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Terry’s Baggies Blog

BAGGIES OUT OF TOON

11-02-2009

Albion are spending international week in Spain. Just as well - otherwise Terry Wills would be giving them an ear-bashing.

After digesting national and local media reports what’s more to be said regarding the Baggies truly appalling defensive display against Newcastle apart from the FACT that this week they definitely WON’T be repeating ‘cardinal sin’ errors.

Not because they’ll have learnt from the mistakes and found the answers, but simply because Paul Robinson and company will be benefiting from the International break, safe in the knowledge that without a game they can’t repeat what Tony Mowbray described as ‘Keystone Cops’ defending!

Wrong Tony. Throw in Laurel and Hardy, The Marx Brothers, Charlie Chaplin, Ben Turpin, Abbott and Costello, plus many other legendary comedians, and you’ll be halfway to accurately describing a Brian Rix farcical display.

Act one…the curtain rises, along with fans eyebrows, as the team is announced.

A central pairing of Leon Barnett and Meite both declared fit (?) while Pele, who’d been handed the captain’s armband just four days earlier, was left out.

Kim Do-Heon in midfield? Meaning Filipe Teixeira, in my eyes the far superior player, again left warming one of the substitute’s chairs

Agreed ‘Tex’ was recovering from a lengthy injury but even so his ability and work rate had to be well above anything Kim could contribute at Premiership level. But then I’m not paid to select the team. That’s down to Tony Mowbray.

Up front, against a Newcastle team also struggling to clamber away from the relegation basement, astonishingly a LONE striker!

Marc-Antoine fortune. He’d made a promising start to his Hawthorns career but what would today show?

Admittedly with ‘Homer’ Simpson absent that limited the manager’s options but why no place for Roman Bednar in a 4-4-2 formation - even though his finishing of late had been below par?

His enthusiasm, endeavour, and willingness to challenge for every ball was always likely to worry opponents from a game that could have seen a win take the Baggies out of the bottom three. Wouldn’t that have been the logical choice?

Act Two. Ninety seconds on the clock and a goal down. Courtesy of Leon Barnett doing his best to emulate Todd Carty’s hilarious non-dancing proficiency on ‘Dancing on Ice, to gift Damien Duff the opening goal.

But what’s this? Enter Fortune, latching on to a pass and equalising in front of the Smethwick End’s drum beating. That’s better now let’s settle down and win the game.

Should have known better. Hollow laughter as pantomime defending gifted another two goals. A posse of defenders, resembling the antics of the Chuckle Brothers inexplicably looking aghast as the ball pinged around in the area before finishing in the back of Scott Carson’s net.

Next, guess what (!) a set piece corner, a regulatory static defence, and the stunned crowd looking on, hardly believing the evidence of their own eyes.

From then until the break, more groans, moans, and embarrassing looks as United appeared capable of scoring EVERY time they crossed the half way line and at half time, 3-1 down, the storm of booing sent out it’s own message.

Changes HAD to be made and immediately replacing Kim and Chris Brunt with Filipe Teixeira and Roman Bednar did lead to a marked improvement.

Plenty of possession, nullified by giving the ball away via sloppy passing, but with Fortune, allied by Bednar’s probing, at last causing the United defence problems, the possibility of Albion reducing the deficit looked a distinct possibility.

A glimmer of hope. A second for Fortune laid on by ‘Tex’, (why oh why, WAS Kim given the nod over him) latching on to a subtle pass before turning and crashing the ball home.

But despite further efforts there would be no happy ending for the team or the fans. Ok they’d improved in the second half but a reprise of the chorus of disapproval left both manager and players in no doubt the fans felt they’d been badly let down by all concerned.

Among the few plus points (!) had been the performance of the forward signed but not acknowledges as being a ‘prolific’ goal scorer.

Marc –Antoine Fortune. Excellent first touch. Prepared to harry defenders, and took his two goals with coolness and aplomb.

And who knows IF he can continue in this vein, hopefully joined by a fit again ‘Homer’ Simpson, plus Roman Bednar chipping in with a few goals then the possibility of a second Great Escape is a possibility.

But then no doubt the managers of the other relegation ‘favourites’ are expressing the same sentiments.

Like EVERY supporter I left the Hawthorns angry, disheartened, and asking myself just why a few hours earlier I’d queued at the Ticket Office to buy tickets for the next two away games at Fulham and Everton?

To the manager and players a heartfelt plea. While enjoying your Spanish Sunshine break remember just WHY you’re there.

To sort out the ‘Palace of Varieties’ defending and general lack of application we had to suffer in the Newcastle shambles.

You state you don’t want to be playing Championship Football next season, well I can assure you the fans don’t want to be watching it either.

The problem is we can’t do anything about it. That’s down to you is it not?

“Come on you Baggies”.

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