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Terry’s Baggies Blog



Like most Baggies fans, Terry Wills can't fathom how his team missed their target again. This time it was the chance to buy a striker they fluffed.

"What did you do in the war Daddy"? A film shot in the historic year of 1966 and a question asked in several others.

But what’s that to do with a Baggies Blog?

Well on Monday Sept 1st if you’d ‘tweaked’ the question to ask supporters “What did you do on transfer deadline day 2008?” They’d have answered “We sat waiting, watching, and listening to hear news as to who’d been signed to address what could be delicately described as a lack of a proven striker.”

I was no different. Peering at a web page that translated ‘minute by minute’ transfer breaking news. Listening to Radio WM to hear if they’ d heard anything in advance from the club, and not content with that while visiting the Birmingham Repertory Theatre (to see a production of the Musical “Cabaret”) during the interval I’d ‘dashed’ outside into pouring rain (!) sheltering under a flapping brolly to tune into any updates on the situation. How crazy is that?

There wasn’t but knowing signings could be made right up to the witching hour, on arriving home I resumed the agonising progress until WM calmly and cruelly announced “A reliable source at the Hawthorns has confirmed there won’t be any last minute signing. No striker for the Baggies.

"Albion fans how do you feel about that, give us a ring"?

Silly question as unsurprisingly they expressed the same misgivings as yours truly.

Unless the current strikers, aided by the midfield, start to find the net, the joy and reward encompassed at seeing the Championship Trophy lifted by Jonathan Greening will count for nowt.

And never was that underlined so graphically as the display at the Reebok where Gary Megson’s ‘Battling Bruisers’ decided under instructions to harass, shove and kick anything wearing a bright yellow shirt.

(Red (Yellow) rag to a bull would be an apt description)

Make no mistake this was a game that SHOULD HAVE BEEN rewarded with our first three points of the season. That it led to a sharing of the points was a massive disappointment.

Ok the Bolton Bruisers lived up to their reputation with Kevin Doyle and Kevin Davies being extremely fortunate not to have sat out much of the game watching from the stand behind our ex ‘Lord of the Manor’.

He with the trademark habit of barking out orders at the same time as chewing on the same brand of gum as Mr Ferguson (?) who resides down the road’ at Old Trafford.

The contrast between him and Tony Mowbray was as diverse as could be imagined.

It was akin to visiting a museum to view a painting by Constable only to discover it had been replaced by a animated 1950s ‘Tom and Jerry’ cartoon.

But to each his own and while during his successful reign at the Hawthorns fans accepted this, when watching it in opposition we simply couldn’t believe the difference in quality between his footballing philosophy as opposed to that of Tony Mowbray.

Yes Bolton forced Scott Carson into pulling off a ‘world class’ save and with a constant barrage of route one football that rekindled the trauma when facing Stoke City the defence HAD to be prepared to match their physical approach in equal measure.

Thankfully they responded and it was refreshing to see a defence battling for every ball as opposed to standing off seemingly overawed by such tactics.

The midfield created numerous openings with one sublime move, seemingly taken from a Brazilian coaching manual, leaving the ‘Match of the Day’ summarisers (while asking the question “Who’s going to score West Brom’s goals”) admiring the quality of the build up.

And playing his part was the composure and passing skills of Borja Valero who, when fully adapting to the competitive difference between the Premiership and Spanish football, will be a tremendous asset.

In defence Gianni Zuiverloon proved he’s a tremendous capture and with new signings Jonas Olsson and Ryan Donk being bought in to add competition to Leon Barnett and Abdoulaye Meiki the defence should be far more resolute than has been for years.

BUT then we came to the ‘strikers’ or, in a 4-5-1 formation, Ishmael Miller.

Three golden opportunities, no two were Platinum, with the last one, when he managed to direct a close range header straight at the keeper, being the ‘Jewel in the Crown’.

Summing up…Three games played, two defeats, a draw, and a bottom of the table position (albeit after just three games) with a penalty being the sole result for 180 minutes of ‘hard’ labour that bearing in mind the quality of football played, certainly deserved a richer reward.

No game this week due to the international break so there’s plenty of time for Tony Mowbray to decide if he should revert to a 4-4-2 formation before the next two home games. First against West Ham and then another tilt at our ‘genuine’ closest rivals Dave Woodhall’s ( whoops Martin O’Neill’s) Aston Villa!

Good luck to England especially Fabio Capello who seems to have the same problem facing Tony Mowbray. Worrying just when and who will score the goals needed to win important matches?

"Come on you Baggies".


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