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Thursday, March 20, 2008

West Bromwich Albion Preview

It'll be a sombre mood at the Valley tomorrow and perhaps we should all be wearing black. The fans will be wondering what exactly they are doing there on a holiday afternoon when the wife expects at least a trip with the hubby to Bluewater. Well, that'll be Saturday then. And they'll have mixed emotions - the fans that is, not the wife. Do we grin and bear it or do we let our emotions run riot and show what we really think? Because how on earth can the club expect us to sing and cheer at this precise moment in time.
Take a quick look at the table and it shows the Addicks in 10th. A mountain has appeared in front of us and like the closure of Everest by the Chinese, it seems that the players have suddenly had the door slammed in their faces and have admitted defeat. And while there's no knowing how the crowd will react tomorrow perhaps we should instead be thankful that there's only 7 more games of this tainted Tier Two season to go before we can thankfully forget it all and take our long earned summer break.
But is it too late for a Grandstand finish? A late spurt to show everyone what we're really made of? Unless we can find the key to the door, I wouldn't bet on it.
As for the players, we have to say we expected more, but so too did Pardew. The talisman Leroy Lita, loaned from Reading, has now played three games and enjoyed three defeats. He has yet to score for the Addicks and has now apparently gone a total of 16 games without scoring. Andy Gray, ex of Burnley, after his first game against Watford in January has now played 11 games, starting in 7 of them, and has also failed to score.
Two million pound Luke Varney, 21 starts, plus 13 sub appearances, has scored just 7 times. Perhaps we were just too hard on Carl Leaburn, with his 53 odd goals from 344 appearances.
The only sign of any success up front, apart from Todorov, has been Chris Iwelumo with 11 fizzy goals from his 28 starts, and 11 substitutions. Perhaps, in retrospect, we should have kept Kevin Lisbie who's enjoying his best season ever and has already scored 14 times, twice as many as Varney, for a club at the very bottom of the League and clearly heading for relegation.
As for the teamsheet tomorrow, Pards is an advocate of a settled team and it'll probably read the same as last time out, despite the defeat, with a 4-5-1 line-up.
Weaver; Halford, McCarthy, Sodje, Thatcher; Ambrose, Semedo, ZiZi, Holland, Thomas; Lita. The only change maybe the omission of Semedo, who didn't play well against Ipswich, for Andy Gray and a return to 4-4-2.
As for the result, we'll have to wait for New York's flawless predictions to know what to expect but a pointless ( in terms of league position anyway ) 0-0 scoreline would appear fitting in the circumstances.

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