Nottingham Forest 1 - West Bromwich Albion 1
Early days yet, but we have seen nothing so far to warrant the bookies enthusiasm for Albion's quick return to the promised land. Forwards and defenders come and go, but is it conceivable that another window will pass without us addressing the midfield dynamo/creator vacuum?
The brass might feel that with names like Barry (too old?), Brunt (similar?), Mozza (fitness/rusty?), Chadli (World cup star - therefore much too good for The Baggies) and Livermore (dynamo possibly, creator never) we have what it takes in the midfield department, but I think regular observers would say not.
Barnes looks like a talent, albeit a loanee and maybe Gayle will give us a spark up front if we don't put him through the Rondon treatment. The defence needs a motivated Dawson in the middle, but I smell another Evans scenario if he stays. Sorry to sound gloomy. It's really way too early for that - just letting off steam.
I felt that was a pretty worrying performance.
The starting 11 and system didn’t look too bad all things considered and we started well but after 10 minutes it was a real slog.
I thought our biggest issue was ball retention and this went right through the team. Our centre-backs went no-risk even when they had time. Brunt, Barnes & Livermore were really sloppy, Morrison was miles off the pace and JRod worked hard but offered nothing. I thought in the opening 45 only Phillips acquitted himself well.
The other issue I felt was that our midfield were constantly in no-mans land. They managed to never get up and support atttacks but also left massive gaps in behind which better teams would’ve exploited.
Tactically as it went on it became more worrying.
Second half was as bad and the goal was terrible- closing down by Livermore was nothing more than a gesture and I thought Johnstone should’ve done better as it bounced twice and was hardly in the corner.
One saving grace was that when we strung 3 passed together we created chances - JRod probably should’ve scored a couple and Gayle gave us an immediate threat. It was fitting that Phillips equalised for us.
We need legs. We need Dawson and Chadli. We need to accept very quickly that we’re signing championship players who play like championship players. A big few days coming up.
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