Kevin Phillips: Ismael may have to alter West Brom system amid slump in form
We’re delighted to welcome former West Brom striker Kevin Phillips as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at The Hawthorns…
Valerien Ismael may have to change his system to address a slump in form at West Brom, according to Kevin Phillips.
Albion are undefeated after eight Championship matches this season but they have drawn their last three against teams you would have expected them to beat.
Since the international break, there have been concerns among supporters that Ismael’s system has already been sussed out by opposition managers and players, which has stopped the club from pressing and attacking in the manner they did in August.
It’s led to some criticism about Ismael and Phillips feels as though West Brom’s situation could be helped massively if they signed a proven goalscorer in the summer and if the manager alters his style or formation slightly.
“It could be but I’ve said all along since day one, they needed to sign that striker to get them 20 goals,” said Phillips in an interview with West Brom News.
“I know Jordan Hugill came in but he’s had a quiet spell in front of goal as of late so it might take him a while to get going.
“When I look at that squad, I don’t see who’s going to pop up with 20 or 25 goals to be that fox in the box, kill games and take them up.
“That’s one of the issues but when you look at the way West Brom play, maybe teams have sussed them out.
“Every team will do their homework on every team – look at Sheffield United with their second season in the Premier League. People sussed them out, they didn’t have a plan B and that cost them in the end.
“It’s clear that Ismael’s going to have to come up with something a bit different and maybe change the system instead of keeping going with that three up top.
“He could maybe swap it around, maybe not play with the wing-backs, something a bit different just to get that win because as we all know, draws are not good enough to get you promoted.
“There’s been a bit of a lull so maybe that’s why they’ve drawn three in a row. But let’s not forget Preston are in decent form and a decent side.“
After draws against Millwall, Derby and Preston, the Baggies welcome QPR to The Hawthorns on Friday night.
QPR beat Everton on penalties in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday but are winless in their last three Championship games, losing the last two.
In other West Brom news, this Albion player appears to have deleted his social media accounts after being abused online.