WBA-MAD Blog: Monday night's massacre

After Monday night it’s pretty obvious we can’t play two up top against the big teams. Our best chance against the big guns is to try and control the midfield, stay tight defensively and attempt to snatch a goal on the counter. Pulis admitted post match that he got it wrong and learned his lesson. We move on.

Monday night gave us more questions than answers. Why did we play Chester out on the right and play with Dawson at centre half? Yes we know that Pulis likes his height in the middle, but surely we haven’t signed Chester to play right back? That is simply not the answer. Moving on to Brunt, yes he can do a job at left-back, but is he really our solution in that position for the season ahead?

In midfield, Gardner struggled all night, Mozza showed glimpses of quality but it wasn’t the best he’s played by a mile. Fletcher struggled to keep up with City’s midfield and McClean ran up and down the wing without really making any impression. We were crying out for a creative midfielder. Someone who could’ve made things happen, someone who could take a player on and find a quality final pass. Someone like the Stephene Sessegnon in the 1 in every 6 games he decides to turn up.

But it wasn’t all bad news. I can’t help but be excited by Rondon’s arrival: a typical Pulis centre forward, a great goal return throughout his career, he’s still only 25 and we seem to have brought him in from under the noses of admittedly bigger clubs. I don’t want to get too carried away. Ideye’s goal return was also great in foreign leagues but he just simply isn’t cut out for the Premier League – as much as I like the guy.

Gnabry is held in high regard at Arsenal, a signing with potential, but he won’t be a world beater just yet. Let’s just hope his pace and skill can supply our strikers with a few tap ins. Lambert isn’t getting any younger but he’ll do a job for us this season, he’s a great character with plenty of experience and will bag us a few goals without a doubt.

The full back issue still worries me. The fact we’ve barely been linked with any, besides Enrique, even more so. Although Albion do tend to do business under the radar so let’s hope we will bring in natural and proven full backs in before the transfer deadline. In midfield, I can’t help but feel like we need some more weight and dominance in the centre of the park at times. Somebody big and strong who can break up play. Out wide our ongoing willingness to strike a deal for Phillips is interesting. Granted new Stoke signing Shaqiri will be on higher wages, but the fact he’s signed for 12 million and with Champions League and Bundesliga medals on his CV you have to ask if he’s worth £10m. However, I trust in Pulis and he obviously see’s something in him, so time will tell on that front.

It shouldn’t just be one-way traffic either. Surely Anichibe’s time is up as an Albion player. He’s had three seasons to prove himself and he’s failed to do so. He’s great on his day, but that day doesn’t come around anywhere near often enough. Brown Ideye, I feel for the guy. He’s a trier, but just doesn’t seem good enough. Although his record in his second season at previous clubs has improved. Out of the two, I’d opt to hold on to the latter.

Poc and Gamboa, remember those guys? No doubt these will both depart. A shame really giving the hype around Gamboa and the couple of eye catching displays from Poc early last season, but I’ll say it again, Pulis sees these guys day in day out in training, and they must just not be good enough for the style of football he wants to play.

I honestly believe we will be in for a decent season this time around, We’ve found some stability in Pulis and he’ll make a couple more signings to improve our squad more so. I’d be happy with a 11th/12th place finish.

Come on you Baggies. 

Do you agree with Andy? Would you keep Brown Ideye? Have your say at Baggies Banter

Follow Andy on Twitter @ap_wba