Terry Wills wonders about the future at the Hawthorns.
It’s difficult to know where best to start with the Hawthorns happenings that at present range from (hopefully) good, to bad, to simply indifferent
First, best of good fortune to new Head Coach Pepe Mel, and barring a rapid change in fortunes he’s going to need it. His first look at his new club underlined proof that a continuation of the dreadful Southampton display will spell trouble with a Capital T.
Little imagination, poor passing, creativity; what’s that? and until Shane Long missed a very late golden chance too equalise, barely a scoring opportunity to snatch a point.
Pepe’s already starting under the handicap of not having any of his working colleagues with him, obviously meaning the language barrier has been raised a few notches higher than normal He’s stressed that he intends to introduce an aggressive,possession, passing brand of football, which is encouraging, but that’s easier said than done.
Along with many supporters I query the wisdom of Albion’s mainly long ball game. Jonas Olsson appears limited in choice. Win the ball, look up, see Shane Long haring forward and hump the ball in his direction. Occasionally, very occasionally, it succeeds but mainly it’s turns out to be a gift for the opposition defence. A more controlled movement would surely pose more problems (?) but then if Pepe can instil a change, could we see a ‘new’ Albion?
On to Shane Long. It appears that he’s bound for Hull ‘Tigers’ – and what a farce THAT problem is. He’s stressed that he has no great desire to leave but recent reports almost entirely agree, he is on his way. This has split opinions from the fans. Many say he’s been poor, take the £4/6 million reputedly on offer. Personally I’d be sorry to see him leave when thinking of the players left to supposedly replace him. Poor in the extreme especially Mr Rosenberg and Anichebi, while Anelka, apart from the odd game fails to impress. What more do Saido Berahino and Matel Vydra have to do to ensure more playing time? Over to you Mel.
For sure the players need to improve, a new coach can only do so much. He’s not on the pitch missing chances, and gifting goals; these deficiencies can only be rectified by themselves.
Next up a televised home game against an in-form Everton complete with a certain Romelu Lukaku. Is anyone prepared to argue he’ll prove just what we missed when he swapped the Hawthorns for Goodison Park?
Looking at the remaining fixtures they include all of the Greed League top teams plus those also hoping to climb out of the automatic relegation spots, and based on their encouraging results they would seem well capable of
dragging Albion into serious trouble unless this promise of attacking football is introduced. Again, over to you Mel.