Terry Wills on a happy Albion afternoon at the Hammers.
From an opening 45 minutes lacking any semblance of genuine quality Albion returned from their last-ever visit to the Boleyn Ground (better known as Upton Park) with a valuable point that seemed highly, no extremely unlikely.
The only apt description? A Jekyll and Hyde performance. Initially the display was frankly awful comprised by hoofing the ball as hard and long as possible to the head of Lone Ranger Salomon Rondon. Mercifully with Tony Pulis’ second half substitute, Rickie Lambert on for Stephane Sessegnon seeing his shot being deflected for an equaliser they could have even have snatched a winner. But overall it was a fair result.
Without suspended Chris Brunt the decision to slot Jonny Evans in at left back proved a success.The defence overall was solid and for sure when Ben Foster is considered ready for a recall Boaz Myhill will make it difficult for Pulis to leave him sitting among the substitutes.
Naturally the lack of genuine goal-scoring was again highlighted – 13 scored from 14 games, only ‘bettered’ by Stoke City and Aston Villa – means that reinforcements are needed when the January transfer window opens. Especially as now seems most likely Saido Berahino will be leaving for hisdesired move to one of the mega-rich, money no object clubs.
So, four points from Arsenal and West Ham has to be considered satisfactory and if Tony Pulis could gain the same from the next two who happen to be a very much Harry Kane-inspired Tottenham Hotspus followed by the resurgent Liverpool I feel most Baggies fans would be more than happy.
First it’s Spurs at the Hawthorns with that man Kane looking to add to his already impressive goal scoring tally. Forecast? Spurs will be the bookies favourites, as were Arsenal, so once more I’d be happy to increase our points total via a single one.