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Barnsley boss makes “underachieved” claim on West Brom

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Barnsley caretaker boss Martin Devaney feels this weekend’s opponents West Bromwich Albion have underachieved this season following their relegation back down to the Championship, speaking to his side’s media team.

The Baggies went unbeaten in their opening 10 league matches of the season, establishing themselves as early promotion favourites under Valerien Ismael with a clear formation and style in place.

However, cracks began to appear during that unbeaten run as they drew three consecutive games, failing to do enough going forward and even being subject to boos from sections of the second-tier side’s fanbase.

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Will the club finish rock bottom?

Unfortunately, Ismael’s tenure didn’t improve following a respectable start to the season, with their lack of goals and quality in the final third continuing to hamper the Baggies before the Frenchman was sacked at the start of February.

Steve Bruce arrived as his successor shortly after, but won just one point from a possible 15 in his opening five games in charge and his side have failed to show any form of consistency since his arrival.

This is why they currently sit in 10th position going into their final game of this term – and opposition manager Devaney believes they haven’t performed to their potential this term after being labelled as potential promotion candidates at the start of this season.

He said: “We have to show them respect; it’s a Premier League club with Premier League players that have maybe underachieved this season.

“They’ve won 15 or 16 games and we’ve won six all season, so we’ll be going there to do our best and make sure there’s no fear.

“If we can grow into the game and be brave on the ball, we’ll have to wait and see what happens.”

The Verdict:

Devaney is spot on with his assessment – because the Baggies have underperformed quite drastically this season and this is why a shake-up is needed in the summer if they want to have any chance of competing for promotion during the 2022/23 campaign.

It feels as though Albion have come to the end of one cycle and now need the funds to be able to push on next season, although they won’t exactly have a bright future if CEO Ron Gourlay’s track record at former club Reading is anything to go by.

You can only hope that he’s learnt from the mistakes he made at the Select Car Leasing Stadium because the second-tier side have some talented youngsters at their disposal including Taylor Garnder-Hickman and Reyes Cleary, two players they should be looking to build around if the latter commits his future to the club.

In terms of the upcoming transfer window, they may find it harder to get players out as opposed to attracting players to The Hawthorns, though that issue could affect those who arrive because they will need to keep their wage bill down.

They will need to find some way of offloading underperformers though – because the second-tier outfit can’t move forward effectively without them.


A 21-year-old Reading FC fan and writer who graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in the summer with a degree in Journalism and Media Production. Other topics written about include politics, mental health and education.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Barnsley boss makes “underachieved” claim on West Brom

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