Third time unlucky?

Terry Wills on Albion’s week.

Albion managed to replicate what is seemingly becoming a trademark feature when playing at the Hawthorns- namely conceding three goals. Not every game of course , but far to many for comfort.

The latest, against a very much in form Leicester City, meant a chance to strengthen a comfortable league place had been spurned. However there were mitigating circumstances, namely the shocking performance of referee Anthony Taylor. Every manager of a losing team can and often does criticise decisions that they consider had robbed them of a result, often unfounded, but by ignoring two clear-cut spot kicks (more blatant than the one he awarded late in the game) it did justify Tony Pulis’s criticism that’s led to him facing a FA charge.

On to the game. A delight for neutral observers but for Baggies fans clinging on to the hope of a late, late equaliser it was an exercise in torment. Ahead via a second successive headed goal from Salomon Rondon, things were looking promising in spite of Leicester looking the better side. A goal down at the break – time for Leicester to do what they do better than most, continuous attacks, score goals, and walk away with a deserved result.

They were incisive and in goal machine Jamie Vardy they possess a lightning-fast player who I believe should be an automatic choice for Roy Hodgson’s
England team.

There’s another difficult game this week away against Manchester United, who are struggling to score goals despite being just four points off top spot. As Albion can hardly be described as prolific scorers the odds against them pulling off a third successive Old Trafford win must be classed as doubtful although as the Baggies can play their now accepted stratagy of defend in depth and counter on the break, who knows?

Wayne Rooney, heavily criticised for his current rop in form got his long awaited goal in their UEFA Champions League victory over CSKA Moscowm in the process silencing the boo boys. Let’s hope he doesn’t use this as a springboard too continue against the Baggies.

It will be hard and completive. Darren Fletcher and Jonnie Evans can be assured of a warm welcome while the defence will need to stay composed and resolute but if Salamon Rondon and/or Saido Berahino can poach a goal just perhaps we can return to B71 in a happy state of mind.