ITV pundit suggests Sam Johnstone benefitted from no West Brom fans last season
West Brom fans are not accustomed to goalkeepers like Sam Johnstone playing out from the back, according to ITV commentator Sam Matterface.
Johnstone made his senior international debut for England on Sunday evening, starting their friendly fixture against Romania ahead of the upcoming European Championships.
Speaking on ITV [06/06/21] during live coverage of the game, Matterface suggested the 28-year-old’s style of play would have caused initial consternation among Baggies this season.
He said: “Johnstone’s kicking is pretty reliable, although there were a few West Brom fans that were slightly nervous when he started to try and play out from the back.
“They’re not really used to that.
“But I think the fact he was playing behind closed doors at The Hawthorns allowed him to develop over the course of the season.”
It’s not often we get mentioned on prime time television during an England international, so it certainly perked our ears up.
Johnstone became the first England international for Albion since Jake Livermore in 2017, and it was a source of pride for all of us seeing our number one out there doing what he does best.
But it was a slightly odd comment from Matterface regarding his kicking.
It’s not as if we have been playing Barcelona-esque football out from the back, or that Johnstone has become the second coming of Manuel Neuer under Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich.
Furthermore, is this an assumption that we have always been some ‘kick and run’, long-ball merchants?
We’ve been far from that in years gone by, and our style of play is often something we have prided ourselves on amidst the constant turmoil of bouncing around the top two divisions.
Would Johnstone have been affected by the fans if we were allowed in the Hawthorns this season? We doubt it, and it’s a bit of an insult to suggest so.
In other West Brom news, Steve Madeley stunned by Albion star after Sunday development.