WBA-MAD blog: Welcome to the silly season

Last updated : 27 August 2015 By Wba-mad Editor

With the season having only started just over two weeks ago, there has already been plenty to talk about on and off the pitch at the Albion. We started the season with a heavy defeat at home to early pacesetters Manchester City, before picking up our first point of the season in an uninspiring goal-less draw at Watford.

Things have really picked up over the last few days though, with Albion playing twice in little over 48 hours and Saido Berahino seeing a transfer request rejected as he looks to force through a move to Spurs.

The performance at home to Chelsea on Sunday was encouraging, despite us eventually losing the game 3-2. Unlike the previous week at Watford, we showed plenty of attacking intent from the start and the game could have been very different if James Morrison had converted an early penalty.

The game was essentially decided by poor defending during the first half, with Gareth McAuley and Jonas Olsson struggling to contain a Chelsea attack that included new signing Pedro from Barcelona.

There were plenty of positives to take from the display from an Albion perspective though, not least the performances of Callum McManaman and new record signing Salomon Rondon.

Just over 48 hours later, Albion were stepping out at The Hawthorns again to take on Port Vale in the second round of the Capital One Cup.

Tony Pulis stayed true to his comments about taking the cup seriously, making only four changes to the side that had narrowly lost to Chelsea. One of these changes saw the lively Serge Gnabry make his first start since joining on loan from Arsenal.

The performance from Albion in general was anything but lively, however, as we struggled to break down the well-organised visitors from League One during normal time and extra time before eventually winning 5-3 on penalties.

However, it will have highlighted what Pulis and the vast majority of supporters already knew – that several new signings are needed before the transfer window closes at 6pm next Tuesday.

The situation with Berahino can’t be helping Albion, with the club have rejected a transfer request from the striker and turned down two bids from Spurs.

Handing in a transfer request suggests that Berahino is now trying to force through a move to North London but if previous transfer windows have taught us anything, it is that Jeremy Peace will not change his stance when it comes to how highly the club value a player.

If Spurs or any other club want to sign Berahino, they will need to pay what the club are asking or turn their attention to other targets.

Until the transfer window closes, it is almost impossible to predict how Albion will fare this season. If we are able to strengthen defensively and add a bit more pace and creativity to the side, there is no reason why we can’t build on an impressive end to last season and aim to reach 40 points as quickly as possible before pushing on towards mid-table.

If we are unable to bring in the players required, we could well face another season of struggle and head into the last few games still needing points to stay up.

Before that, we face the small matter of a trip to Staffordshire on Saturday to take on Stoke City. Although results have gone as expected so far, it is important to get that first win on the board soon to avoid any unnecessary pressure this early in the season.

Boing Boing! 

Have your say on Albion's start to the season at Baggies Banter.