The City Ground

Next Game

N Forest v West Brom

Saturday, 02 August 2014, 13:30

Friendly Match

The Hawthorns

Last Game

West Brom 0 - 0 Wycombe

Saturday, 19 July 2014, 15:00

Friendly Match

West Brom must start spending

West Brom FanZoner Craig Punfield says the club must make more signings in the transfer window if they are to stay out of trouble this season.

Last Updated: 18/08/13 at 15:46 Post Comment

Nicolas Anelka: Failed to make an impact on the team

Nicolas Anelka: Failed to make an impact on the team

We waited 90 days, for that? The 1-0 home loss to Southampton for the first game of the season has confirmed what we already knew about West Brom. We need options in wide positions and investment from our chairman Jeremy Peace to fund the signings.

I was at The Hawthorns for the match and in many senses it didn't feel like a first game of the season.

We only had one new face on show in the starting XI with Nicolas Anelka starting and the team seemed stale, lacklustre and lacking ideas. There was a seeming hangover from the record breaking campaign last season around the ground and on the pitch.

This is easy to say after your side have lost, but when I saw we were deploying a 4-4-2 formation to get the season underway, I felt uneasy.

Whenever we try that style of play it never seems to come off, very few sides play that way now, allowing the opposition to simply find gaps in our midfield to exploit. For me, 4-2-3-1 is the best way for us to play.

James Morrison and Graham Dorrans were given the duties of playing in the wide position and were largely ineffective, so much so that Morrison was later brought into the middle of the pitch to try and get more of an influence in the game.

But why did two players that are more effective in the engine room of the team have to be spread across a midfield four? Because we have no natural wide men who can adopt those positions on the flanks.

Even when things were going well last season we had very few natural wide options and had to play strikers in those areas, putting square pegs into round holes.

Going back to Saturday's disappointment and the lack of ideas we had. The amount of times Jonas Olsson would hit a high, hopeless ball up to Shane Long, only for the Irishman to fail to get to it, you would have thought we had given Tony Pulis a quick way back into management.

We were so predictable that it came as no surprise to see our only effort on target come in the 92nd minute, and that was from right-back Billy Jones.

New signing Anelka failed to make as big an impact as we would have hoped, but he didn't get the service to show what he can do.

I would imagine Steve Clarke will now be banging down Mr. Peace's door with a placard campaigning for some money to improve the squad with two weeks of the transfer window left.

You can only get so far by snatching free agents and loan signings to join before you start to fall behind the clubs around you.

Southampton, Norwich, Sunderland and Swansea, the clubs we should be on a level to have all spent £20million or more this summer on improving their squads.

This isn't me saying we have to remortgage The Hawthorns and splash the cash everywhere, that doesn't always work, just look at Queens Park Rangers.

And over the last couple of season, bargain buys and smart loan moves have paid off magnificently.

But, for me, the time has come to find some quality players that can take us to the next level, or at least keep pace with the four clubs I previously mentioned, because, for me, if we don't invest before September 2 we will finish below clubs we once thought we were on a level with and instead be scrapping for our Premier League lives.

This is no knee-jerk reaction to the first loss of the season, more saying look at our form from January onwards and look at how many points were gained by heroics from Romelu Lukaku and even Peter Odemwingie, remember it was the man from Nigeria who scored the two goals to beat the Saints 2-0 at home last time round.

I looked at the team that played on Saturday, and it has not improved from last season, we have lost firepower, I fail to see how we will replace Lukaku's 17 goals.

Chairman, you have two weeks and a lot more cash to help support a manager who got your club to eighth last season than you are letting on...

By Craig Punfield, FanZone's West Brom blogger. Follow him on Twitter at @Punnerss - and don't forget to follow @FanZone too!

TEAMtalk Facebook Fan Page

The TEAMtalk fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e made his power play to try and get Sheikhy to raise his wages or trade him to PSG. PSG were probably not interested and he is stuck with no cake and no vacation. @Jay_D> Surely you jest about FFP being real, right? All Platini is doing is making billionaries pay measly fines, so he and his cronies can get rich. If a fool can pay 50 mil for David Luiz, he will happily pay some fine to UEFA. FFP has failed as for it to succeed UEFA had to take it...

Synergy
Toure: I am staying with City

G

uess we can expect Toure's explanation of his behaviour around the same time Pete Townshend publishes his book then.

ceeps
Toure: I am staying with City

D

amn you Yaya, don't scare me like that! I only ate the icing. I didn't eat the soft and scrumptious middle - I will buy you another cake!

MCFC87
Toure: I am staying with City

Footer 365

Premier League: Manchester United's Juan Mata backs Louis van Gaal's winning mentality

Juan Mata has hailed Louis van Gaal and believes that the Dutchman will bring a winning mentality to Manchester United.

Transfer news: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger prepared to take gamble on Calum Chambers

Arsene Wenger admits signing Calum Chambers from Southampton is somewhat of a gamble, but one he believes will pay off.

Friendly: Raheem Sterling earns Liverpool 1-0 pre-season win over Olympiakos in Chicago

Raheem Sterling scored a lone early goal as Liverpool beat Olympiakos 1-0 in Chicago in the International Champions Cup.

Mail Box

Reasons To Believe That Van Gaal Will Be The Best

Some supporters sound oh so confident on Louis Van Gaal's excellence. Plus thoughts on shirt sales, best signings, football sevens and a good deal more besides...

Are Pre-Season Tours Really A Problem?

Are pre-season tours really a problem? Liverpool went to Australia last summer and it didn't prevent them from having a good season. Plus, thoughts on LvG and keepers...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property