West Bromwich Albion 0 - Plymouth Argyle 0

Date: Saturday 21st October 2023 
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
(3-4-2-1) Palmer 7.2, Kipré 5.8, Bartley 5.1 (Ajayi, 78 5.8), Pieters 4.2 (Townsend, 59 6.0), Furlong 5.0, Chalobah 5.2 (Molumby, 66 5.5), Mowatt 5.8 (Yokuslu, 78 5.7), Phillips 5.7, Wallace 5.4, Diangana 5.3 (Fellows, 78 6.5), Thomas-Asante 4.5
Unused subs: Griffiths, Ávila Gordón, Taylor, Higgins
Manager: Carlos Corberán  5.0
(4-5-1) Cooper, Kesler-Hayden, Scarr, Gibson, Miller, Whittaker, Randell, Houghton (Cundle, 66), Azaz, Mumba (Butcher, 88), Hardie (Bundu, 66)
Unused subs: Hazard, Gillesphey, Pleguezuelo, Edwards, Warrington, Waine
Referee: Stephen Martin 6.3
Attendance: 24,732   Home Fans 5.3   Away Fans 6.3
Submit your ratings for this game by clicking here: Ratings submitted so far: 13


Well I've had more exciting days painting the spare bedroom.

Two questions

  1. Why do we always start so slow? Why does it take a half time talk to get us going?
  2. How does Pieters get a game when basically everything he did today was poor? We were overrun on our L side first half.

We don't just need a centre forward. We really need a creative midfielder- you know, someone who crosses the ball (occasionally) or produces some magic: Argyle showed us what to do in the first half. Teams sit back, let us pass the ball in front of them and if we get a ball past take a yellow card. Who is our creative midfielder, Mowatt I guess. He sat really deep all match.

Without a Pereira, a Gera or a Koumas we are doomed to mid-table mediocrity. Heaven help us if we get promoted with this team.

Brendan Clegg:

The less said about that the better. We were so boring and predictable.

It’s fair to point to our injuries but the starting 11 still had Phillips, Wallace, Diagana and BTA in it. The fact we had so few attempts on goal is absolutely about our tactics and approach, not about missing players.

We’re slow, take forever to get the ball forward because we’re obsessed with sucking teams in and being clever. In the system we play our spare player to overload is a centre back 95% of the time and our alleged wingers or wide players get the ball so deep that even if they gallop 40 yards they’re still miles from danger.

Up front BTA is getting a load of stick but there is no supply. No crosses, no speculative approach play, no early ball and he’s constantly got players who should be wide running right into spaces he should be in. A Kevin Phillips type would not score loads of goals for us… we don’t create the chances or take risks to put ourselves in areas to create chances.

The whole thing looked disjointed, over engineered and there were some seriously questionable things going on-

Starting Chalobah… he wasn’t alone first half but he was terrible, whatever anyone says. I heard someone say it was his best game for us but it’s a very low bar, right?

That corner routine where Phillips tried to hit it with the outside of his boot. Are they so bored in international week that this is what they come up with?

Furlong taking free kicks at goal from good positions. Has anyone in our coaching staff ever seen him try to cross in open play? Mowatt was there, it was prime left foot territory. I don’t think anyone in the ground was surprised when it hit the wall… including our players and Furlong himself.

Bartley striding down the wing like Cafu - if ever you need a sign that just maybe a formation change might be an idea, this would be it.

Sorry this has turned into a rant but there was still more than enough in that squad today to go for it and get a win. And even if the intent was there but we failed, at least we might have been entertained.

Instead we got lucky with Plymouth dominating most of the first half and us shading the second without creating a significant chance. Palmer was the busier of the two keepers and even made more saves 2nd half.

Let’s hope for a big improvement on Tuesday night.

  • Palmer - 7 solid saves when we needed him.
  • Kipre - 6 Okay defensively but his passing out was shocking at times
  • Barts - 6 Mostly fine but takes forever to pass it
  • Pieters - 4 Had a shocker. Looked slow and his passing was way off.
  • Furlong - 5 Far from vintage showing. Okay.
  • Chalobah - 5 Got schooled first half but did improve slightly after the break.
  • Mowatt - 6 Tried. Looked forward. Always offered for the ball.
  • Phillips - 6 one of our better performers and they doubled up on him after the break
  • Wallace - 5 Can’t fault his effort but where were the shots, crosses and dribbles?
  • BTA - 4 The service was woeful but he tries to do too much all the time. Confidence is low.
  • Grady - 5 Absolutely lost for the first 20 as he kept wanting to play where Phillips was. At least involved on the right and showed some skill but never in areas that could hurt them, only in deep positions.
  • Townsend and Okay - both looked better than those they replaced.
  • Molumby & Ajayi - apart from getting minutes, pretty pointless subs.
  • Fellows - He was probably our man of the match in his short cameo because he showed a determination to make things happen and he created stuff by dribbling and crossing.