West Brom: Valerien Ismael facing midfield conundrum | OneFootball

West Brom: Valerien Ismael facing midfield conundrum

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Football FanCast

While it may be slightly harsh to suggest that Valerien Ismael is enduring a crisis at West Bromwich Albion at present, the fact remains that the Frenchman’s side currently rank sixth in the Championship form table, having dropped six points over their last six fixtures.

Having said that, the Baggies did turn in an impressive performance against Bristol City last time out, besting the Robins 3-0 – a scoreline which could well have been much greater if Jordan Hugill have taken any number of his big chances missed.

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However, undoubtedly one of the biggest positives to come from the fixture was the central midfield duo of Brighton loanee Jayson Molumby and 34-year-old Robert Snodgrass, who was handed his first Championship start of the season.

Indeed, the duo completed 79 passes combined over the course of the 90 minutes, with Molumby’s return of 40 just pipping Snodgrass’ 39 to rank the 22-year-old as the player who made the most passes in the match, with his Scottish colleague coming a very close second.

To his credit, Snodgrass did manage to better his teammate in terms of key passes made, with the former West Ham United man managing two in comparison to Molumby’s zero.

However, regardless of their individual statistics, the pair highly impressed in the absence of both Alex Mowatt and Jake Livermore – with this particular duo having started all but two Championship fixtures in the middle of the park this season – as the former was still suffering from a toe injury picked up in the 1-0 win over Birmingham City earlier this month, while the latter was suspended.

Ismael himself also seemed delighted with their performance, stating after the match: “They did very well. For me, Robert Snodgrass was man of the match. He’s the perfect example of a player who has had to wait for his chance, stay focused, work hard, listen, learn the principles of what we want to do and when you get your chance, put on the performance to make sure the team stays successful.”

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As such, with a crunch match against promotion rivals Fulham up next for West Brom, Ismael is now faced with something of a selection dilemma, as dropping either Molumby or Snodgrass would appear to be an extremely harsh decision following their performances last weekend.

However, in order to keep West Brom fans on-side, the Frenchman will have to ensure he makes the correct call on Saturday, or else there could be repercussions for the 46-year-old.

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