Terry Wills watches Albion’s season end with hope for the future and a magnificent gesture.
It’s over. The season that started with little expectation confirmed, that while Albion at their competitive best could be difficult to beat, any realistic chance of making significant progress could be discounted.
Looking at the Liverpool game there were encouraging signs laced with obvious weaknesses that have too be resolved prior to the start of next season The major plus point was again the performance of youngster Jonathan Leko.He has all the necessary attributes too ensure he can be a jewel in the crown. Pace, skill, willing to compete, everything Tony Pulis and Baggies fans have been waiting to see for a heck of a long time.
Another emerging asset was the continuing improvement seen in Salomon Rondon. Non stop running, like Leko prepared to chase a lost cause, he scored his tenth goal of the season and could have notched his first Albion hat trick – next season, perhaps?
Tyler Roberts and Tom Field, two more Academy players, looked promising in the limited time available. Indeed Roberts might have notched a goal but judged on this display he’ll be given more opportunities in the future.
Worrying aspects? As said previously Tony Pulis in retaining Jonas Olsson and Gareth McCauley leaves me feeling that they’re his first choice central defenders. If so the lack of mobility and pace especially by Olsson is a major cause for concern. Pair Jonny Evans with McAualey or indeed Craig Dawson and this would surely ease the situation.
Now it’s all down to Pulis. Will he sign younger players with pace, recruit a genuine creative midfielder and at least two strikers (farewell Saido Berahino), if so ensuring that patient and frustratede fans can anticipate looking at a Greed League table with more clubs lower than above us?
One aspect of the Liverpool game that shows that West Bromwich Albion are second to no one when it comes to acknowledging various relevant events. Seeing Rickie Lambert and Darren Fletcher lay the beautiful floral tribute in front of the Liverpool supporters in addition to keeping 96 red coloured seats empty, each one displaying a name of those killed at Hillsborough, was moving and appropriate. Well done Albion.
So this is the last of my weekly Albion news for the time being but with all the speculation surrounding what may or not be happening at the Hawthorns plus the Euro 2016 Championship Ithink there will be plenty of talking points to pass on and discuss.
Until then watch this space.