Years ago, many Baggies fans wouldn’t have believed their side would have been filled with flamboyant Argentinians, French stars or skilful Africans. The line-ups filled with Matt Carbons’, Jason Van Blerks’ and Chris Adamsons’ seem a life time ago but all is wrong in the Albion camp.
The disappointing start, lack of goals or even chances created all have played their part in the fans anger, but one thing stands out from the rest from the game against Swansea.
The side showed no grit or passion when going a goal down as they failed to get any type of foothold in the game. Even the Graham Potters’ of the Baggies past may not have been the best technically, or any good at all for that matter, but at least they showed a bit of desire and hunger.
Nicholas Anelka ambled round the pitch, floating wasteful passes around the edge of the area. Shane Long was another disappointment. The player normally gives his all for the team, chasing every lost cause and hurrying opposition defenders. He failed to track back, and towards the end of the game seemed to just stop. Yes he may have been playing out of position, but Marc Antoine Fortune played a wider role all last season, with no fuss and gave his all week in week out for the team.
The Baggies have gone backwards from last season and the lack of chances and play on the pitch has given the supporters nothing to sing or get excited about.
We have seen this set of players outclass and outperform stronger opposition which makes the current state of affairs even harder to take. We have saw Graham Dorrans bend in free-kicks from 30 yards, Gareth McAuley score the winner against Liverpool at Anfield and Claudio Yacob split defences with excellent through balls. The lack of ideas, the dramatic loss of class and form have raised questions about the manager’s credentials and whether Steve Clarke has the full backing of the board.
Swansea outplayed West Brom throughout and never really seemed to break into a sweat. Liam Ridgewell look way out of his depth at left back and Aston Villa reject Wayne Routledge constantly had the beating of him.
The final two substitutions came too late in the game. Despite the indifferent views from the fans, no player can get into the flow of the game in just eight minutes, and Markus Rosenberg proved that.
The international break has come at just the right time for Albion, who can look to consolidate over the two week gap and address the problems on the high-tech training fields. (The part of the game owner Jeremy Peace does spend money on.)
The players need to come back, with hopefully one or two more recruits, and recapture the fire and desire from seasons gone by, so we truly can appreciate how lucky we are to see the current crop of talent gracing the Hawthorns pitch.