ALBION’S ATTACK CAN BE STOPPED
They’re still the highest scorers in all four divisions, and incredibly, no team in the Championship has scored more goals in total than Albion have managed in the second half of games.
But Paul Cook and Tony Pulis have proved there is a way to stop this electrifying attack from finding the net. And it involves stopping Albion at source.
By pressing the back three ferociously and forcing them to kick it long, big defenders can gobble up long balls. Keeping the play scrappy in midfield also stops Albion getting into a rhythm.
BAGGIES NEED A PLAN B AWAY FROM HOME AND OFF THE BENCH
Darren Moore has found a winning formula with his team, and it’s an exciting one too. But on the rare occasion it doesn’t work, Albion have been left searching for a Plan B.
Bakary Sako has been signed to provide ‘something different’ and Oliver Burke could also add another dimension to the attack. But neither were on the bench on Saturday.
It might be time for Moore to freshen up his squad with new faces and change his formation mid-way through tricky fixtures away from home.
TOSIN ADARBIOYO GOOD WITH HIS FEET – BUT NEEDS WORK ELSEWHERE
Considering the way Albion now like to play out from the back, the Manchester City youngster could prove a useful option. His passing was crisp and neat off the bench and he never looked flustered on the ball.
But the goal came from a flick-on when Nick Powell beat him in the air. He’s certainly a talented boy, but perhaps that was an insight into why he’s not featured much since Craig Dawson was rehabilitated. However, with Dawson facing a late fitness test for Wednesday, he may get another chance to impress.
CHRIS BRUNT IS BETTER PICKING PASSES FROM DEEPER
The club captain is arguably being played out of position in central midfield, but he’s been put there by Darren Moore for his passing range. Brunt, unlike others, is continually brave with his passing, and one who regularly looks forward. He fires it into Harvey Barnes to get Albion going.
But on Saturday, he lost possession when he tried to move forward with the ball at his feet. He’s more useful sitting a bit deeper in space and picking out the right balls than running with it himself.
TEMPERS NEED TO BE KEPT IN CHECK
Wigan may have made it a scrappy game, but six of the nine yellow cards were dished out to Albion players. Several players lost their cool at different points and it was obvious in the first half someone was going to get sent off.
Against Millwall, Albion were rewarded for plugging away patiently, but for some reason, Wigan managed to get under their skin. Teams will notice that, and no doubt try to do it again. They need to rise above it next time.