West Bromwich Albion 2 - Rotherham United 1
I guess the starting lineup couldn’t be argued with as we wrap Phillips in cotton wool.
The concern for me is the system. I don’t think 3-5-2 gives us enough width in attacking play and I’m afraid I’m just can’t trust any backline with Bartley in it.
The first half was really poor - Rotherham made it as bitty and niggly as possible and we played in first gear, not busting a gut and some really poor decision making. I don’t think our shape helped and both wing backs were ultra conservative in their play.
Rotherham were the better side but totally toothless apart from set plays whereas we did at least look like we might threaten if we could be bothered.
2nd half was similar until Rotherham scored with a looping header from a free kick given away cheaply by Brunt. I’d need to see it again but I thought Johnstone was in total no mans land again.
The game was crying out for Phillips and with 20 to go he came on and immediately changed the tide of the match with his pace and power. After a few crosses, corners and scrambles Gayle was felled for a penalty and JRod hammered it into the top corner.
Moments later after more pressure Harper, transformed in the 2nd half after another disappointing opening 45, hammered the ball home from 20 yards low and hard. It was the kind of goal he’s been threatening and I hope it finally gives him lift-off because he has everything to be an absolute monster in centre midfield, I just hope it’s with us.
Murphy and HRK came on to change the system to 4-4-2 and see it out and we should’ve scored more goals but missed easy chances before we nearly through it away in the final minute - Rotherham hitting the woodwork for the 2nd time.
Another victory where we only had to play well for about 15 minutes - more regret that we blew so many points pissing about at the back as we get ready for the play offs lottery.
All text, pictures and graphics are copyright of BOING unless otherwise stated