Stoke City's Mamady Sidibe grasped a goal in the 84th minute at the Britannia as the Potter's edged out 1-0 victors against promoted counterparts West Brom. Fullback Danny Higginbotham provided a drifted cross into the box, left unchallenged, Sidibe rose to connect with his head and struck the ball convincingly past goalkeepr Scott Carson. Sidibe's strike assured that Mowbray's Albion would witness their sixth defeat in their last seven Premeir League matches.
A crowd of over 26,000 will surely be overjoyed with the win, however, the match unfortunately provided one of the most shocking presentations of the beautiful game that I've seen all season. Yet it's that old sports cliché that will always ring true, at the end of the day it's the scoreline that counts, as it did once more.
This was another match that really tells the story of Albion's season up to this point. The Baggies had all the right intentions in playing, or at least attempting to play an entertaining passing game of football, but lacked the cutting edge and final product they simply cannot produce in abundance: goals. Although the issue was trumped last year, it was just a couple seasons ago that pundits would often complain about Arsenal's lack of turning their blazing attacking displays and counterattacks into goals. West Brom is obviously a much more reduce squad than that of Arsenal over the past few years, however, Albion's issues are certainly a reflection of those that Arsenal faced not long ago. Mowbray may revel in his philosophy for playing attractive football, however, a squad must play to their strengths, such as a side like Stoke. Yes Stoke may play some of the least entertaining football in the Premier League, but look at their position in the table and then look at Albion's, I assure you your eyes will glance down for the latter.
Albion faces another visit on the road next week, this time against the unpredictable and inconsistent Wigan. Three away points here would be an immense moral victory for Mowbray's men to take back to the Hawthorns when they host Portsmouth the week after.
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