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Terry’s Baggies Blog

DON’T MENTION THE GAME

25-02-2009

Terry Wills does his best Basil Fawlty impression. Except that instead of “Don’t Mention The War”, it’s “Don’t Mention The Game”.

Fulham away and I saw it ‘live’ along with another 1,999 (?) travelling fans.

Back home, and ‘sadly’ across the football-loving world courtesy of Sky Television, millions who tuned in and having no allegiance to the Baggies must have felt they were watching a team destined for relegation.ESPECIALLY if they’d been unfortunate to see the highlights of the horrendous display against Newcastle United the previous week.

(But let’s start at the very beginning, courtesy of Do –Ra-Me, from the ‘Sound of Music’!)

Before setting off, and during the smooth journey, some supporters were feeling in a far more optimistic mood than could realistically have been expected.

Said one “I reckon we’ll grab three points” “That’s a bit optimistic” said another, “But I don’t think we’ll lose”

Inwardly wondering why I held the opposing point of view I began to mull over the possibility they’d be proved right. Especially as ‘The Great Escape DVD’ was screened as a reminder (if anyone needing reminding) of that last day trauma that will forever remembered and replayed to future generations of Albion supporters.

(NO MENTION OF THE MATCH YET!)

Arriving early giving ample time to ‘stroll’ along the Thames Walkway.

Admiring the plucky efforts as the crew of the Putney Rowing Club defied the heavy swell to ‘cut’ their way through the choppy water. Seeing keen ‘keep fit’ enthusiasts overtaking casual strollers. Families sitting together on benches. Sharing sandwiches, crisps, bottles of ‘pop’ etc.

At peace with the world enthusiastic Fulham fans smiled and passed comments as to the FACT that their home form would take them to another comfortable win.

“We’ll see” Memories of the ‘Great Escape’ DVD clouding my judgement!

(STILL NO MENTION OF THE GAME)

Turning round at Putney Bridge for the walk back to Craven Cottage and from the on duty Metropolitan Police came a familiar accent “It ain’t a patch on West Bromwich is it”! (Seconded for the day I presume?)

My reply “ No we don’t have a cut as deep as wide and deep as this”

(NEARLY TIME FOR A MATCH REPORT)

Entering the ground and immediate trouble for a Baggies fan. A steward confronted him saying “You abused me - you’re not coming in. We don’t take abuse from anyone. Get out

Not sure what the confrontation was all about but my immediate though was “Fancy paying good money for tickets and travel only to be refused entry”

(NOW, ALBEIT RELUCTANTLY, I CAN’T IGNORE COMMENTING ON THE MATCH AND APOLOGIES TO ‘STIRRER’ READERS WHO ARE ALSO BAGGIES FANS- STARTING AT HALF-TIME!)

Why half time? Simply because of the message over the annoy to the effect that “We’re pleased to announce that ‘Scooby Doo’ and her friends are here watching the game”

For those unfamiliar with their antics, apparently at their best, to quote, “They mix their usual blend of confusion and comedy into an irresistible theatre show.

“Hilarious physical humour and special effects which will appeal equally to parents who grew up watching the show and kids who discovered them for the first time”

And THAT’S what led me to believe they’d not only come to watch the match but somehow or other had passed on the secrets of their ‘success’ to Albion’s defensive line up.

Swap the wording from ‘an irresistible live theatre show’ to the confines of a ‘live’ football pitch. Change hilarious physical humour and special effects to no physical contact, and THAT adequately sums up yet another ‘gutless’ display that for the umpteenth time ‘roared’ out some familiar messages.

If a team allows the opposition to win 99% of any REQUIRED physical challenges, back away when there’s an obvious need to restrict time and space on the ball can you expect anything other than trouble?

Also WHY do the team seem incapable of learning from reoccurring mistakes, which if not rectified can ONLY spell out, loud and clear, TWO words, DISASTER and RELEGATION?

But a few brief painful sobering thoughts, if I must (!) on the game.

In defence Leon Barnett and Abdoulaye Meite, at the centre of the ‘Keystone Cops’ defending against Newcastle clearly hadn’t learnt from their mistakes.

The midfield? Far too lightweight? Up front, ‘Homer’ Simpson, and Carlos Fortune caused few problems although in their defence they didn’t receive much in the way of service.
IF Fulham had had their shooting boots on, it’s fair to say that as ‘Scooby Doo’ and friends made their way on to the pitch, and the Baggies left for their half- time ‘chat’ with Tony Mowbray, the game could have been as good as over.

Still there had to be some improvement in the second-half, didn’t there?

To a degree there was. A few scoring opportunities did come along but as the ‘Cottagers’ had opened up a comfortable 2-0 lead and looked capable of adding more, that final score line summed up the game.

With time running out, and for the disgruntled Albion fans that hadn’t already left, came the final irony.

The referee pointed to the spot. Up stepped Substitute Roman Bednar to score a consolation goal only to see him compound the afternoon’s misery by seeing his shot saved by the keeper.

Boos, boos, and more boos, so richly earned that left me with one ironic thought.
The Baggies fan that had been refused entry could possibly draw minor consolation that being unable to see the game was probably a blessing in disguise!?

This week we’re off to Everton and based on current form it could only be a ‘wildly’ optimistic supporter envisaging anything other than a ‘Toffees’ win.

Another defeat can only increase concern that following the remaining 12 Premiership games it WILL be back to another ‘unknown’ length of spell in Championship football.

But as always I can’t leave without uttering the rallying call.

Come on you Baggies

(See also “Another White Flag Day For Baggies”)

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