Strange Times Down The Baggies
It has been a while since I last blogged. I feel a little guilty and neglectful. Thing is, football blogging tends to be a negative thing. A chance to have a moan or raise concerns. Hence my inactivity. Its going oh so well. I don't want to jinx things by talking positively in blogs all the time. The old Semper Te Fallant feeling that Baggies have is never far under the surface.
These are fantastic times yet also a little strange. We Baggies have built up a bit of a complex down the years about how we are perceived in the media. It has irritated us that we have rarely received enough praise for our achievements over the last few years. Fair enough, it is only relative success but given the financial constraints, our story is remarkable.
We have seen sides like Stoke and Fulham given praise for their mid table finishes given their size. Yet their budgets are vastly bigger than ours. Stoke are one of the highest net spenders over the last 5 years yet Pulis is lauded in the press as some miracle worker.
Despite our squad being so good on paper before the start of the season, we were still shoe ins to go down with a large portion of the London press and SKY pundits. I found that very irritating and such a lazy view.
Even after a few games in, there was still a lack of warm praise coming our way despite the start. Whenever we got a positive result, reporting was based on the other teams woes rather than our own success.
However, this has changed. Suddenly people are waking up to the fact that we are actually, a very decent team. A team put together skilfully and frugally, a team that is challenging at the top end of the table playing some attractive football as we go.
It is now lovely to hear the pundits, for the first time since the seventies, piling praise on us. Gary Neville especially has been gushing in his praise. You would think he would be a bitter Manc given that he finished his career on his 'arris in front of the Smethwick End. But no, we are his favourite side this season. How good is that to hear.
Even when we don't play particularly well, like on Monday, reporters are still pouring praise on us. We are suddenly flavour of the month.
My yearning for recognition might now come and bite us on the bum however. As we please more neutrals and pundits, we attract more attention. More attention means more scouts, more scouts, well, you can guess the rest.
But for now, I will bask in the warmth of feeling coming our way. Little old Albion, media darlings. Who would have thought it eh?