Popped by the Cherries

Terry Wills bemoans Albion’s fortunes this week.

Ah well – last week I inferred that the next few games would be as difficult as those that had seen Albion to take points from some of the top ranked clubs, bearing in mind the opposition occupied places in or around the drop zone.

First up were Bournemouth, tipped to make a swift return to the Championship according to the pundits. Well judged on their 2-1 winning display at the Hawthorns I’ll be astonished should that happen. Yes circumstances went their way; the ill-disciplined ridiculous red card for James McClean that left a ten man side battling to claw themselves back into the game only to be scuttled by a late penalty award (the foul was outside the area) and the final indignity of seeing Saloman Rondon treading the same red card path.

Earlier on the difference in style was clear. A Tony Pulis defensive sit deep, soak up the pressure Albion, in contrast to Eddie Howe’s all out attacking pacy possession philosophy. The Cherries dominated without seriously testing Boaz Myhill and it was only after they’d taken a second-half lead that the Baggies showed their fighting qualities. A Gareth McCauley equaliser the flat out for a winner only to see Craig Dawson head wide from a can’t miss chance. Oh yes he could.

Overall, a disappointing result. chance to consolidate squandered. Tony Pulis left with a selection problem. And the next two games against two other struggling sides. Swansea away and Newcastle United at home. Should further points be lost it will mean every Baggies supporter fearing a far from Happy New Year instead of reflecting on a positive festive season.

And to conclude, best wishes to all Birmingham Press-reading football fans – especially if they support the Albion.