Terry Wills talks about Albion’s week, and their impact on the relegation struggle.
Following the recent run of disappointing performance it was a boost to see, and hear, the media praising Albion for a display that had left Southampton chasing veritable shadows before suffering a very comprehensive 3-0 home defeat. Superior in every department, the three points stabilised our comfortable top eight position with their highest-ever Premier League points tally.
Well done Steve Clarke for making the 3,000 plus Baggies fans happy on the way home; a perfect response for the Southampton mindless idiots that decided to hurl brick and stones at the
40 Free Coaches laid on by the club. (A gesture that led to Wolverhampton fans, ringing in BBC Radio WM, applauding Albion for this enterprise and asking why the Wolves hierarchy never attempted to bring the club and its supporters closer together?)
A bold, attacking, three strikers formation was a comparatively but nevertheless welcome sight and once again left the majority of supporters wondering just why the Head Coach so often selects a lone striker? Fortune, Long, and Lukaku combined well, each scored, and proved that a more attacking policy could have led to a few more points come seasons end.
Now of course is the time when prospects for next season are being discussed by fans. Who will come in? Who’ll be moving on? Will Jeremy Peace finance at least one major signing? On splashing the cash that’s highly unlikely. Why change a structure that up to now has been so successful? Recruiting Gareth McAuley was a master stroke, rewarded with him being named Albion’s Player of the Season despite severe competition from Ben Foster, Youssouf Mulumbu, Claudio Yacob and Romelu Lukaku.
The future of our on loan striker has to be a question that will go a long way towards fans anticipation as to what is likely to happen next season. If Chelsea (under Jose Mourinho?) can be persuaded to loan him out again and providing the player doesn’t receive a more lucrative offer, that would be great news but……
So to this week’s Greed League home game against cup finalists Wigan, a side that at their best can pose problems for any team but who off-form look very vulnerable. They’re in their annual relegation dog fight and will be scrapping for points to keep them in with a chance of yet another survival should their last game of the season against our nearest rivals – a certain Aston Villa! -eventually determine who will be enjoying Championship football next season.
I’ve said all along that Villa won’t be relegated. And after watching them demolish Sunderland 6-1 (what a fantastic display from Benteke) I’m more than ever convinced that West Bromwich Albion versus Aston Villa will feature prominently in both sets of supporters’ minds when next season’s fixtures are published. Naturally, some Baggies fans are asking if will we help Wigan by losing and hope this would negates Villa’s chance of survival. My answer, as the song goes, is “Whatever will be will be.” My only concern is wanting to see another three points whoever the opposition and whatever the eventual outcome.
Lets have a win that in view of the final three remaining games – including a trip to Manchester City and home to their Greed League Champion neighbours Manchester United – could apart from a hopeful win at home to Norwich City be the last points won of the current campaign.
Here’s hoping I’m proved wrong .
Come on you Baggies.