Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Can Pulis Provide Craft to Go with West Brom's Graft?

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Can Pulis Provide Craft to Go with West Brom's Graft?

Article excerpt

IT is fair to say the 2015-16 season thus far has been something of a mixed bag for West Brom.

Just what does the new year hold in store for the team, in terms of results and style of play, many Baggies fans are wondering? As you would expect with any Tony Pulis-led side, West Brom have become exceptionally difficult to beat during the first half of the campaign.

Goals at the other end of the field, on the other hand, are something of a problem and one of the Premier's League's lowest goal-getters must sharpen their scoring claws to ensure they are not dragged into a relegation scrap during the coming months.

Boss Pulis threw caution to the wind by fielding two forwards in the curtain-raiser against Manchester City. It backfired badly as City's slick forward line overran Albion in a comfortable 3-0 win at The Hawthorns.

That was the last time Pulis started with two up top. He quickly went back into his defensive shell and while there was criticism from sections of the Albion support over their team's ultra-cautious approach, it has achieved the desired results - especially on the road.

One-nil wins at Stoke and Aston Villa were followed by similar scorelines against Sunderland (home) and Norwich (away again).

It continued to be a mixed bag.

The shot-shy Baggies registered only two efforts on goal as they capitulated at Crystal Palace in what was their worst display of the season.

But they then beat Arsenal and momentarily ended the Jurgen Klopp feelgood factor at Anfield by grabbing a 2-2 draw, before losing at home to Bournemouth and then away to Swansea.

So what happens next? Well, Albion fans await with interest developments over striker Saido Berahino, who has not been the same player since the summer Tottenham transfer saga.

Most Baggies supporters are resigned to last season's top-scorer leaving and many would not be too upset by Berahino's departure, given Pulis' team have proved they can pick up points without him. …

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