WBA 1 - 3 Forest
08/01/10 19:45 Category: Championship
This season just gets better and better. This was supposed to be one of the toughest away trips of the season but we turned it into a stroll. We have the capabilities within this squad to answer any questions posed by anyone in this league. More importantly, we have a manager capable of getting the best from the squad. The way we’re playing, there’s no limit to how much we can achieve this season.
If Di Matteo thought that our lone striker formation indicated a defensive attitude to the game, then he was sadly mistaken. His team had no answer to the desire, pace and movement of our midfield and Gunter raiding down the right hand side. Anyone watching our team knows that the last thing we are is defensive with the number of options we possess. In the end, we were just too good for them.
This was our standard line-up against the tougher teams, this sees Moussi and McKenna marshal the midfield, allowing Cohen, Anderson and Majewski to cause havoc on the break, ably supported by the full backs to provide the width. Blackstock holds everything together with his work rate, hold-up and inter-play.
It took ten minutes for us to get going after a scrappy opening, but once we found our passing range there was no stopping us. Majewski corner’s found Blackstock on the volley to score with ease, off the post.
The hosts very rarely troubled us with Moussi and McKenna bossing the midfield. Every 50-50 was won by a red shirt, with the talent to attack, with quality, on the break. Gunter raided down the right, got to the bye-line but Majewski couldn’t convert the pull back – no matter, their time would come.
We continued to make West Brom look just as average after the break. They couldn’t handle our midfield and we stifled any intentions they had of playing football. The dominance of our midfield was evident with the two quick-fire goals that killed off the game.
No one apart from Moussi was bothered about their aimless clearance, Cohen nicked the ball away and into Gunter’s path. He continued into the area and his perfect cross found Majewski past the far post to score with an unbelievable left foot volley in off the bar. Unstoppable.
We continued in the same pattern and rounded things off with as good a team goal as you’ll see. A number of first time passes down the right hand side resulted in Cohen cutting inside onto his left foot and finding the bottom corner. A sign of the confidence that’s running through the side and it’s hard to imagine any recent Forest side scoring a goal of that quality.
Three goals ahead, we handed them a consolation goal. Morgan should have cleaned up either man or ball on the half-way line but a neat through ball and calm finish finally saw Camp beaten. Once Moussi had tired himself out, we lacked that dominating presence in midfield until Perch’s late appearance added some extra steel to the midfield to see us over the finishing line.
Camp cruised through the game, handling everything that West Brom could manage. Set pieces and crosses were handled with ease, their late rally resulting in decent saves from Olsson and Miller.
Gunter nullified the supposed threat of Thomas down the left and continued to show his obvious qualities at the other end. The perfect cross for Raddy’s goal was only one of a number of dangerous runs forward. Shorey didn’t have the same impact going forward but he’s there to defend and did that job comfortably.
Centre backs Wilson and Morgan continue to go from strength to strength. One lapse cost us their goal but dominant throughout despite all the changes they made.
The game was won in midfield with everyone contributing. McKenna and Moussi were everywhere, never letting Albion settle. It was noticeable that Moussi’s departure led to a drop in the work-rate and allowed them more time on the ball. Things improved when Perch joined in for the closing stages to increase the number of challenges.
Anderson worked tirelessly at both ends and was really struggling in the latter stages. Looked lively with the ball and seems to be developing a more direct style now and taking men on. Should have earned the side a penalty after a blatant barge into his back. Cohen’s form has dipped in the past couple of games but he was looking back to his best here and looking much sharper. Rounded off a fantastic evenings work with a composed low finish for his first of the season.
This formation is reliant on MOTM Majewski’s movement, ability to find space and supporting Blackstock / tracking back when required. On this form, there’s no stopping him. Besides the obvious attacking threat his possesses, he still finds time to get back and do his share of defensive work. A finish out of this world for the second but one that he’s clearly capable of.
Blackstock hassled their defence throughout, never let them settle and forced them into numerous errors. Once the ball is under control, has the ability to make the most of it. On the rare occasions he gave the ball away, he’s always tracking back to make amends. A quality finish for the opener despite the cynical shirt pulling against him.
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