West Bromwich Albion
St.Mary’s - 11th January, 2014
Referee : Howard Webb
Attendance : 28,610
Well, that made me nervous. Not because we should have lost it, but because we COULD have lost it easily. In the end, all's well that ends well but I am concerned in a couple of areas But I will address that a bit further down.
Boruc: well, what a difference a week makes, although Davis was a considerable improvement over Gazza, how much of an improvement is Artur over him… Rhetorical question, the answer is "fecking loads". Had very little to do other than a bit of distribution until he saved us (and earned us) 2 points with a phenomenal point-blank save.
Clyne: Not bad for a 1st game back, the 1st time he actually took part in the game I think he was the other teams half, he spent most of it bombing up and down, okay but needs to get his eye back in again as some of it was little aimless punt (the ball in went in but didn't go anywhere particularly useful), just practice I guess.
Fonte: Excellent today, played like a man possessed at certain times and was very good, not much else to say, very very good game from the Portugeezer.
Lovren: Looked solid and a bit better in the air today, good game for him not sure about the yellow card, I couldn't really see from where I was sat.
Shaw: Today is a good example of why those people that say he will be the next Gareth Bale are talking out of their arseholes, excellent defending from him, in some places superb for 18-year-old, and yet his crossing and attacking play is still nowhere near what it should be. A very good game from him none the less but he does need to get better, this is the place for him for a couple of years yet if he is sensible, by the time we finish with him he will be not only defensively sound (which is mostly is now anyway) but much better for attack as well.
Davis: Interesting was all over the place and put in a very good shift and yet he didn't seem quite himself today, still, can't complain too much, he has been playing a bit out of his skin lately, good game without being excellent. The one thing does bring is defence and attack, if you compare him to some midfielders you know they will be better at defending OR attacking, but if you think about him he does both and there are very few players in the game that are as consistent as him in both areas.
Cork: I nearly went apoplectic when he was brought off, I thought he was excellent today and honestly, better than big Victor at the defensive destroyer role. He was brilliant and I thought when he went off we would be vulnerable, as it turns out we were, but managed to hold out. Very good game from him.
Schneiderlin: Brilliant today, combative, energetic and occasionally incisive, this is how I love to see him play football really, excellent.
Lallana: another great game from him, he really does run until his legs fall off and the goal was superbly taken, he was his spaghetti-legged best today and just underlined how important he has become for us. Bravo captain.
Rodriguez: Did little, got better, but he did miss a one-on-one with the goalkeeper he should have got. Adequate I think is the best I can give him and I might be being generous…
Lambert: either his mind or his body was not on the game today, occasional flashes and willing running (well, you know what I mean) but he was not himself and it showed, I was surprised he was left on the pitch to be honest but everyone has a slightly off day.
Ramirez: Came on and was immediately spectacularly effective and then proceeded to make us all sweat for the next 20 minutes, by running around slightly aimlessly and giving the ball away periodically. I don't mean to be overly negative, he was much better than the last time I saw him play, but there's still something missing from him and disastrous hideous hairstyle aside (because let's face it, anyone could do better than that), he needs to keep going and changing his game until he fits. When he does it will be grand. He doesn't at the moment in a lot of areas but when he does everything "clicks", It's just a shame it's not more often than 3 minutes of every 90.
Ward-Prowse: Came on to inject some energy and did, mostly running around and tracking back, but did well the 10 minutes he was on. Not much else to say really, too transitory to be significant (and that's a good thing at this end of the game).
Do Prado: Pooch does love him, I don't know why but he does. First thing he did was run slightly ineffectively towards the other goal and tamely give the other team the ball. After that I kind of gave up hope, but he did look sprightly and let's hope he will get better with practice (I have been hoping that for quite some time now).
We dominated this game from the beginning, I was starting to despair that we would ever get through as all the aimless crossing (and it really was hit and hope) wasn't really getting anywhere with Macauley and Olsen, but in the end of little moment of magic got through and then Mad Arthur did his thing and everything was okay.
If it was me, I would have brought Ramirez on when he came on, I think I would've changed out a different player, I can't really see the benefit of opening our back four up to attack just to be more offensive, but it worked out so it doesn't matter now… It bloody made me sweat at the time though and I think pooch needs to stop playing favourites or get a bigger squad (if that's the problem).
Anyway, vital win for us today. Hopefully we will get a bit of belief out of this. Importantly we got 3 points, which is great because we have a couple of good games coming up and that will be hard to win.
11th January 2014
5 Lovren - Booked 27'
18 Cork (Ramírezat 62')
20 Lallana (Ward-Prowse 84')
9 Rodriguez (Do Prado 90+1')
21 Do Prado
23 McAuley (Geraat 81')
3 Olsson - Booked 72'
18 Amalfitano (Vydra 86')
9 Long - Booked 58'
39 Anelka (Berahino 77')
West Brom 38%
West Brom 4
Shots on Target
West Brom 2
West Brom 4
West Brom 17