West Bromwich Albion experienced their best season in the Premier League last season under Steve Clarke. They only just missed out on breaking the 50 point mark due to a poor end to the season where their worst result came at Carrow Road, we lost 4-0. I think that game was our worst result and performance of the season, in a game where we were expecting to get the win.
Following that game came possibly our best result of the season which was a 5-5 draw with the champions. However, I don’t think that will happen again it was just a one off game to mark the end of Sir Alex’s reign. I think that if we had a strong end to the season, we could have got into Europe.
The aim for this season is to improve on the previous seasons and to possibly reach 50 points. The players are confident that they can do better than last season if they are more consistent, and I have to agree.
It didn’t get off to a brilliant start with an opening day defeat against Southampton, where we certainly didn’t show our best form. It was a disappointing performance from the players, especially in the first half. There was an improvement in the second half, but I still think the Saints deserved the win.
It was a penalty because there was contact from Mulumbu, and you have got to praise Shaw for how he won the spot kick. It was a great goal from Lambert to round off a perfect week for club and country.
Enough from that game because I believe that this could be our bad patch for the season. If we get that out the way early, it would mean we would have to play catch up on the other teams. To maybe make matters worse, we don’t play a big team until the end of September which is at Old Trafford. I say it is bad to not play a big team until six weeks in is because I like to play them out the way so we can focus on the games to come which would be winnable.
On the transfers front, we haven’t exactly splashed the cash but we have made a couple of good signings. There have been some quality and experience added to the squad by Clarke and we haven’t sold any key players. The only fault with our business so far is that we haven’t found a buyer for want away striker Odemwingie. The sale of the Nigerian would not only reduce the wage bill, it could improve the results because the squad could be more relaxed.
The players that have come in so far are Anelka, Vydra, Lugano and Sinclair. I will start with the Frenchman who I thought would be a great addition because although he is coming to the end of his career he brings goals. He would also give the younger players advice. However, he could retire after only one game for Albion due to the death of a close friend and agent. The club have given him time off to get over it because he was in a bad place in training.
Matej Vydra was on loan at Watford last season and came close to helping them into the PL. He did impress in the campaign, but there has been questions as to whether he can play as well in this division but from my point of view there is only one way to find out.
He knows where the net is, he is young and eager to improve and I think that this is the right move for him and the club.
I am sure that he can bang in the goals to help us up the table, I predict him to score between 10 and 15 goals in all competitions. It will take him a bit of time to gel with the team and adjust to the pace of top flight football.
Diego Lugano was signed for free from PSG. He is the captain of Uruguay and has European football experience as well as Nicolas Anelka. He brings leadership qualities to the squad so he could be a reserve captain or help organize the back four. The Uruguayan is a good defender, but he does have a mistake in him.
Our most recent addition Scott Sinclair has signed from Man City in search of regular football, he is also out to prove he has still got the qualities he had at Swansea. He is looking to show that he is capable of doing well enough in the league to earn a place in the England squad.
However, I just don’t think he is quite good enough to play for the national side, but I’m sure he will prove to be a success at the Hawthorns. He gives the team more width and creativity, which Thomas used to give us when we were promoted but Sinclair is the next step up from Thomas. I had no problem with the former Arsenal man, and I believe that Clarke was wrong to not only release him but freeze him out of the team.
The former Swansea man scores and creates goals and he can also convert penalties with ease. I hope and think he can replicate his form from when he first arrived in the Premier League, and he can become a key player for the Baggies.
I feel that we need another winger to add more depth to our squad. I think that the perfect choice would be Victor Moses because wanted to sign him from Crystal Palace, but instead he signed for Wigan. He adds pace to the side and get a few goals when he is called upon.
Another couple of strikers are also needed due to the fact that Anelka could retire, and Odemwingie is surely on his way to whatever club comes in first. There is Rosenberg, but he doesn’t get a lot of goals.
Saido Berahino will surely break his way into the team this season after impressing on loan and with England at youth level. People have questioned whether he has the quality and fitness levels to cope with the league, but from my point of view you can only make judgements once he has had his chance. I don’t know a lot about him, but I’m sure that Clarke would rather give the youth a chance than spend ridiculous amounts of money on players.
That would still mean we would need a couple of forwards. We need to spend some money because we have yet to spend this window. This is surely going to be a last week full of drama and made even more busy depending on how long Foster will be on the side lines.
I predict us to finish a little lower than last season because Swansea have improved by splashing the cash. I predict us to finish 10th depending on how we deal with our transfers. To answer the initial question, I don’t think we will get as many points as last season because teams such as Liverpool have improved and we won’t do the double over the reds this time.
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