Baggies limping towards the line

Tuesday 23rd April 2013 13:05

Steve Clarke: Has a job on to keep motivation levels up

Steve Clarke: Has a job on to keep motivation levels up

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West Brom FanZoner Craig Punfield wishes the season could end now so he could start focusing on who Albion will sign this summer.

I have mentioned in past pieces of mine just how great this season has been to be a Baggie, some fantastic results added with never being out of the top half of the league all season, but now I just want it to end.

Everything just feels a bit stale at the club currently, certain players are coming out in the press making the right noises about how they want to achieve club targets, but by going on the first-half performance against Newcastle at the weekend, it looks like many members of the squad would rather be in Dubai sipping sangrias.

That level of energy and intensity that kept us in the top four for such a scary amount of time at the start of the season is no longer present, we always seem to have to go a goal behind recently before we wake up and realise we are in for a game here! This simply was not the case before Christmas; we would be the side putting the opposition on the back foot.

I read reports saying how it was the worst first-half performance from Albion this season and none of the side were closing down players in a black and white shirt. Even a Sunday League player after a night out on the Saturday still knows to close down an opponent, it's one of the basics of football.

It wasn't until Steve Clarke gave the squandering side a Scottish seeing to at the break that they came out realizing they still had to put efforts into games, and I have to admit I was impressed with how we played in the second half.

But yes, I would much prefer this campaign be over and done with now, in a way we are victims of our own success. We have had such a strong season that there is now little to play for and so things are inevitably going to drop down a few gears in the squad.

I now would like the season to end, the transfer window to begin and get some questions answered on the players with uncertain futures at the club, as well as seeing who the backroom team will look to bring to the West Midlands in what is a critical summer which will shape the direction of the club for the next few years.

This has admittedly been a bit of a rant at the team's recent performances but I would just like to quickly mention how ridiculous it is what I have heard some fellow Baggies mutter, who are not content with being eighth.

Can I please just remind you that it wasn't that long ago we were boinging between divisions and having to endure away days at Scunthorpe.

If you look at the table, the other seven teams above us have much more spending capability and pulling power. if we wanted to challenge them consistently for finishes in Europe we would have to invest £30million and above into the squad, which is simply not the West Brom way.

I'll always remember what ex-Albion manager Roy Hodgson said when Wolves boss Mick McCarthy was under-fire at the Molineux, ultimately getting sacked. He simply said "be careful what you wish for".

And as much as I delight in their toils at the bottom of the Championship, you can't say we haven't been warned...

By Craig Punfield, FanZone's West Brom blogger. Follow him on Twitter at @Punnerss - and don't forget to follow @FanZone too!

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