By Olly Allen

27th Nov, 2021 | 7:09am

Chris Lepkowski: West Brom need to make a decision on Valerien Ismael

West Brom need to make a decision on the future of manager Valerien Ismael, according to Chris Lepkowski.

Albion drew 0-0 with Nottingham Forest at The Hawthorns on Friday night, leaving them with just one win and two goals from their last six games.

By the end of the weekend they could be 10 points adrift of the automatic promotion spots if Fulham and Bournemouth are victorious.

Writing via his personal Twitter profile after last night’s match, former Birmingham Mail journalist Lepkowski questioned Ismael’s tactics and admitted he wasn’t sure how much longer the French-German would be at the club.

“WBA have a decision to make in terms of direction,” he wrote. “Either hand Valerien Ismael the kind of players that have worked for him in the past; or find a new coach.

“The halfway house? Seems unlikely. From a lay perspective, we are two creative midfielders short and at least one striker light.

“Ismael seems to be restricted to the same old tactic – see what works up front. And if it doesn’t work, replace like for like after 60 mins.

“Even if this worked it isn’t sustainable. It is an insular strategy, bereft of variety. Common sense suggests it isn’t viable.”

Time running out

Patience is wearing thin among the Albion faithful, shown by the flat atmosphere around The Hawthorns last night as the team laboured to a second successive goalless stalemate.

An immediate return to the Premier League has to be the target this season but the Baggies are looking less and less like promotion contenders by every passing week.

West Brom had chances against Forest – 18 shots in total – but once again they severely lacked a cutting edge and put just three of those on target.

Ismael needs something to change, but what can he do? He does not have a wealth of options to turn to on the bench and as Lepkowski states, he is usually left rotating among attacking players, none of whom can find the back of the net.

The manager was not given any money to spend in the summer and that is part of the problem. Ismael may be moved on, but if the club’s hierarchy does not back his replacement and allow him to build a team in his image, then they will end up in the same situation all over again.

In other West Brom news, one Albion star has spoken out on the club’s promotion hopes.

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