West Bromwich Albion have a number of issues as they reach the final 14 games of the Championship season. Steve Bruce must address them.
With the Baggies floundering under Valerien Ismael and only three victories in 14 games. The former Aston Villa and Newcastle boss was brought in for immediate results as manager. However, while Bruce’s arrival transformed the atmosphere around the club, the results in his first game as manager did not.
West Brom were heavily hampered by a straight red for Jake Livermore in the first half. As they were comprehensively thrashed 2-0 by Sheffield United, another of Bruce’s old clubs.
With 30 games played so far this season. They have dropped out of the playoff spots for the very first time and into ninth place in the table.
Steve Bruce needs to sort out West Brom Fast
While their offensive, which has only scored 34 goals so far. Is a major issue, it originates from a lack of structure and freedom in center. In his first game, Bruce tried to remedy this by switching to a 4-3-3 formation instead of Ismael’s 3-4-3. Employing dual 8’s on either side of a deep-lying playmaker to try to capitalise on their greater possession.
However, because of the red card, the experiment was cut short this time. Although there were still good and negative indicators after 39 minutes of operation.
With his defensive awareness inadequate and his incisive passing unable to shine so far away from the opponent’s goal. Mowatt struggled to have an impact on the game in his new deeper spot.
Reach did a good job offensively, keeping Oliver Norwood busy the whole game. But off the ball, the natural winger looked entirely out of place in the centre of the field.
Ismael wanted to develop his wingers. But Bruce will need to find a midfield combination that can feed the wingers and striker.
Because of Livermore’s suspension, Jayson Molumby will get his shot in the next game, but there is plenty of room for a more attack-minded player like teenager Quevin Castro to come and make an impression.
Whether Steve Bruce is willing to take that chance at this juncture in the season is unclear, but there is a puzzle to be solved in midfield at the Hawthorns, and the parts aren’t quite fitting right now.
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