The criticism received by Valerien Ismael at West Brom has been harsh, former Baggies midfielder Carlton Palmer has said.
After an outstanding campaign with Barnsley last season, Ismael was appointed West Brom manager in the summer, tasked with securing an immediate promotion back to the Premier League for the club.
That is a job that Ismael has seemingly started strongly, with West Brom currently third in the Championship table, just a point off the automatic promotion places.
But despite that, Ismael has been the subject of some scrutiny since taking over at The Hawthorns, with some West Brom fans seemingly unimpressed with the 46-year-old’s style of play.
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Now it seems that Palmer believes that those taking aim at Ismael, are unjustified with their comments.
Speaking to This Is Futbol about some of the scrutiny that has been placed on Ismael, the ex-England international said: “Listen, I see fans up and down the country not being realistic in their criticisms.
“Everybody’s entitled to their opinion, but you’ve got to look at the facts. You’ve got to be realistic about your team and where you think your team should be.
“To be sat third in the league, a point off second place, after 14 games is ridiculous for me for anybody to [criticise him]. Yes, we’d all want to win football matches playing a certain style of football. But to get promoted out of that league, you have to do what you have to do to win football matches.
“I think any criticism coming his direction is very, very unfair and unjust.”
West Brom face a huge game in the battle for promotion on Saturday afternoon, as they travel to Craven Cottage to take on second-placed Fulham.
This does seem to be a fair assessment of Ismael’s situation from Palmer.
Ultimately, football is a results business, and with 28 points and eight wins from 14 league games, Ismael does seem to be getting those for the Baggies.
You feel therefore, that Ismael does deserve to be back by West Brom, especially given his success with Barnsley last season shows just how much he is able to get out of a side.
Indeed, it Ismael is able to guide the Baggies to promotion this season, you wouldn’t expect many to be associated with the club to be complaining about the style of play at The Hawthorns at that point.