SussexBaggie Speaks... Fulham and Clarke's future

Last updated : 18 September 2013 By Site Editor

It’s been an eventful few weeks since my last blog!

Albion took the unprecedented step of making four new signings on transfer deadline day after a disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to Swansea City, before resuming our Premier League campaign with a hard-earned 1-1 draw at Fulham on Saturday.

On the balance of play, we just about deserved the point after upping our game in the closing stages, but we won’t know just how important it is until after our home game against Sunderland next weekend.

Gareth McAuley scored our equaliser in the second minute of injury-time and he was one of our stand-out players, as always.

Debuts

I was impressed with new signings Morgan Amalfitano and Victor Anichebe, who both showed enough to suggest that they could be important players for us once they gel with the rest of the squad.

Chris Brunt is another player who deserves credit for his display. He is often criticised by a number of Albion fans (myself included), but we undoubtedly look a much better side when Brunt is playing and on form.

I don’t think it’s any coincidence that our two results this season have come away from home.

We often play quite a defensive style, which understandably frustrates supporters at The Hawthorns and sees them get on the team’s back, which in turn makes the players nervous and leads to the kind of performance we have seen far too often in recent months.

Away from home is a different matter entirely, though. With 3,000 Albion fans at Craven Cottage getting behind the team, we always looked as though we might get something from the game, although the fact we hadn’t scored in the Premier League this season heading into injury time obviously made us all a little less optimistic that we would find an equaliser.

Changes

After our abysmal run of form over the last few months, discussions have turned to who should replace Clarke if/when Jeremy Peace runs out of patience with our head coach.

I must admit, I am starting to run out of patience with Clarke. I thought some of the criticism of him last season was harsh, but his reluctance to switch from a 4-4-2 formation that makes us very easy to play against since the start of this season – coupled with our poor form in recent months – is making it difficult to see an end to this run.

Some of the names mentioned as potential replacements are surprising though.

Gus Poyet is one name that has been mentioned, simply because he plays good football. Living in Sussex, I saw a lot of coverage of Brighton & Hove Albion under Poyet and whilst they undoubtedly played good football, he also struggled to turn round poor runs of form and spent much of his last few months at the Amex trying to leave them and publicly criticising the club at every opportunity.

Would Peace appoint someone like this? I doubt it, and rightly so in my opinion.

I personally think we will have a much better knowledge of how long Clarke has left at the club after the Sunderland game next weekend.

They are a club that appears to be in free-fall under Paulo Di Canio, who spent much of the summer replacing solid players with plenty of experience in English football with undoubtedly talented players from abroad who have no experience of the Premier League.

Some people might suggest that six games into a season would be far too early for Peace to wield the axe, but we saw with Roberto Di Matteo that he is not afraid of moving quickly if there are other candidates out there.

Sunderland

This weekend is a big game and we need to ensure that being the home side gives us an advantage, which it won’t if supporters in all four stands spend much of the game moaning rather than supporting their club.

There is plenty of time to moan once games have finished, but surely doing it during the game is counter-productive?

Hopefully we can get The Hawthorns rocking next weekend and the players can respond with a big performance to kick-start our season.

Boing Boing!

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