Reading, Rangers, Rivals

Terry Wills is wondering what’s going wrong at the Hawthorns and whether Saturday will see it right.

West Bromwich Albion HawthornsNo beating about the bush this week. The abysmal surrender at Reading, totally unforgivable and unforgettable, followed by the FA Cup exit at home to Queens Park Rangers, left Albion fans feeling that the season in terms of being recognised as a positive success was now well along the road to being over.

To throw away a 2-0 lead in the last eight minutes against a poor Reading side (and it could have been four or five) left Steve Clarke “shell-shocked”. Well Steve, I can assure you that Baggies supporters felt exactly the same. A chance of three points, moving us up the table, had been unbelievably spurned courtesy of a defence that far too often concedes late goals.

On sadly to another Hawthorns Cup exit to follow Liverpool in the Capitol One Cup and a lack lustre performance said it all. To be fair, ‘Arry’s Queens Park Rangers played far better than one could expect from a struggling potential relegation bound team. They passed the ball well and were disciplined in defence but for all that if their keeper. Rob Green hadn’t pulled off three magnificent saves we would be looking forward to playing Milton Keynes in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Unfortunately the only player to cause them any serious problems was Lukaku (a constant threat) and who when in full flow brings the crowd to their feet). Praise to heaven Chelsea didn’t recall him!

So to Saturday and THE big clash between West Bromwich Albion and Aston Villa. Traditional great rivals, in a game that has so much  are stake for both clubs. We need a win to retain a hope that we could somehow finish in our highest ever Greed League position, while Villa are in a perilous, and unexpected, fight to avoid relegation into the Championship. The media and even their fans are claiming their defence is “rubbish” and their attacking options are severely limited. Calls to Radio WM saying they can’t see where their next goal is coming from never mind their next optimistic result?All I’ll say to that is that IF Albion don’t improve on their current dreadful defending, plus missing so many chances when dominating games, Villa could cause a Hawthorns upset.

And I’ll keep saying that local derbies are notoriously unpredictable and it’s the team that wants to win them more than the opposition that that will come out on top. Yes, Albion on paper should be capable of lifting the Hawthorns gloom but if that’s to be achieved they’ll need to be a massive improvement on their current performances. Here’s hoping!

Come on you Baggies.

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