January 25, 2012
The impossible was made possible, the unexpected was achieved, West Brom finally beat Stoke! I have to say that I am still in shock from Saturday's rollercoaster of emotions.
The first of those emotions was utter despair when I saw the team that Roy Hodgson had put out. I knew that Hodgson had pulled some decisions out of the blue the last time we played Stoke away from home, bringing in Abdoulaye Meite who hadn't been seen in a matchday squad let alone the first team in a league game but I really did question the side he had put out.
We had our two best strikers on the bench, Peter Odemwingie and Shane Long, with Marc Antoine Fortune starting up front having previously been on loan at Doncaster. We then had Simon Cox starting on the right hand side of midfield and Gabriel Tamas at right back, three decisions that were, quite frankly, baffling.
January 20, 2012
No, I am not talking about the transfer window, though that can be equally as frustrating for Albion fans. Nor am I talking about the annual figures being published, again another thing that prompts annoyance amongst the fans.
Rather I am talking about one particular day, in one particular match, at one particular ground, against one particular team. Yes, Albion fans it is that time again, Stoke City, away from home. No longer a cause of annoyance or frustration for us, more so a sense of impending doom and pessimism in larger doses than usual.
I am normally someone who looks at things optimistically. Earlier in the season, I was genuinely convinced it was our time. Stoke had just been playing away in the Europa League, they had yet to make their customary big-name signings and after two fantastic performances in the games against Manchester United and Chelsea, it just had to be the time didn't it?
January 8, 2012
Since this is my first blog of 2012, I'd like to wish everyone a (belated) happy new year, though 2012 didn't really get off to the greatest start for the Baggies, who lost to out to Everton at home with a poor performance and also lost away at Spurs, with a far more spirited performance despite the result being the same as Everton, 1-0 to the opposition.
What was notable in the Spurs game was the side Albion were forced to put out. For the game, they were missing the following; Jonas Olsson, Steven Reid, Chris Brunt, Youssuff Mulumbu, Shane Long. All of these have been pretty much permanent fixtures in the starting XI throughout the season, whilst James Morrison was on the bench carrying an injury and Jerome Thomas was then forced off midway through the first half with a groin injury.
These injuries are really starting to take a toll on Albion's campaign, and has raised questions over the back-up options they have, particularly following Roy Hodgson's comments at the end of the Everton game.