goals that get us the wins, and they need to come, and come quickly, so Daniel’s recovery will be important now  we need to get him back.”

Pardew, Allardyce react to gruesome McCarthy injury

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West Brom forward Salomon Rondon had a fine match with a fearful moment in the Baggies’ 1-1 draw at Everton on Saturday, days after trailblazing club legend Cyrille Regis passed away at 59.

“He was the outstanding player on the pitch today and big Cyrille Regis would’ve been proud of him out there today,” Pardew said. “It was a fitting tribute and a great performance from Salomon.”

The Venezuelan nearly scored a few times and deserved an assist, too, but it was his fierce shot attempt that caused a double leg break for would-be shot blocker James McCarthy. The injured player was stretchered off and given oxygen during an extended pause in play.

Toffees boss Sam Allardyce said it’s a double fracture for McCarthy, blaming his players for the injury (“It was our own fault and our own stupid play in that area, James recovered brilliantly to stop a goal but suffered because of it,” he said).

West Brom manager Alan Pardew was left to comfort a tearful Rondon after the injury, and said the striker experienced the gruesome injury with multiple senses. From the BBC:

“I saw his reaction [to McCarthy’s injury] straight away, he must’ve heard something, sometimes it does really affect you and it did it take us a while to get him round and focused again. It took him a little while, but he got there in the end and almost won it for us. Our thoughts go with James and we wish a speedy recovery to him.”

Pardew the latest to scratch head at transfer fees

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West Bromwich Albion manager Alan Pardew is the latest to find himself baffled at the prices on the transfer market.

To be fair to the Englishman, 56, it doesn’t sound like he’s raving in ‘old man yelling at the sky’ fashion. Rather he thinks the numbers are hard for fans to gauge and perhaps it’s causing a disconnect.

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And for him, at least, it’s a challenge to sort out whether the prices he’s being quoted are reasonable relative to the market. That makes sense, considering that as Newcastle boss in 2012 he sold Fraser Forster to Celtic for about $3 million and PSG bought Yohan Cabaye — then 28 — from him for $26 million.

Both fees would be a little different right now, we think (from the BBC).

“It’s difficult with the prices now to gauge what’s good value,” Pardew said. “We live in a hyper-inflated world because of the TV money received by the football clubs. Therefore, transfers and wages are going way out of kilter with real life. I think we’re all losing the plot with the figures. It’s just becoming, ‘Oh okay,’ and not even reacting to things any more.”

Now, to play devil’s advocate, if Pardew is actually just old man yelling at the sky, he’d better get out of the manager’s box. The fees aren’t changing for top clubs, which is why Jonny Evans is at risk from a Man City bid but not Newcastle United or Crystal Palace. And the TV money he talks about is going to allow clubs like WBA to hold onto players by offering better wages if they choose that route.

But it’s a fair sentiment regarding how to gauge these numbers. While it’s usually a bit laughable when fans and writers estimate whether clubs have paid too much or sold for too little, managers and administrators risk looking foolish if they agree too low or too high a fee relative to other teams.

West Brom 2-0 Brighton: A win at long last!

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  • First WBA win in 21 PL matches
  • Pardew’s first WBA PL win, too
  • Baggies strike twice off corners
  • Gulls one PL win in last 12

Jonny Evans and Craig Dawson gave West Bromwich Albion its first Premier League win in ages, a 2-0 defeat of visiting Brighton and Hove Albion at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

The win is the Baggies’ first in league play since August, and its second-straight win after an FA Cup defeat of Exeter City last weekend.

West Brom is 19th with 19 points, while Brighton is 15th with 23 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Evans put West Brom on the right track — and added a few dollars to the Baggies’ asking price — when he headed in off an early corner.

It could have been 2-0. Matty Phillips effort into the box was blocked by the arm of Glenn Murray, but it was not deemed penalty-worthy.

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[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Jay Rodriguez had an early second half shot blocked inside the six as the Baggies sought a second. He’d then drag a shot wide of goal in the 51st.

Dawson gave West Brom its second in the 55th off yet another set piece, a corner driven to the penalty spot and headed off the ground with violence.

Murray set Anthony Knockaert up for a left-footer that tore over the goal.