The Times described it as “hapless tinkering”, but I think Krychowiak had some harsher words to describe the decision to taken him off after an hour of the game against Leicester, and there were certainly a few coarser descriptions from fans near me in the Birmingham Road End.
It was only one moment in the game but, while the Baggies were already 2-1 down at that point, the team seemed to give up after the Pole’s withdrawal – he had put a few passes astray, but he had the only spark in a midfield that is devoid of creativity.
As to whether Pardew should stay or go, I’m not sure it will make too much different come the end of the season, but sacking him will appease the fans somewhat and perhaps remove one toxin from the club. It would seem pointless to appoint someone from outside the club, so I would not be unhappy to see Darren Moore given the reins until the end of the season if he is willing to take it on. The fans won’t get on his back and it would at least be a different voice from someone who has the best interests of the club at heart. Much as Pardew’s words say all the right things, he has lost the trust of the fans and looks to be losing the respect of the players.
I’m not sure the Great Escape comparison is valid any more, but for the record, game 30 shocked all Baggies fans as they went to Charlton and won 4-1 with Robert Earnshaw grabbing a hat trick. That moved them level on points with Southampton, although the Saints had a game in hand.
After that match the table stood as follows:
|Premier League Relegation Battle – 19th March 2005|
Here are the full season by season comparisons.
|Comparison of Equivalent Fixtures^|
|2016/2017 Results||Leicester City (H)||L||0-1|
|AFC Bournemouth (A)||L||0-1|
|2004/2005||19/03/2005||Charlton Athletic (A)||W||4-1||Horsfield, Earnshaw (3)|
|2005/2006||18/03/2006||Manchester United (H)||L||1-2||Ellington|
|2008/2009||21/03/2009||Bolton Wanderers (H)||D||1-1||Shittu (o.g.)|
|2010/2011||19/03/2011||Arsenal (H)||D||2-2||Reid, Odemwingie|
|2011/2012||25/03/2012||Newcastle United (H)||L||1-3||Long|
|2012/2013||16/03/2013||Stoke City (A)||D||0-0|
|2013/2014||22/03/2014||Hull City (A)||L||0-2|
|2014/2015||21/03/2015||Manchester City (A)||L||0-3|
|2015/2016||19/03/2016||Norwich City (H)||L||0-1|
|2016/2017||01/04/2017||Manchester United (A)||D||0-0|
|2017/2018||10/03/2018||Leicester City (H)||L||1-4||Rondón|
|2002/2003||22/03/2003||Birmingham City (A)||L||0-1|
|2005/2006||27/03/2006||Tottenham Hotspur (A)||L||1-2||Davies|
|2008/2009||04/04/2009||Stoke City (H)||L||0-2|
|2010/2011||02/04/2011||Liverpool (H)||W||2-1||Brunt (2 pens)|
|2012/2013||30/03/2013||West Ham United (A)||L||1-3||Dorrans (pen)|
|2013/2014||29/03/2014||Cardiff City (H)||D||3-3||Amalfitano, Dorrans, Thievy|
|2014/2015||04/04/2015||Queen’s Park Rangers (H)||L||1-4||Anichebe|
|2017/2018||17/03/2018||AFC Bournemouth (A)|
* Positions are recorded as Albion’s position in the Premier League table after all fixtures for that day have been completed.
^ Fixtures against promoted clubs are compared against fixtures against the relegated clubs from last season with the club finishing 1st in the Championship compared against the club finishing 18th in the Premier League, 2nd compared with 19th and the play-off winners compared against the club who finished bottom.