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Rodriguez racial abuse charge found “not proven”

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West Brom striker Jay Rodriguez will not face punishment for an alleged racist incident against Brighton and Hove Albion.

The Gulls’ Gaetan Bong claimed that Rodriguez racially abused him during a Jan. 13 match, and Rodriguez was charged by the Football Association.

[ PL PREVIEW: Spurs vs. Man City ]

Fired manager Alan Pardew reportedly spoke up for Rodriguez at the hearing, after which the charge was found to be “not proven.”

The club released a statement following the verdict, with West Brom director of football administration Richard Garlick saying:

“Everyone at the Club is delighted for Jay because this has been a trying period for him. He has always maintained his innocence and we are naturally pleased the Commission has dismissed the charge.”

Alan Pardew leaves West Brom

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Well, that didn’t go well. At all.

Alan Pardew has “agreed to mutually part company” with West Bromwich Albion after 18 Premier League games in charge which yielded just one win and eight points from a possible 54.

West Brom are bottom of the Premier League table, 10 points from safety with just six games to go and heading for relegation after a eight-year stay in the top-flight. Per the club website, former West Brom skipper and center back Darren Moore will take charge of the team “until further notice.”

Pardew, 56, took over from Tony Pulis in November with the Baggies already in the midst of a massive slump as they’d failed to win since August and were on a 10-game winless run.

Things got worse as Pardew had to handle an incident on a warm-weather training trip to Barcelona as several veterans allegedly stole a taxi on a late night out in February.

The former West Ham, Newcastle and Crystal Palace manager signed a contract until the end of the 2019-20 season when he arrived at the Hawthorns in November, but West Brom and Pardew didn’t feel he would be a good fit for what will highly-likely be a promotion challenge in the second-tier of English soccer next season.

Below is the statement in full from West Brom on Pardew moving on.

West Bromwich Albion and Alan Pardew have agreed to mutually part company today following discussions between both parties.

Assistant Head Coach John Carver will also be leaving. The Club would like to thank Alan and John for their efforts and wish them well in their future endeavours.

First-team coach Darren Moore has been placed in charge of first team affairs until further notice. The Club will not be making any further comment at this time.

Pardew: West Brom “should have had enough to beat Huddersfield”

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West Bromwich Albion missed a massive opportunity to help save their Premier League lives, and manager Alan Pardew knows it.

[ RECAP: WBA 1-2 Huddersfield ]

“We have two or three flair players missing but we should have had enough to beat Huddersfield really,” he said after the Baggies lost 2-1 at home to Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

“It was a messy game, which they are good at. They get into your face and with the confidence we have maybe it affected us a bit.”

The Hawthorns crowd booed West Brom off the pitch following a loss that keeps them seven points shy of safety with 10 matches to play.

A forgiving fixture list is West Brom’s only hope for a great escape, though performances like Saturday against a fellow struggler is not going to encourage anyone.

West Brom remaining fixtures
3/3 at Watford
3/10 vs. Leicester City
3/17 at Bournemouth
3/31 vs. Burnley
4/7 vs. Swansea City
4/14 at Manchester United
4/21 vs. Liverpool
4/28 at Newcastle United
5/5 vs. Spurs
5/13 at Crystal Palac

West Brom played very poorly for manager Tony Pulis, and hasn’t looked much better with Pardew in charge. The Baggies are looking more and more like a club destined for the Championship.

“I think it is three wins in 37 games. It is a problem, we just have to find a way to win a game, however it and however ugly it is. It was certainly ugly today.”

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.”