West Bromwich Albion 0 - Luton Town 0

Last game in charge for Steve Bruce.

Date: Saturday 8th October 2022 
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
(3-4-3) Palmer 6.5, O'Shea 5.7, Kelly 5.6, Pieters 5.7, Phillips 5.1 (Gardner-Hickman, 86 5.3), Livermore 5.4, Yokuslu 5.1, Townsend 5.5, Wallace 6.7, Thomas-Asante 6.7 (Grant, 82 3.4), Diangana 6.3 (Swift, 82 3.6)
Unused subs: Button, Rogic, Molumby, Reach
Manager: Steve Bruce 2.7
(3-5-2) Horvath, Lockyer, Bradley, Potts, Bree, Campbell, Lansbury (Mpanzu, 85), Clark, Bell, Morris (Cornick, 70), Adebayo (Onyedinma, 89)
Unused subs: Isted, Berry, Freeman, Doughty
Referee: David Webb 1.9
Attendance: 21,550   Home Fans 5.5   Away Fans 4.7
Submit your ratings for this game by clicking here: Ratings submitted so far: 15

Brendan Clegg:

That was as bad a game as you’re ever likely to see. Bruce approached it like we were playing Manchester City, not Luton.

If it was supposed to be a 3-4-3 it was more like a 5-4-1 and we showed absolutely no ambition whatsoever. It was safety-first football and it was obvious that only BTA, Wallace and Diagana were allowed to attack and only BTA was ever allowed ahead of the ball.

It was a total cop out which took all responsibility off the players. They didn’t have to try and play or take a touch, as long as we didn’t concede they were all okay.

And it did the job to get a nil-nil. We had a couple of moments where our attacking 3 made situations and I think BTA should’ve scored from either the early Wallace cross or the one where it looked like he hit the post.

But it didn’t feel like we deserved the win and Bruce didn’t go for it with 25 to go. The height of his ambition to shit-house a draw and spoil the game. He seemed very happy on the radio afterwards but it simply isn’t good enough. It’s not clever or managerial genius. Most managers in work across the pyramid could do the same thing. I was embarrassed to watch us and my 11 year old is on the verge of giving it up.

A proper and brave manager looking for results would’ve taken the pluses of Palmer and Kelly making our defence look a bit better, and would’ve got legs and creativity into midfield at the expense of a defender.

Special mention to the referee who was absolutely awful and lived down to the game.

  • Palmer - 6 Dropped one cross but still more confident than Button.
  • O’Shea - 5 I thought he was terrible on the ball.
  • Kelly - 6 Did okay, they didn’t create much.
  • Pieters - 6 As above but it was a no pressure situation, didn’t have to try and play.
  • Phillips- 5 He got up and down a fair bit but that explosiveness is gone and he kept hitting the first man. Couldn’t fault his effort.
  • Livermore- 6 Had a go again but there was often nothing in front to pass to.
  • Okay - 4 System allowed him to get away with another poor performance. So slow.
  • Townsend- 5 Some wayward passing. Another who found safety in our style.
  • Wallace - 6 Didn’t stop running and created a couple of chances
  • BTA - 6 Maybe should’ve scored but tried to make things happen and got very little out of the ref.
  • Grady - 6 Also grafted but due to our system we couldn’t get him on the ball in dangerous areas.

The subs weren’t worth marking but I’d have got Mulumby and Swift on much earlier and gone back to 4-2-3-1 to try and score.