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What West Brom Say: Pulis - Sunderland 'have absolutely fantastic support' & Boinging with a Baggie

Each week Roker Report wakes with the sweats wondering what the opposition is saying about us. Today it's Tony Pulis and his Baggies. Here's what Top-Bloke-Tone and the West Brom lot have been saying about the visit of Sunderland; and we even managed an interview with a 'celebrity' boinger who is well known to quite a few Mackems.

West Bromwich Albion v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

The Manager

Tony Pulis is probably a top bloke - I mean you would hate to watch his brand of football week-in-week-out, but most of us would take the man quite happily right now at Sunderland.

And he always has a grin on his face, a bit of banter, looks like a footy-granddad fresh from watching his 6-year-old grandson on a Saturday morning - all animated enthusiasm and sad-cap.

West Bromwich Albion v Watford - Premier League
"Hi there", Tony Pulis comes over all coy as he smoulders for an admirer
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Indeed, Pulis went up in our banter-estimation during Euro 2016. The mick-taking producer at ITV who thought putting the gritty, grafting, defensive disciple on the job to co-commentate a game between the flair-boys of Spain vs Turkey likely got a massive promotion as direct result of his innovation.

It may not have caught on yet, but Pulis on Johnny-foreigner and the tika-taka was TV 'gold' as Tony struggled his way through fluid passing moves and loads of half-arsed pronunciations. By about the hour-mark he'd given up his comic attempt at punditry and was just ripping the piss out of us all. He just doesn't care.

Tony Pulis - he does what he wants.

And he's gone up another notch in the admiration stakes by giving a nod to the brave souls of Wearside who will make the god-awful trip to the West Midlands tomorrow. Who in their right mind would empty the last out of their January-skint-wallet to travel 200 miles to watch this Sunderland side - the one who were jeered off the pitch at Turf Moor a mere four days ago? In his pre-match press conference Pulis said:

We’ll have to be at our best because they’ll have a sell-out support and they have absolutely fantastic backing wherever they go.

Tony and our Dave go back a long way, but Pulis has a kind word for Sunderland's embattled manager:

It’ll be a tough game – every game in the Premier League is – and I have great respect for David as he’s a top manager.

And just at look at this gallery of evidence to prove the existence of Tony and Dave's bromance:

The Player

Jake Livermore signed for West Brom yesterday. The former Spurs man joins for an undisclosed fee thought to be in the region of £10m. He used to have funny hair. It was almost as bad as Didier Ndong's.

Tottenham Hotspur v Los Angeles Galaxy Photo by Ric Tapia/Getty Images

Born to play for Pulis, it's just a surprise the 27-year-old took so long to find his way into Tony's arms.

At 6ft tall and officially classified as a 'versatile midfielder' but really a central defender at heart, the Baggies boss probably hasn't slept for a week trying to figure out how he can slot Livermore into his back-eight to fit in alongside the rest of the centre-backs he has in there.

Pulis will likely deploy Livermore at left-back, just like he does with that right-footed, former Sunderland centre-half, Jonny Evans.

The Fans

Top-bloke Tone has silenced the Baggies doubters who wanted him out of the Hawthorns - but for how long? His Premier League-guarantee brand of football is unbecoming for some fans of the club.

West Bromwich Albion v Watford - Premier League Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

We have some sympathy of course, last season's fixture between West Brom and Sunderland at the Stadium of Light was an astonishing affair as Pulis camped his side on the Baggies' goal-line and laughed in the face of Sunderland's utter lack of creativity in finding a way past.

For the trip to Burnley mid-week we pondered whether the Clarets have the worst ever celebrity fan. West Brom fare little better with Adrian Chiles of course, but Frank Skinner is a funny man.

West Bromwich Albion v Hull City - Premier League
Frank Skinner cracks a few funnies before Hull's match with Hull on January 2nd.
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Sadly neither the former football frontman or the fantasy footy blokey-bloke were available for a few words, so we did the next best thing and got token Baggie and 'top poster' Boinger off Sunderland fan-forum ReadyToGo to do us a piece to camera instead. Here's his state-of-the-brom address to the Mackem nation:

I like to think you Mackems are like us Baggies (except you have much larger support of course). Both have a not insignificant place in English football history, both have been through the mill a bit in recent times and both have to contend with "massive" [insert smiley] neighbours with ideas of grandeur far above their station.

Your current plight is rather sad to see. Magnificent old style support deserving of so much better. Just really bad management from the top, although he no doubt meant well - from the outside looking in, you needed a "football man" to oversee things. Also, not to be underestimated, you've not had the rub of the green re: injuries

Having said this, you're only one point away from really never know!

As for the match, I shouldn't be - given recent form - but I am worried. Defoe ALWAYS scores against us and for the gamblers, Big Vic is worth a cheeky tenner. I'm having a punt!

But, what we really wanted to know is, hasn't the 'boing' got a bit - well - stale now? Not according to, erm, Boinger:

The "Boing" is still going strong, but it was so much better when it first started in the old third division (League One) when we were crammed into some small standing end, watching Ossie Ardiles - "you score five and we'll score six" - football. Pulis would have had a heart attack!

Safe journey down mackems, and get yourselves to The Vine... chicken tikka heaven!

See, the Baggies - they're a warm-hearted bunch with a sense of humour. Top boinging.

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