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Terry’s Baggies Blog

THE BLAME GAME

04-12-2008

Now what did I say before visiting fog-shrouded Wigan to see what was reputedly expected to be one of the ‘easier games’ following the battles against the big teams?

Oh yes - ‘Next week will the Blog be celebrating a rare win or reporting on another ‘Groundhog Day’? .

Well it was the latter and anyone who saw the game live, listened on the radio, or watched the highlights has to admit, (as did the hierarchy of Wigan) the ‘mugging’ was totally undeserved.

As the spectre of relegation grows ever nearer if Albion do eventually find themselves playing ‘Fizzy Pop’ League football next season THIS game will surely be one that went a long way towards ensuring this unsavoury prospect came to pass.

What new can be said?

After a slow nervous start the Baggies dominated proceedings, missed a host of chances, some which SHOULD have been despatched despite a tremendous display from ex Albion Keeper Chris Kirkland, and then after taking the lead courtesy of a ‘Tiny’ Miller strike, and that following a typical Titus Bramble ‘cock up’, decided it would be appropriate to repay the Latics with two early reciprocal Christmas presents via novice’ defensive blunders.

The bewildered looks on the faces of the travelling faithful spoke volumes. The muted tones of post match conversations were, to put it mildly, a mixture of depression, resignation, and a growing sense of anger. Who was, and is, to blame for a season that’s turning out to be a total disaster?

The forwards? The defence? The team as a whole, or, as an ever growing vociferous ‘majority’ of supporters seem to think, Jeremy Peace, due to his reluctance, refusal (call it what you will) to ‘splash’ a little extra cash before the season started to replace Kevin Phillips.

But whoever is to blame, it won’t alter the situation. The Baggies are now odds on favourites to make a third rapid descent back whence they came following last season’s wonderful Championship winning campaign.

Tony Mowbray and the players are constantly bemoaning their luck, or lack of it, but a one point return from a possible twenty four underlines the reason we’re ensconced at the foot of the League table.

At present we simply aren’t good enough to compete in the Premiership.

Deserve to be there? Yes? Receive plaudits for the style of playing attractive passing a football? Yes again.

But as for ‘seriously’ competing, in the literal sense of the word, the answer has
to be, NO.

An admission that hurts, knowing the Baggies are technically superior to the other promoted clubs, Stoke City, and Hull City, who have not only beaten the Baggies but taken points off the likes of Aston Villa, Arsenal Liverpool and Chelsea.

It’s becoming clearer week-by-week that the defining point of the season will be determined by just who Tony Mowbray will be able to coax to the Hawthorns when the January transfer window opens.

He and the players have frankly admitted they need at least two or three reinforcements to strengthen the squad but when Mogga’ repeatedly claims he’ll have little or no cash to spend and will have to rely on loan players then I fear the worst.

The number of clubs prepared to loan out ‘proven’ players, (especially such a rare breed of strikers) are virtually non existent”

But enough of future speculation this week it’s another of what’s been termed a ‘winnable game’, Portsmouth arriving at the Hawthorns for a Sunday ‘shoot out’ after playing a EUFA Cup game just three days earlier.

In theory this SHOULD be to Albion’s advantage but then I sadly recall our shambolic record - the pathetic number of goals scored, added to embarrassing number of goals conceded.

Hopefully Pompey will be feeling the effects of their European ‘adventure’ giving the Baggies what could be deemed an advantage, but as a counterbalance they do have genuine strikers in the little and large combination of Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe. (And should they find themselves presented with the number of chances we create, and miss, then it could be another digit to add to the ever increasing number of ‘Groundhog Days’)!

Come on Tony lets go for broke. Let’s see a 4-4-2 line up, plus a starting place for Filipe Teixeira, cajole, persuade, or threaten the players, or whatever it takes to cut out the preventable errors at both ends of the pitch and should it work then we might be able to close the points deficit on the teams struggling above us especially as they’ll have played the day before and their results known.

Can we do it? Well I have my own philosophy on why games are won or lost.
Argue against it if you will (?) but it’s simple really! “The team that makes the least mistakes invariably wins the game”

And is there any Baggies supporter prepared argue THIS isn’t the reason we find ourselves in the current position?

"Come on you Baggies".

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