Life under Tony Pulis has not be all that pleasurable for West Brom fans as of late, actually it hasn’t been at all. It is now nine games without a win in the Premier League, that being the current longest streak in the division and this afternoon they will try to avoid it being a not so perfect ten.
The problem for them though is the fact that they face defending Premier League champions Chelsea this afternoon and Antonio Conte will have very happy memories of this ground indeed as it was here that the Blues won the league title last season.
It was Michy Batshuyai’s late goal that saw Chelsea get over the line and kickstart wild celebrations as we witnessed culmination of their efforts that season. They however have not had things their own way this season with the West London side sitting just fourth in the table right now.
Their chances of defending the Premier League title look slim with them sitting nine points behind Manchester City at present. It could however have been a lot worse had they not beaten Manchester United before the international break.
Alvaro Morata showed just why Chelsea spent so much money on him in the Summer and if anything proved that perhaps that they did not miss out on the signature of Romelu Lukaku after all. It was the Spanish international’s second half header which was the difference as Jose Mourinho had a Stamford Bridge return to forget.
Credit must also go to Cesar Azpilicueta who provided his fifth assist of the season for Morata after his inch perfect cross found the head of his teammate for both club and country. This combination has provided the most assisted goals in the Premier League this season with five.
What West Brom would give right now to have a marksman of their own, they have not won since the second weekend of the season and since then it has been a record of four draws and five defeats for The Baggies. All of a sudden there are grumblings of discontent among the fans.
Tony Pulis is usually the man who will get you the no frills 40 points, but you have to wonder if that will be the case this season as their slide down the table continues. With 10 points from 11 matches that is less than a point per game on average and ultimately that would see them fail to hit the magic marker should this ratio continue to the end of the campaign.
Not only that but there has been a marked difference to the way they were playing last season. 12 months ago they were a lot easier on the eye with the likes of Nacer Chadli and Matt Phillips making sizeable contributions but this time around it has been much more of a different story.
In the nine games that they have failed to win they have scored seven while conceding 14. That means for every goal they score they concede two. You don’t have to be the biggest fan of maths to know that it is a record that is unsustainable in the long term.
Last time out before the international break they did not even score one as they returned from Huddersfield empty handed, to add more salt in the wounds they failed to take advantage of the fact that they had numerical on pitch supremacy for the last half hour or so.
How can West Brom stop the rot, quite simply they need to be scoring two goals for every one they conceded instead of what they are currently doing. Unfortunately for them I cannot see them getting any joy this afternoon as Chelsea come away with all three points.
Here is what social media thinks will happen – you can still vote on the outcome
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) November 17, 2017