How typical that after a brighter spell in the second half, a sloppily conceded late free kick – and booking – by Paulo Da Silva should lead to an Albion goal, Odemwing making up for an dreadful first half miss.
And how typical that unlike when we go one up – nervously hanging on to the lead – Albion simply pressed on in hopes of a second.
There was a late flurry from Sunderland, but two woefully taken corners helped to ensure that we still couldn’t create another proper chance, Bent’s poor first touch having earlier let him down badly when he should have scored
At half time, I said Steve Bruce was probably reasonably happy to go in with the game all square, and that there had been precious little else to please him.
Sunderland’s failure to demonstrate greater class, sharpness and punch, when faced with a newly promoted side widely expected to struggle all season, had been alarming. And frankly it got worse in the second half, apart from the short spell immediately before Albion’s winner when we were on top.
The fact is that we never once looked like scoring from start top finish. It was, all things considered, an appalling performance against relegation favourites who always seemed brighter and more composed.
Pete Sixsmith’s restrained seven-word verdict – see Sixer’s Sevens – might easily have included a word he used in a separate text message: useless.
West Brom couldn’t have hoped for a simpler test after that day-one hammering at Chelsea. We should have seen it as the best possible chance of an early away win, and utterly fluffed it.
With an immensely difficult run coming up, including games against Man City, Arsenal and Liverpool, a massive improvement is absolutely necessary. Otherwise, it will be us looking up from the relegation zone come the autumn.