Terry Wills on Albion’s game at Wigan and other matters.
Naturally one topic has dominated the news – the ordeal of Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba after collapsing on the field at White Hart Lane. In common with fans of every club I feared the worst as reports intimated his cardiac arrest was as serious as could be imagined. Thankfully, he seems to be recovering, and from every West Bromwich Albion supporter to the player, his club, and the Wanderers fans, here’s praying he makes a full recovery.
Back to more mundane matters, namely the Baggies’ trip to Wigan’ where at the final whistle nearly 5,000 travelling supporters left feeling bitterly disappointed – and not without good reason.
I frequently disagree with media reporters, whether TV, radio or press, but for once I couldn’t even ‘argue’ with Trevor Francis ( he rarely has a good word to say about Albion) in his summary of the Baggies performance, “West Brom were terrible. It’s a 0-0 massacre.”
Roy Hodgson’s comment, “If any team deserved to win it was Wigan” was honest. And their suffering supporters must have wondered what more they had to do to win the game. The simple answer is – don’t miss so many chances!
It’s difficult trying to find constructive comments relating to the general all round display but there’s one obvious and undisputed fact If Ben Foster hadn’t been at his brilliant best Albion’s minus goal difference could have been ‘boosted’ to an embarrassing degree. Proof that Wigan had more desire to win the game was clear from the outset. They ran faster, tackled with conviction, passed the ball more accurately and left me feeling that if we somehow did poach a point it would be a bonus. That we did just that was, ironically, down to ex ‘Latics player Paul Scharner.scoring the equaliser, a goal that that could in due course see his former club relegated.
Another classic opinion from a Match of the Day summariser, was “West Brom were sleepwalking for the first five minutes.” Utter rubbish! Had they forgotten the remaining 85 (plus added on time)? One thing that came out of the game was again undeniable. When Jonas Olsson is missing the defence is as shaky as a palm tree in a hurricane.
So on to this week’s Sunday game against Newcastle United. They’re going flat out in the attempt to claim a top six spot and if Albion are to frustrate these ambitions, in the process stabilising a mid table position, it will need a 100% improvement on what we saw and endured at Wigan.
Come on you Baggies.