Stuck on the Bridge

Terry Wills on Albion’s week.

Let’s get the plus points out of the way which being honest, were few and far between, before moving on to the minus points.

Initially to leave Stamford Bridge after being totally outclassed was a triumph in itself. Chelsea on current form are head and shoulders above every team in the
Greed League. In company with the overwhelming majority of fans, current and ex-players, I suspect that unless they fall away in a alarming fashion they will be crowned champion’s at seasons end.

Secondly, Ben Foster was mercifully on top form. But for him it would have been a very embarrassing afternoon for both the team and fans. Particularly the fans – they knew they could have witnessed a defeat in the region not far off double figures. Praise the Lord!

For all that the Special One- you know who I mean – praised Albion for their battling backs to the wall display, being down to ten men is always difficult and against Chelsea away…need more be said?

What was truly scandalous was abysmal defending, highlighted by Chelsea’s second goal. A corner kick, a simple short pass to an unmarked player, into
the box and goal. Game over. Amazingly, Alan Irvine said “We’d been practising how to defend Chelsea’s corner kicks.” Perhaps they had but it was a pity the practice had been forgotten once the game kicked off.

So another defeat, keeping Albion entrenched among the eight or so clubs in serious danger of dropping into the Championship next season . This week Arsenal come visiting for a Sunday televised game that will present another stern test bearing in mind the Baggies inability to win what are vital home matches.

What team Irvine selects is open to question. Numerous defensive weaknesses, a lack of midfield creativity, no width, plus the everlasting question of if Saido Berahino doesn’t score who will?

Talking of Saido, what Albion do in relation to his latest off the field incident remains to be seen. What I do know is that West Bromwich Albion are a club that abide by strong principles, which in due course will be leaving them facing a dilemma as how best to respond.

But that can wait. What can’t wait is the urgent need to start winning games and unless they’re on top form a draw seems the most optimistic forecast.