West Bromwich Albion 0 - Preston North End 2

Date: Wednesday 26th January 2022 
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Button 4.1, Kipré 3.5 (Gardner-Hickman, 45 3.6), Bartley 2.9, Townsend 3.6, Furlong 3.2, Livermore 3.5 (Molumby, 73 2.6), Mowatt 2.8, Reach 2.7, Phillips 3.9 (Robinson, 56 3.4), Grant 3.2, Diangana 3.7
Unused subs: Palmer, Clarke, Faal, Fellows
Manager: Valérien Ismaël  1.6
Iversen, van den Berg, Bauer, Hughes, Potts, Whiteman, Cunningham, Ledson (McCann, 83), Browne, Riis Jakobsen (Archer, 64), Evans (Maguire, 73)
Unused subs: Ripley, Lindsay, Rafferty, Sinclair
Scorers: Riis Jakobsen (41), Archer (76)
Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire) 5.1
Attendance: 20,776   Home Fans 3.5   Away Fans 6.5
Submit your ratings for this game by clicking here: Ratings submitted so far: 16

Brendan Clegg:

That’s surely it? Totally outplayed by a very poor Preston team in the poorest Championship in memory. Can’t recall a shot on target. No expected goals to go with our now standard no expected entertainment.

Dike’s injury is nobody’s fault but the tactics and selections are 100% on the manager. We know Phillips through the middle doesn’t work so try something different. Stop forcing players to fit in the same rigid predictable system. What was Reach going on the team? Where are Hugill and Zohore if we are paying their wages?

I don’t care about Johnstone if he won’t sign a contract - we might as well get rid now and save on the wages. He won’t be a starter at a bigger club so more fool him, whatever reason for his absence tonight.

First half was the usual hoof and hope with nothing coming off. Preston had us sussed - overload centre midfield and clip the ball in behind our wide centre backs. Kipre got done loads by the ball in behind and the best Townsend can do is concede throw-ins. They totally deserved to go in one nil up.

The sub at half-time was a total waste. Kipre had been crap but it was the system that was the problem. I’d have got Robbo on for Reach and played him as a number 10, put Grant up front, Grady left, Phillips right and gone with a back 4. I think we’d maybe have won the game doing this but we’d definitely have created chances.

TGH was like-for-like but weakened us because Furlong had been okay on the right and was now out of position. I’m not sure what Val was trying to achieve here. Quality on the ball (the case for Townsend at left CB over Clarke) simply is not Furlong’s forte.

Preston looked more likely to score and eventually did. Somehow Reach and Mowatt remained on the pitch even though they were the poorest of a poor bunch - Robinson coming on to have no service and Mulumby presumably coming on to get booked.

I cannot have any sympathy for Ismael. It’s absurd he still hasn’t deviated from the 3-4-3 in any minute of any game no matter the players available or circumstances within a game. These results are no surprise and will happen as long as he is in charge. Whatever it costs we have to get him out and I can’t think of anyone who could possibly do worse now.

  • Button - 6 Did okay. Not at fault for the loss.
  • Kipre - 4 They targeted him well and he couldn’t cope.
  • Bartley - 5 Had problems all evening but had a lot to cover.
  • Townsend - 5 Didn’t look like he enjoyed it.
  • Furlong - 5 Tried to have a go bit quite at sea when put in defence.
  • Livermore - 5 Our only midfielder who looked committed but looked leggy and passing was poor.
  • Mowatt - 4 Anonymous or totally hit and hope/ blind hooking it on.
  • Reach - 4 Backwards or sideways. Not sure how or why he gets picked.
  • Grady - 5 Tried to make things happen and hit the pass of game only for us to squander it. We found him less and less as it went on.
  • Phillips - 5 Only good work was on the right. Not a striker but we needed to keep him on when he was subbed.
  • Grant - 5 On the move a lot but is very easy to keep quiet and they did just that.
  • TGH - 5 No improvement when he came on.
  • Robinson - 5 No service but offered little inspiration.
  • Mulumby - 4 Not sure what the point of this was. Would rather see a striker.