Albion anticipation

Terry Wills looks at Albion’s prospects for the forthcoming season.

It’s here! The start of a new season. Fans far and wide eagerly waiting, watching and wondering what the big kick holds in store for their particular team. ill they enjoy a better or worse campaign? Will their transfer aquisitions prove a success or not worth the inflated cash paid out? And in the Greed League is there any chance that the billionaire foreigner-owned clubs could possibly face a serious challenge preventing them, as usual, scooping all of the major honours?

First I can’t envisage any serious challenges – it’s a case of carry on regardless. Let the rest of us poor minnows scratch around hoping they may feel sorry for us. Pause for laughter! So what can Albion fans expect from Tony Pulis’s new look side – improvement, stay as you were or another season of simply avoiding another relegation scrap?

Much depends on the squad he’ll have to work with once all the current speculation surrounding the future of Saido Berahino is resolved. Should one of the big boys come in with a bid that Jeremy Peace and Tony Pulis feel is “too big to turn down” and he leaves that would be a massive blow, especially as the club have made it clear that they won’t be held to ransom in their search for new players.

Just three at present. Rickie Lambert who on form could be a prized asset. James McLean – a controversial character but judged on his displays pre-season could be another
bargain, plus Welsh international James Chester from Hull City adding competition to an already strong, if ageing back four – you can’t have to many resourceful defenders.

The pening game will be a stern test. Manchester City at the Hawthorns on Monday for our first televised Greed League fixture. Prospects? As said at present so many questions so few answers to judge. For me any result except a morale-sapping defeat will be acceptable. Baggies can just hope we leave with smiles on faces instead of disgruntled, here we go again, looks.