Hawthorns Hammered

Terry Wills on Albion’s defeat to West Ham.

Thankfully there are only two games remaining until this disappointing season reaches its conclusion. It’s a season that week by week has underlined the fact that the difference in quality between the Baggies and the leading clubs stands out.

The 3-0 home defeat against West Ham was sadly typical. A bright start, with Hammers boss Slaven Bilic admitting that “for the first 25 minutes we weren’t at the races”. True, but for the remaining 65 minutes Albion resembled a side of non-runners only enlightened by the encouraging debut performance from youngster Jonathan Leko.

The latest Albion Academy star has all the attributes so long awaited by fans. Big and strong, pace, plus the ability to take on defenders and more importantly beat them in a one on one confrontation. Yes, a great talent and giving supporters genuine hope that he can confirm the media’s description of Wonder Kid. However, these are early days and only time will tell if he’s capable of living up to his undoubted promise.

Scoring goals continues to be the major problem for the team. Early chances were squandered, a breakaway Hammers goal followed and on the stroke of half-time a second meant Game Over.

It’s the final away game of the season this week dow at balmy Bournemouth, facing a team that in its first season since being promoted to the Premier League have played very well and proved difficult to beat.

Prospects – who knows? The Cherries will be anxious to win their final home game to round off their season in style while Tony Pulis in company with the Baggies must surely be hoping a long awaited goal or two (how’s that for optimism?) will be enough to return unbeaten before the last game against Liverpool. But I won’t be holding my breath, in company with, I suspect, the majority of the Baggies patient fans.