Friday, 5 November 2010

Tangerine Nightmare

Rocks for Brains 
After the mauling at Chelsea on the opening day of the season the Baggies have been on a fine run which has seen us only suffer one defeat in 12 league and cup games, an unlucky 1:0 defeat at Anfield. On the back of this run we found ourselves going to Bloomfield Road on Monday 6th in the league and in the quarter finals of league cup.
Most Baggies whilst enjoying the moment know this will not last and we know that we go through a rocky patch.

It is to be hoped that the farce at Blackpool is not the start of a sustained downswing. I say farce because the sending off of Ibanez in the 12th minute effectively robbed us of any real chance of winning a game that on the evidence of the remainder of the game and our form going into it was an opportunity to gain 3 points.

The fact the FA have since rescinded the  red card reinforces what most commentators felt was a harsh decision. Even at 10 v 11 the game was not completely beyond hope, however what happened next just killed us. For reasons only he knows our Chiliean RB Gonzalo Jara decided to launch himself at Luke Varney in what can only described as a horror tackle. This was particularly stupid because
  • Varney was no threat he hiss back to goal by the corner flag
  • We were already down to 10 men.
  • The referee had  shown his willingness to dish out red cards
As Andy Gray said on Sky "Rocks For Brains". Jara was one of the stars of last year's promotion campaign and although he is an experienced International he is prone to lunge into tackles and is struggleing to cope at the higher level. That said he is still our best option at right back.

It says much for the team spirit and Blackpool's lack of composure in front of goal that 9 man Albion nearly clawed their way back into the game to snatch a point. At 2:0 down I thought we were dead and buried but Mulumbu scored the goal of the season to haul us back into the game and give Blackpool an uncomfortable last 10 minutes.

The 9 men can take a huge amount of credit from the game. The never say die spirit is encouraging and is a contrast to earlier Baggies teams in the Premier League that folded quicker than a cheap suit when faced with adversity.

Next up is Man City who are in a bit of a crisis after 2 woeful performances against the Wolves and Lech Poznan. I fear the backlash but without Tevez they look fairly ordinary which is shocking considering the countless millions that have been spent on the team.

For the Albion Odenwingie should be able to play some part in the game but Jonas Olsson is missing and is likely to out for the next 6 weeks. Gonzala "Rocks for Brains" Jara is of course suspended which leaves Di Matteo a choice of Steven Reid or Gianni Zuiverloon. As excellent footballer as Steven Reid is he is only an emergency Right Back and it speaks volumes as to Di Matteo's opinion of  Zuiverloon that he played Reid ahead of him when Jara was injured last year. Zuiverloon had a brilliant spell at the beginning of his career with the Baggies but now seems completely lost, he has the concentration levels of a goldfish and I fear the worst if he were to play on Sunday.

It is the problem that we now have for the next 3 games that could turn Monday's game from a disappointment into a bit of a nightmare.

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