Full-back Darnell Furlong’s long-throws are a ‘fantastic asset’ to have according to ex-West Bromwich Albion forward Kevin Phillips, who spoke to West Brom News regarding the problems they cause for opposition defences.
Callum Robinson had an early goal disallowed for offside in the midweek tie against Sheffield United from one of the 25-year-old’s throw-ins, but managed to succeed three times after that, with three of the Baggies’ four goals against Slavisa Jokanovic’s men coming directly from his dangerous long-throws.
This is a weapon Valerien Ismael has made full use of so far this season – and it could potentially come in handy at various points 2021/22 campaign as they look to win the points required to secure automatic promotion and a return to the Premier League.
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They have taken an outstanding ten points from their first four league games of the season despite facing Bournemouth and Sheffield United early on – and against the likes of the Cherries, Fulham and Stoke City who all look like promotion candidates at this stage – they will need as many points as they can possibly get if they want to guarantee a top-two spot.
With this in mind, set-pieces will be crucial at The Hawthorns and they seem to have perfected Furlong’s routine despite some shoddy Blades defending helping their cause in midweek.
Ex-Baggies forward Kevin Phillips is especially impressed with the long throw-ins this season and speaking about this subject to West Brom News, he said: “It’s an absolute weapon.
“I have to say the Sheffield United goalkeeper had a nightmare the other night but nevertheless, you could see the chaos and the carnage it caused.
“When you’ve got players who are determined to get in there and get in and around the goalkeeper, it’s a fantastic asset to have.”
“We all talk about Rory Delap’s days at Stoke with Peter Crouch and Ryan Shawcross and how many goals they scored.
“It’s just another string to their bow they can use and I have to say, it was very impressive.”
Kevin Phillips is right to point this ‘weapon’ out, because it may be crucial to their Premier League prospects with how tight the promotion race could potentially be next May.
Although they already look clinical going forward, there will be periods in games where they are unable to create anything from open play and this is where Furlong’s special weapon comes into play.
The great thing about his long throw-ins is the fact they can be deployed at any time during the game, even if they are on the back foot which they inevitably will be at some point. They are humans, after all, although their electric start may suggest otherwise.
At this stage, this asset is even more important with manager Ismael not yet able to welcome another striker to The Hawthorns.
But with a new forward on board before the end of the window, a manager who has already managed to implement his system effectively, a goalkeeper in Sam Johnstone who is quite frankly too good for the Championship and a ruthless attack, it would be hard to see the West Midlands side not be promoted at the end of the campaign.