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Terry's Baggies Blog

"WHAT'S IT LIKE TO BE OUTCLASSED?"

05-11-2007

Defeat at Watford on Saturday would have left Albion with a 12-point deficit on the leaders. Just as well they were in the mood to dish out a footballing lesson enjoyed to the max by Terry Wills.

Hallelujah!. My question of last week was answered in the most positive fashion, and for any new 'readers' it was - "Can the Baggies remove the sting from the Watford Hornets?"

"The answer in triplicate......"Yes-Yes-Yes" ( the number of goals that destroyed, yes DESTROYED the team that footie fans had been led to believe would steamroller all opposition into submission and literally 'walk' the 'Fizzy Pop' league to proudly reclaim what they consider to be their rightful place in the 'Greed League'. (Stifled laughter!)

Personally although their results had been very impressive - witness their nine point lead over the Baggies - my impression had always been, and still is, they are what I term a 'Bully Boy' team'.

Full of muscular players unable to deviate from tactics, sorry TACTIC, laid down by manager Aidy Bothroyd, "Get in their faces - don't try anything fancy, if the ball comes anywhere near you, launch it into the air as you would a rocket on Bonfire Night (how appropriate!) Don't worry they won't be able to cope "(More stifled laughter!)

To start at the beginning as the convoy of coaches approached the ground it was appropriate to see a sign proudly informing all and sundry 'Fireworks Display - Vicarage Road'. Obviously meaning one of those displays where local residents are plagued from Dawn to dusk with a series of explosions first heard in Second World War films but now surpassed by technical expertise in movies such as Independence Day!

But it was prophetic. The sad aspect for Watford supporters being it was Albion who produced the 'fireworks where it really counted..... on the pitch.

Tony Mowbray, aware of the aerial threat, from a side who are nearly as 'ugly' as Stoke (cynical) City regarding their approach to the 'beautiful' game had chosen the combination of central defenders he felt he needed for this particular match - Martin Albrechtson coupled with the VERY impressive Bostjan Cesar who has bought a sense of authority and calmness to a defence badly in need of the commodity.

Mogga's only 'problem', if it was a problem, was who to leave warming the bench from his bevy of talented midfielders.

Decision made- in the starting line up Jonathan Greening, Robert Koren, Zoltan Gera, and James Morrison.

From the first to the last minute Watford seemed determined to threaten any pigeons flying overhead while pilots approaching Stanstead, Gatwick and Heathrow Airports must surely have been receiving messages from ground control urgently warning of unidentified flying objects in their flight path!.

That is Watford. Ugly-uncompromising- unattractive, but what's the problem if it spells success?

The ultimate in contrasting styles was so apparent. The Baggies playing their usual patient passing game, and the Hornets pumping the ball forward as often and as quickly as possible.

Yes there were 'hairy' moments early on but once the deadly duo of 'Tiny' Miller and Kevin Phillips, aided by deflections scored within two minutes of each other the game had swung dramatically in Albion's direction. A 2-0 interval lead and after Martin Albrechtsten had nodded a third in the 49th minute THAT was it.

Game, set and match to the Baggies. The travelling faithful lapping up the display as would a kitten confronted by a saucer of milk.

The songs rang out loud and clear! "What's it like to be outclassed?"-"Three nil to the football team! And "Top of the League you're havin a laff!"

Watford had shot their bolt. Their body language suggested such. Of course at set pieces they were always a danger but for once the Baggies defenders stood their ground, refused to be intimidated and won the majority of the aerial battles.

With the game 'virtually' over on came Chris Brunt for Jonathan Greening and Roman Bednar, making his debut for Ishmael Miller, and they did more than enough to justify the decision as did 'Filipe' Teixeira, when replacing Kevin Phillips in the 81st minute.

Overall this has to be the most impressive away display to date. Every player gave 100% although if I had to single out individuals it would be the energetic non-stop work rate of Zoltan Gera and the calming influence of Bostjan Cesar.

But like Tony Mowbray I won't get carried just yet. There's still a long way to go and the visit of another 'bogey' team, Sheffield Wednesday, on Tuesday won't be easy and it's imperative that this great win isn't undermined by a shock away result.

Let's not get carried away yet lads and lassies but one things for sure. Unless we are unfortunate enough to be drawn away against them in the FA Cup we won't need to take a pair of binoculars to another away game (apart from Stoke of course).

Watford must still be considered favourites to 'power' their way back into the Premiership and I haven't the slightest doubt that most sides will be outmanoeuvred and out powered by a constant bombardment of missiles aimed in their direction

For me this isn't what the average fan pays out hard earned money to watch. Grinding out results can be effective as Gary Megson proved in his time at the Hawthorns (and how we all loved him for that) but when comparing Tony Mowbray's philosophy of how he demands the game to be played there can be only one winner - even if the Baggies fail to win promotion come seasons end!

'Boing Boing'

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