Toon hammered

Terry wills on Albion’s defeat at home to Newcastle.

No excuses –  Albion were well beaten by Newcastle United, one of the best team seen at the Hawthorns this season. On second thoughts I’ve changed my mind; they were THE best team.

A warm sunny day, perfect for football, the game beamed to watching millions courtesy of Sky television, a wonderful, appreciated tribute to the late, great Ray Barlow. The scene was set. Come on you Baggies, show that last week’s dismal display at Wigan had been a one off…. If only!

Alan Pardew’s team, built on a swift accurate passing game, especially in the first half, were a joy to watch (if you’d travelled from Tyneside for the privilege) and when they opened up a two goal lead my immediate thought was to hope the ref would blow the whistle for full time because unless there was a massive improvement we were in for a right drubbing. Albion simply had little or no answer how to combat United’s all round game .

Mercifully there was a second half improvement, and a goal from Shane Long, restored something resembling parity. Indeed, as James Morrison was carried off with an injury that appears to have finished his season leaving the Baggies with ten men, it could have been very much worse. Thankfully Ben Foster rose to the occasion and if it hadn’t been for his sterling efforts, our current minus goal difference would have been considerably increased.

Roy Hodgson’s admission, that he’ll rotate players in order that they can prove their worth, is understandable. But judged on this setback he must be pondering on his deepest thoughts, as too who are best suited to a proffered formation? 4-5-1 -4-4-2 -4-4-1-1, or any formation you can think of. The average supporter can naturally discuss and argue as to what’s best but then we don’t have the responsibility of taking the flack should things go wrong do we?

So on to this week and a second visit to Goodison Park to face David Moyes’ Everton – they knocked us out of the League Cup after extra time back in August.

Prospects? With the home side now seemingly playing as well as they have all season (it takes a good side to win at Swansea) it will need a massive improvement to send the Albion travelling faithful back home celebrating with a point, or three.

Yes, while we are virtually assured that there won’t be a last ditch fight to avoid dropping back into the relegation zone, should we somehow allow this happen then it won’t only be Roy Hodgson, Jeremy Peace, and the board who will be feeling a mite concerned. Albion supporters are slowly becoming accustomed to the fact that the media are tentatively recognising that we can be considered an established Greed League team. I agree, but for all that, like everyone else, the quicker that such a nonsensical possibility is laid to rest the happier I’ll be.

Come on you Baggies.