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Terry’s Baggies Blog

TALK OF THE TOON

06-02-2009

Terry Wills

It's Newcastle at The Hawthorns on Saturday for a "must win" relegation tussle. Terry Wills reads the runes after another turbulent week for Albion.

So a victory against the ‘Toon Army’ on Saturday will see the Baggies finally climb out of one of the dreaded relegation spots, indeed there’s the possibility, repeat possibility, they could find themselves out of the bottom three.
(But let’s not get carried away just yet!)

So to a look back at the week’s happenings in ‘Hawthorns Land’.

Saturday…The trip to Hull for a match that would probably be well down on any supporter’s list of ‘must see’ away games.

Even more so if it came on the coldest day of the year accompanied by a bitterly ‘chill you to the bone’ wind that leaves a fan asking just WHY did I decide to ignore common sense and not stay at home? Bearing in mind Albion’s clash at the KC Stadium would, in all probability, turn out to be yet another non- event?

Two answers! First ‘nutty’ football fans will ‘reluctantly’ have to admit that football is a drug and that once entrenched in your blood stream means ‘no’ amount of therapy will ‘wash it away’!

Second…it was free travel, courtesy of the club laying on 40 coaches, and chatting to a number of fellow travellers they freely admitted that was the sole reason!

So WAS it worth it? Well as the Baggies managed to come away with a vital point, courtesy of a 2-2 draw, although three would have made the trip back far more enjoyable, I suppose the answer could (?) be considered yes.

Sadly the result masked what can only be described, again at the best, a mediocre performance, and at it’s worst, for the first 45 minutes THE most depressing, shamble, awful, depressing, display imaginable.

(In other words not very good!)

Never mind it WAS a patched up team. Agreed some players clearly weren’t 100% fit and played solely due to the ever mounting injury list, leaving Mogga’ with a unenviable selection problem, but how they manage to continue repeating basic errors beggar’s belief.

In goal Scott (labelled Frank) Carson by Radio Humberside commentators, again confirmed he’s a great ‘shot stopper’ but when it comes to liasing with his defence, knowing when to come off or stay on his line, the lines of ommunication are fixed switched to the ‘Off’ position.

Defence and midfield? Continued to lose possession and give the ball away even when not under pressure. Robert Koren again never stopped running and was pick of the bunch.
Hull’s opening goal on the stroke of half-time found Paul Robinson yet again in ‘no mans’ land. Why no Marek Cech moaned the fans? Forward question to Tony Mowbray for the required, if not acceptable answer?

At least the second half HAD to be an improvement, couldn’t have been worse, and when Jay Simpson, by far the pick of the strikers, equalised early on hope sprang eternal.

Hull regained the lead with a wonderful headed goal then at long last, realising the ‘Tigers’ weren’t at their snarling best, came a far more positive approach culminating when Chris Brunt equalised from the penalty spot.

Talking of the player deemed as ‘Having a magic wand of a left foot’ (!) what a pity his right could more be more aptly described as a stick of soft liquorice.

Numerous promising positions but when falling to his right peg, need I say more?

So a point gained or three lost? May 24th will possibly answer the question but at the time I reluctantly have to say a useful point considering the 90 minutes we’d had to suffer!

Monday…Transfer ‘Deadline Day and as ‘expected’ two on loan foreign imports became the latest recruits to join the Baggies 'Foreign Legion'.

Youssouf Mulumbu, a defensive midfielder (at last) and winger Juan Carlos Menseguez. No one knows much about them apart from the fact they won’t be playing in the ‘unwanted’ Cup replay at Turf Moor and that any supporter who decides to buy a replica shirt emblazoned with their respective names will have to dig deep into their pockets!

Tuesday... FA Cup exit. And being honest not too many fans were devastated or surprised. Burnley had proved to be a good side at the Hawthorns and a tough nut to crack. Especially at one of the most inhospitable grounds in the country.

Despite the ‘expected’ pre-match comments from Messrs Mowbray and Venus “We’ll put out the ‘strongest’ team possible. We want to win and make progress”, they realised Saturday’s vital ‘Greed League’ match WAS of greater importance.

So a 3-1 defeat and listening via the BBC Radio WM (midweek trips to away games aren’t really viable) although Albion enjoyed an equal amount of possession, the faults, both in defence and attack again proved fatal.

Scott Carson again uncertain. Defence all too easily bypassed. In midfield, the usual mixture. Win the ball (occasionally!) then lose possession. Up front, and no surprise here, excellent chances spurned SPECIALLY by Roman Bednar.

Oh yes! Let’s not forget that ‘Homer’ Simpson became the latest victim of the ‘Hamstring Injury’ syndrome.

Have to ask. Has ANY club ever had so many hamstring injuries in such a short space of time?

Are those responsible for monitoring the health and fitness of the players missing out on possible causes, or ARE the Baggies just plain unlucky?

So to the visit of Newcastle, which IS one of the games that could aptly be described as a ‘must win’, game.

Prospects? Obviously much depends on who of the ‘walking wounded’ will be available.

We’ll just have to wait and see!

Finally recalling THAT display at Hull (sadly) it was interesting to hear Baggies fans singing what they consider to be the prospects of repeating ‘The Great Escape”.

“We’ve done it before-We’ll do it again”.

But WILL we do it again? At their best they could BUT without immediate redress it will leave fans eventually ‘forced’ to sing to any opposition supporters “We’ll Meet again, don’t know where don’t know when, but I know we’ll meet again some Sunny Day”!

“Come on you Baggies”
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