It’s probably a contradiction in terms but Baggies fans will know what I mean.
A Black Country Derby – the first ever clash in the Greed League. Both teams struggling for points, fans chewing finger nails, (even before the game), all made worse by one of those highly unpopular despised mid-day kick off times.
So at the end of 94 minutes which supporters felt the more disappointed?
Was it the Wolves on the strength that in terms of possession they’d dominated the first-half, taken the lead, and at the finish were denied three points due to a added time very late equaliser, stunning them into silence as Carlos Vela popped in the equaliser?
Or was it Albion fans who after watching the Baggies dominate the majority of the second-half had to settle for a single point when it appeared that however hard they pressed, however often Wayne Hennessey was called into action, we weren’t going to score…time was up?
For myself, at the finish I felt exactly the opposite to my feelings following the West Ham United game. We’d ‘lost’ a 3-3 draw there but ‘won’ 1-1 against the Wanderers!
No one expected a classic and for sure we didn’t see one but there were good reasons to see just why both teams are down among the dead men. Wolves, despite that first-half superiority, climaxed by a stunning set piece goal, never tested Boaz Myhill, while Albion’s constant pressure was climaxed as Antoine Fortune, just a few yards out, failed to control the ball when it seemed he’d score a desperately needed equaliser. And didn’t the crowd let him know it!
This was Roy Hodgson’s first game in charge and it was clear he’d fully recognised and endeavoured to improve the team’s main weakness…the defence.
Thankfully’ even without Youssouf Mulumbu they did look more composed although at times they continued the nasty habit of gifting the ball to the opposition courtesy of sloppy inaccurate passing.
A 4-4-2 formation, as opposed to our ‘traditional’ 4-5-1, meant Wolves, with the extra midfielder, all too often dominated the opening half but after that we could, and should, have pocketed the win that’s so desperately needed.
Individual performances varied from disappointing to satisfactory. Among the former, Paul Sharner, Gonzalo Jara, Jerome Thomas, and Antoine-Fortune were all off the pace while Peter Odemwingie looked unsure as to where he should be playing. Wide man or striker? Take your pick.
So the agony continues and with the next game being at Stoke (Rory Delap) City unless there a remarkable change in fortunes, no pun intended, then it will be another defeat, and with the next three games away at St Andrews and home to Arsenal and Liverpool, well no prizes for me thinking that Albion for the first time this season will be occupying one of the dreaded three relegation spots and firm favourites not to escape the drop.
A simple, heartfelt plea to the team: Make my day, or in the case of the trip to the Britannia My night, by proving that miracles can and occasionally do happen.
“Come on you Baggies”