Roy’s Regal Return

Terry Wills goes to Anfield and watches history being made.

It’s probably fair to say that every Albion supporter, young and old, was thrilled, delighted, and astonished, by the ‘smash and grab’ win at Anfield? Without a win there in 45 years -an awful long time – to actually pick up a paper to confirm the Baggies HAD left Liverpool with three points was a great start to the week.

Okay, we most definitely rode our luck with shots hitting bar and post, last ditch blocks and tackles, chances missed. They were all here but in saying that the newly found defensive qualities (another clean sheet!) shone through although Liverpool had to be grateful that the Baggies didn’t make the most of the few opportunities that came their way. If they had, the Kop’s somewhat restrained faithful would have felt they really were walking alone. The Lord most certainly wasn’t their shepherd.

Peter Odemwingie’s goal to pocket the points will be remembered as fondly as that of ‘King’ Jeff Astle’s back in 1967 and it’s ironic that his goal came in a season that was as far removed from his last season’s exploits as can be imagined.More please Peter!

Roy Hodgson’s return to Anfield couldn’t have extracted a greater deal of suppressed delight. And although he outwardly said to the media that “This win gave me no more pleasure than beating any other team” I somehow think that inside the dressing room he had a wicked unrelenting smile on his face!

On to this week and THE genuine big one for older fans. West Bromwich Albion versus Aston Villa.

Following their defeat against Bolton Villa now find themselves in a situation no one could have envisaged. A defeat at the Hawthorns, coupled with other results, could see under fire Alex McLeish facing the possibility that he could become a unique, unwanted statistic – the manager of two teams to plunge from the Greed League in successive seasons, in the same city!

Albion are now virtually certain of finishing as the Midlands highest placed team, and what better way could there be to prove it, other than completing a rare double over the team from Aston, and taking us closer to beating last year’s finishing position?

But even though Villa are struggling this won’t be the formality supporters ringing in to Radio WM are indicating, although I hope they are right.  It’s a local derby, Villa know they’re in trouble and another defeat could prove disastrous so I would expect a far more competitive match than at face value seems likely.

For our part Albion players are extolling the virtues of Roy Hodgson,stressing they want to finish on a high in a top half Greed League position to confirm they deserve to be where they are and in this context every Albion fan will surely shout “Hear Hear.”

So let’s see a rare full house, an exciting game and most importantly three points (plus an improved goal difference) when all the weekend results are tallied up and put into context.

Come on you Baggies.