The title of this update is no mistake – Albion’s promotion challenge is now over. A second home defeat of the season leaves the Baggies some eight points shy of the top six with twelve games remaining. Not insurmountable in itself, but when you take into account the fact that there are another six clubs between Albion and sixth spot, with all but one of them having a game in hand and all of them in better form than Steve Bruce’s side, the size of the task is clear.
Albion’s run of form is such that only Peterborough United, the only side they have beaten in the last 13 games, are below them in the form tables whether you look at the last six, eight, ten or twelve matches.
They were perhaps a tad unfortunate against Swansea, hitting the post twice in what was a game between two very poor teams, but it was the visitors who managed to find the net thanks to some quite frankly appalling defending.
Steve Bruce has not been able to get any sort of reaction from the players, but has stuck with the same senior squad. Perhaps the introduction of Quevin Castro and the limited impact he made (albeit he was the only Albion player to register a shot on target) explains why he has not been willing to trust in the U23 squad, but with the season now effectively over (assuming you think they have enough to stay out of the bottom three), I wonder if it is time to try.
Unfortunately, however incapable you may think the senior players are, many are on long contracts and it will not be easy to do any sort of clear out in the summer. The club needs some massive changes, but it is difficult to see how they will be achieved in the short term.
A return to the Premier League looks a long way away at the moment.
|* Positions are recorded as Albion’s position in the table after all fixtures for that day have been completed.|
|2000/2001||24/02/2001||Portsmouth (H)||W||2-0||Roberts, Chambers|
|2003/2004||02/03/2004||Norwich City (A)||D||0-0|
|2006/2007||20/02/2007||Cardiff City (H)||W||1-0||Ellington|
|2007/2008||01/03/2008||Plymouth Argyle (H)||W||3-0||Gera, Miller, Bednár|
|2009/2010||06/03/2010||Queen’s Park Rangers (A)||L||1-3||Brunt|
|2018/2019||23/02/2019||Sheffield United (H)||L||0-1|
|2019/2020||22/02/2020||Bristol City (A)||W||3-0||Robinson, Robson-Kanu (2)|
|2021/2022||28/02/2022||Swansea City (H)||L||0-2|
|2000/2001||03/03/2001||Blackburn Rovers (A)||L||0-1|
|2001/2002||23/02/2002||Portsmouth (H)||W||5-0||Roberts (2), Sigurðsson, Dobie, Bališ|
|2003/2004||06/03/2004||Coventry City (H)||W||3-0||Hughes, Hulse, Kinsella|
|2006/2007||24/02/2007||Leicester City (A)||D||1-1||Kamara (pen)|
|2007/2008||04/03/2008||Sheffield Wednesday (A)||W||1-0||Phillips|
|2009/2010||09/03/2010||Sheffield Wednesday (H)||W||1-0||Koren|
|2018/2019||01/03/2019||Leeds United (A)||L||0-4|
|2019/2020||25/02/2020||Preston North End (H)||W||2-0||Robson-Kanu, Livermore|
|2021/2022||05/03/2022||Hull City (A)|
If you cannot see the tables, click here.