We are seven games into the league season and the top half of the Premier League is starting to get a fairly familiar look, with Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd, Arsenal and Tottenham all among the table’s top seven places. The queston who will win the premier league? Is still an open one. Among these big clubs, however Everton have burst into the third place, and close behind them, West Bromwich Albion at fourth place.
Most of the talk so far has centered on Everton’s season opening, but West Bromwich is up there, on the same points as Everton.
A common opinion about West Brom has been that they were too good for the Championship, but not good enough for the Premier League. In the last 13 seasons, the club has moved up and down seven times, and gone to the playoffs in two more. Now they play for the third consecutive season in the Premier League.
What is a realistic league position for West Brom? That they would finish at one of the five top spots is probably out of the question, perhaps one of the places between 6-8. It would then mean that West Brom next season could play European Football. Imagine Champions League betting between West Brom and Real Madrid, what would be the odds on that game?
The main reason for the success of West Brom in short, is that is a well-run English club, run by a long-term perspective in mind, without incurring additional costs beyond the club regardless of the results could handle.
West Brom have been defensively more solid this season than last, but also has more offensive options, with players like Shane Long, Peter Odemwingie and Romelu Lukaku available.
The contrast with Aston Villa, one of West Brake main rivals in football in the Midlands, is clear. For while West Brom are on the steady rise, Aston Villa tried spending to catch up with other Champions League rivals, but failed, and the savings package as Randy Lerner then forced the club has led to a greatly weakened squad. Aston Villa won the European Cup in 1982, and has tried to regain a corresponding status more or less ever since.
Status does not transform in a day or a season, it’s a longer process than that, and Aston Villa remains the biggest club in the region. They have the biggest stadium, most fans and a more storied history. But football is played in the present and on the football field, West Brom will be the best club in the Midlands for the foreseeable future.