Arrivederci Paolo

Terry Wills watches as Albion contribute to the sacking of Paolo di Canio. 

Sunderland – and a day to remember in more ways than one. Naturally the media in general concentrated on the antics of Paulo Di Canio, who at the end of the game complied with my wishes that he’d leave the Hawthorns still rooted at the foot of the Greed League table.  Much appreciated, Paolo!

Without question Sunderland even at this early stage of the season look certainties for the drop unless a new manager can turn things around. But even so there were encouraging signs that this ‘new look’ Albion are slowly climbing an upward curve.

Inevitably it was performances of the new ‘Foreign Legion’ imports that focused the minds of the fans and they certainly left the impression they could prove very astute signings. Stephane Sessegnon found himself an instant hero as he slotted home his scripted  goal. Strong body strength and the ability to be in the right place at the right time. Ditto Victor Anichebe, strong and willing, essential assets in the modern game.

But even so they were both overshadowed by the virtually unknown  Morgan Amallfitano (a handful to pronounce but an ever greater handful for opposing defenders.  Clever footwork and ball control all rounded off as he crashed home his first, and the Baggies third goal. Apart from the early stages the defence were rarely seriously troubled, while Liam Ridgewell with acres of space to operate in gave the impression that he thoroughly enjoyed his rare goal.

But what of Nicolas Anelka the subject to criticism from some fans? For me it was his best game to date. He may not complete every game but on this display he’ll trouble better defences than we saw from the Mackems.

Two games this week starting with a Capital Cup game at home to a resurgent  Arsenal. Will Steve Clarke take it seriously by picking a full strength team or give squad players a chance to strut their stuff? It’s been a long time since the Baggies had a serious tilt at possibly winning a cup competition and although the main objective has to ensure we’re playing top flight football, a decent run in a knockout competition would be welcome,

On to the Greed League game at Old Trafford to face a Manchester United side who’ll be desperate to eradicate their stunning defeat against their City rivals. Logically, everything points to a win for David Moyes side and if we somehow managed to leave with a point that WOULD be a unexpected bonus,

Two very intriguing matches and I’ll take a closer look at the results next week. Until then,  whether it be good , bad, or indifferent…

…Come on you Baggies.