West Bromwich Albion. How well have they really done this season?
When you think of West Brom you think of, one of “those mid table teams” that everyone seems to forget halfway through the season. Especially because for the longest time now they’ve finished anywhere between 16th and 12th place in the league, establishing themselves as a boring mid table side under Tony Pulis. Even now, the Baggies continue to be one of the more underrated sides in the EPL, despite their consistent presence in the top half of the table of the season. So, how did West Brom flip the script this year?
At the beginning of the season, there were talks of Pulis being sacked, and he had some high odds to be first sacked manager this season. Boy did Pulis prove the haters wrong. West Brom are currently in 8th position, 7 points behind 7th place Everton, and 7 points clear of 9th Stoke. This means West Brom are again well safe for another Premier League season. If you were to tell some Baggies fans that at the beginning of the season, they may not have believed you. This is due to the fact of their playing style. Sit back and score from set pieces. West Brom currently have the most goals from set pieces, with a staggering 19. That is just ridiculous. Center back Gareth McCauley is even tied with Salomon Rondon for the Baggies’ top scorer with each having scored 7.
Ben Foster is also having a great season. Foster has 96 saves to his name which is 2nd highest in the league. Foster also has 5 clean sheets this season, and is one of the reasons West Brom are doing so well.
When you think about it, West Brom could play Europa League next season. The baggies can either close that gap on Everton, or maybe even get a place as a result of a top 4 team winning the FA Cup, and United winning the Europa League, meaning the Europa League place would be passed down to 7th place. Also, if Arsenal win the FA Cup and finish outside the Top 4 with Manchester United, who would need to win the Europa League for this to work, then West Brom could be playing Europa League next season with an 8th place finish.
Whatever happens you can’t take away from West Brom’s excellent season. They have defied expectations and even gave us a good laugh when they battered Arsenal 3-1. And who knows – you could see West Brom challenging for Europa League in the next few years, especially with a lot of talent and potential in their squad. With the Likes of James McClean, Hal Robson-Kanu, Matts Phillips, and Nacer Chadli supporting Rondon up front, good things are definitely going to come for the Baggies.
Let us know what you think in the comments!