West Bromwich Albion 4 - Middlesbrough 2
I absolutely loved that for entertainment - it had everything for a perfect afternoon. The Liquidator to kick us off, loads of goals, a red card, a dodgy penalty, a pitch invasion and a big 3 points.
I thought ‘Borough were really poor, much like I think a lot of the division will be.
By contrast we were pretty good, dominant from the off and for a lot of the game we managed the ball really well.
I was still frustrated a few times at our deliberate decisions not to cross it early when the chances were there but you can’t complain at 4 goals.
The worry for us and for Carlos will be how easy it was for our opponents to create big chances and score goals even when we seem in control. We have a soft underbelly and are vulnerable when put under pressure, and a combination of the woodwork and some solid goalkeeping from Palmer got us over the line.
On the phone-ins after the game a few people made the point that just because you have 5 subs you don’t have to make them. I agree and changing half an outfield team is inevitably going to lead to a lack of cohesion in the last 20. Let’s be honest, it also weakens us quite a bit. Okay can play badly but there isn’t anyone else who looks like they can do that role and we lose a lot without him. It has to be said that we also noticeably decline when Phillips is removed.
Corberan has a hard job though. A small squad… one that cannot cope with injuries to the first 11, he’s going to have to make difficult calls to manage all those risks.
All eyes to deadline day. It would be amazing if we could get a couple in who are going to really challenge the first 11 and, if we can move out some big earners and replace them with quality loans or find another Maja type, then we’ll have done brilliantly. Corberan didn’t sound confident of that or that we’d even retain everyone he’d want to.
A better start than I’d hoped for. If we can improve our away form a notch things might get interesting.
I'd just like to say how I appreciate the summaries of games from your contributors- Particularly Brendan - do keep them coming!
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