Sunday, 6 March 2011

Roy of the Baggies

I have resisted the temptation to hail the arrival of Roy Hodgson as the start of a new era at the Hawthorns because I have been here so many times before and have nearly always been disappointed. Too often new managerial appointments at B71 have started brightly only to stumble when it came to the task of keeping the Baggies in the top flight.

I always think each regime will be different, we will play with more flair or learn to defend properly but all have eventually failed. The truth of the matter until this season the squad the managers were working with were simply not good enough. Through the last decade Albion team's seem to be in a league of their own too good for the Championship but not good enough for the Premier League.

This was not true this season the squad assembled was good enough, it had a balance between experience and youth and there is equally balance between the artists and the artisans. Sadly Di Matteo and his coaching staff could not plug the leaks in our defence and although enterprising going forward we had started to look shambolic and were in danger of entering into free fall.

Enter Roy Hodgson. Having witnessed 2 of his 3 opening fixtures courtesy of Sky I feel that I am right in my conviction that this squad is good enough to survive and seeing the team look solid and well organised against Stoke and Blues I am filled with a new optimism. Yesterday's win against a lacklustre Blues hopefully will be a major step along the road to survival.

We still have a mountain to climb and maybe our best chance of survival has gone (3 home fixtures agianst Wolves Wigan and West Ham with just 3 points to show for them might yet be telling) but for the first time for a couple months we looked like a team rather than ragged collection of players. I have tickets for the next 2 home games and I will travel to the Hawthorns with a bit of hope.

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