West Brom veteran Branislav Ivanovic delivered yet another diasterclass as the Baggies crashed out of the FA Cup to lower league opposition.
Sam Allardyce’s men were beaten on penalties by Blackpool on Saturday afternoon, condemning the Midlands outfit to another game without a win since the 66-year-old took charge.
Whilst the club can now focus fully on their Premier League survival bid, an embarrassing defeat won’t do any favours for confidence or morale. Indeed, Albion have won just once since mid-September in all competitions.
And if Big Sam is to stand a chance, he ought to consider acting on the Serbian’s shocking outing as he’s not only let his manager down again but also showed why he may not be up to the standard required.
After all, he’s just been dominated by a third-tier striker and at 36, could well get eaten alive by the elite names in the English top-flight.
Ivanovic recorded the lowest rating of any starter on the pitch (6.1) and in his 72 minutes of action, he lost possession 19 times, won only 50% of his aerial battles, and managed zero blocks or interceptions, via SofaScore.
The former Chelsea star was also wasteful with the ball, making just 67% of his 52 passing attempts, which is truly shocking considering the Baggies were playing a team two divisions below them.
And that makes it even more pathetic on Ivanovic’s part considering he’s won three Premier League titles, one Champions League and has even had success in this very competition on three occasions.
BirminghamLive’s Joseph Chapman was massively scathing in his post-match ratings, handing the central defender a disastrous 2/10. He wrote:
“Another torrid afternoon for the Serb. He found Yates and Madine to be handfuls and was all over the place as Madine raced through and plundered Blackpool’s second. Like against Arsenal, he didn’t see the game out.”
It’s time for Allardyce to make some ruthless decisions, starting with the exclusion from Ivanovic from here on out. His experience may prove to be vital on the training pitch, but he must be axed from the XI as soon as possible.
He should be doing far better on reported wages of around £38k-per-week.