Ally Robertson: New creative spark could be key to front-line chemistry
I don't know too much about being a striker, I must admit, but I do know all footballers need confidence to perform at their best.
Strikers, I’d wager, are probably fuelled by it more than most.
That’s why it’s encouraging to see Salomon Rondon and Jay Rodriguez on the score-sheet in recent weeks.
Neither has found the net enough times this season, but Rondon now has two in his last four games and Rodriguez has two in three.
Exeter City may be from the lower leagues but it’s still important for those two players to get acclimatised to scoring; turn it into a normal past-time rather than a rarity.
Rondon’s effort was a first-time shot from the edge of the area; I can’t remember him scoring a goal like that for Albion.
He’s missed some glaring chances in the league recently, but he’s been struggling when he’s had too much time on his hands, and too much pressure on his shoulders. The key is to not think too hard about it, and do what comes naturally.
There was an element of luck in Rodriguez’s goal, but that sort of poacher’s finish is precisely what Albion need in the second half of the season. At least he’s getting into the right places and giving himself a chance to score.
We still need an attacker in the January transfer window, because the chemistry between the forward players has been missing all season.
Albion have been on the hunt for a new forward this month, and understandably so after scoring 16 goals from 22 league games.
But it may not be an out-and-out striker that fixes the problem, a creative No.10 who can tie everything together could spark a run of goals in this side.
Alan Pardew has shifted the focus of the team to a more attacking outlook but he’s been hampered by injuries to Nacer Chadli and James Morrison, the two players capable of flourishing in that central creative role.
Pardew moved training to The Hawthorns for one of this week’s sessions. It’s encouraging to see him trying new things to try and jolt the team out of this rut.
Training at the stadium may be a minor change, but after four months without a win in the league, it’s worth trying anything.
When it gets to this stage, the coaching staff will be searching for a range of solutions in every aspect they can control. Here’s hoping it helps this weekend.