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Terry’s Baggies Blog

OUT AND NEARLY DOWN

16-03-2009

Terry Wills

If Albion’s visit to West Ham isn’t quite the “last chance saloon” for Tony Mowbray's side, then it’s certainly the pub next door. Terry Wills takes little heart from recent performances.

So what’s the mood inside and outside the Hawthorns following the HORRENDOUS defensive display against Arsenal that confirmed the lessons needed to cut out Sunday League style defending hadn’t been learned?

A performance that Tony Mowbray, the players and the Albion faithful would most certainly prefer to forget.

Chatting and listening to disillusioned supporters I gauge an almost inevitable feeling the majority, sadly, expect to see the Baggies facing another spell in ‘Fizzy Pop’ Championship League when next season’s fixtures are published.

Naturally some will vehemently argue the contrary. “We’ve done it before-we can do it again” they chant but as much as I’d love to agree with the sentiments sadly I can’t.

Daily media reports are quite frankly becoming predictable and ‘boring’.

Following the Arsenal ‘fiasco’ we hear in the media that Tony Mowbray had blasted the players for repeating the same basic errors match after match, week after week. (Sadly in truth these have been prevalent in the teams make up since the opening game of the season)

Not that Mogga’ is totally immune from blame. He admits he should have bought in more experienced Premiership players as opposed to some of his signings, and also concedes his passing game philosophy, without more grit and determination, won’t win matches.

But in saying that, whatever his team selections, he’s entitled to expect far more positive, determined, displays than he and supporters have had to endure in so many games to date.

In a rare public ‘outburst’ he added “Its time for them to start earning their money”. Chris Brunt has joined in the criticism calling for “straight talking with players speaking their minds and prepared to accept criticism” James Morrison is ‘Haunted by what’s gone wrong”.

Jonas Olsson, so badly missed, but hopefully soon to return added, “Everyone is pushing, helping, and hoping to do their part, even if they’re not playing. In some games we’ve played well and in others we haven’t performed as we can do

At face value all laudable sentiments but being honest the fact is that a combination of poor team selection, incorrect tactics, the worst Albion defence I can recall, plus a modicum of striking power leads to the conclusion that the current squad is simply not good enough to compete at Premiership level.

Calling for a Dunkirk spirit Chairman Jeremy Peace has called for unity from the supporters, players and coaches for the final ten games saying he’s still confident the club could turn around the season and claw back the seven point gap between them and safety. (Sorry Jeremy with little or no signs of a vast improvement I reckon our massive inferior goal difference increases the deficit to eight points)

Regarding the call for unity I ask myself just what more can the supporters do to influence matters on the pitch?

Despite feeling downhearted they’ll continue to roll up in numbers, “Sing their hearts out for the ladsThe Lords my Shepherd” and “Come on you Baggies” but without a positive reaction from the players that will count for nothing.

But back to specifics and the first of the remaining vital Premiership games.

A daunting away game at West Ham tonight. With the match being televised and listening to reaction from disgruntled supporters I know many of the regular away day fans will be staying at home, not only to save another hefty cash outlay, but in the main feeling the prospect of watching another setback to painful to endure.

It’s so easy to switch off the telly, go to bed and try to forget it but sitting on a Supporters Club coach crawling away from grounds, and facing a miserable brooding journey home, that’s another feeling entirely.

But then just perhaps the players WILL have expressed a few home truths to each other. Hopefully they’ll prove me, and similar doubters, wrong and start on a winning run that could keep them in the Premiership.

I say COULD simply because the destiny doesn’t lie in their own hands. It would take a supreme optimist to ‘honestly’ believe there are three other teams in a worse situation than Albion based on current form - but then hope has to spring eternal!

It’s not all doom and gloom so lets end on a bright note with some good news for supporters! There’ll be no increase in Season Ticket prices for next season regardless of whether we retain our Premier League status providing they renew before the end of April.

So more in hope than anticipation here we go again!

“Come on you Baggies”

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