West Bromwich Albion were back in Championship action last night and had the opportunity to move into fifth place with a win on the road at Birmingham City.
With a mild geographic rivalry, there was sure to be a few intangibles for Carlos Corberan’s men to contend with, but upon viewing the league standings and form table it looked like the Baggies would cruise to victory. Alas, the very opposite happened.
The hosts had a number of standout performers at St Andrew’s and bullied the visitors despite Albion’s stranglehold on the ball. Corberan’s side boasted 68% possession, but it was the Blues who recorded more than double their tally of shots and managed four on target to the visitors’ one, duly winning the game 2-0.
West Brom’s lack of creativity gave them no platform with which to build, and while plenty of their players were disappointing, Jed Wallace stood out as particularly poor given how he had impressed of late.
How did Wallace play against Birmingham City?
It was a tough game for the natural wide man, who continued in a central role just behind the striker. Having earned a 7.8 Sofascore rating in his last match, and 7.0 or better in three of his last four games, there was every reason to believe that he could continue excelling in the number 10 role.
However, last night he was handed the worst Sofascore rating of any outfielder on the pitch, with a score of 5.8 exacerbating just how poor he was against Birmingham.
Will West Brom get promoted?
The £25k-per-week dynamo was expected to shoulder most of the creative burden, as he has done on occasion throughout a campaign in which he boasts four goals and six assists already. However, not managing one key pass or even attempting a single shot would suggest that he failed in this task last night.
This was furthered by his relentless attempts to find Daryl Dike with crosses, with only one of six finding its target. That he was so incessant to continue this practice despite numerous failures could be a sign of frustration, which he unfortunately did not channel into any fine defensive work either.
Fans can often overlook poor performances if the player puts in a shift, but it seems that Wallace could not even manage that at St Andrew’s. Corberan’s side were carrying a passenger last night, and it showed as they were overrun in midfield.
Whilst this may be just a minor blip amid a recent positive run, it could cost the 28-year-old his place in the starting XI, as John Swift may have been patiently awaiting his team-mate’s failure of Corberan’s attacking midfield test.