By Terry Wills.
April 23rd. St Georges Day, celebrating the patron saint of England… for most people.
But on this day in 2011, for me, and I suspect for every Baggies fan at White Hart Lane, for the game against one of the country’s top sides, Tottenham Hotspur, there was a far more appropriate name. Sir Hodgson’s Day, after Roy made the crucial decision to replace Paul Scharner with Simon Cox, who subsequently went on to score a magnificent equalising goal to seal a vital point.
Last week I said there was little or no chance of returning home with a result. How wrong I was and I’m more than happy to have been proved so very, very, wrong! Indeed, despite as expected Spurs enjoyed the bulk of possession, in the latter stages Hodgson’s Heroes looked as likely to score a winning goal as did the very expensive London outfit.
Again the defence, although conceding twice, looked far more compact and assured. There were no passengers – everyone pulled their weight – and with Peter Odemwingie posing problems for the Spurs defence there was always the possibility of seeing them pull off a win that would more or less guarantee another season of Premiership football. Virtually every media output has declared “West Brom are safe.” Probably so, but one more win would ensure it.
Which brings us to our penultimate home game of the season against a certain Aston Villa (!) and no local fan can be any in doubt that whichever team, if either, joyfully gathers three points, that will be it.
Albion’s record against Villa is, to put it mildly, very disappointing. It’s been 1985 since we last tasted victory against them so what could be more enjoyable than seeing a revitalised Albion actually beating a Villa team who aren’t playing particularly well, but in Darren Bent posses a player who scores goals on such a regular basis.
It WILL be a nervous afternoon for both sets of players and fans. Form tends to fly out of the window in local derbies so it would be a VERY brave supporter who confidently predicts who will be the happier at the final whistle.
Naturally I do feel that providing we can continue playing positive football, we could ‘celebrate’ as only can a fan can after seeing their near neighbours well and truly beaten. Should that be the case!?
Come on you Baggies.
MAKE OUR DAY!