Terry Wills on Tony Pulis’ new-found attacking philosophy.
Last week I said I’d be happy to see Albion share the spoils bearing in mind that Tottenham Hotspur were then team in form and as the song goes “Riding along on the crest of a wave”. But at the end of a pulsating game I admit to being disappointed that we hadn’t gone on to grab the extra two points.
Early on Spurs demonstrated their class. Swift accurate passing, subtle movements and an ability to retain possession despite a swirling gusty gale force wind that was an obvious drawback. A route one strike more associated with a Tony Pulis Albion goal opened the scoring. But then came the surprise, as the Baggies demonstrated that they did have a Plan B – raise their game.
Every player give 100%, showing fans that they could also play a constructive passing game, ably demonstrated as James McLean headed a deserved equaliser. He demonstrated an aptitude to fight for every ball , but in saying that he was fortunate not to be shown a red card for an awful tackle, as was Harry Kane.
The longer the game went the more the fans responded. A tremendous , almost forgotten atmosphere. A Jonas Olsson header miraculously saved, chances scorned but at the end it left Baggie supporters wondering why it had taken so long to adopt this attacking game.
Praise has to go to every player. Jonny Evans and Darren Fletcher dominated while Salamon Rondon showed just why Albion had made him their record signing. Being harsh, yes he did miss a couple of chances but let’s not forget that the gusty wind made it difficult to control the ball when the opportunities arose.
There’s another difficult Sunday away match this week against the improving Liverpool side. With five points out of nine against Arsenal, West Ham, and Tottenham, no doubt Tony Pulis and the team will feel confident that they have a chance of continuing the current run. For sure it will be another test of character and if we return home on the back of a positive result yet again I’ll be happy if we’ve left the Kop faithful suitably disappointed.