I've got quite a lot to get through in this blog, so let's start with deadline day. A day which for most Albion fans is a bit of a non-event. We are not exactly renowned for activity on deadline day, particularly where money is involved.
So to see Albion bring in not 1 but 2 players on deadline day was, well, rather exciting! The first man to sign on the dotted line was Birmingham City defender Liam Ridgewell. The Baggies have been chasing Ridgewell since the summer window, and had previously seen two bids knocked back by their local rivals for the left back.
But Jeremy Peace's negotiation skills once again came to the fore, though for a time it had looked like Albion would miss the boat with Ridgewell, reports suggesting that the Blues hierarchy were not impressed with Peace's tough stance. In the end it paid off, with Albion signing Ridgewell for a fee believed to be in the region of £1.7 Million, £300,000 less than what Birmingham were said to be demanding.
Ridgewell should prove a good addition to the Albion squad. It has become clear that at the very least Nicky Shorey needs competition, if not replacing. Although Ridgewell won't offer as much going forward as Shorey, I believe he will be more capable defensively and once more adds to the physical presence of the Albion side. The 2nd signing was far more left-field.
There had been no links or even a remote suggestion that Keith Andrews was on Albion's radar, but 20 minutes before Big Ben chimed 11 times to signify the end of deadline day, if you are to believe Sky Sports News, Andrews had completed a deal to join West Brom from Blackburn until the end of the season, initially.
Andrews is a very interesting signing. He doesn't seem to be a player that can play the wide role that Albion desperately need filling and he isn't exactly a big-name signing some fans wanted. But he will provide energy in the midfield, he drives forward well and during his spell with Ipswich it became clear he has an eye for goal. I don't think he will be an immediate starter, unlike Ridgewell, but I do believe he will prove a useful player for Albion over the coming months.
Neither player was available for the game with Fulham the following night, but this didn't make much difference to Albion as they broke yet another away day hoodoo under Roy Hodgson, who was returning to Craven Cottage for the first time. West Brom had only scored one goal at Craven Cottage in the Premier League, and had yet to win even a point there.
And it looked like that may have been the case again, when Clint Dempsey gave Fulham the lead. Though Fulham had a lot of the ball, I think a defeat would have been harsh on Albion who created far more clear-cut chances, with Marc Antoine Fortune proving particularly wasteful. But Hodgson changed things with 15 minutes to go, bringing on Somen Tchoyi for Simon Cox, who worked hard on the right but did not look like providing much attacking input for Albion.
It was Tchoyi who grabbed Albion the point, racing onto a flick from James Morrison before driving the ball powerfully across Stockdale and into the bottom corner. Yet another away point for Albion, who will no doubt be hoping to transfer that form to the Hawthorns this Saturday and end a miserable run of home form.
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