English Premier League – West Bromwich 2011 Preview
The only rational goal West Bromwich could have for this season would be to avoid the cut that would send them packing back down to the Championship League.
But can the team really garner enough success to stay in the Premier League when they give up 71 goals in just 38 games?
Not an option for Albion’s manager, Roy Hodgson, if he wants to keep his job.
Odds to win the 2011-12 Premiership outright 5,000/1
It would be a shame too, as Hodgson has found a great fit for himself, helping the Hawthorns make great progress from their time before he arrived.
Hodgson worked wonders in the transfer market over the summer, and made some great acquisitions such as Zoltan Gera, Ben Foster and Billy Jones; and he did it without giving up significant sums.
However, will those acquisitions be enough?
Meanwhile., the club seems optimistic heading into the new season, and it is something that has never been seen before for the club and its fans. Despite all the upbeat moods, the team’s odds to not get dropped are massively against them, and the side has a very brutal start to the season.
They will face Manchester United and Chelsea in their first two fixtures of the season, and it would appear that coming away with anything more than a loss and a draw would be highly unlikely.
However, the team will play its next three matches against Stoke and newcomers Norwich City and Swansea. If they can grab seven points from those three meetings it could set the tone for the entire first half of the season.
The biggest acquisition for the team came by way of Foster, a clutch keeper from Birmingham. By far this move alone could be the biggest upgrade any team had in the transfer season, but it will be interesting to see how Foster responds to his new squad as well as the pressure to keep the team from relegation.
As for the Hawthorns defense, it remains a question mark, and the team will no doubt rely on Hodgson’s great ability to make something out of nothing on the defensive side of the ball.
The midfield is the most promising area of the squad, but it has yet to be seen if they can stand up against the top six teams in the league.
Finally, the side’s front still lacks depth and forward Peter Odemwingie is the team’s sole option as a striker. If he goes down, Hodgson will have a hard time replacing him. They still need to acquire another first-rate boot before they can be considered a true contender in the Premiership.
Matt’s West Brom Prediction:
West Brom has one of the most promising managers in the entire league. But to finish higher than mid table this coming season would take nothing short of a miracle. Something even Hodgson is incapable of doing. Until he is given a worthy number-one option up front, the side will be lucky to finish just above the drop zone.
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