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Terry’s Baggies Blog



Two league defeats in a row have derailed Albion’s promotion push, leaving Terry Wills to wonder if they’re suffering a superiority complex.

‘All good things come to an end’ is a well known phrase - BUT looking back at the Hawthorns happenings over the past seven days, Albion’s good things just didn’t ‘come to an end’ they could more aptly be described as disappearing without trace never to be seen again.

As brilliant, wonderful, magnificent, or whatever adjective can be lavished on the Baggies following the performance at Middlesbrough, without any fear of contradiction I doubt if many Baggies fans would disagree with the feelings that the performance against both Crystal Palace and Barnsley were exactly the reverse.

First Neil Warnock’s Crystal Palace. Sadly, to put it mildly, right from the kick-off Albion were seemingly never up for the challenge. Lackadaisical in defence, apart from Jonas Olsson, creating little from midfield despite the efforts of Graham Dorrans, and with twin strikers, who were anything but (!) once they fell behind the seeds were sown for the Baggies to suffer their first League defeat of the season.

It’s probably unfair to blame just one player for a result that shocked virtually every football fan in the country BUT the two shocking misses from Luke Moore left fans, who’d been singing his praises of late, reverting to type and resurrecting the chant that that HAD ever so slowly began to be heard less frequently…“What a waste of money”

So a chance to increase our advantage over Newcastle United had been wasted - made worse as the Geordies promptly thumped Ipswich 4-0 at Portman Road to take a clear lead as ‘Fizzy Pop’ league leaders.

Not to worry said a caller to Radio WM after the game. “We’ll win at Barnsley on Tuesday to show this was a one off” (or words to that effect).

So, on to Oakwell, the ground where our last victory came on August 30th 1947 and based on this appalling display it could well be 2047 before they somehow manage to end this jinx.

If anyone who didn’t make the journey to South Yorkshire thought the display against Palace had been awful then putting the Barnsley performance into context, would have me saying, “Neil Warnock must have been delighted to have won considering just how wonderfully the Baggies played”.

Sloppy, lazy, ill disciplined, seemingly content to be second to the ball in a 50-50 confrontation, it WAS dreadful to watch.

We arrived second in the league and Barnsley in the bottom three and on the back of a 5-2 hammering at Queens Park Rangers. Surely anything resembling a top form Albion would confirm the difference in quality between teams at opposite ends of the table?

It did. Especially in the first-half for all the reverse reasons. It was the Tykes controlling the game. Creating scoring opportunities - and looking more like possible promotion candidates than Albion who for their part and our disgust meandered along seemingly not bothering to rise to the challenge.

Two goals down at the break there was a modicum (and it was a modicum) of improvement in the second half, but then anything HAD to better than the numbing display we’d been forced to endure when the home side looked likely to score every time they got anywhere remotely near Scott Carson’s penalty area.

The disgust at the display was summed up when Shelton Martis turned the ball into the net for Barnsley’s third goal. Baggies fans, and there were a hell of a lot, rose from their seats and walked out in absolute disgust.

For those left behind, we did have the consolation of seeing Chris Brunt scoring the best goal of the night. Normally such a strike would see supporters leaping to their feet. Here, while acknowledging the goal with muted sardonic cheers, they remained seated until the final whistle from the referee Scott Mathieson, mercifully ended the agony.

Robert Di Matteo hopefully has learnt a few home truths from the last three games, four if you include the encouraging display at the Emirates. At their best Albion can compete with, and probably beat the majority of Championship teams, but at their worst simply fall unto the category of being just another average team.

It could be said the 5-0 hammering at Middlesbrough gave Albion a massive superiority complex. The feeling that we can beat the best without a great deal of trouble.

Well if THAT was or is the perception the last two games have proved the direct opposite. Only hard work and the REALISATION that 90 minutes graft every match can provide the hoped for results. And you ignore that at your peril.

Saturday we’re off to face fellow promotion hopefuls Preston North End at Deepdale. Another ground where victories have been somewhat limited.

Prospects? Sadly without a massive improvement it could be a third successive league setback but conversely anything resembling that performance at Middlesbrough could lift our, and the team’s spirits.

We’ll travel in hope and anticipation

“Come on you Baggies”


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