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Terry’s Baggies Blog

TOP DOGS LOOKING RUFF

22-10-2009

So Albion are top of the Championship - but that's about the only good news coming out of The Hawthorns reckons Terry Wills.

Well let’s hear it you Baggies fans! “We are top of the League-say we are top of the league!”

But THAT is said with tongue very firmly in cheek following the weeks happenings as results clearly indicate this is going to be a long, very long, hard difficult season before next season’s fixtures are published. Will it be lining up against the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal or travelling to enjoy eagerly anticipated clashes at Barnsley and Watford.

However one thing’s for sure. Should we eventually fail to win another promotion it won’t be because there are better ‘Fizzy Pop’ League teams but because Albion somehow managed to drop points when they were there for the taking - due to what can only be termed a suicidal approach, coupled with ‘lackadaisical tactics.

Witness the opening 20/25 minutes of the Reading game. Painful to watch AND difficult to comprehend.

Virtually non-existent marking. Casual, and that’s being kind, tackling. A sloppy mid-field, and forwards who were so starved of anything resembling back up support they could have gone home and not been missed.

A second minute injury to Roman Bednar didn’t help. What is it with our ‘strikers’ who attract injuries as if they they’re going out of fashion?

So a very early substitute appearance of Chris Wood who obviously has all the credentials to become a top class striker but at 17 needs time to adjust to first team football. And what about the opening goal eh! A left sided cross into the box and there was Matthew Mills TOTALLY unmarked to gratefully accept an early ‘Christmas Box’ present. “Here we go again”! Baggies 0-Reading 1.

Mercifully the Royals somehow managed to miss a great chance to extend their lead and consequently, after Jerome Thomas had latched on to a mistake from the Reading keeper to equalise, the gloom surrounding the crowd, changed to expectation -and what a difference after the break.

Defence much tighter. Jara looking cool, calm, and collected. Jonas Olsson after a shaky start more like his own self. Midfield as expected led by an inspirational Graham Dorrans aided by the non-stop energy shown by Youssouf Mulumbu stamping their authority on the proceedings.

A solo goal from ‘Man of the Match’ Jerome Thomas gave us the lead, and what a finish from Mulumbu, a stunning volley to seal the points! Other chances were created and but for a tremendous display from the Reading keeper their defeat would have been far more comprehensive than the final 3-1 winning score-line.

Jerome Thomas was a revelation. His pace and tricky footwork completely bamboozled ex Baggie Shaun Cummings who incidentally had said he would point out the strengths and weaknesses of his previous team mates?

So three points - a Newcastle defeat at Forest - and we were league leaders looking forward to the visit of Swansea City.

Strangely as opposed to the Reading game, the opening ten minutes or so APPEARED to see Albion had learned from the slow start against Reading but after that…..

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that despite the number of goals scored to date, and this may sound contradictory, the Baggies look very lightweight up front. Luke Moore seems to have reverted to type. Chris Wood, a youngster who may have a bright future, has, due to circumstances been thrown into the spotlight far too early, while Simon Cox’s reputation built on his scoring record at Swindon, looks to be out of his depth - never better illustrated than when coming on as a substitute he promptly missed Albion’s best chance, of the few created, by screwing the ball wide.

Swansea, recognised as being a ‘genuine’ footballing team, deserved their victory and true to tradition it just HAD to be ‘old boy’ Craig Beattie’ wheeling away in delight as he clinched the three points that most Baggies fans pre-match felt would be coming their way.

Plus points? Debatable - but for me the display from Gonzalo Jara should have earned him the ‘Man of the Match’ award. Incidentally when it was an announced that Graham Dorrans had been awarded that accolade there were looks of astonishment and chatter of disbelief at the decision.

On to Saturday and short journey to visit one of Albion’s ‘Happy Hunting Grounds’ –Coventry’s Ricoh Arena. A ground where the Baggies have a habit of scoring plenty of goals, and more importantly coming away with three points.

Which Albion team will turn up on Saturday is the question only time will tell. But if it’s the one that played against Swansea, and the opening spell against Reading, then we could experience another unwanted setback.

But that’s’ something we fans can do nothing about apart from chanting…..

Come on you Baggies

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