New Premiership member, West Bromwich Albion, took 3 points from Middlesbrough this afternoon with Jonas Olsson’s goal in the 53rd minute. The 1-0 victory was the Baggies first away Premiership triumph in 2008. The club sits in 10th place in the table above the likes of Everton, Portsmouth, and Tottenham.
Is West Brom a serious threat in the Premiership? Let’s take a closer look at the Baggies starting keeper and back four from today’s match.
Goalkeeper: Scott Carson: The 23-year old Englishman spent the last several seasons with Liverpool. He was shipped out on loan by the club most recently with Charlton Athletic (2006-2007) and Aston Villa (2007-2008). He has also been capped on the international stage having seen game action twice last year. Granted he was culpable for England’s pathetic loss at home to Croatia, but the big-match action is crucial to any player’s development. With Carson in net, West Brom has an experienced keeper who has been through more than one Premiership season.
Right Back: Gianni Zuiverloon: The 21-year old Dutch defender helped his country compete in this summer’s Olympics. He signed a multi-year deal with West Brom this summer after playing for Dutch side SC Heerenveen (2006-2008). He has not seen much Premiership action thus far, but today he kept the talented Stewart Downing under control.
Centre Back: Ryan Donk: Another Dutch defender given an opportunity to impress. The 22-year old is on loan from Dutch outfit AZ. His header in the 36th minute was all but in until Boro’s Ross Turnbull made a tremendous save.
Centre Back: Jonas Olsson: The 25-year old Swedish defender spent last season in… If you guessed the Netherlands, you are correct! Signed from Dutch side N.E.C. as the transfer window came to an end, Olsson scored the game winner and held his own against the formidable Middlesbrough attack.
Left Back: Paul Robinson: The savvy 29-year old has been with the club since 2003 after arriving from Watford. He can move into the centre of defense when needed, but is best served on the left.
Verdict: The Baggies need to find the right formula of youth (speed) and experience (match awareness) along the backline so that Carson can remain comfortable in goal. If West Brom can find the right balance, the club should continue to surprise in the Premiership.