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Terry’s Baggies Blog



Six defeats in seven matches suggest the Baggies are heading straight back to the Championship. Despite the results, Terry Will defends manager Tony Mowbray.

So just WHERE do the Baggies go from here? Obviously in the short term it’s to the JJB Stadium for a ‘massive’ game against Wigan, but in the long term if the result turns out to be yet another ‘disaster’ (and we’ve seen far to many already this season) it could be a ‘firm’ downward step on to a 20 rung ladder carrying a ‘Health and Safety’ warning.

That being ‘Beware the last three rungs, THEY deposit teams into the Championship… with all that entails!”

Perhaps I’m panicking too early? Perhaps the fact that the Baggies have by far the worst record in the Premiership after just 14 games is undeserved?

Perhaps, from some of the games, we should have received a feeling of confidence despite the results, and perhaps Tony Mowbray’s philosophy and belief, that our football will eventually steer us clear of an immediate return to the Championship will be proved 100% correct.

(And perhaps Wolves will fail to reach the Premiership and we’ll be playing them twice in Black Country Derbies next season!)

Of course in theory nothing, well virtually nothing, is impossible BUT judging from the mood of many fans there IS a definite feeling that week after week we’re digging ourselves into what started as a hole, but is rapidly turning into a bottomless pit.

The mood at the Britannia Stadium, on a bitterly cold, day was as expected. Outwardly the fans were hurling defiance and denying the possibility that Albion would fail to win in the Potteries for the 27th successive year BUT inwardly the feeling was entirely the opposite.

And how can you describe the quality of the football from both teams other than dross?

The Baggies passing game, which even when matches have being lost, was well below par. Our creative midfielders were anything but, while apart from a wild shot from Filipe Teixeira, when a pass to ‘Tiny’ Miller must surely have led to a goal (?!) it’s difficult to recall another genuine scoring opportunity.

The defence, somewhat surprisingly, coped admirably with Stokes diametrically direct style. Hit it hard, kick it long, arrow in Rory Delap’s now famous long throws, do whatever’s necessary to unsettle the worst defence in the League, and eventually you’ll gain your just reward!!!

This they did and with just seven minutes remaining a smart passing move (don’t normally expect to such quality from a Tony Pullis side!) saw the towering 6ft 4in Mamady Sidibe soar way over Paul Robinson to head the only goal of the game.

Result? THAT long miserable journey back home reflecting on a game that I’ve subsequently described as being the equivalent of John Sergeant’s skills on ‘Strictly come Dancing’!

(And whatever the views of those who were subsequently outraged after his decision to quit the show, the facts were that a Hippopotamus suffering from gout would have gained higher marks from the judges than him!)

But enough of the frivolity. The question’s are ‘Will Tony Mowbray change his footballing philosophy? (Answer NO) When the transfer window opens, will he succeed in bringing in a proven striker which will have to come from Europe seeing as there are none going begging in the UK?

And while admitting and recognising we DESPERATLY need a hard tackling midfielder, will he receive the financial backing from the Chairman who rarely opens the clubs purse strings any wider than necessary?

What is becoming worryingly obvious is that judging from many comments I’ve read, and heard on local radio, there are an increasing number who are openly stating Tony Mowbray has to go!

Conveniently forgetting he’s the manager who introduced the most exciting football seen at the Hawthorns since the days of Ron Atkinson and Johnnie Giles. Guided us to two Wembley appearances, albeit they were lost, but capped this last season by actually guiding the Baggies to their first League winning Trophy for 88 years.

'Mowbray Out'! Some fans have VERY short memories but again they're perfectly entitled to express whatever opinion they feel suits the current situation.

Yes some of his team selections can be queried BUT then name me any manager, however successful, who hasn’t or doesn’t receive such criticism?

WE simply HAVE to stick with a manager who has recruited some of the finest, technical, players seen at the Hawthorns for more seasons than I care to remember. OK some of them, while being outstanding in the Championship, haven’t as yet bridged the huge gap in quality that’s so patently obvious from teams in the Premiership.

But conversely remember they are ‘young’, are facing far better players than previously encountered, and if the results continue to go against them WILL feel under increasing pressure to succeed.

That’s Tony Mowbray’s job. He’s recruited the players he wanted although that had to be within the ‘limited’ funds made available. Has them playing in the style underlining his philosophy on the way the game should be played, and accuse him of being stubborn if you will (and I admit at times I echo some of the frustration echoed by other supporters) but then, who among the Baggies ‘Stirrer’ readers can suggest a name capable of doing a better job under the obvious financial restraints than he?

Yes we ARE in what can only be described as a growing weekly perilous position although there are still 72 points to play for.

The opening of the January transfer window grows ever closer and THAT, in my opinion, will determine whether or not West Bromwich Albion will be lining up against Aston Villa, Wolves, and Birmingham City in the Premiership (surely they can’t fail to achieve promotion barring a total collapse) or looking forward at the ‘best’, to Midland ‘Derbies’ against Coventry City, Derby County, Leicester City and Nottingham Forest, depending on whether Leicester achieve promotion and Forest avoid relegation.

(Expectations for such games don’t exactly set the pulses do they!?)

But while all of this is ‘idle’ speculation for the future the visit to Wigan on Saturday is most definitely none negotiable. A result MUST be obtained. Three points would be great. A draw? Wouldn’t do much in terms of striving to keep our feet off that 18th Relegation rung on the ladder BUT another demoralising defeat would increase the pressure on Tony Mowbray and the players even more that it is at present.

As ever all we can do is to wait and wonder, whether actually being at the game, or listening on local radio, or even watching the scores via ‘instant’ television reports.

Me? I’ll be there to see the action unfold and wondering whether next week the Blog will be celebrating a rare win or reporting on another ‘Groundhog Day’!

"Come on you Baggies".



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