I hate tearful endings, no not the words I uttered as we stumbled out of the League Cup, but words I actually mean today, writes West Brom blogger Jarrod Hill.
I have decided it is time for me to hang up my keyboard and hand over the role of Albion blogger to another.
I wanted to be closing out my five year tenure on a winning note, but that wasn’t to be as we slipped out of the League Cup against Liverpool. I am going to somewhat gloss over the game, but one thing I will say is that a number of fringe players did very little to stake a claim for a first team chance.
So without the distraction of cup football we do have the opportunity to concentrate on the league, so cliché, oh well it’s my last blog who cares?
Reading last Saturday was a case of job done rather than a feast of entertainment. The Royals came for a draw and breaking their defences down became a bit laboured as we consistently failed to find the right final ball or shot. Romelu Lukaku popped up with the winner just as he looked to be tiring, but the minute it went in you could feel a collective sigh ring out around the Hawthorns.
Our defence was again rock solid, and our home form is looking really good. But this weekend it is our away performances that come under the microscope.
Villa is our one and only derby opponent this season and the hope is that we can continue our recent domination of local derbies. Last season our near neighbours gave us three wins and one draw and after an excellent start in the league expectations are higher than I can remember for a trip to Villa Park.
OK the midweek League Cup games has brought both respective fans closer in terms of expectation, with Villa beating Manchester City and ourselves losing out to Liverpool’s reserves, so the game feels nicely poised.
I just hope injuries don’t derail our super start, many of us have waxed lyrical about our squads strength and now is the time to test that theory.
Time will tell, but with us sitting fourth in the Premier League it all feels like a million miles from where we were when I wrote my first blog. We had been relegated from the Premier League and looking at a long hard season in the Championship. The last five years have certainly been interesting.
So there you have it, my last blog, I decided not to drag it out, as you can tell.
I have truly loved being the Albion blogger for the Express & Star, I really have. But it feels like the right time to be handing it over to another. Over the past few years my free time has dwindled and this blog needs to have someone who can give it the time it deserves. I won’t spoil the surprise of who is taking over but I will say this, I believe he will be an improvement and if you guys afford him the good grace you have afforded me the blog will go from strength to strength.
I would like to thank the Express & Star for allowing me to have a voice for the last five years and I would like to thank you guys for listening. Thank you for reading, and for those of you who have posted over the years, thank you for making the blog what it is. Without you the blog is just another fans view, but your posts have made it a real fans forum. I have had the privilege of meeting a number of you and many have become good friends.
Your posts over the years have had me crying with laughter, the banter at times is comedy gold, and your posts are the reason why people come back week after week, please don’t stop.
Your new blogger is in at the deep end next week but I reckon he wouldn’t have it any other way. I look forward to reading his views and of course I will be posting myself. The Express and Star has kindly offered me to post a guest blog once in a while, but I think you will have enough to gorge on with the new man in place.
Finally a simple thank you, especially to all the regular posters, you have been brilliant.
See you all soon, again thanks.
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