I don’t intend on pretending that we should all be happy with this result, as it was clear even from Match of The Day highlights that are so often edited to suggest the “small” club did nothing of significance in the game, which the Baggies could have taken something from this game. Had Shane Long managed to square the ball into the path of Somen Tchoyi with the goal at his mercy, Albion would have been 2-0 up at Stamford Bridge and in dream land. As it is, the otherwise impressive Irishman failed to find Tchoyi and we all know what happened next.
However, I never expected to be coming away from a loss to Chelsea away from home disappointed, surely this should be of some encouragement to the fans. The way we normally perform against Chelsea it is a relief to get a way without our goal difference being significantly affected.
This game has just gone further to re-affirm to Hodgson and the fans alike just where Albion need strengthening. Last week, Steven Reid received a lot of criticism for his performance up against Ashley Young. This week it is fair to say that Reid put in an excellent performance, but the same cannot be said of Nicky Shorey on the other side who could quite feasibly be blamed for both of Chelsea’s goals. This suggests that Albion’s defence still needs tinkering with, in particular the wide areas.
The blame cannot just be pinned on these two, it is as much down to those directly in front of them who can take a portion of the blame. Against Manchester United, Chris Brunt was turned too easily by Young. And against Chelsea, James Morrison was ghosted past by Bosingwa for the winning goal. But it is no surprise that Albion continue to be linked with players who are capable of performing at both full-back and centre-half.
Albion have been monitoring the situation of Nedum Onuoha and are keen to take him on loan, whilst they’ve also enquired about his team-mate Dedryk Boyata though they face competition for both from fellow Premier League teams. Albion have also been looking at Birmingham’s Liam Ridgewell, and had a bid rejected earlier in the summer.
I would suggest it is wishful thinking that even two of these three will be brought in, but who knows? It is a tough call as to which would suit us the most, Ridgewell is a capable performer at Left Back and Centre Half. However, Onuoha is a right-sided player where the centre half berth is still very much up for grabs, and there is no specialist right-back. I believe Boyata is the least appealing out of the three, what Albion need is at least some semblance of experience not potential, because if they were going on that then we would much rather see one of our own, Craig Dawson, slotted in.
Things don’t get any easier for Albion with Stoke next, and although it is too early to call this a must-win, it is certain that Albion must at least get their first points of the campaign against their perennial bogey team.
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