West Brom moved to within one point of Championship leaders Leeds United with a 4-2 victory over Huddersfield Town yesterday.
Whilst there were some negatives for Albion, notably the fact they still haven’t picked up a clean sheet this season, the positives far outweigh those and the way they played at times was a joy to watch for the fans.
The summer recruitment looks to have been spot on, with the likes of Grady Diangana and Matheus Pereira making a big impact against the Terriers, with Semi Ajayi impressing at the back and alo chipping in with goals.
Yet, one man who won’t have been delighted with how the game went is Charlie Austin.
The striker arrived in the summer with a big reputation, having proven himself at this level, and in the Premier League, over the years.
His movement in the box, combined with his ability to sniff out chances and his ruthless finishing meant that many saw the 30-year-old as the ideal replacement for Dwight Gayle and the man to fire Albion to promotion.
However, he remains without a goal after five league games – despite the fact the Baggies are the top scorers in the division, so it’s not a case of the team are struggling to create chances.
Given Austin has made his name as a goalscorer, that will be hugely frustrating for him and he knows that with Kenneth Zohore on the bench, he will lose his place in the team unless he starts finding the net.
In fairness, it should be said that his overall game was decent against the Terriers. He linked play better than he has done in the past and he had a few sights of goal.
But, there’s no getting away from the fact that a player like Austin is going to be judged solely on how many goals he scores – and that’s how he will like it.
There are a combination of factors for his poor run, including that he may not be up to speed after a turbulent pre-season from his own perspective, whilst it can always take time for players to adapt to new surroundings and a different manager.
Ultimately though, Austin’s lack of goals hasn’t been a problem so far but you get the feeling that if Albion are to secure promotion, they will need him to be the 20-goal a season man they thought he would be.
Of course, he still has time to do that, however he will be gutted he couldn’t get off the mark in the league against a struggling Huddersfield side.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.