West Brom Season Preview
With Mark Thomas of albiontillwedie.co.uk
So-so. Performances have been a bit uninspiring, as have results, but nothing really to get too concerned about at the minute.
What to look forward to from your club this season:
Possibly a more attack-minded approach to games as opposed to the generally defensive offerings we saw under Roy Hodgson's reign. New boss Steve Clarke has promised 'dynamic' football so...
What to worry about:
The defence, with Hodgson gone the worry is the organization the team has had over the last couple of years will disappear with him. If it does we may be in trouble.
Where are you going to finish?
After 10th and 11th place finishes over the last two seasons the hope amongst Albion fans is that we can push on even more and aim for a Europa League spot. Realistically though, and with a new and inexperienced manager in charge, we'll settle for avoiding a relegation battle.
Best/most outrageous transfer rumour:
Michael Owen has been mentioned as a possible target more than once. Seems very unlikely but with Albion last summer attempting to sign another 'crock' in Owen Hargreaves you never know.
Manager right man for the job?
It's a case of wait and see with regards to Steve Clarke. Highly regarded as a coach, and he has worked under some top managers, but the forthcoming season will be a totally different challenge for him.
Player to look out for
Claudio Yacob (above) - Our new Argentinean international midfielder, signed on a 'Bosman' free, has in the past been likened to Javier Mascherano. The comparison maybe a bit over the top but hopes are high that he might just be one of the bargains of the season.
Dead wood you would get rid of?
During the summer the club has already got rid of a number of players that in all honesty were not good enough for the Premier League. Most fans are happy with the squad at the minute with only Simon Cox and Gabriel Tamas expected to move on.
Game of the season?
With our Black Country neighbours Wolves disappearing back into the Championship, our only local derby next season will be against the Villa. Having claimed the title of top Midlands club last season, Baggies' fans will be hoping Steve Clarke's men can continue their recent dominance over the men from Aston.
Best away day?
Any of the games down in London are generally good days out although somewhat pricey. Newcastle is a bit of a jaunt but again it's usually an enjoyable trip.
Last season's was "Sacked in the morning, you're getting sacked in the morning' Sang to both Andre Villas-Boas and Mick McCarthy after defeats to the Baggies. Their respective chairmen obviously agreed with the Albion fans, both were handed their P45's within 24 hours of the defeats.
How good are your pies?
Pretty grim to be fair but that's all about to change with the recent announcement that Pukka Pies are to be our new suppliers.
BOING BOING !!!