We’re delighted to welcome former Premier League referee Keith Hackett as our exclusive West Brom columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at The Hawthorns…
Keith Hackett says it was the correct call not to abandon Monday night’s Black Country derby clash between West Brom and Wolves.
The heavens opened at The Hawthorns during the 1-1 draw between the Midlands rivals leading to complete chaos on the pitch as both sides battled to adapt to the treacherous conditions.
The ball could be seen slowing down somewhat in large puddles as a passing game become impossible to incorporate, but former Premier League referee Hackett said the game deserved to continue in spite of the worsening circumstances.
“The great thing is people might say ‘well why wasn’t it called off’, Hackett told West Brom News.
“The reality is that the players and the referee have actually run into it and by that I mean the pitch deterioration is slow, the players get used to the changing playing surfaces and the referee does.
“I think because there was a lot of honest endeavour that helped the referee enormously, and Mike Dean is a referee that, when he has a chance, will play an advantage.
“I thought he had a good game and it was a really good watch.”
Tough task for all
The conditions certainly didn’t help us in our quest for three points and Premier League survival.
Matheus Pereira was quieter than he has been in previous weeks and perhaps that has something to do with the weather that made it almost impossible to play a normal game.
Players were having to adapt with the destination of the ball often unknown when leaving the sender’s boot.
Passes were going astray all over the field and possession was often lost cheaply.
Should the game have been abandoned? Unless the players and staff were seriously complaining then we can have no qualms, it was the same for both teams.
The damage to our Premier League campaign was done a long time ago and harbouring on about pitch problems isn’t going to save our season.
The one saving grace was ensuring we went unbeaten in two games against the Dingles this season.
That’s sure to leave them with a bitter taste in their mouth.
In other West Brom news, ‘Imperative’ – Chris Lepkowski urges club to cash in on ‘Embarrassing’ Albion ace.