Blog: West Brom must improve with Arsenal
Not a classic week - West Brom's defending was more jellied eels than pearly kings down in the East End last Saturday, writes blogger Warren Stephens.
A game that we might conceivably have harboured hopes of getting a result from at West Ham was as good as over within half an hour.
Despite the occasional goal, Andy Carroll's performances against the Albion in the past could often be described as anticlimactic.
This time, however, the pilfering pony-tail was afforded far too much generosity and Albion paid a heavy price.
Where was Paul Scharner when we needed him?! Newcastle United at home, circa 2010. I would love to be able to provide an informed view of the game's critical moments.
However, a London Underground timing mis-judgement, a trip to the toilet and a premature clamber for the exit doors - very much out of character - meant that I missed three of the four goals and the sending off!
Also, if you're anything like me, you will generally limit your own exposure to highlights, media coverage and league tables in the aftermath of a defeat.
It's a belated attempt to numb the pain that comes with it. Suffice to say, we were not good enough and it's not too often we have said that this season.
The defeat certainly serves as a sobering reminder that Albion can't drift in this league, we need to be on top of our game to be consistently picking up results.
It will also provide Steve Clarke with more evidence of areas he might need to improve in the summer months.
Saturday's defensive showing suggests it'd be useful to have extra competition in that area.
With the seemingly impending departures of Romelu Lukaku and Peter Odemwingie, among others, we could be approaching a crucial transfer window for the club.
There was further disappointment from Saturday's game in the form of a three-match suspension for Youssouf Mulumbu.
To me, not being old enough to see the beginning of Bryan Robson's career, Mulumbu is far and away the best midfielder I've seen in an Albion shirt and we miss him badly when he's not there.
Historically, James Morrison has been asked to sit deeper in the absence of Mulumbu or Claudio Yacob, although the added responsibility seemingly detracts slightly from his overall game.
Let's just hope the team handles the absence of Mulumbu better than it did in January!
This weekend sees the visit of Arsenal, whose fans face the unspeakable prospect of not winning a trophy for the eight consecutive season, how must they sleep at night?
Disappointingly for us, they are in the midst of their annual springtime resurgence, which inevitably results in them overhauling Tottenham to finish in the final Champions League spot.
On a more positive note, at least Marton Fulop won't be in goal for us this time around.
I must admit I like Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, stubbornness and inability to rationally observe a controversial incident involving his own players aside.
His pursuit of success through his principles is fascinating and the English game would be a poorer place without him.
I enjoy watching his team although there is an element of Tony Mowbray syndrome to Arsenal at the moment.
A similar ailment to the one that saw us field Kim Ho-Deon, Borja Valero and Robert Koren across the midfield in a must-win home game against tough-tackling Newcastle a few years ago!
I only hope our fragility that day is similar to what Arsenal might be capable of this weekend if we start the game well.
We have given them a few good games in recent seasons and, hopefully, can do again. Come on you Baggies!
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