Same again please Mr Pulis? At this stage I’m not sure if it’s a question or a request.
West Bromwich Albion fans have endured their longest pre-season in history, and possibly their most disappointing. Football experts wouldn’t be too worried about the period as there is a far greater emphasis on player fitness and conditioning, but when you consider the pre-season campaign started when the players walked off the pitch euphorically after humiliating Arsenal on March 18th this has gone on for long enough.
West Brom have shed their “Yo-Yo” club tag in recent times on the back of some solid Premier League seasons, but as soon as you begin to feel comfortable in the league you should realise that is the time to start looking over your shoulder. West Brom enter the 2017/18 with the oldest and smallest squad, neither fact is reassuring.
Fans know when you enter ‘The Hawthorns’ you are not entering on false pretences of sublime football singing from the same hymn sheet of Barcelona FC or disgustingly deep pockets throwing money around like your football team is a loud shiny obscene gesture of your owners wealth. West Brom is a football club with a proud history, great fans and enormous work ethic.
Fans wear “McAuley, Morrison and Brunt” on the backs of their shirts and know those names will remain loyal to the cause. The small, yet loyal squad hasn’t seen a great deal of turnover in the last few seasons and have an incredibly strong belief. Pulis has a set style of football and has the players believing in his product. For West Brom to be successful in 2017/18 chances will need to be taken, lady luck ridden heavily and the full support of the Baggies faithful in full voice.
The new addition of Jay Rodriguez alleviates concerns about the current form of Solomon Rondon and if his cracking goal in Hong Kong is anything to go by he could be the bargain of the season. Rodriguez needs to stay fit for the Baggies to have a successful season.
The appointment of Johnny Evans as captain was a no brainer with the surprising departure of Darren Fletcher, who will leave a bigger hole than most expect during crucial parts of the season. Fletcher’s ability to dictate play and read the game cannot be found overnight.
A fast start is very important considering the club finds itself up against Bournemouth, Burnley, Stoke, and Brighton in the opening month of the season, there have been murmurings from despondent fans early and these four games could prove crucial.
A great cup run would be nice, but security in the Premier League will always be the aim of the club at this point in time, let’s hope we can put a few more pens to paper before the transfer window closes and start the season with a few “Boing Boings”, most likely from corners or set pieces.
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