So what am I to make of the decision by Baggies coach Alan Irvine to make ten - yes ten - changes to the starting line-up for last night's Capital Cup 4th round tie against Bournemouth? Irvine, like his predecessors, had insisted that he would take the knockouts seriously. And just like them, his starting XI told a different story.
Sure, there was plenty of expensive flesh on display. £10 million record signing Brown Ideye lined up alongside £6 million man Victor Anichebe, and there were rare outings for some of the other high profile summer signings, notably Jason Davidson and Sebastian Blanco. Liam O'Neill, a promising youngster knocking on the door of the first team got a game.
Bournemouth rang the changes too - just like the Baggies, there were 10 fresh starters compared to the side which thrashed Birmingham City 8-0.
I seem to remember we played in a competition like this years ago, when teams were full of the not quite fit, the not quite good enough, and the promising kids. It was called the Central League. In effect, their reserves beat our reserves.
This, in the last 16 of a competition that leads to a Wembley final and European qualification.
We all know the sub-text here don't we? Never mind the glory of a never to be forgotten day out. The bean counters will tell you that this amounts to nothing compared to the need - in Albion's case - to stay in the all consuming, money mad Premier League; or the desire - in Bournemouth's case - to get there.
I'm not stupid. I understand that once you've started mainlining TV income, only more will do. Enough is never enough. And fans who complain today about the loss of a League Cup campaign, will be calling for the manager's head tomorrow if the club is embroiled in a relegation struggle.
It's a tough balancing act - but surely the current situation is unsustainable. Sponsors and fans (2,000 Baggies supporters made the long trip to the South Coast last night) are simply being taken for mugs.
In the past, I've clung to the idea that my club has a cup fighting tradition (5 FA Cup wins, numerous semi finals). Sadly, while this is a tradition that means plenty to the fans, it amounts to a big fat zero to the people who run the club.
Seriously, if they can't be bothered, why should I? In future, I'm not sure I will.
Incidentally, I'm not knocking any of the 11 players who started last night. They'll have done their best - and I congratulate Bournemouth on their victory.
Defeat is part and parcel of football - what hurts is losing when you feel you haven't done everything you can to win.