West Bromwich Albion picked up back-to-back wins with their narrow victory yesterday, as they squeezed past Huddersfield Town in typically solid fashion.
Whilst goals are yet to flow yet again, with the impressive foundation with which Carlos Corberan has built, they seem at times impenetrable and with more than enough quality in the final third to sneak a goal or two.
It was a game in which the hosts dominated, boasting 70% possession and 13 shots, yet the Baggies once again showcased a lack of proficiency as it was only a 30th-minute penalty, converted by John Swift, that was the difference.
Before kick off the main talking point was the role that Adam Reach might play after his surprise recall, with the natural left back featuring within the same squad as the first-choice option in that position Conor Townsend.
However, in what ended up being a successful experiment, Corberan might have unearthed a new tactic to potentially unleash again in the future to keep the opposition guessing.
How did Adam Reach play against Huddersfield?
Although the 30-year-old’s 6.8 rating would suggest a less-than-stellar performance, his contribution to their win was much larger than he was given credit for.
Would you start Adam Reach on the wing again in the future?
Starting on the wing, a position wholly unfamiliar with the defensive-minded talisman, it quickly became clear that his role was to further quell the threat of the opposition’s right flank whilst also offering Townsend the defensive security to push on beyond him.
Given how Josh Koroma and Matthew Pearson both could not muster a rating over 6.3, who were the right winger and right back respectively for the Terriers, it clearly worked.
Not only this, but it also allowed Townsend to earn a 7.7 rating, which was only bettered by the match-winner Swift.
Journalist Lewis Cox sought to comprehend the role Reach had been handed early on in the game, coming to the conclusion that he was being deployed as a sort of “false winger“. He expanded upon this by claiming it was: “someone out wide who won’t hug touchline all afternoon”.
Whilst his statistics might not have set the world alight, with a solid four duels won and one tackle to his name, the way in which he facilitated his teammates makes it a tactic worth employing again.
Cox would even laud him upon his substitution, writing on Twitter that he had: “done well overall.”
Should they face a particularly potent threat down the right in the future, or just fancy mixing things up, Reach now offers a new dynamic to this team that is only evolving with each game week.