Ally Robertson: Pardew’s keen to put West Brom on the attack
There were certainly some encouraging signs from Alan Pardew’s first game in charge – the performance was a little bit better than we’ve been used to this season.
It was refreshing to see the team play a more attacking brand of football, and on the balance of play, we should won the game.
It doesn’t matter what standard you play, if you give people space and time to pick a pass or make a decision, they will hurt you.
If you put them under pressure, it makes them difficult.
This season we’ve allowed teams to dictate to us, but it seems Pardew will push us on that extra 10 yards.
The big let down for me was the quality in the final third. We managed to get into some great positions but that final ball or final touch isn’t coming off at the moment.
I’m sure that will be one of the main things Pardew tries to address in training this week.
At the other end, it was a first clean sheet for 11 games.
Under Tony Pulis, shut-outs were pretty common, but they dried up towards the end of his tenure, so it was important to stop the rot.
It’s somewhat ironic that the positive attack-minded incumbent’s first game was a goalless draw.
But anyway, it’s certainly a building block.
Pardew has got off on the right foot so far, he’s saying all the right things and promising to get us playing attacking football.
It all comes down to results, of course, but the new boss has an opportunity with this Albion squad.
I get the impression supporters would be happier finishing 15th or 16th playing exciting stuff than ninth or 10th and watching horrible games.
The club may prefer a few extra million pounds in the coffers, but fans pay good money to come and watch the Albion and, at the end of the day, it’s an entertainment business. Pulis deserves plenty of credit for keeping the team in the higher echelons of mid-table, but Albion fans have always preferred open and expansive football.
That being said, this weekend’s match with Swansea does feel like a must-win for the club, the players, and for Pardew too.
The Welsh side are in dire straits at the moment, and if we lose there, then all of a sudden we’re in a relegation battle.
But if we win, then we could open up a bit of a gap on the bottom three.
And with Liverpool and Manchester United coming up afterwards, it’s an opportunity that cannot go begging.