United we stand

Terry Wills talks about Albion’s week.

If any further proof was needed to strengthen Alan Irvine’s claim that Albion were improving and would hopefully continue to improve the game against a team that spent £151 million in the summer surely underlined his reasoning.

A tremendous game for the millions watching on the box but it couldn’t possibly compare with the frenetic atmosphere inside the Hawthorn as the game ebbed and flowed in an enthralling, nail-biting contest.

Naturally Baggies fans were disappointed they couldn’t hold on to a twice-taken lead, courtesy of tremendous goals from Stephane Sessegnon and man of the moment Saido Berahino, but beyond dispute United deserved a point.

What is satisfying is that at last Albion have strength in depth. There is an assurance that apart from one irreplaceable player, Saido Berahino, we can bring in an adequate replacement.

A senior England international in the making, one of the most sought-after players around, I’d be astonished if some of the more wealthy Greed League clubs weren’t set to pounce when the January transfer window opens for business.

But whatever the bid Jeremy Peace has to resist it. Yes he could substantially swell the club’s coffers, but at what price? Goalscorers are priceless, every club whatever standard of football they play in, are desperate to find them and as Saido is young, strong, enthusiastic, has pace, is two footed and scores goals it’s hardly surprising he’s a prized asset.

For now , all that matters is Albion as a club, and team, continue to evolve. The team appear to be growing in confidence, look to have a confident air running through it, and Alan Irvine insists that playing at their best they need fear no-one.

I’m not getting carried away. It’s still early days and along with the majority of clubs desperate to retain a place in the Greed League I know every game is merely another step nearer to survival. This week it’s Crystal Palace visiting, hoping that they can pick up a result what’s already termed a six pointer. They too are struggling so we can expect a tough battle whatever the final result.

A continuation of the Manchester United form should be sufficient but if they line up against Palace under the impression it’s three easy points that could be fatal.

Go for the jugular from the kick-off, bag the points and take a midweek trip to Balmy Bournemouth where a win would guide Andy Irvine’s side into uncharted territories -a quarter final League Cup place.