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Terry’s Baggies Blog

BAGGIES HOPING TO SINK POOL

13-05-2009

With hawks circling, Premiership bailiffs hammering at the door, the Hawthorns ‘odd job man’ waiting to change every reference from Premiership to Championship, plus the Club shop ordering a fresh supply of Coca Cola shirt badges, it’s to Albion’s credit that all predators have been repelled…. for one more week at least!

Monday night, among with I presume most Baggies fans, I watched Newcastle and Middlesbrough slugging out their own North East derby with both clubs realising a victory would inch them closer to safety, and most probably Albion ever closer to playing Coventry City in next season’s nearest ‘local’ derby.

And so it came to pass that Newcastle’s 3-1 win left the latest saviour of the ‘Toon Army’, a certain Alan Shearer, smiling, Gareth Southgate for Boro’ devastated, while back home Tony Mowbray would, as his nature, simply look on saying to himself “I can’t do anything about other teams results. All we can do is try to win our last two games and hope it’s good enough to keep us in the Premiership”

Hope springs eternal is an old saying, and I realise that there are still a few optimistic Baggies supporters who feel that while there’s life, there has to be hope.

How I wish I could share this undying optimism but, as said last week, sadly I can’t bearing in mind that now Albion probably have to win their last two games, coupled with the highly unlikely scenario of other strugglers somehow managing to drop points that’d allow a ‘Second Great Escape’.

Which in turn would even eclipse Bryan Robson’s magnificent still almost unbelievable achievement.

What REALLY is frustrating is that the North East result came on the back of the Baggies beating Wigan. Chalking up a second successive home victory, (despite still looking shaky in defence) added another trio of goals, and so impressed Bookmakers the odds against them being relegated had been slashed from 200 to 1 on to a mere 25-1 on. Wow they really must be worried!

So how come the difference and why did the team look as if football was a game to be enjoyed and not racked with the thought that they were as good as relegated.

Well, an injury to Scott Carson leading to Dean Kiely making his first appearance of the season subsequently turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Tony Mowbray, the team, and the fans.

After taking the lead courtesy of a Marc Antoine-Fortune goal, Wigan launched a series of raids, via slick passing moves, that led to Deano pulling off some tremendous last ditch saves.

Of course it couldn’t last. Wigan were awarded a fee kick from an eminently scoring position, a shot, a deflection and they were level.

Second half a follow up from a far from perfect Chris Brunt penalty made it 2-1 and when Fortune added a glorious third, victory was ours.

We’ve done it before, we can do it again” chanted the optimists’
(Me? I could wake up Sunday morning looking forward to digesting yet another Baggies win!)

Fans had enjoyed some impressive performances. The aforementioned Dean Kiely and Marc Antoine’ Fortune, it’s been a long time since the Baggies had such a hard working non stop runner up front. The yet again, commanding presence of Jonas Olsoon. Gianni Zuiverloon, and the seemingly ‘magical’ transformation of the berated record signing Borja Valero who IS slowly, albeit reluctantly (?) leading his critics to bite their tongues when asked to access his capabilities.

The worrying prospect for Tony Mowbray is the increasing number of speculation surrounding Albion top players.

Yes, most of it is ‘inspired’ and fuelled by agents who see dwindling pound signs flashing before their eyes as they attempt to screw every last penny from any club desperate to sign THEIR client.

But again that’s for the future. What matters now are the final two games that will either end in, to put it mildly a FANTASTIC escape, or the ODDS ON drop back into the ‘Fizzy Pop’ League.

Which leads to a sense of impending gloom, despair, and foreboding, when analysing the Baggies TRULY appalling record against Liverpool.

Grit your teeth and digest these results.

We’ve lost every Premiership game, conceding 24 goals and scoring NONE!
Before changing the name of Division One to the ‘Grandiose’ Premiership, we played four times, lost three, conceded eleven goals, and scored two in return!

(But a glimmer of hope. Albion DID manage a goalless draw at Anfield way back in 1984!)

Of course under ‘normal’ circumstances there’s always a chance of a shock result but with both teams needing the points for entirely different reasons, Albion to avoid the drop, and the ‘Pool still in with an outside chance of pipping Manchester United for the title, expecting to beat them in an ‘OK Coral’ shoot out, must be a bridge too far, mustn’t it?

Can’t see it myself but until next week when probably/possibly I’ll be confirming our drop into the Championship (?) expect to see and, or hear, another full house noisy Hawthorns crowd roaring above the strangled strains of “You’ll never walk Alone” the plaintive response of “The Lords my Shepherd”

If he is then on behalf of all Albion supporters I urge him to note the words “He makes me down to lie in pastures green he leadeth me the quiet waters by”

For Albion fans ‘the quiet waters by mean surviving this season and living to fight another campaign in the Premiership!

We can but hope so whatever happens let’s hear it for the world wide millions watching on television…

“Come on you Baggies”

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