Same Old Story Again For The Baggies
It was yet another frustrating Saturday for West Bromwich Albion and their fans. And again they were on the receiving end of another 2-1 defeat at home.
Surely Albion’s home form cannot get worse. But with the way things are going, it is difficult to see when West Brom’s next win at The Hawthorns will come.
The Baggies cannot keep relying on their away form and they really do need to start picking up points at home. Otherwise Roy Hodgson’s side will be dragged into a relegation dogfight.
And just the small matter of a Black Country derby against Wolves next weekend. Wolves will be feeling upbeat after their 2-1 win at Loftus Road against QPR. With the game being played at Molineux, West Brom can go there and perhaps play with a bit more freedom.
As much as we can criticise the Baggies for another poor result at home, you have to give credit to Swansea City. The Swans have been a real breath of fresh air to the Premier League along with Norwich.
Despite the difficult conditions, Swansea stuck to their philosophy of playing free flowing football and both of their goals were decent team goals. For much of the first half, Swansea did boss the game and the Albion faithful understandably were getting restless with their side.
West Brom did have the chances in the first 45 but the fact Swansea were able to dominate the majority of the first half will have displeased the home crowd. West Brom should have been awarded a penalty after Ashley Williams’ blatant handball.
Had The Baggies been awarded a penalty and scored it, perhaps it might have been a different game. But Albion on the day were simply not good enough and shot themselves in the foot once again.
Marc- Antoine Fortune has been one of the positives in the last couple of weeks and scoring against Swansea will do his confidence the world of good.
But you are always vulnerable once you have scored and the Swans immediately went up the other end and equalised after Fortune had given Albion the lead on 54 minutes.
Questions marks as to who was tracking Gylfi Sigurdsson for the equaliser will come up. Sigurdsson also played a major part in the winning goal. The Iceland International’s cross from the right found Danny Graham and the ex-Watford striker made no mistake from close range to guide the ball past Ben Foster.
Peter Odemwingie will no doubt be dwelling on his shocking miss on the 70th minute with Albion having been 2-1 down. Graham Dorrans was able to pick out the Nigerian with a pin-point cross from the right and from six yards out all Odemwingie had to do was guide the ball home.
With no one even close to him and with the goalkeeper Michael Vorm stranded, Odemwingie blazed over and missed an absolute sitter. All he had to do was compose himself and side foot the ball into the back of the net. The Peter Odemwingie of last season will have scored that missed chance.
I’m not sure what has happened to Odemwingie this season but at the minute I do feel he is lacking in confidence. Whether injuries have taken its toll on him this season I’m not entirely sure.
But over the 90 minutes, Swansea in my view deserved the three points. The Baggies for me didn’t test Vorm enough and didn’t create many clear cut chances apart from Odemwingie’s sitter.
Signings and Wolves
The Baggies made two signings on transfer deadline day with Liam Ridgewell and Keith Andrews joining The Hawthorns outfit. Ridgewell was an expected signing but I certainly wasn’t expecting Albion to sign Andrews at the beginning of the day.
Considering the financial troubles Birmingham City are in, I guess it was inevitable Ridgewell would be leaving St. Andrews. Ridgewell also handed in a transfer request so it is no real surprise he has joined Albion.
Having played in the Premier League with Villa and Blues, Ridgewell has bags of experience and I’m sure he will turn out to be a decent signing for The Baggies. I would be tempted to start with Ridgewell in place of Nicky Shorey at Left-Back against Wolves.
Keith Andrews is an interesting signing. The former Wolves midfielder was out on loan at Ipswich earlier this season and scored nine goals in 19 appearances for The Tractor Boys.
Andrews will be looking to force his way into the first-team squad so he can get into the Ireland squad for Euro 2012. How ironic would it be if Andrews were to make his debut for Albion against Wolves? We will find out next Sunday whether he does or not?
Next Sunday’s Black Country Derby will be a massive game for both sides. Provided they are not in the bottom three before kick-off next Sunday, Wolves will want to pull further clear of relegation zone.
Albion are currently six points above the relegation zone and will be looking to complete the double over their deadly rivals on Sunday. Shane Long could be set for a return to the Albion side providing he shakes off a chest injury.
And as they are away from home, The Baggies at least won’t have to deal with the pressure of playing at home.
This is the team I would start with against Wolves: Foster, Ridgewell, McAuley, Olsson, Reid, Thomas, Mulumbu, Morrison, Tchoyi, Long, Fortune. Subs: Fulop, Shorey, Andrews, Odemwingie, Dorrans, Scharner, Cox.
The result was a disappointing one against Swansea along with the performance. But let’s get behind the Baggies at Molineux and roar the team onto three crucial points. Come on You Baggies!