Groundhogs and Canaries

Terry Wills brings us up to date on happenings at the Hawthorns.

What’s new at the Hawthorns? Nothing really seeing as our departure from the FA Cup, courtesy of the high flying Norwich Canaries, was a Groundhog Day result that had to have been scripted, stringently rehearsed, and put into practice on the training ground, to ensure it happened as it did. Otherwise, how could it have been a carbon copy of the Greed League game just two weeks earlier?

Diabolic marking for the first goal, plenty of possession, Ben Foster having little to do, chances missed, a second half equaliser from Fortune giving hope we could go on to win the game, only to see a dreadful mistake from Craig Dawson giving the opportunity for City supporters to celebrate another very late winner. Yep, another Groundhog Day leaving the players, the gaffer, and frustrated fans wondering just why everything that can go wrong, does go wrong?

One answer? They lack confidence in themselves and in each other. But sadly (and whisper it quietly) for me there is an even simpler answer. They aren’t playing well enough and without a rapid improvement they’ll continue to drop points and hope that the teams around us will also continuing suffering from the same allergy. Of course injuries are playing their part but every team has them. All you can do is to pray that they clear up sooner rather than later.

While being dumped out of the cup was disappointing it was the game at Craven Cottage that was infinitely more important. A win would be a bonus, or a draw appreciated- especially as away results away against Roy Hodgson’s Fulham had been diabolical, and that’s being complimentary.

Another bitterly cold night but at least our Head Coach must have been warmed by a banner, freezingly held aloft by a group of Fulham fans (?) “WELCOME BACK WOY.” Whether they felt the same, as for once it was Albion scoring a late goal to bring home a valuable point, is probably open to question. But for Baggies fans whether they had travelled, watched illegally on telly, or listened to a radio commentary, it was cause for celebration as ‘supersub’ Somen Tchoyi did what he does best -scoring when everyone is holding their breath, wondering if he would somehow manage to live up to what he’s renowned for by scoring or whether he’ll overdo the fancy footwork?

So a solid display, another valuable away point, and with the teams around us not managing to gain victories we are thankfully still in a relatively comfortable position despite our dreadful home record, which will again be put to the test against newly promoted Swansea, a team that pass the ball as well as any other and will probably have the majority of possession. But as long as we somehow manage to score one more goal than them then that won’t worry me. (Surely we can’t lose another home game-can we?)

Transfer window closed and welcome to Liam Ridgewell and Keith Andrews. Various fans agreements/disagreements as to their signings but whatever the view here’s hoping they can bring 100% dedication to the team when ‘Woy’ slots them into the team.

Come on you Baggies.