West Bromwich Albion 2 - Blackpool 1

Date: Friday 15th April 2022 
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
(3-4-1-2 ) Button 5.9, Ajayi 5.5, O'Shea 6.1, Clarke 6.6, Furlong 4.9 (Diangana, 85 4.4), Livermore 4.6 (Phillips, 58 5.1), Molumby 5.4, Reach 5.5, Robinson 3.9 (Gardner-Hickman, 69 6.3), Grant 5.3, Carroll 6.4
Unused subs: Palmer, Townsend, Bartley, Kipré
Manager: Steve Bruce 4.5
Scorers: Carroll (42), Grant (93)
Referee: Jeremy Simpson 6.0
Attendance: 21,717   Home Fans 4.5   Away Fans 5.4
Submit your ratings for this game by clicking here: Ratings submitted so far: 11

Brendan Clegg:

Can’t say I was too inspired by the lineup. I was pleased to see Bartley and Mowatt come out but I was really hoping for a system change going to 4 at the back in order to give us width further up the pitch. I really don’t get taking TGH out of the team either.

I thought we were the better team first half although it was frustrating. We had loads of chances to get the ball forward early out wide but nobody was there - Carroll, Grant and Robinson sometimes all within a few yards of each other and nobody busting a gut to run into space.

Blackpool were rubbish and on the odd occasion we did pass the ball forwards quickly we got into decent situations and then fluffed them. There just didn’t seem to be a plan and we did present them with a few openings that they were equally incapable of doing anything with.

The goal was bread and butter Carroll, long ball to him which he smartly got out wide to the onrushing Reach before he then got on the end of the one decent cross we managed in the whole half. Very simple.

2nd half was more of the same before we gifted them a goal through a cheap free kick that nobody dealt with and they prodded home as our defence stood and watched.

Livermore came off for Phillips but we still played 3-5-2 with Phillips in the middle instead of on the wing.

Robinson, annoying the crowd with his lack of commitment and desire, came off for TGH and we looked a bit better but Carroll missed our best chance by wanting too long after Grant had actually done something of note during the game and crossed it to him for what looked like a tap-in.

I have to confess I’d given up and started the walk down Halfords Lane so I missed the winner but I trudged out thinking that Bruce on this continued showing should be nowhere near the job in the summer. I see plenty of noise for Dyche has started but I’d still rather Farke - basically I’d rather watch good football and win the championship every couple of years as a yo-yo club than finish 17th in the top flight every season playing survival-ball.

5 points off the playoffs would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic- this really is a dire division.

  • Button - 6 I'd have preferred to see Palmer but he was sound enough and his decision-making on distribution is better than SJ’s.
  • Ajayi - 6 Sometimes looks unbeatable but didn’t react for their goal and some iffy touches.
  • O’Shea - 6 Understandable he’s rusty and made a few errors but loves the fight.
  • Clarke - 7 Generally good, some decent moments on the ball.
  • Furlong - 5 Recovered from an atrocious opening 10 minutes to do okay overall.
  • Livermore - 6 Strong and dropped deep to take the ball on.
  • Molumby - 6 Covers loads of ground and is probably better than Mowatt but only ever sees the easy/safe pass.
  • Reach - 6 Can’t fault his effort and got through lots of running but his cross quality ratio is severely lacking.
  • Robinson - 4 Has ability but the heart of a mouse unfortunately. Boos were a bit harsh.
  • Grant - 3 Fifteen goals and he’s been largely abominable. What was that wild left foot hack in the first half when put through? He may have got the winner but Im not surprised he’s a perennial high scorer in poor teams because he offers so little else it contributes to the poor part.
  • Carroll - 6 Good goal and plenty of grit. Imagine if we’d played orthodox wingers with him up there since we’ve had him? The obvious Carroll strengths we’ve almost avoided playing to due to this system. Did look leggy 2nd half.
  • TGH - 6 Improved us.
  • Phillips- 6 Whatever anyone says, we have missed him and nobody has staked a real claim in his absence.
  • Diagana - Any chance of a start on the left wing gaffer?