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Terry’s Baggies Blog

SHOULD HE STAY OR SHOULD HE GO?

27-05-2009

Albion fans turned out en mass in Mowbray masks at the weekend to show their support for the manager - despite relegation. But with clouds gathering over The Hawthorns, can they be sure he'll still be in the dugout next season.

“Masquerade-
Paper faces on parade-
Masquerade-
Hide your face-
So the world will never find you”
“Masquerade-
Every face a different shade-
Masquerade-
Look around
There’s another mask behind you”

The lyrics penned by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber for his non stop runaway West End and Broadway show ‘Phantom of the Opera’.

And never in a million years did he envisage 2,900 ‘barmy’ Baggies fans basking in sunshine at Ewood Park (wearing Tony Mowbray masks) to show their support for a manager who’d ‘successfully’ managed to guide them to back into the realms of unwanted Championship football!

So down came the curtain on the end of a season that initially promised so much only to end in abject disappointment. And if any reminder was needed, the performance at Blackburn acutely summed up the frustration of the travelling supporters.

And there WERE masks when you ‘looked around to find another mask behind you’! And behind the masks were a sea of faces barely being able to believe, that true to form, Albion’s ability to create genuine goal scoring opportunities would be offset by shots and headers, that apart from a tremendous volley from Chris Brunt, finished high, wide, and not very handsome, among the crowd.

Again it COULD and SHOULD have been enthusiastic, ever optimistic, Baggies fans leaving a ground celebrating a three point away win but as we’d only seen this ‘primeval’ anomaly open once, at Middlesbrough back in September 2008, the chances of it happening again had to be considered remote.

Promising displays from certain players were nullified by basic errors. Marc-Antoine Fortune, work rate, persistence, and ability to hold up the ball, 100% effort, but his inability to test the keeper from promising situations appears to be his Achilles heel.

A midfield capable of weaving ‘pretty patterns’ only to end with the ball back where it started!

All round so much promise on the surface but ‘masking’ weaknesses s that will HAVE to be rectified if Albion are to make any REAL progress towards gaining another promotion.

This in turn setting up a fourth attempt to survive in a League that means a club without substantial financial backing resembling a 100 metres athlete starting behind his opponents after being penalised with a 90 metre handicap.

The current off field internal rumbles are also causing black clouds to settle over The Hawthorns. Roman Bednar looks to have played his last game due to drug allegations. Speculation that certain players being targeted by Premiership clubs are inevitable. Paul Robinson has reportedly claimed he wants a move stating he’s reluctant to play another season of Championship football.

Overshadowing all of these comes the disturbing news that the relationship between Chairman Jeremy Peace and manager Tony Mowbray is beginning to throw up diverse opinions as to how much authority Mogga’ wields regarding the number of players he feels he needs to mould a long awaited stable Premiership team.

The Chairman claims 20/22 are sufficient bearing in mind the ability to bring in loan players plus the current crop of promising Academy players.

Tony Mowbray claims he’s happy to work within any framework as long as he HAS the final say on which players he feels necessary. Asking questions along the lines “what happens if players already on the books and surplus to requirements fail to attract bids from other clubs?” Does this mean that in order to bring in the players to strengthen the club he’dbe ‘forced’ to sell one of his ‘star’ players to raise the necessary cash?

So many questions, so many answers, and until the manager and Chairman sit down face to face to thrash out EXACTLY what this means then again supporters can only sit, wait and hope, that any final decisions taken ensures the Baggies can look forward to a close season of harmony as opposed to a period of ‘simmering’ discontent.

Now THE ultimate worry rears its ugly head. Gordon Strachan has left Celtic with Tony Mowbray made overwhelming favourite to rejoin the club he served so well in the past.

So… Will he go or will he stay? In view of the alleged reported ‘differences’ between himself and Jeremy Peace WILL this reluctantly persuade him that a move would be in the best interest of himself and his family?

Last week Tony Mowbray said he felt the players should stay at the Hawthorns to show commitment to the club. If that’s the case then, in theory, surely he should follow his own sentiments and honour a contract that still has two years remaining?

Of course no one apart from Celtic, Tony Mowbray, and Jeremy Peace is privileged to know the truth of the situation. All the supporters can do is to hope that whatever the truth of the matter it’s resolved as quickly as possible.

The ‘few’ Baggies fans that want Mogga’ out will naturally be rubbing their hands in anticipation. But against them will be the vast majority who feel this would be a massive ‘own-goal’ bearing in mind Tony Mowbray has laid down the framework for a successful future for West Bromwich Albion despite this season’s relegation.

But should he move on due to a ‘falling out’ with Jeremy Peace then the ‘festering’ uneasy relationship between the Chairman and supporters can only end in bitter acrimony.

Even so until the participants themselves explain the truth of the situation we can only wait and muse as to how it can be resolved with satisfaction being claimed by both the Chairman and Manager.

For me if Tony Mowbray IS ‘forced’ to back down on his principles due to a total breakdown in his relationship with Jeremy Peace then the loser WILL be West Bromwich Albion football Club.

So barring any major news from the confines of the Hawthorns this will be the final Blog of the season. I hope Albion’s ‘Stirrer’ readers have found them interesting, even if they polarise individual thoughts on all matters relating to our favourite, most certainly, frustrated club!

Have a good summer and until we ‘meet again’ either in the long or short term, keep the faith and remember our clarion call?

“COME ON YOU BAGGIES”

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