West Brom to battle Arsenal for victory in survival fight

Sunday seems certain to bring another eventful Albion trip to Arsenal.

Chris Brunt of West Bromwich Albion.
Chris Brunt of West Bromwich Albion.

But while the Baggies fans don fancy dress to mark the end of the season, captain Chris Brunt is warning his team-mates it is not party time yet.

In recent years, visits to the Emirates Stadium brought a sending-off, a hotly contested penalty, a couple of chastening defeats and a memorable, epic victory for the Baggies.

And Sunday’s return is guaranteed to be colourful with travelling fans choosing North London as the scene for their end-of-season festivities.

But while the fans dress up, with a Spanish flavour expected in honour of boss Pepe Mel, Brunt says the players still have business to take care of with their Premier League future still not entirely secure.

Victory over West Ham on Saturday took Mel’s side to 36 points and relative safety with three games remaining.

But Brunt warned: “We were all relieved and buzzing after the game because it was a big three points for us but I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet.

“Other results will dictate that.

“We’ve still got three games to play and we need to pick up some points.”

And Brunt has another mission in the final week of the season after a string of off-field dramas and controversies blighted the campaign.

An upturn in form has taken the Baggies to the brink of securing another season in the top flight but Brunt is keen for Mel’s men to ensure the focus from outside the club remains on the field as the squad look to remind the public of their quality.

“We’ve got a good squad of players,” said Brunt. “A lot has been made of stuff off the field this season and we haven’t helped on it either because we haven’t won enough games.

“But last week we won the game against West Ham, defended well, relied on our goalkeeper and back four when we needed to and used the bench well.

“When you look at the likes of Victor Anichebe coming off the bench – I wouldn’t want to be a defender seeing him coming on.

“He’s a handful and he saw the game out well for us.

“He held the ball up for us and took a few whacks and that’s credit to him because I’m sure he wants to be starting games but he came on and did his job.

“At Manchester City we weren’t great. Against West Ham we started OK.

“Ben Foster made a great save in the first half but I don’t really remember West Ham having too many clear-cut opportunities.”

Saido Berahino netted the winner against the Hammers while forming a useful understanding in attack with record signing Stephane Sessegnon.

And Brunt reckons the pair can be potent if paired together after Berahino finally let his boots do the talking following a season of personal controversies.

The skipper said: “Saido deserved his goal. He worked his socks off. He was superb and we’ve got to give him a special mention.

“He’s been out of the team for a while but he came back in and put in a performance like that and I was delighted for him.

“There have been a few bits and pieces in the Press over the last couple of months so to come back and play like that is credit to him.

“He was superb.

“Stephane was superb, too, and him and Saido worked really well together.

“He’s a good player and you can see why we paid the money for him in the summer.

“We saw it last year when he played against us for Sunderland.

“He causes all sorts of problems because he’s had a tough season.

“He had a bad injury over Christmas but he came back and did well.”

“He trains well every day and he shows the quality he’s got. You’d rather have him with you than against you.

“We defended well against set-plays. We knew West Ham were dangerous at those, but apart from the one that hit the bar I think we dealt well with them.

“We were glad to get the win in the end and hopefully that’s one foot over the line.”

Comments for: "West Brom to battle Arsenal for victory in survival fight"

The Real Bully Hoo.

What's most important? Who plays for us? Who plays for Arsenal? The weather? The condition of the pitch? The answer is no to all of these questions but who is the fool/fraudster with the whistle.

Warren

TRBH

I'm not sure if you're saying that because of who's the ref or because of the reffing standards generally, but if it's the latter and you didn't know then it's Mike Jones.

Hasn't reffed us this season, although he did take charge of the game at the Emirates last year and gave them two penalties. Ah well, the winning feeling was nice while it lasted.......

The Real Bully Hoo.

I didn't know so thanks Warren, although with it being one of "the big club's friends" I don't think thanks is quite the right word. Any chance we had of a result gone with that appointment.

ManInsider

I am going but more out of loyalty than any chance of winning.

Warren

I think you'll get a result against Carlisle, keep the faith.......

The Real Bully Hoo.

Very small ground so you were lucky to get a ticket 1877.

Jack the Hat

Bully,

I must agree, if it is a tight match we will be contending with the match officials too, as they will want the London club in the top four.

I also believe we will be strong enough to get something from down the old smoke in spite of.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

capehill

TRBH, And JTH we showed Arsenal we was not scared of them in fixture at ours, we really did scare them, and we even had the cheek to write on the ball before game. A penalty to us was not given , and Jack Wilshire scored a Wonder Goal because he is a genius, ( Horrendous deflection if I remember right) So im going for an away win, or a at least the draw.

PS TRBH when u put small ground, does Maninsider(men) know that the capacity is 1,877 at Carlisle boing boing

The Real Bully Hoo.

Hi Cape.

Yet another coincidence, it was also his engine size when he was The Van Driver.

I love your optimism for the Arsenal game but I think Mike Jones is a step too far.

Why didn't we beat them at ours?

Ref didn't give a stonewall penalty.

Why didn't we get a draw at theirs last season?

Ref gave a penalty that never was (was it Mike Jones?)

I'll be very surprised if Sunday is any different.

CantelloRocket 78

Bully,

The Ref WAS Mike Jones-

Cazorla took a dive for the first pen, Oxo-Chambermaid fouled Popov on the way to the second, and we were denied a pen. for an handball in the box down the other end.

The Ref. gave the Gunners all the big decisions, which made him so popular with the home club that they've asked him back tomorrow......

Jack the Hat

Cantello,

Officials don't fix matches then?.

Gorra loff ay ya.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

The Real Bully Hoo.

That's right Rocket, it's the old club comedian's maxim, if you want a return booking make sure you go down well with the crowd.

Not that I'm suggesting he's a comedian, well he's not very funny if you don't support a 'big' club anyway. Even worse he's got the sort of face that makes you want to slap it.

PS,

I don't know if you noticed that Trevor Brooking opened a sports centre in Wall Heath this week. I wondered if Max had gone to say hallo as they have so much in common with both of them liking to sit on the fence.

CantelloRocket 78

Bully,

funny you should say that, because after the West Ham game I was walking with my Cousin Alex along the Brummie Road when He suddenly said 'Trevor Brooking just walked past me!'-

he was heading towards the East Stand where Max sits, so maybe he was staying with him in Wall Heath overnight??

If Trevor mentioned he likes Spanish football, he probably had to SLEEP on the fence at Chez Maxwell.......

Danish Baggie

Lets hope City winn tonight. Then Arsenal are sure of 4th.