Kyle Bartley Leads West Brom to Victory
Championship club West Brom have experienced a fluctuation in their performance - ups and downs. These, however, are just a normal sight in football.
West Bromwich Albion continues to carry their momentum forward as they separate themselves from the rest of the Championship clubs. They won their recent match against Reading 2-1, increasing their lead atop the second division table to six points. Slaven Bilic, the club’s manager said that the Championship is a difficult league. ‘You have to be good tactically, you have to be good technically, you have to be good individually. You have to be strong, you have to manage the games. We were that’.
The past few months have been ‘weird’ for West Brom. Before the end of January, they looked like they were at their peak performance, hitting shots and finishing flashy passes. By the end of it, they were suffering a drop in their performance, going on a seven-game losing streak. However, after their most recent victory against Luton, the entire team was on a high and felt like they could play like their former selves. This serves as a staunch reminder that the Championship, despite it being a tier lower, is just as unexpectable and as hectic as any other football league.
In that match, it was Reading that struck first in that match, but a Puscas goal tied the match in the 10th minute. Reading then doubled down on their efforts and looked to contain West Brom to prevent a loss. West Brom continued to play systematically and continued to etch away at their opponent’s defence. It was only a matter of time before a goal was scored with the help of Callum Robinson. At the end of the first half, West Brom’s 14 shot attempts showed just how dominant they were as a team. They continued where they left off, dominating their opponents at nearly every encounter.
‘These guys, if you give them time on the ball, in midfield, they have players that you can fall in love with’, said Bilic. ‘They have players who are very good on the ball – they can hurt you. We were doing the dirty job and the work off the ball really well’. After the win, they found themselves six points in the lead, two wins clear of Leeds United and Fulham. ‘I thought the team gave me everything they could give’, said Reading manager Mark Bowen. ‘No complaints in terms of the effort we put in and the performance. Slaven said to me that they were the ones who were crying for the final whistle at the end’.
Though the past few months for them have been anything but ordinary but that’s just a normal sight in football. Clubs can experience a very successful run and then find themselves on the opposite end of the luck spectrum four matches later.
Words: Carlos Corpus