The Baggies were always going to make changes to the team which faced Manchester City because the manager, Roberto Di Matteo, rightly considers the Premier League to be the priority competition. 

That he made ten changes, sweeping you might say, boded an unease that was not justified.

The ‘reserves’ he brought in not only stood up to the task but largely outplayed a possibly more accomplished side – in terms of world-class talent, the strength of the players on the bench, and the sheer cost that it took to assemble them. 

The 4-1-4-1 formation saw Nicky Shorey retaining his place after the Blues game, Graham Dorrans making a start after coming on at half-time on Saturday, with Steven Reid in the Mulumbu role, and Simon Cox running through from midfield (which he did rather well). 

Of the team that started against Leyton Orient, Abdoulaye Meite replaced Barnett (now on loan at Norwich), and Sam Mantom and Luke Moore were replaced. 

Somen Tchoyi made his first start of the season, and his ability and pace were soon evident, and he regularly took on and beat the young 19-year old Vidal, who was eventually booked after 33 minutes, after one foul too many.

Tchoyi, was unlucky not to score early on, with his shot curling just past the right hand post, and he continued to be a nuisance down the left flank. 

Dorrans seemed back to his best, prompting many an Albion attack, with Shay Given proving immense in the City goal, saving well from Bednar, and then a fine double save from Barnes and then Tchoyi.  

Dorrans linked well with the fast running from a deep position of Cox – for many the man of the match. 

The strength in depth of the squad was pleasing, with Zuiverloon and Cox taking their goals well and opening their seasons accounts, and City were well beaten by the end. 

So, regardless of result, which was excellent, the outstanding feature of the night was the way we played and the players who performed so well. It bodes well for the future, with strength in depth now being evident for the first time. 

Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association. 

Topics:
#West Bromwich Albion
#Football
#Graham Dorrans
#Nicky Shorey
#Premier League