Terry Wills on Albion and England.
At last the first part of this depressing season is over. Albion’s Greed League status has been secured courtesy of the combined efforts of Cardiff, Norwich City, and Fulham. From every Baggies fan a simple message – “Thank you, one and all.”
Pepe Mel’s ‘mutual agreement’ departure was more or less nailed on weeks ago. A combination of disappointing results, players admitting that they couldn’t adapt to the style he favoured, plus the sound of a deafening silence from Jeremy Peace and his board, made that perfectly clear. Thank you Pepe; you succeeded in avoiding the prospect of Baggies supporters being forced to make long distance journeys to St Andrews and Molineux to watch Championship football next season.
Who will be the new head coach? Among a multitude of names are Tim Sherwood, David Moyes, Malky Mackay, Keith Downing, Gianfranco Zola and Brian McDermott, plus my personal favourite, ex-Baggies inspiration Derek McInnes. But whether any, or all, of the applicants would be happy to work within the strict guidelines laid down by the chairman has to be open to question.
For sure the club’s relationship with the fans couldn’t be worse. The Jeff Astle controversy plus the possibility of ditching 125 years of traditional shirt colours has left many claiming they won’t be renewing their season tickets.
A brief look back to the usual defeat by the Potters from Stoke City, and “We always beat West Brom” was the chant from their supporters. Actually they don’t but no argument, our record against them is, to say the least, embarrassing. Overall they probably shaded the 90-plus minutes although they could thank goal line technology for the victory. But as that’s why it was introduced I suppose we can only curse the width of the goal-line.
So now we patiently wait, up to six weeks say some press reports, and all Albion supporters can do is sit, wait, and hope that this time they do appoint someone that can turn things around. On this note the appointment of Terry Burton has to be a positive sign, as he in effect takes over from Dan Ashworth who contributed greatly by bringing quality players to the Hawthorns and instilled a degree of optimism among some of the most loyal supporters in the country.
As events progress I’ll be monitoring the implications closely. This plus the World Cup should make it a far from dull summer although as regards Wayne Rooney’s assertion that England can lift the trophy , I put that on a par with a multi-billionaire taking over at the Hawthorns.
That’s all for now, but watch this space!
Come on you Baggies.