Great football cliches of our time

Terry Wills is over the moon about not feeling sick as a parrot, Brian.

If ever there was a compilation of matches that deserved the description ‘a game of two halves’ Albion against Queens Park Rangers would have to be near the top of the list.

Mark Hughes’ beleaguered bottom of the table Rangers arrived at the Hawthorns surely feeling like the proverbial lambs to the slaughter. Indeed they were for the first 45 minutes as the Baggies playing a brand of scintillating football that tore them to shreds and should have had the three points signed, sealed, and delivered as fans meandered away for a half-time cuppa – or something stronger. A tremendous run and cross from Shane Long set up James Morrison for the opener and when Zoltan Gera was spinning away after celebrating in his traditional style after giving Baggies a 2-0 lead that was surely it, especially as further chances were spurned that should have seen them walk off with at least a three goal advantage.

But a turn, volley, and goal from Adel Taarabt Tabbart gave Rangers a toe hold back into the game (It was so good even I felt like clapping – although I didn’t) and Ben Foster the unexpected opportunity to pick the ball out of his up to now Fortress Hawthorns net. A goal conceded – how dare they?

Not to worry, or so we thought, but in the second half Albion’s passing and lack of concentration made me wonder what they’d been drinking during the break. Had they thought the teams had swapped colours? Judging from the number of mistakes we had to endure it certainly seemed that way and there was more than a hint that Rangers, who played some good football, might have left with a result.

Mercifully, or so we thought a third goal, from Youssoff Mulumbu had eased our doubts following a great passing movement. Panic over. If only- another late cracking strike from Estaban Granero it was 3-2. Added on time, a corner, a scramble, the chance to steal a point was scorned and what should have been a statutory three points had finished in nail biting fashion.

The mood as fans left the ground was sombre. Yes we’d won and elevated ourselves to a fourth in the Greed League but such was that second half display it took some of the gloss off the victory. Ah, the joys of being a Baggies supporter.

Steve Clarke is doing a great job and I find it hard to question his judgement but replacing Shane Long and Peter Odemwingie with so long time to go was in my eyes a mistake, especially as Markus Rosenberg resembled a fish out of water.

No game this week so hopefully time to get our injured fullbacks fit for the visit of the Billionaire Manchester City outfit two weeks hence. More of that next week but one thing’s for certain – 100% commitment through the whole game and not 45 minutes, will only be good enough to keep our unbeaten Hawthorns record intact.

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