With West Bromwich Albion’s turn in form and results since the appointment of Darren Moore as caretaker manager, last weekend’s victory over Tottenham Hotspur keeping our survival hopes alive was already greatly received by those with a Baggie persuasion.
The continuing form and renewed sense of battle in the side has also been recognised by pundits and commentators alike, with the BBC’s Garth Crooks the latest to throw his weight behind praising a side he’s often denigrated, rightly, this season.
In fact Crooks’ particular acknowledgement in his regular Team of the Week feature for Aunty Beeb sees him pick out three players in particular for his words of wisdom.
In a starting eleven feature that more often than not finds itself dominated by the Premier League top six as he gushes praise in a simple direction, this week’s feature includes Ben Foster, Craig Dawson and Ahmed Hegazi.
Team of the week should be West Brom first eleven.
— what a come back from SAF???????????????? (@ossylo) May 7, 2018
Ben Foster (WBA)
Craig Dawson (WBA), Mathias Jorgensen (Huddersfield), Ahmed Hegazi (WBA), Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea)
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Palace), Mark Noble (West Ham), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
Wilfried Zaha (Palace), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal), Nathan Redmond (Southampton)
With fans having their own individual praise for both Moore and players in the last few weeks, here’s what Crooks had to say about our trio.
“The way Ben Foster is playing at the moment he could make my Team of the Season. The West Bromwich Albion player has been in blistering form under caretaker manager Darren Moore.”
Crooks goes on to say that he hasn’t ‘seen anything quite like this’ in the Premier League before as it pertains to the way that both Foster and Moore seem to have been in sync, working their own little miracles in their own little way – and it’s no understatement to point out how key Foster has been in recent times.
Although he’s talking about Foster, it doesn’t escape his mind that if Moore keeps us up he has to be nailed on for the job as well as the freedom of West Brom and you don’t to talk to many fans to know that they believe Moore should already have been appointed.
Hard to disagree with that sentiment given our performances under him so far.
Foster still the best English goalkeeper.
— Dave Neale (@baggiedave70) May 7, 2018
— Jason Smith (@Big_Jay1970) May 5, 2018
“Regardless of whether West Brom stay in the Premier League, Craig Dawson must win their player of the season award. He has been magnificent. If he’s not putting his body on the line for his team he is in the opposition’s penalty area looking to affect the game.”
Dawson was, of course, the man challenging in Spurs’ penalty box as stoppage time ticked by and it was his efforts that Jake Livermore capitalised on when finding the back of the net to give us the unlikely victory.
Dawson is one of the most underrated players in PL imo. His consistently good performances go seemingly unnoticed, very reliable ????
— Stefan (@StefanHatton) August 20, 2017
An England call up would be well deserved! Happy birthday..please stay if we are relegated.
— tang (@bigginge14) May 6, 2018
Happy Birthday Daws, fantastic as always yesterday
— Steven (@borley_steven) May 6, 2018
Addressing our Egyptian, Crooks calls relegation battles an ‘instant cure’ for constipation where nerves are shredded and all that goes through your head is making that telling mistake that ends up costing your side even further.
This is why Hegazi gets his nod.
“That is why I was so impressed with Ahmed Hegazi against Tottenham. He battled relentlessly and kept Harry Kane and Dele Alli at bay, which is no mean feat. The gods appear to be with West Brom at the moment – I bet they’re Egyptian.”
World class Hegazi ????????????????????????????????????????
— Lee Burrows (@mancats71) May 7, 2018
— hamdy edrees (@hamdy_edrees) May 8, 2018
You were magnificent big man!
— Jeffrey Morris (@JeffreyMorris3) May 6, 2018
With Dawson’s 16 clearances against Spurs, no other player has made more in a single game this season. Hegazi also made more blocks than any other player in a single game – taking his personal tally to 35 for the campaign – eleven more than his nearest contender in that stat in the team.
By the end of tonight’s fixtures we’ll know if our most recent efforts have counted for anything, but amongst the fan base, it has counted for a hell of a lot. We just have to hope the late efforts of the players are now a reward for us all.
If not, these three can hold their heads up high for their spirit and attitude especially in recent times.