SussexBaggie Speaks? new recruits and a goalkeeping dilemma

Last updated : 29 August 2013 By Iain Bate - Wba-mad Editor

This week has been far more positive than last, as we followed up a creditable 0-0 draw at Everton on Saturday with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Newport County in the Capital One Cup second round on Tuesday evening.

Having lost our opening match of the season at home to Southampton, the important thing was to try and avoid defeat against an Everton side being managed at Goodison Park for the first time by Roberto Martinez.

They created more opportunities over the course of the game and hit the woodwork twice late on, but we were good value for our point and might even have won the game ourselves had we shown a bit more composure in the final third during the closing stages.

It is the game against Newport that has provided Albion fans with more talking points though, with a first-half hat-trick from academy graduate Saido Berahino settling the game.

All three of his goals were impressive – he kept a cool head to finish when clean through for his first, sent a superb left-foot shot into the top corner for his second and comfortably dispatched a penalty to complete his treble.

The big question now is should Steve Clarke start him in our next league game at home to Swansea City on Sunday?

It is undoubtedly a big step up from playing a League Two side in the cup, but Berahino will never be more confident than he is now and has the pace to cause the Swansea back four problems.

When you compare his display to the incredibly disappointing contribution from Markus Rosenberg and quiet display from Matej Vydra, who was later substituted with a hamstring injury, Berahino could count himself incredibly unlucky if either of them start ahead of him.

The Capital One Cup tie also saw Scott Sinclair make his Albion debut following the completion of his season-long loan deal from Manchester City last Thursday.

Diego Lugano also made his debut for the club, with Luke Daniels, Vydra and Berahino all making their first start in a much-changed side from the opening two league games.

With the transfer window closing next Monday, attention now turns to strengthening our threadbare squad.

Attacking options are particularly few and far between, with Nicolas Anelka – back after compassionate leave – and Vydra already a doubt for the Swansea game with the hamstring injury that forced him off against Newport.

Clarke has also expressed his desire to add another goalkeeper to the squad after receiving the news that Ben Foster will be missing up to three months with a hairline fracture of his foot.

Although Boaz Myhill and even Daniels are more than able deputies in the short-term, Foster could well be missing up to a third of the season and to be losing one of our most important players for such a significant period of the season is a big blow.

In my opinion, we need to add another winger and striker to the squad. I personally don’t believe a goalkeeper is needed, and certainly not at the expense of pursuing targets in other areas where we are in more desperate need of players.

However, we could certainly do with adding some midfield cover to our squad after how much we struggled during the middle third of last season when Claudio Yacob and Youssouf Mulumbu were both unavailable through a combination of injury and international commitments.

I will reserve any comments or criticism of the way the club handle transfers until next week, by which time we will know whether we have been able to strengthen our squad significantly or whether we could be in for a long season.

Until then, Albion fans should get behind the players already at the club and hopefully cheer them onto a much-needed victory against Swansea at the Hawthorns on Sunday.

Boing Boing! 

Who would you replace Ben Foster with? Have your say here at Baggies Banter