Performance in Numbers: Rodriguez fails to deliver when it matters most

Jay Rodriguez had a terrific season, there’s no doubting that. Alongside the mercurial Dwight Gayle, he scored 22 goals as West Brom came within five penalty kicks of a place at Wembley.

For Albion’s campaign to end on that note was extremely unfortunate, but when it mattered most, one of their clutch players failed to show up.

Rodriguez’s work rate was exemplary against Aston Villa last Tuesday night. However, barring that, he was incredibly poor.

Tasked with leading the line with both Gayle and Hal Robson-Kanu suspended, the club have arguably never needed him more.

On this occasion, the prolific frontman was anything but assured, failing to find the net from the two shots he had.

It may seem harsh to criticise the 29-year-old but it was a display far from his best and it proved costly. West Brom knew they needed goals but devoid of creativity, they couldn’t get over the line.

Rodriguez was arguably a victim of Albion’s lack of quality and absentees elsewhere.

Matt Phillips and Jacob Murphy struggled once more and they failed to find a spark capable of providing their striker with the chances he needed.

The former Southampton man was essentially a passenger throughout the match, boasting a quite frankly awful pass percentage and only touching the ball on 17 occasions throughout the 93 minutes he was on the pitch.

His inability to win aerial duels also laid a poor platform for his team. Against Tyrone Mings and Axel Tuanzebe he never really had a chance, such was their physicality.

Without Gayle next to him, Rodriguez looked lost, appearing isolated as he cut a frustrated figure.

For someone who has been so good all season, it was a bitterly disappointing display. On Tuesday, West Brom needed someone to stand up and grab the game by the scruff of the neck.

Technically, Rodriguez was their best hope. Instead, he failed to provide and as a result, another season in the Championship looms for the Baggies.