Terry Wills on two Albion late shows.
Things can only get better? It’s an oft-quoted term relating to any given situation. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t but judging by the reaction of Baggies fans following the games against Peterborough United and Swansea City the sincere wish is that they HAVE to improve to quell steadily growing rumbles of discontent.
First Peterborough, and a great chance to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup. This was a game that could and should have been won in the first twenty minutes yet finished with the Posh netting a late deserved equaliser to take Tony Pulis’ injury-ravaged squad to a unwanted replay. Two goals fron substitute Saido Beranio appeared to have done enough to clince the win until a mix-up between Boaz Myhill and Sebastian Pocognou caused the damage.
For me the most noticeable and worrying aspect was the mobility between the sides – Albion’s ageing team versus a youthful outfit that never stopped running – and however the rest of the season pans out it’s clear that any new players need to have a future ahead of them and not, as in Albion’s case, seen the best of their playing at the top evel drifting away. Time and tide wait for no man!
On to Swansea, where another very late equaliser, thanks to Salamon Rondon, rescued a vital point. And for sure if anyone needed a goal to restore self-confidence it was he. For once the Baggies had numerous on target attempts to win the game and how the crowd, what was left of them, shared his delight.
What was noticeable was the difference in technical ability between the sides. Swansea passed the ball accurately seemingly having acres of space while Albion’s frequent d inability to control the ball led to very sloppy distribution. Tony Pulis claims that he isn’t worried about the boos from disgruntled fans. For him he doing the job he’s been paid for, namely oreserving Albion’s Greed League status. Of course at this stage that isn’t certain but unless there’s total disaster he should ensure mission completed.
Next up are three away games in succession starting with a visit to the club that desperately wanted to sign Saido Berahino, Newcastle United. They will be desperate to snatch the three points to close the gap on Albion while Tony Pulis will be equally determined to return unbeaten. With home advantage Newcastle have to be considered favourites, plus the Baggies having a run of serious injuries, and I would consider a point would be than welcome from both team and fans.