There has been a lot of media coverage regarding the poor results at Blues and Villa and that has taken a lot of the column inches with so much to write and talk about including Garry Rowett’s sacking and Gianfranco Zola’s appointment at St Andrews and Steve Bruce’s appointment and multi million pounds spending at Villa Park.
However slipping neatly under the radar has been what is happening at West Bromwich Albion who are on course to finish 7th and be the best of the rest in the Premier League. Make no mistake about it if Tony Pulis were to succeed in doing that it would be nothing short of amazing.
However with the media’s focus on mission statements that would see them rather report a war than a wedding the Baggies have hardly got the column inches their super season warrants.
With their next two games at home against Bournemouth, who have lost eight out of twelve on the road and Crystal Palace who have lost 7 out of 14 away Tony Pulis’s men have a fantastic opportunity to put pressure on Everton who currently sit in that seventhplace. After those two games it’s Everton at Goodison Park, a mouth-watering clash that could be defining in the chase to finish 7th without doubt a genuine six pointer.
So time to give Tony Pulis and his team some credit for their season so far. He has built a team with some shred signings that have a resilience and never say die attitude that you would perhaps always expect from a Pulis team. However let’s be fair they have also played some very good football. However being hard to beat is their foundation, their platform, their trademark.
Being equally honest Albion are not going to be in the top six anytime soon with the so called big clubs, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal, Liverpool, Man City and Man United, occupying those places. Yes I know that many will be saying “but what about Leicester” well that was a shock but in my opinion the Baggies like the other 13 clubs in the Premier League will not break the stranglehold the money clubs have on the top six places.
Just maybe a little more risk taking away from home would have improved their goal scoring and perhaps turned one or two of the draws into wins and one or two of the defeats into draws. However it is easy for me to sit here and be a Monday morning manager without responsibility.
Whatever happens between now and the end of the season, and I think they will finish 7th, it has been a fantastic effort by Tony Pulis and he should be given the credit he undoubtedly deserves.