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Terry’s Baggies Blog

I WISH IT COULD BE 1931 AGAIN

26-02-2010

He’s not going to Wembley but he is starting to worry. Terry Wills raises an eyebrow over events of the past few days.

"Statistically we knew our run would end sometime."

The words of Jonas Olsson, following Albion's (only) second away defeat of the season at Ashton Gate, where after leading courtesy of a Graham Dorrans goal, they surrendered the lead, the points, and ultimately an automatic promotion spot thanks to Nottingham Forest chalking up a club record by winning their ninth successive home win.

It WAS disappointing but at the finish one couldn't deny City their victory. A win that looked some way beyond them in the first half but was well earned based on them upping their game, and Baggies so clearly running out of steam.

Again injuries and suspensions meant Di Matteo having too to rejig the starting line up and as the game wore on it became clear that the missing duo, Jerome Thomas and Gozala Jara, in particular, waas a major loss.

Chances at both ends in the first-half, Albion having the better, but with shooting opportunities squandered, and overpassing becoming a frustrating sight, the Baggies should have gone in at the break leading by more than Graham Dorrans’ 13th goal of the season.

What was said to the Bristol players during the break only they will know but I'd be very surprised if their manager, Gary Johnson, hadn't said "Quicken the pace, attack them down the flanks, especially their right hand side. Get in their faces and the chances will come."

But whatever his instructions they had the desired results. City closed down Albion's attacking options at the back, and in 50-50 challenges in all areas of the field were clearly the winners.

The Baggies'backed off and their two goals, scored in a matter of four minutes, was enough to leave Albion fans disappointed, and City's highly delighted.

So, not a good day in the chase for Promotion points, and while the FA Cup replay against Reading was important, a win meaning almost certainly playing the Villa in a clash to decide which of us would be walking out at Wembley for a semi-final, all we could do was anticipate what would happen.

A DISASTER? A DISGRACE? A DISAPPOINTMENT? YES IT WAS ALL OF THOSE BUT A BRIEF SUMMING UP OF THE 3-2 DEFEAT AGAINST READING CAN BE SUMMED UP IN A SINGLE WORD.'SHAMBOLIC'.

Let's not mince words. There can be no excuse whatsoever for a team that defended (did I say defended?) like they’d been told to lose.

A bright start - the first of Robert Koren's two goals. The Royals, on the back foot, but in their first attack Jimmy Keibi equalised and the manner in which the Baggies were seemingly happy to give the ball away spelt imminent worries.

Second half. Koren's second goal, an absolute howler as the keeper allowed a shot to slip through his hands and over the line.

NOW was the time to display what's needed to win any game. Discipline, determination and, most important of all, common sense. A commodity sadly lacking in a team that apparently believe that whatever mistakes they make, the opposition hopefully won't take advantage of them.

Reading did. Time after time they were on the verge of snatching a second equaliser while at the other end, whatever scoring opportunities created, they'd be promptly nullified.

Three minutes of added on time. Supporters urging the team NOT to do anything stupid. Negative response as for the umpteenth time they continued to panic by giving the ball away or losing possession.
Brian Howard pounced and as his shot hit the back of the net it was no more than Reading deserved. An extra 30 minutes, and after just five, Gylfi Sigurdsosson struck. Scott Carson beaten by a tremendous long range shot that turned out to be the winning goal.

Full time whistle. Boos, a red card, scuffles between Reading players and Albion stewards, and then after the dust had settled, Baggies supporters justly lambasting the team, especially Joe Mattock and Gianni Zuiverloon, for continuing to make mistakes, and errors of judgements they should be ashamed of.

Best players of the few? Graham Dorrans before being subbed, Robert Koren and Youssouf Mulumbu. Worst of the rest? Need more be said?

Based on the evidence of this game, and recent similar performances, the prospects of regaining automatic promotion.are dwindling as fast as an ice-cream's chance of remaining frozen in a microwave.

Indeed many more, and a final top six spot could be open to question. As for this week’s visit of Derby County, should Di Matteo fail to crack the whip then the rapidly improving Rams could heap even more misery on the team and fans that are at present wallowing in the depths of despair.

Stupid really isn't it? Surely there are more important things in life too worry about than losing a game of football? Ask any Albion supporter should they be forced to endure many other displays of this nature!

Come on you Baggies. PLEASE!

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