West Bromwich Albion 1 - Middlesbrough 1

Date: Saturday 6th November 2021 
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
WBA:
5.0
(3-4-2-1) Johnstone 6.4, Kipré 6.1, Clarke 5.5 (Bartley, 19 4.9), Townsend 6.6, Furlong 4.9, Molumby 6.4, Snodgrass 4.8, Reach 4.8, Diangana 5.6, Grant 4.6, Robinson 4.0 (Hugill, 45 3.7)
Unused subs: Button, Ajayi, Phillips, Gardner-Hickman, Ingram
Manager: Valérien Ismaël  3.8
Middlesbrough:
4.5
Scorers: Diangana (65)
Referee: Matt Donohue 3.6
Attendance: 22,596   Home Fans 5.5   Away Fans 5.8
Submit your ratings for this game by clicking here: Ratings submitted so far: 14

Brendan Clegg:

Trying to keep a lid on it, calm down and have some perspective but I’m livid about that game.

The lineup was full of contradictions and, whatever, but the thing that annoyed me so much was that we were never going to change the system no matter what happened. Everyone in the ground knew it. The opposition knew it. Our players knew it.

I can skim over the first half where we tried to pass it but were low on quality or options in the right places due to the formation and didn’t create anything but conceded a cheap goal where they were lining up to score. Things don’t work, fair enough.

But in the second half we were desperate for a system change. Why not play Robinson up front with Hugill and take Reach off? Why not get Phillips on over on the right and put Grady as an out and out left winger?

I know we have a thin squad but our biggest limiter is we’ve played every minute of every game 3-4-3. It’s a handicap being this rigid.

Our goal was lucky as we didn’t create anything. A great finish but it’s not like there was relentless pressure and, as we’ve seen already, the league is so poor it is frightening.

It just feels to me like we’ve blown automatic promotion already. I think we’ve got a blagger of a manager. Out of his depth. A fraud. I still put some blame on the owners for not supporting him by finding a proper striker but - repeating again - not adjusting the system in this many games no matter what’s happening is indefensible. Arrogant and amateur rubbish. I think we’re 3rd despite of not because of him.

I don’t think we’re better than we are or have a divine right to get promotion - but we have got a massive budget advantage and we are under achieving based upon that. We’re under achieving and that’s a big worry.

  • SJ - 6 Saved a point. Like how he’s keeping the ball now.
  • Kipre - 7 Can’t knock him to much. Solid and good use of the ball.
  • Clarke - 5 Unlucky.
  • Townsend - 6 A stats mad manager puts him in a back 3 with his attacking numbers as they are. Why knowingly play him out of position when we didn’t need to? Not great for the goal but relentlessly positive.
  • Furlong - 5 If you’re picking players on the last game TGH plays. He did okay but we take the easy option of hitting him in the air or playing for throws.
  • Mulumby - 7 Was everywhere and is an old fashioned all-rounder. I think he’s better than Mowatt overall.
  • Snodgrass - 5 The number of games was a big ask. Gave away too many fouls and set pieces were disappointing.
  • Reach - 4 Played well on Wednesday but was miles off it here although you can’t fault his effort.
  • Diagana - 6 Good goal but in this system gets the ball too deep and in the wrong place. Play him wide left.
  • Robinson- 4 Passing was terrible but I’d have kept him on in a different system. At least showed for it.
  • Grant - 4 Did okay on the odd occasion but very limited.
  • Bartley - 6 Got caught wrong side a couple of times but otherwise okay.
  • Hugill - 4 Don’t think he contributed much or looked like scoring.