Writer: The Tuckster
Date:Saturday December 7 2013
The Tuckster has been speaking to Mark Thomas from Albion till we die about City's visit to The Hawthorns, as well as his hopes for the rest of the season.
Tuckster: Who are you and how did you come to support West Brom?
Mark: I'm Mark, a lifelong Albion fan. My Dad took me to my first game in 1981 and I've been hooked ever since. I was born and live in the town and all my family are Baggies' fans so there was really no other team for me. As a hobby I've run an independent Albion website for over nine years now.
T: What do you think of your team's season, so far?
M: We had a pretty poor start to the season and there was quite a bit of doom and gloom around the club but a number of new signings around deadline day saw performances and results initially improve. Recently performances and results have dipped again. The highlight of the season was undoubtedly the win at Old Trafford and if it were not for the cheating of Ramires and the incompetence of Andre Marriner we would have claimed a win at Stamford Bridge too.
T: From the outside, you look like you might be missing Lukaku, what's your take?
M:We are definitely missing him, he's a super player and I don't think most fans around the country actually realise how good he is, especially considering his age. I'm amazed that Chelsea aren't using him.
T: Who is your favourite Player, and why?
M: Youssouf Mulumbu without question, a fantastic player. A tireless midfielder, regularly winning more tackles in a game than anyone else, decent at passing, good at getting forward, continually breaking down opposition attacks. There's talk again of him leaving for a bigger club with Arsenal mentioned and out of all our squad he probably is the one player that could play for a top four side.
T: What do you make of Norwich City's season so far?
M: The general perception is that Norwich have had a poor start to the season although looking at the table you are only one point behind Albion. What can't be denied though is you seem to be shipping goals at an alarming rate and that's an omnious sign. Also, from what I've seen and read, Chris Hughton has lost the backing of a fair few fans. Once that happens and from my experience of watching football it will be only a matter of time before he goes. With that uncertainty around the club and confidence seemingly low I think the second half of the season may be a struggle.
T: Do City have any players that you particularly admire?
M: I have to admit I'm not too famililar with the Norwich squad but one player I have seen a fair bit of is Nathan Redmond who played for our local rivals Birmingham City. He looked an excellent prospect at St Andrews and a fair few Baggies' fans would have liked to see us take a gamble on him. Not too sure how he's doing at Carrow Road but if he can fulfill his potential he could become a decent player.
T: Who are your danger men that we should watch out for and why?
M: French winger Morgan Amalfitano had an excellent start to the season, looking like a Premier League star from day one. His form dipped as did the team's but against Manchester City in midweek he looked as though he was getting back to his best. Stephane Sessegnon is also a supremely gifted player but the last couple of games he played he was virtually anonymous. If those two can get their game together they are a handful for any team.
T: Where do you think Norwich will finish this season?
M: As mentioned above I think it is going to be a struggle but I think you might just about stay up. You look a better side than Sunderland and Palace and there's probably not a lot to choose between you and the likes of Fulham, Stoke and Cardiff. I think it's vital your defence tightens up though and whether you have the players to do that I'm not sure.
T: What are your expectations for West Brom's season?
M: At the start of the season I was hoping for another finish around 10th spot. We just can't seem to get going though, drawing far too many games and failing to win ones we should. Our next three games will possibly shape our season. Norwich, Cardiff and Hull are all teams we are capable of beating and if we can take six or seven points from those game I'll be pleased. If we take less than four points the alarm bells will start ringing for me.
T: Give us a score prediction for the match.
M: The pressure will be on Albion to win for sure. If the players can cope with that, and if we can grab the first goal, I think we should be able to take three points. I'm certain it'll be a close game though. I'll say 1-0 to Albion.
Cheers Mark, all the best for the rest of the season, starting on Sunday!
You can follow all things WBA on albiontillwedie.co.uk
Date:Saturday December 7 2013
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