Have we been here before?
Last season Albion signed unknown Manchester United youngster Kieran Richardson on loan until the end of the season. No-one could ever have imagined the impact he had for Albion turning in some brilliant displays and scoring some important goals helping to keep Albion in the league and earn him a place on England’s tour to America.
Every Baggies fan was hoping to retain the services of Richardson, Robson describing him as his ‘bonus ball’ if he could get him back on loan or even better sign him permanently.
The summer dragged on and on with no answers from Robson, Richardson or Alex Ferguson. Robson knew what an important part Richardson was to the team and you would hope that other targets were being looked at just in case Ferguson did not want to let him go.
We were into August before Manchester United told Richardson that he was going to get opportunities this season. This left Albion with no-one to fill the void left by him in the team. Albion were out of time and had no other targets to fill the position.
Truth is Albion should have told United to give them a straight answer, they had seen him playing half a season with West Brom and appearing for England. Robson had been giving Ferguson a report each week on how he was performing. Surely after the start of pre-season we should have been given an answer allowing us to move on.
Albion’s soft approach with United cost us the chance to move on with other targets and fill the void in time for the start of the season.
Robson was left having to the fill this void with completely different types of players who did not carry the same kind of threat as Richardson.