By Ian Hart
When interviewed last week Albion boss Graham Potter stated the club may not do any significant business in the January window.
“At Swansea we lost players, and actually got better as a squad” he told the local media.
Hopefully a smokescreen, because this is Sussex and not South Wales, this is the Premier League and not the Championship and it's obvious that despite some encouraging performances, this Albion squad needs strengthening.
An interesting theory put forward by a very good friend earlier in the week is that Graham Potter is just grateful for Tony Bloom giving him the opportunity to manage at the highest level, and will basically not be constantly haranguing his chairman for transfer funds.
Great mate, interesting theory, but ultimately wide of the mark.
If Graham Potter had that outlook, he wouldn’t be a top flight manager for very long, the current Albion side play some decent football, unfortunately at times they also play some pretty dire stuff, that’s football, but ultimately the attractive stuff will only outweigh the dross is by developing the squad.
The Albion need another quality striking option, obviously they are a hard to find and don’t come cheap but ultimately it’s a £20-30 million January gamble that hopefully results in excess of a £150 million windfall in the summer.
Personally maybe proven is a big ask, and comes at an even higher premium than previously stated, therefore does Tony Bloom take a gamble?
For me Jarrod Bowen of Hull City, ticks all the boxes, 23 years old, Championship striker, 122 games for the Tigers, 52 goals, 16 goals this season in 27 appearances for, with all due respect, for an average side.
He won’t come cheap, as clearly Hull City know the value of their asset but ultimately, he’s a great fit with the Albion’s style of play, so watch this space.
Before that, the Albion embark on a four match sequence which see them take on Villa at home, travel to Bournemouth and West Ham, before finally entertaining Watford at the start of February.
Famous last words, but I will stand corrected, but I cannot recall a point at any time the Albion have been in the Premier League where the Albion take on four consecutive opponents who are all below them in the table.
Three points off the drop, with 16 games to play, you don’t need to be Carol Vorderman to work out that the next four games represent 25 per cent of the remainder of the season.
And whilst every game is important, these next four games, where the Albion have to look at the very least a seven point haul, are key to the outcome of the season.
Whilst I had the upmost respect for Chris Hughton, in the main Graham Potter has turned things round, even allowing for the odd blip, we are all watching the Albion with a smile back on our faces.
There no such thing as an easy game in the Premier League, but by the time I write next week’s column, Villa and Bournemouth will have been played, I will very surprised, and even a tad worried, if the Albion haven’t got another 4 points on the board.
I’ve got to love my daughter Amy when it comes to football. After a New Year away with legendary Stakim family from Lancing, she came back supporting Celtic. (In addition to the Albion obviously)
She reiterated this on her Instagram, and it wasn’t long before she was asked about the recent defeat to Rangers. “Doesn’t really affect me” she replied “That was on the Sunday and I didn’t start supporting them until the Tuesday.”....If only it were that easy!