Many football supporters believe that West Bromwich Albion had an unbelievably successful season last year, finishing 8th in the Premier League, our best ever positon.
What many fail to observe is that this success was due to achieving good results, albeit with our fair share of lady luck, in the first half of the season. The Baggies have only gained 25 points from their last 29 matches (if my maths is correct).
This is RELEGATION form
This season we have gained 2 points from 4 matches, scoring only one goal in the process. The team look stale, devoid of ideas, lacking pace, lacking inventiveness and inclined to hoof the ball forwards instead of trying to play neat passing football.
Even our recent transfer day deadline signings do not even inspire me, seeming to grasp at, and surprisingly paying over the odds for, players who have not exactly set the world alight at their previous clubs.
We no longer win games and we no longer entertain.
The time will come soon when the fans will turn on Steve Clarke, a manager who for me seems to be reversing all the good work of previous seasons.
I will even predict that he will be the first premier league manager to be sacked this season.
I hope that Steve Clarke can reverse the current situation and prove me wrong… but I doubt it!
This is a report on the Fulham v WBA game last Saturday by Paul Gainham on the BOING website, which sums up my point of view precisely, and inspired me to write this article.
Match Report: Fulham 1 – West Bromwich Albion 1
Thinking we have turned a corner or that things will suddenly get better after getting a point against an AVERAGE Fulham side is like turning the sound of the radio up in the car to cover a worrying engine noise.
How long will we bury our head in the sands before we wake up, smell the coffee and fire Clarke.
Today for 60 minutes we were utterly woeful. No structure, no game plan, slow and ponderous on the ball and no punch up front. After that we showed more fight and Fulham sat back meaning we had greater control of the game albeit never really troubling their keeper. In contrast, this average Fulham team had the ball in our net 4 times.
Bringing Morrison and Sinclair on was the catalyst for a comeback and even then clueless Clarke plays Sinclair out on the right for the first 15 mins where he is ineffective. Eventually he switches him out to the left and he becomes much more effective. Berahino comes on late and in fairness to him, shows the youthful vigour you would expect and it’s his hassling that forced the corner from which we scored a late equaliser.
So we probably did deserve a point and did not succumb to the heavy defeat i thought we would, albeit my 4-0 forecast was nearly accurate as they did have the ball in our net 4 times…..
The worst thing about today is how Clarke is constantly fiddling with the formation and personnel – its as bad as it was under Robson, another clueless idiot who never figured out what formation worked and what players were best where. I counted 5 formation / personnel moves today not counting the substitutions. With that approach the writing really is on the wall and I would urge Peace to act now before it’s too late and he causes us permanent damage.
As for the newcomers today, Anichebe looks no better than MAF, had one weak shot on goal all game, played one good pass through to Anelka and then was completely played out of the game by Hangeland and Senderos. What I remember of him at Everton – not particularly fast, poor touch and poor in front of goal were all in evidence today. £6m well spent??
Amalfitano the jury is out on, he looked off the pace and did not exhibit and trickery or bursts of pace that made him stand out. He tracked back well but did nothing to excite.
Sinclair as I have said came on the right and was ineffective, moved to the left and looked much, much better.
Anelka was awful.
- Myhill: 6 Not sure he could do much with their goal, did not have that much else to do, but did what he had to do well
- Jones: 6 Pretty solid today, better performance than same fixture last year
- Olsson: 6 Solid
- McCauley: 6 Solid, great goal in extra time
- Ridgewell: 3 MUST be clarkes love child, another really poor game
- Mulumbu: 7 My MOM, showed energy, passion and was always trying to raise the tempo.
- Yacob: 4 Another poor game, slow, no tempo, caught in possession too often
- Amalfitano: 5 Will give him the benefit of the doubt but did not excite, another journeyman?
- Brunt: 5 Good game by his standards, tried to move the ball forwards
- Anelka: 2 Awful. Slow, tried to do too much, often caught in possession. A poor mans Berbatov
- Anichebe: 4 Is he REALLY any better than MAF. Everything I thought he would be. He is NOT the goal answer.
- Sinclair: 6 Did well on the left but only had 15 mins there
- Morrison: 6 Tried to inject some tempo late on
- Berahino: 6 Full of youthful vigour, showed some good touches.
- Manager: 1 He really is making it up as he goes along. Utterly clueless
Reproduced with kind permission from Finbarr and Paul Gainham at ‘BOING‘ – http://www.baggies.com/games/?id=642