View: Horror stat from West Brom v Villa is derby disgrace, Big Sam must act now
Sam Allardyce’s tough task at West Brom has been laid bare after his new side mustered only one shot in Sunday’s West Midlands derby defeat to Aston Villa.
West Brom remain in 19th place in the Premier League after Bertrand Traore’s late finish, sandwiched between an Anwar El-Ghazi double, condemned Allardyce to a loss in his first game as manager, as captain Jake Livermore saw red after 36 minutes.
They failed to mount any serious attacks after this setback, registering just one shot in the first half through Matt Phillips, and none in the second half as the visitors made their numerical advantage count by controlling possession against the beleaguered Baggies.
The xG stats from the game show the true horror of last night’s game – an xG of 0.04 in a derby game is nothing short of a disgrace. [Understat]
While the early sending-off did little to help their cause, Allardyce will surely be concerned that his charges offered so little going forward, and he may already be thinking of a change in shape to add more attacking thrust to the team.
Only two teams have scored fewer goals in the Premier League this season (Burnley and Sheffield United) than West Brom’s 10, and they have now failed to score in seven of their 14 league games.
Fans will be hoping the impending return of influential midfielder Matheus Pereira will help to restore some much-needed creativity in the final third of the pitch. No player has contributed to more Premier League goals (three) for West Brom this season than Pereira, who was completing the final game of his three-match suspension, as the Baggies laboured in his absence.
Charlie Austin was brought off the bench for the third successive game, and introducing him from the start could be another option for Allardyce if he wishes to offer Karlan Grant some more support up front.
While he appeared to be out of favour at the start of the season, Austin has 34 Premier League career goals to his name, and would be a valuable asset with his strong hold-up play abilities, should Allardyce favour a more direct 4-4-2 approach.
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