It’s fair to say that West Brom haven’t got off to the greatest start in their first season back in the Premier League.
The Baggies sit 17th in the league and have only picked up one point, against Chelsea of all teams.
On paper, this start seems about right for a newly promoted team. But the Baggies have had a challenging start and are competing without a Premier League quality striker. We think that if Slaven Bilic brings a new forward to the Hawthorns, then Premier League safety should be achievable.
So far this season West Brom have played Leicester and Chelsea, who finished in the top five last season and Everton, who currently sit top of the league. This is not an easy start by any stretch of the imagination and it is unfair to judge the Baggies based purely on these performances.
Unfortunately, that’s all we can do. But that’s not to say there haven’t been positives to take from these games. In West Brom’s other game, a disappointing 2-0 loss to Southampton, Sam Johnstone played an absolute blinder, without him the scoreline would’ve looked a lot worse.
A good goalkeeper is key in a survival fight and Johnstone could be vital for the Baggies if he keeps up the form he found on the south coast.
West Brom have also looked dangerous going forward at times. Callum Robinson has done ok while filling in up-front. His two-goal haul against Chelsea showed that he is adapting to that position and the Premier League. With more game time and experience he could easily add to his tally this season.
The quality of Grady Diangana and Matheus Pereira is also clear to see. Both players scored away at Goodison Park and perfectly displayed why Slaven Bilic was keen to bring them back to the Hawthorns.
Diangana’s run and finish was absolutely sensational, with Pereira’s free-kick struck hard and accurately into the net, showing that both players have goals in them. They will also contribute more goals once they have a proper centre forward ahead of them.
The elephant in the corner in this instance is the Baggies defence. They have conceded 13 goals in four league games. Even though the games haven’t been easy, that is incredibly alarming. Also playing with 10 men for around 50 minutes at Goodison Park didn’t help, but you can blame Kieran Gibbs for that.
West Brom’s defence will get better as the season goes on and when Branislav Ivanovic returns to full fitness he will provide valuable experience and organisation to the Baggies backline. Huge improvement is needed defensively for West Brom if they are to stay up but in time, when they play easier opposition, the defence will learn and get better.
The one thing missing from West Brom is a proper striker, Robinson has done ok but he won’t score the goals to keep the Baggies up. Perhaps Karlan Grant will, with reports this week saying that the English striker is ‘close’ to agreeing a move to the Hawthorns, he could be the missing piece to the West Brom puzzle.
In other West Brom news, Guochuan Lai would be happy to discuss selling the Baggies.