West Bromwich Albion, Tony Pulis mannar, det är vad som står för motståndet i morgondagens ligamatch. Det är flera lag som gått på pumpen mot en av den här säsongens överraskningslag, nyligen var det Arsenal som inte räckte till i bortamötet med laget. Inför den här omgången ligger WBA på en stark åttondeplats, trots att formen dippat lite grand de senaste veckorna, så det är verkligen en tuff uppgift som väntar oss. Dan Watts(@TheWatts22) från Eighteenseventyeight.net(@1878_WBA) har följt våra motståndare länge och berättar här om säsongen som varit och hur han ser på lagets framtid:
1. You´re currently 8th in the league, how would you describe your season going into the final games?
It has been successful, no doubt about it. In terms of budget, fan base, size of our club, we are punching above our weight at the minute. It has tailed off slightly over the last 6 or 7 matches but there can be no complaints. There’s still time for a positive end to the season and if you would have asked any Albion fan back in August, they’d have been chuffed with eighth at this point.
2. What do you need to push further up in the table next season? Do you think Pulis can take you there?
I’m not to sure we can push too much harder in the league. What Pulis has to do next season is make sure we don’t drop out of the cup competitions without a fight. For a club of our size, the only realistic chance of real success is a cup win and so a full strength team in both cup competitions next season is a must for me.
3. Who would you name as the player of the year for WBA?
Ben Foster. He is the best performing goalkeeper in the whole league in my eyes this season. That is no exaggeration. Mistakes are very rare, we face a barrage of shots, crosses and set-pieces some weeks and everyone from fans to his team mates and the coaching staff clearly have a lot of confidence in his ability. For whatever reason he isn’t picked for England but there is nobody better out there at the moment.
4. What has been the talking points around WBA this season?
It’s been a season of transition with new owners coming in as well as a new Chairman and Chief Exec. So that has been something fans have spoken a lot about this season. Pulis and his style of football is often talked about, as there are still some that are adamant they cannot get behind the man.
5. Do you have any interesting young talents on the way into the first team?
We have a fantastic youth set up at the Albion. As you’ll know, Liverpool prospect Yan Dhanda was plucked from the Baggies. The pick of the bunch at the club right now is probably midfielder Sam Field. Pulis described him as one of the best he’s seen in terms of pure ability for his age and big things are expected from him. Next season could be his breakthrough after being a bit-part player this term. Jonathon Leko, Kane Wilson and Rakeem Harper are players worth googling too. They could all become big names.
6. What are your thoughts on Liverpool and our chance of getting into Champions League next year?
It’s so close up the top there. I think Arsenal can probably be ruled out of the top four now so your chances are good. Liverpool need to just stay together and believe in what Koop is trying to do there. Slow progression isn’t to be taken lightly when all of the top clubs are throwing money at it every season. Only one club can win the league and it might be Liverpool’s turn at some point in the near future