Best of the rest

Terry Wills on Albion’s run of recent defeats.

We say a fond farewell 2016 and a warm welcome to 2017. What can Baggies fans expect to see that’s any differet between now and May when our final Greed League position is determined?

For me the current top-half position is as much as could be expected bearing in mind that the Premier League is in fact split into two separate divisions. The upper echelon is dominated by cash-bloated clubs now occupying the top positions while Albion appear to be safely encompassed among those facing the fact that this is as much can be expected.

Never can this be better illustrated than by the expected defeats against Manchester United and Arsenal following our Chelsea setback. The United game was to all and purposes as good as over after the Reds’ opener. Albion simply hadn’t sufficient quality to make an upsdt likely.

And from then onto another last-gasp, despairing derfeat after conceding very late at Arsenal. Albion gave a valiant effort but little else. Lone Ranger Salomon Rondon desperately requires support and without it opposition defenders can expect an easy ride, especially away from the Hawthorns.

We have another difficult game this week in the shape of a trip to Southampton away and on form the Saints have to be favourites to pocket the points. As usual Tony Pulis will utilise his laid-down instructions. Sit deep, frustrate the opposition and hopefully snatch a goal on the break.

One aspect that dies worry me is the manager’s use of substitutes. Invariably we see the likes of Craig Gardner, James McClean and Robson Kanu, willing workers but I feel that they offer little in the way of attacking options. Against United a few moments from Jonathan Leko proved the difference. Taking on and beating defenders, truly a breath of fresh air. Let’s see more of him Tony – please?

To all Birmingham Press readers, and especially Baggies supporters, enjoy the New Year.