Terry Wills is still trying to get over Sunday at the Hawthorns.
So what about that then?
If the fact that Sir Alex’s Ferguson last game wasn’t enough to generate an overwhelming response of publicity, the game in itself somehow managed to relegate that into second place! 5-5 and it could have been the highest scoring game at the Hawthorns since the Baggies thumped Manchester City 9-2 back in 1957.
A full house, record programme sales, United fans in seventh heaven as the Reds twice opened up a three goal lead, too surely win the game and leave Fergie with a smile on his face plus of course a non-stop chewing of his favourite gum. Being honest, when they were 3-0 and 5-2 up all I wanted was to hear was the final whistle to end the agony. United looked unstoppable and with devastating pace and skills looked capable of running riot.
But at the final whistle it was astonishing to realise that the Baggies could have actually won the game. Chances at both ends and United supporters surely wondering if their great day out would end in a massive disappointment.
For me and I’m sure every Albion fan the biggest disappointment was realising that barring a miracle we’d seen the final appearance in a Baggies shirt of Rumelt Lukaku. A hat trick against Manchester United taking a season’s total to 17. Strength, speed and non-stop aggression; how can you replace these attributes, especially as Albion are renowned for not splashing the cash when it comes to recruiting new players?
Steve Clarke has to be congratulated on steering Albion into their highest ever Greed League position and if, at the start of the season, I’d been offered the possibility of seeing us finishing eighth I’d have said “You’ve got to be joking.”
So well done Steve. You have your critics (what manager doesn’t?) and after the impressive start some fans do feel that we fell away and looked more a struggling team fighting off the possibility of being drawn into relegation scrap.
Summing up: An astonishing game. Unbelievable fervour, Baggies fans amazingly wondering if they could have won the match and to cap it all – the sun shone!
Who’ll be leaving, who’ll be coming? No one knows at present but hopefully the likes of Youssouf Mulambu and Shane Long will sign new contracts (as has Gareth McAuley) to keep them at the Hawthorns and that will be a bonus. Jonas Ollson? Providing he can play at his best he’s another major asset although his form in the latter part of the season was extremely disappointing. But only Jeremy Peace in his wisdom can determine what expenditure will be made available to Steve Clarke. Make the right decisions and he’ll be acknowledged as a continuingly shrewd chairman.
But if we again rely on free transfers and bargain buys, and appear to be standing still, he can anticipate the usual question – “Why are West Bromwich Albion so reluctant to loosen the purse strings to bring in players that can only improve the prospects of seeing an upward trend in the clubs fortunes?” Who’d be a football club chairman?
Hoping that Birmingham Press readers have found my weekly opinions interesting, and if not I’ll try and do better come the start of next season’s Greed League Fixtures .
Come on you Baggies.