Millwall 2 - West Bromwich Albion 0

Date: Saturday 29th January 2022 
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
(3-4-2-1) Bialkowski, Hutchinson, Cooper, Wallace, McNamara, Kieftenbeld, Mitchell, Malone, Burke (Burey, 78), Bennett, Afobe (Evans, 89)
Unused subs: Long, Thompson, Pearce, Mahoney, Lovelace
(3-4-2-1) Button 4.3, Kipré 2.2, Bartley 2.9, Clarke 3.3, Furlong 2.5, Livermore 3.1, Mowatt 2.5, Townsend 3.5, Phillips 3.0 (Diangana, 59 3.5), Grant 3.1 (Robinson, 59 3.3), Carroll 4.7
Unused subs: Palmer, Ajayi, Molumby, Reach, Gardner-Hickman
Manager: Valérien Ismaël  1.3
Scorers: Bennett (67), Afobe (76)
Referee: Josh Smith 5.4
Attendance: 12,855   Home Fans 4.9   Away Fans 3.7
Submit your ratings for this game by clicking here: Ratings submitted so far: 10



I expected a bounce back from the Preston game but this was one of the worst Albion displays I have seen for years, and I've been going since 1963! We ran the first ten minutes and from then on collapsed into a hoof it up the pitch and hope for the best game.

What do the manager and players do during the week? The manager insists on this style of football although it has now been shown on numerous occasions to be totally flawed. Millwall are a very mediocre team who we should be beating. There is no passing game from the back, the ball is hoofed up the pitch and generally comes straight back causing massive problems for the back three. WHY are we continuing to play this way? We have no creative midfield.

The manager refuses to play any other way and he must now pay the ultimate price and be sacked. Personally with these players I would favour a return to 442 it would stabilise the team and give us a chance to play some proper football instead of the garbage currently on offer.

If this continues the Hawthorns will soon be empty on match day! However much it costs sack Val and lets move on.

Brendan Clegg:

It’s all just very sad. Nobody gained anything from Ismael staying in charge for this game. The behaviour of our fans is indefensible. It’s inevitable it was going to be toxic though. For his own good, for his family, for everyone he should’ve been taken out of the firing line.

The press conference before the game - his acknowledgment of his own mistakes - might have been the first glimmer of humility and to an extent endearing but it was never going to change anything. I think the signing of Carroll is probably as good as we are going to get with our budget and an upgrade on Hugill but it was never going to paper over the fundamental flaws in our approach and our tactics. The words about learning were empty.

And the 3-4-3 formation and lineup betrayed those words; How was Grady not in the 11? How was Mowatt in it? What had really changed? Nothing and therefore the outcome was no surprise.

The opening 5 minutes were okay through a combination of Carroll’s determination to impact things and a high tempo approach. We might even have scored.

But as the game settled, Millwall squeezed up knowing we’d have nothing in behind and then started clipping balls behind Kipre and Clarke to cause us problems. Easy and obvious.

We had no answer and whilst statistics might say it was even, through the first half and second it could’ve been 4 or 5 but for Oli Burke being rubbish, Button making saves and Millwall being average.

The two goals we let in were poor. We pumped it and hurried but got nowhere. Diangana and Robinson came on but they play a totally different game to everyone else and even those subs were daft as taking off Grant and Phillips at the same time, no matter how bad they were, left us with zero options to change it tactically. Not that Ismael would ever do that.

So we were well beaten again by a very poor side in the poorest Championship I can ever recall.

A lot of people are seething at the players and I get that but imagine being Townsend or Furlong today - covering box to box of your entire wing, charging up and down brainlessly expected to press our blind punts and hooks into these zones from positions where the opponent always has a 10 yard head start, and then sprint back the other way when you’re inevitably bypassed. It’s moronic and it’s achieving the results you would expect.

Yes the ownership is awful and the squad needs a big revamp but that will only happen with promotion or liquidation and, even now, promotion is realistically attainable this season or next due to our unfair advantage via parachute payments. We’ve missed out on some great candidates by leaving it too late but Ismael is rock bottom now, anyone with any experience would do a better job.

  • Button - 6 I think his communication must be poor due to unforced errors around him but not at fault.
  • Kipre - 3 Ajayi would never get away with these performances.
  • Bartley - 5 At least shows fight.
  • Clarke - 4 Stupidly diving in and hoof happy. Done a kipper for the 2nd.
  • Furlong - 5 Covered a lot of ground and put a goal on a plate if anyone had been awake.
  • Livermore- 5 Ran a lot aimlessly and tried to keep the ball.
  • Mowatt - 3 Can’t be justified any more. Slow, terrible set plays and plays coward passes, no look hooks with no responsibility
  • Townsend - 5 Ran a lot but the quality was really poor.
  • Phillips- 3 Not wide enough to get the ball and use it, never high enough to trouble them. Played in no mans land with lots of pointless running.
  • Carroll - 6 Showed a bit of fight but if we’re going to play him then pace and bodies need to be around him and the crosses have to be good.
  • Grant - 3 Has been a worry for a while. Take the goals away and he’s a liability.
  • Robbo and Diangana - 5 Injected a bit of energy but it’s a total mismatch between playing style and player profile.

Whatever it takes he has to go by Sunday night.