Terry Wills on the varying emotions suffered by an Albion supporter over two incredible matches.
Four days, two games. Agony to ecstasy! First the agony, and what agony. The Hawthorns Capital Cup defeat against Arsenal was a game that should have been won and I wasn’t alone in jumping to my feet as Markus Rosenberg, a few yards from goal with just a couple of minutes remaining, squandered a heaven-sent chance that left every Baggies fan holding their heads in despair. We should have won the game in normal time.
No goals in extra time, so onto the dreaded penalty shootout.The game was there for the taking, leading on penalties and providing they kept their heads we were set to play Chelsea in the next round. Supporters standing, “Come on, finish them off. We can’t fail now” Famous last words – we could and we did. Two dreadful misses, Arsenal took full advantage and yet again we were out of a cup competition at an early stage. Definitely agony on a grand scale.
Onto the Theatre of Dreams with Steve Clarke telling everyone prepared to listen, “We’re going there to win.” Onto the ecstasy as Albion shocked the football world via a 2-1 victory and well done to the Head Coach when he addressed the media for his post-match analysis: “Don’t report we won because of Manchester United’s failings. Tell it was because we were the better team. We were tremendous”
Indeed they were and with two wonderful goals from Albion’s own Lionel Messi (Roman Amalifitano) and the young talented Saidio Berahino, it would have been a travesty if the Red Devils had stolen a point in the dying
minutes. All the players deserve full credit for a performance that was as far removed from their normal game as could be imagined. Fast-passing , creative football. Solid defending with Jonas Olsson back to his best, creative in midfield, it was all there, while Stephane Sessegnon rekindled fond memories of Cyrille Regis at his best. Yes, the Arsenal Hawthorns agony had been overtaken by Old Trafford ecstasy.
So to Sunday’s game, ironically again Arsenal, who at present are generally acknowledged as being the best Greed League team around. Ten consecutive wins from league and cup competitions, including the Champions League, means that Steve Clarke’s Barcelona Baggies – based on the United win – will need to carry on where they left off if we’re to prevent them making it 11 consecutive victories.
Can we do it? With the game being televised neutral supporters will have the chance to see if West Bromwich Albion are a team in transition and ready to cope with the majority of clubs that with a far superior financial
advantage inevitably means they will always rule the roost.
Should be a fascinating afternoon so….
Come on you Baggies.