All the bloody M6 traffic on the way to and from Anfield made Saturday a very long day….
Stadium full of tourists
Apart from the usual pre-match rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, and a couple of cries of ‘Liverpool’, the Liverpool fans might as well have not been there. Our away following on the other hand was back to its best, with the team being backed throughout and some rather funny chants at our own expense.
I was quite amused to see the look on the faces of the home fans in the Main Stand looking rather confused at these away fans who were having a laugh regardless, and still backing our team at 2-0 down. To these tourists who pay to only see entertainment and pretty much want to be guaranteed to see a win, people who just love their club and who can laugh at themselves must seem really strange.
Missed the bloody goal
So, at 80 minutes I decided to pop to the toilet to avoid getting lost at full time and not being able to find my way back to the coach. During this I heard a massive cheer go up as Gareth McAuley pulled us one back. When I returned to my seat it was 2-1 and Liverpool were looking a bit nervous. Things were still very end to end up until the final whistle, but you could feel Klopp’s and Liverpool’s nervousness as Albion had nothing to lose by going for it.
It was good to see Robson-Kanu getting longer than his token 1-2 minutes of stoppage time he usually gets. I am not sure what Pulis is expecting him to achieve in 1-2 minutes, so I presume it is usually a time wasting tactic or something. In this instance it was due to an injury to McClean. He didn’t do too bad and would be an obvious choice against Man City if McClean doesn’t recover from his leg gash in time. (Update: McClean has had his leg wound stitched and will be OK for Man City game)
Ben Foster once again pulled off some inexplicable saves, and our defence wasn’t too bad in general considering we only conceded two despite Liverpool’s seven shots on target. The main problems came from giving Liverpool too much respect and space, and losing possession far too easily when we managed to get the ball.
Darren Fletcher’s form has been nowhere near that of when he first joined, yet still there was news last month that he is to be offered a contract extension. Pulis is obviously reluctant to drop our captain, but it needs to happen at some point if it continues.
When Brunt is out you forget how important he is to our team and what a difference he can make. He is the best crosser of the ball in our entire squad. I am glad he is back as we will score a lot more goals from set pieces. Don’t forget that the last time he played a full season he got 10 assists.
When Liverpool came to our place earlier this year, there was a lot of coverage of the club’s gesture to change 96 blue seats to red, each marked with a name of someone who went to a football match but never came home. This gesture was very much appreciated by the friends and families of those affected by the Hillsborough tragedy.
On Saturday, the banner that was displayed in our home fixture was ceremoniously placed next to the Hillsborough memorial outside of Anfield by two baggies Mick and John. There hasn’t been a lot of media coverage but it has been mentioned and appreciated all over social media. There have been so many comments from Liverpool fans about how respectful and considerate WBA fans are, so I just wanted to mention these great gestures and how proud I am of West Bromwich Albion and our amazing fans.