SussexBaggie speaks…Everton and Rovers

Last weekend saw our disappointing run continue, as we suffered a 2-0 defeat at Everton to make it four games without a win.

Although I was not at the game, some supporters who were have once again suggested that there was a lack of fight and commitment from certain players.

This apparent lack of commitment is never acceptable, but bearing in mind we have yet to reach 40 points and are still only eight points clear of the bottom three, for some players to be playing as they have done recently is simply not good enough.

Roy Hodgson named what appeared to be a rather experimental starting line-up for the game at Goodison Park, with Somen Tchoyi and Chris Brunt playing out wide, leaving Paul Scharner and Keith Andrews in the centre of midfield behind a front two of Peter Odemwingie and Shane Long.

The only game I can remember us winning when playing a 4-4-2 formation this season was the victory at Norwich City back in September, a game which we struggled in and did very well to pick up the three points from.

The last time Hodgson made such a surprising team selection was for our game at Stoke City, with the bold choices paying off as we won 2-1.

However, this never looked like being the case on Saturday and, not for the first time in recent weeks, only several fine saves from Ben Foster prevented Everton scoring more than two goals.

Make or break

We are now approaching a stage in the season where we can either make things more comfortable for ourselves going into the final few games of the season, or we can get ourselves dragged back into the relegation battle.

This weekend sees us take on Blackburn Rovers at The Hawthorns, with Steve Kean’s side currently occupying the final relegation place on goal difference.

An upturn in form in recent weeks has seen Blackburn, who looked doomed to relegation just before Christmas, give themselves a fighting chance of staying up thanks to a number of very important results.

Our home game against them last season was one of the least enjoyable of what was predominantly a very good campaign, as we lost 3-1 and looked a beaten side long before the end of the match.

However, our most recent game against Blackburn saw us pick up a vital 2-1 win at Ewood Park back in December, thanks to excellent goals from James Morrison and Odemwingie.

To get a good result from this game, I think Hodgson needs to revert back to the 4-5-1 formation again and pick those players who performed so impressively during our three consecutive victories against Wolves, Sunderland and Chelsea.

If he does this, we give ourselves a far greater chance of picking up three points than if he persists with the 4-4-2 formation which our players have struggled with whenever it has been used this season.

It will undoubtedly be a tough game, but hopefully we can play well and pick up a positive result!

Boing Boing! 

What formation do you think Albion should play on Saturday? Have your say at Baggies Banter here