Gunning at the Hawthorns

By Terry Wills.

Well it’s back to ‘enjoying’ a normal Saturday, if there can be such a thing for the football fan. Albion, together with a clutch of other potential relegation candidates, hoping and praying they can achieve a result while the rest do the exact opposite.

Perusing the remaining fixtures it’s virtually impossible to conclude just who WILL be in the bottom three come May 22nd, and in the process realising that Greed League football will be a thing of the past, for one season at least. Many of these teams have still to face each other and as they include local derbies including, sad to say, Albion, Villa, Blues and Wolves I can’t hide a growing belief that at least one will be playing Championship football starting in August.

For Albion it couldn’t be much more difficult. Arsenal at the Hawthorns and although the Gunners have been firing blanks  of late, Arsene Wenger knows full well they can ill afford to drop many more points if his ambition to lift the title is to succeed. Yet curiously, since Albion have yo-yoed between divisions and faced all the top clubs, the only one we have beaten is his Arsenal!

Can we at best win the game, or at the worst be satisfied with a draw?

There has to be hope, bearing in mind Roy Hodgson has yet to lose a game due to installing a sense of discipline and commitment into a team that now looks better equipped to compete against the opposition, as opposed to the struggling outfit left by Roberto Di Matteo.

So CAN we do it? If Arsenal, stung by recent criticism, do have one of those days when their brand of football can beat the best teams in England (although not Barcelona!) they are capable of winning any game. But should they fail to capitalise on their skill factor, too many passes rather than shooting when it seems they must score, then we could surprise them as did Blues in the Carling Cup Final.

Graham Dorrans missing due to injury with Youssouf Mulumbu struggling to be fit (and how vital is his contribution?) obviously weakens the team. But as up to now Hodgson has been proved correct in his choice of who to bring in, and who to leave out, we can only hope this happy trend will continue.

Come on you Baggies!