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Terry’s Baggies Blog

‘TIS THE SEASON TO BE ...WORRYING

23-12-2009

Terry Wills is starting to feel a bit apprehensive as Christmas approaches. And it’s nothing to do with having to buy loads of presents.

It’s not only the weather that’s taken a sudden turn for the worse. The Baggies prospects of approaching the festive period with a comfortable points advantage over their main promotion-chasing rivals has also diminished, to the extent that should they fail to take maximum points from the next two games they could find themselves not only out of the second automatic spot (Newcastle are surely nailed on favourites to lift the title) they would find teams such as Forest, Cardiff, Swansea and Leicester dreaming of playing in the Greed League next season.

The postponing of the Blackpool match means that although Albion now have a game in hand, should they eventually lose that, it will be down to goals difference and that could be far too close for comfort. Not only for the Chairman, Directors, Head Coach and players, but for Baggies fans who are finding it hard to believe just how dramatically optimism is changing to a sense of possible foreboding.

But that’s just conjecture - for the present we can simply wait, hope, and (if you have a religious faith) pray that the current form is merely a blip that be overcome as the long hard serious progresses.

So what are the prospects of gaining maximum points from the two holiday games? At face value excellent, seeing as bottom but one Peterborough United are our Boxing Day visitors, followed by a trip to another United, 19th placed Scunthorpe on December 28th.

Roberto Di Matteo is well aware however, as are most fans, that in the Championship there are few easy games - yes at times the Baggies HAVE destroyed teams but when a game kicks off the players’ body language makes one realise that without 100% commitment an upset could well be on the cards.

Di Matteo’s New Year wish, echoed by every Albion fan, will be the realisation that at long last players who have yet to kick a ball in anger due to injury WILL be available for selection.

A fit ‘Tiny’ Miller would be akin to signing a new player possessing tremendous potential. Strength, power, and pace; attributes Luke Moore has yet to show on anything resembling a consistent basis.

James Morrison, another player who at his best can weave a touch of magic would also provide problems for the opposition while a fit Neil Clement would certainly add strength to a defence that far too often make mistakes that send palpitations coursing through a supporter’s body.

(Sadly I feel that Clem’s chances of ever playing a serious game for the Baggies have to be remote.  I’m no medical expert but the reports and bulletins coming out of the club seem to indicate his professional career is all but over)

Looking on the positive side and analysing the next few games, should we win the Peterborough and Scunthorpe matches our, at present, goal difference would still keep us ahead of the pack. And who after that are our next opponents in the fight for three EXTREMELY vital league points? None other than the team who are enjoying a fantastic unbeaten run, are level on points and have yet to lose an away game - Nottingham Forest!

A televised game on Friday January 8th that will surely mean a near-enough full house and millions of neutrals tuning in to see two teams who are striving desperately to put distance between themselves and the rest of the promotion chasers.

But all this is to come and as usual only time will tell exactly who will see their New Year’s wishes granted.

So to all Stirrer readers, on behalf of this battle hardened Albion fan, please accept my best wishes for what hopefully will see your expectations and optimism for the future realised.

UNLESS it means you just happen to support any of the teams we’re hoping to leave behind come the start of next season when the fixtures show West Bromwich Albion will be fielding a first team at Old Trafford as opposed our Black Country Molineux rivals decision to play their reserve team!

“Come on you Baggies”

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