This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more
West Brom have had a good start to the season, but three successive draws has halted the optimism around The Hawthorns right now.
Even though Albion remain undefeated, the side were booed off by a section of the support for a second time in a row after they were held to a 1-1 draw at Preston over the weekend.
The frustration from some of the fans doesn’t stem from the result, but the direct style of play that new boss Valerien Ismael has adopted.
There is a feeling that the squad at his disposal should be capable of playing a more attractive brand of football, with some comparing the current style to former boss Tony Pulis.
So, should Ismael consider tweaking his approach? Here our writers share their thoughts…
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It isn’t a case of considering his approach. There’s nothing wrong with that and it would be a real shame to see Ismael move away from a philosophy that he clearly believes in.
What Ismael probably needs to consider is a way to make his plan a work that little bit better when he comes up against sides that frustrate them likes Millwall and Preston.
That’s where he’s going to earn his money and, ultimately, where he’s going to have to improve to win promotion this season.
Coming up with a way of just breaking down the doors sometimes.
For me, though, it’s not really a time to panic and start trying something different. There’s a lot of firepower and quality in that West Brom squad and they are learning a unique way of playing at a completely different intensity to what they’re used to.
I’m not sure he should to be honest.
It was always going to take a bit of time for the Baggies to get used to the way Ismael wants his side to play, and perhaps the fact Barnsley took it on so quickly last season has made it seem like he’s doing a worse job than what he should be at Albion.
But it’s a system which I feel suits the Baggies, especially going forward with the wing-backs and fluid front-three.
He shouldn’t rip up the recipe just yet – they remain unbeaten and things could be a lot worse, and once it clicks, it should be a joy to watch.
It’s what he knows and what he believes in, and it’s too early to change at the moment.
It’s something he needs to consider.
That’s not to say he should rip up his methods completely, because Ismael is clearly a top manager at this level and it’s important not to overreact as they’ve had three poor games yet the side are still unbeaten. So, it’s not a bad position to be in!
However, the mood is starting to turn among the fan base and they are not happy with the style and they do have a point. Albion have a squad packed full of talent, particularly in the final third, and the style doesn’t suit them.
So, Ismael should be considering a few tweaks to get back on track and encourage a more patient approach on occasions because he has some quality footballers in his ranks.