Etihad Stadium

Next Game

Man City v West Brom

Monday, 21 April 2014, 20:00

Barclays Prem

The Hawthorns

Last Game

West Brom 3 - 3 Tottenham

Saturday, 12 April 2014, 15:07

Barclays Prem

WBA boss Clarke must be brave

TEAMtalk Editor Simon Wilkes believes Steve Clarke must be brave in his team selections following West Brom's summer recruitment drive.

Last Updated: 04/09/13 at 12:49 Post Comment    Bet with SkyBet  West Brom Specials. Click here to bet.

Steve Clarke: Has been backed by the Baggies board this summer

Steve Clarke: Has been backed by the Baggies board this summer

World Cup 2014

Check out the latest outright odds on next summer's World Cup in Brazil

It has been quite a rollercoaster ride for West Brom fans so far this season, with Monday's transfer deadline day providing the most recent high.

Albion historically like to do the main bulk of their transfer business in the summer window of opportunity, rarely getting involved in the January sales.

But deals have previously been completed long before Harry Redknapp rolls down his car window and Jim White dons his yellow tie for the last day of the summer window, meaning Albion fans can usually monitor the madness on Sky Sports News with a certain degree of smugness.

That all changed on Monday, September 2 - and from the moment Albion announced the early-morning loan capture of Marseille midfielder Morgan Amalfitano, fans got drawn into the murky world of Twitter updates and transfer clockwatches, updating and checking constantly until the 11pm deadline and beyond.

Deals for Amafitano and goalkeeper Lee Camp were done and dusted with relative ease, while the bid to lure Sunderland forward Stephane Sessegnon to The Hawthorns took all day - and the last-gasp capture of Everton's Victor Anichebe put the icing on the cake.

Head coach Steve Clarke had admitted it "would be much better for my state of mind and for my health" if Albion's hierarchy bolstered his playing staff ahead of the coming months.

And both chairman Jeremy Peace and technical director Richard Garlick deserve credit for a fantastic summer recruitment drive which was sparked into life by the shock arrival of Nicolas Anelka.

Veteran striker Anelka is one of eight new players at Clarke's disposal, with Scott Sinclair, Matej Vydra and Diego Lugano joining the four deadline-day signings on Clarke's playing staff, and Goran Popov returning on loan.

Now it's over to Clarke to lift morale following a sluggish start to the season, which has seen Albion lose two of their opening three Premier League games and fail to find the back of the net in England's top tier.

The Baggies prop up the top-flight table after Sunday's defeat to Swansea - and must now wait until September 14 for a tricky trip to Fulham, where they lost 3-0 last season to end a fine start to the campaign which had seen them topple Liverpool and Everton 3-0 and 2-0 respectively.

If the Cottagers unleash some capital punishment on Albion again, the following home clash against Sunderland will be a must-win game as appointments with Manchester United, Arsenal, Stoke and Liverpool look daunting on paper despite the influx of fresh blood to the squad.

Clarke needs to use the international break to settle on his first-choice starting XI, with Shane Long now unlikely to feature too heavily this season having seen a late move to Hull City fall through at the last minute.

My starting XI would be (4-2-3-1): Myhill; Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell; Mulumbu, Yacob; Sinclair, Anelka, Sessegnon; Anichebe.

Anelka was Albion's best player on the pitch against the Swans, but relished dropping into the hole to dictate our attacking play and should be given a licence to roam, with Anichebe providing the physical threat missing from our play since Romelu Lukaku returned to Chelsea.

This means dropping the ever-present James Morrison to the bench, but fortune favours the brave, and Clarke needs to get his new signings on the pitch to give them time to gel ahead of a long season.

Pick your starting XI using the story comments box - and let me know what you think of Albion's summer window dealings.

You can follow me on Twitter here.

Bet with SkyBet  West Brom Specials. Click here to bet.

World Cup 2014

Check out the latest outright odds on next summer's World Cup in Brazil

Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e was right to leave, but not just because of the money City were coming into. If I remember rightly he had a reasonable amount of chances to shine at City, but he never passed the bloody ball. Loads of aimless dribbles and 40 yard shots and not much else. I would say that if he had learnt to be a bit more of a team player he may have done better at City.

bright and edgy
Sturridge: Right to leave City

O

h! And.... has it gone in!?' Well John, it is quite literally your job to tell me, so stop phrasing it as a question.

ajsr1982
Eye On The Experts: John Motson

M

an who resembles bond villain complains about spies ....brillliant

mrjackson
Palace deny spying accusation

Footer 365

Luton Town promoted to Football League after winning Conference Premier title

Luton Town have won promotion from the Conference Premier - ending a five-year absence from the Football League.

Premier League: West Ham boss Sam Allardyce frustrated to lose lead at Arsenal

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce admitted his frustration at his side's inability to hold their lead in the loss at Arsenal.

Premier League: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hails importance of West Ham win

Arsene Wenger hailed the importance of Arsenal's victory over West Ham as his side came from behind to win 3-1.

Mail Box

Worried Liverpool Will Become A Selling Club

Liverpool fans in the mailbox are not too worried about sour grapes from United supporters, but one admits he's scared the Reds could end up selling their best players...

United Should Have Gone For Bruce And Hughes

A mailbox asking why United did not go for two old boys over Moyes, what Wenger's targets were for the season and whether he's had a better season than Pellegrini..?

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