Millwall 2 - West Bromwich Albion 1

Date: Saturday 22nd October 2022 
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
(3-4-3) Palmer 4.3, O'Shea 4.5, Bartley 3.3, Pieters 4.7 (Townsend, 64 4.4), Furlong 3.0, Yokuslu 4.7, Gardner-Hickman 6.3 (Molumby, 75 4.0), Reach 2.2, Wallace 4.8, Grant 2.7 (Phillips, 84 3.7), Swift 5.1 (Rogic, 74 3.5)
Unused subs: Button, Diangana, Cleary
Manager: Richard Beale (c) 2.5
Scorers: Swift (20)
Referee: Andy Madley (West Yorkshire) 2.5
Attendance: 12,512   Home Fans 4.7   Away Fans 5.6
Submit your ratings for this game by clicking here: Ratings submitted so far: 10

Brendan Clegg:

In the whistle report here so I can cleanse my mind of it and move on.

What were our coaches playing at? Hand on heart, any Albion fan seeing Reach, Bartley, Furlong and Grant in the starting 11 would’ve taken one look and gone - nah, that teams not got the bottle for Millwall away, let alone the quality.

And we were terrible. Not helped by a referee who managed to get everything wrong against us apart from the Bartley 2nd yellow - fouls, penalties etc we may have got a better result with a balanced ref.

But the lineup, system and bizarre subs were all our own doing. The 3-4-3 rubbish with Wallace, Grant and Swift all ‘rotating’ but mostly in each other’s way, giving us no width or space to pass into. Often we had Swift as a lone striker and Grant dropping in to take the ball off the CB. It’s total incompetence.

We scored from pretty much the only time in the half Wallace played wide right... a clever pullback and deflected finish. Then at 1-0 Wallace was gifted a 1-1 and he overran it.

A bad ref decision gave a free kick away and Pieters header down (why would you ever header a defensive ball down?) hit Furlong, went straight to their player and he slammed it in. We had given enough legitimate set plays away too.

Second half was terrible. One way traffic mostly, Millwall had a goal disallowed. We made bizarre subs which seemed to be more about ensuring all players got fair minutes over 3 games, nothing related to the way the game was going or tactically what was needed. The terrible system remained. Bartley, actually having an important game winning everything aerially, took a stupid second yellow and it took 5 minutes for us to fold... to a route 1 style goal and what looked to me like a soft Palmer error.

We got what we deserved and although Beale might be great with kids and developing footballers, you have to ask what the bloody hell was going on to lose to such a poor Millwall team. We never looked close to going for the win.

Might apply for the job myself... and I’m demonstrably clueless!

  • Palmer - 5 I think he cost us a point.
  • O’Shea - 5 Was going to be a 6 but lost the key battle for their winner.
  • Bartley- 5 Was going to be a 6 as he’d headed everything but as night follows day, he’ll let you down.
  • Pieters - 6 What was he doing for the first though? Head it high and wide there. Basic.
  • Furlong - 3 Just dreadful quality I’m afraid.
  • Okay - 5 Better than of late but still not at it.
  • TGH - 7 Bizarre taking him off. Best player again.
  • Reach - 3 Nowhere near good enough. Got lucky a few times but it was either pass backwards or give the ball away.
  • Wallace - 5 Tried but is hopeless when not being a classic winger. Kick and rush.
  • Grant - 3 Dreadful.
  • Swift - 6 Actually thought he used the ball well but the system was useless for him.

Subs - None of them were good or bad. They were trapped in the same failing system.


In brief, we did little apart from some spells of possession to show that we don't belong in the bottom half of the table. Millwall were made to look better than they are.

What do the coaching staff do with the squad all week? Two players, Palmer and Bartley, were showing glimpses of the energy and application needed until their respective cock-ups. Wallace was threatening at times but not as much as in other games. Grant was anonymous again and Reach is also not even close to the standard required - are we sure he didn't wander in to the dressing room from the Finance department?