Huddersfield Town 2 - West Bromwich Albion 1
Well, we've locked up our place in the playoffs by the looks of it. The sad truth is, as the pressure has ramped up, Leeds and Brentford have been better than us. Other than Pereira, we had nothing as an attacking force tonight.
Now we need Stoke to do us a favour, which seems highly unlikely. My fear is that, if we end up in the playoffs after all season at the top, we will be too demoralized.
Oshy - why devastated? This is Albion. Huddersfield had failed to score in 6 of their previous 8, and bang in 2 against 2nd in the league, who had only lost 6 all season to now.
I can't fathom why we did not come out of the blocks fired up tonite with so much at stake.
I can't check previous posts and I don't want to, but several years ago I posted on here, and I said that the club will not win anything in my lifetime, or in my unborn grandchildren's lifetime. Some tool, whose name I forget, came on here and shouted me down.
Well I still don't have grandchildren, so whoever you are are, you are still a tool.
Bilic deserves better than Albion and he should move on.
Oh no. What a blow!
I can’t have been the only one to raise an eyebrow at the changes in the starting 11 - HRK and Phillips might have done okay in the last game but did they justify starting?
After an okay opening we conceded a cheap set piece and from that... I mean what was Johnstone doing? Pub league goalkeeping shinning a ball he should’ve collected into the middle of the goal for Willock to turn in. Game plan totally ruined, players shaken and undone mentally.
We were then at sixes and sevens in shell shock and it took 15 mins for us to get going. When we did eventually from the first water break onwards we were dominant without end product. It was fitting that O’Shea got the equaliser (looked offside mind you) because he was the player showing the most guts, demonstrated in one moment when he crashed in to win a 40/60 ball immediately after Sawyers had lost a 60/40 in a dangerous position. We didn’t want the half to end band probably would have added another with more composure or more risk taking.
I thought Grosicki for Phillips was obvious at half time but thought Livermore was hard done by - tactical as it may have been it felt 15 minutes early to make that change and we looked far from secure.
The second half was largely one way traffic but we couldn’t make it count again. As the subs came and went without making too much impact it was a case of the same old - no composure, poor choices or want too many touches when the big moments came. Krovi and Robinson the most guilty.
We were also guilty of idiotic silly fouls through impatience and a inexperience. One of those cost us when late in the game, Krov on a yellow for a daft dive, he couldn’t block a runner and with Sawyers asleep and not willing to cover, we were exposed and breached down the centre for the simplest goal.
An equaliser let alone a winner never looked likely.
So some despair. Quite a few players choked or never recovered from the terrible start and Bilic panicked too. And yet somehow we have to lift ourselves. Come what may there is nothing to fear in the play offs if that’s where we end up, so these marks and the inquest will wait until after that. It was clear to me though that Huddersfield had 3 better strikers than us and they nearly got relegated.
If Brentford beat Stoke let’s treat QPR as a play-off warm up. Start Robinson up top and try and win games by half time. Anyway, where’s the tramadol?
The emotional energy that is used by following the Baggies is unreal. After providing hope for the past 11 months it feels like our dreams are to be shattered at the 11th hour. We've been top 2 all season and we're about to squander it with two games to go. Brentford need to win, but who would bet against them with 7 wins on the bounce, especially as it's Stoke and Barnsley to go. It's looking like the payoffs.
Excuses can be made, but we've lacked an out and out striker all season. I'm fairly certain if we'd had Dwight Gayle or similar this season we'd have been up already. The £8 million paid for Kenneth Zohore (and his wages) would have been better paying Dwight's wages.
I really like Slaven Bilic but I am going to be slightly critical. Something has not been right since we restarted. We seem to be playing a patient game with a holding formation that isn't working against attack minded teams or teams that park the bus. All our successes this season have been where we have broken down teams with our blistering pace and skill and in this league they just can't handle us. But our tactics currently are too slow - build at a slow mono-pace from the back. Side to side, then back. Side to side then back.. A poorer quality opposition loves this. They just sit back, anticipate our next move and fill the gaps. There have been many occasions in the past couple of weeks where we break, stop, turn and pass the ball back and let the opposition re-group. Where has the fizz and zip gone? Are the players tired due to excessive training or not quite fit enough?
Huddersfield were poor opposition that hadn't scored in many games and then get two softies against us. We had more chances but we can't seem to hit a cows arse with a banjo at the moment. There were times in the first half where we continually gave the ball away and look utterly flustered. I know we're feeling the pressure, but the coaching at this point should telling them to treat it like a training game for 5 minutes. Look to pass the ball across the park to keep the opposition off the ball and build up some confidence - almost like when we're 5-0 up and not letting the opposition touch the ball. We also need that speed to work for us. When the opposition lose the ball, we need some counter attacking speed - five players spinning and sprinting forward - we can score 4 and 5 doing this and win matches. Instead we seem to have got into turning around pass back to Sawyers - side to side then back. Having no options, as the opposition has filled the void, we switch play to the other side. Then pass side to side, one forward and then back again.
On players, Matt Phillips is so slow and lacking pace, I'm not sure what is going on. Captain Fantastico hasn't got back to his highs pre-the break and I've seen him on a few occasions pointing elsewhere as he didn't want the ball. Everyone has worked out our system with two holding midfielders and they are sitting back and marking our front players and just shut us out. Brunt really changed things when he came on a couple of weeks ago - could he do us a final job in the link up play? Charlie Austin works hard but is a yard off the pace and Hal Robson-Kanu is good number 10 but not an out and out striker.
My final point is on set pieces. Pereira is a magician but we aren't scoring as many as we should off his dead balls. We should mix it up and perhaps look at him receiving the short ball rather than delivering the set piece.. Someone else trying something different doesn't hurt once in a while. Doing the same thing over and over is just too predictable.
Anyhow, we can hope that Brentford lose today, but if not we need to be looking to get the players using a better formation and playing to our strengths rather than the oppositions strengths on Wednesday to get them fizzing again for the playoffs. We need a goal fest to buck the confidence. It really would be an opportunity lost if we don't go up...
I feel better now that's off my chest...
All text, pictures and graphics are copyright of BOING unless otherwise stated