West Brom were dumped out of the FA Cup on Tuesday night, meaning the Baggies can put their full attention towards clinching promotion back to the top-flight.
Albion’s second string eventually held their own against Premier League outfit Newcastle United as they very nearly pulled off a stunning comeback coming from behind to lose 3-2 at the Hawthorns.
Slaven Bilic made nine changes to his side, including one in attack with Charlie Austin replacing Hal Robson-Kanu while the likes of Gareth Barry and Chris Brunt were also handed rare starts.
But fans were left reeling by the performance of the 30-year-old summer signing.
Here’s what has been said…
Austin in particular annoyed me tonight, big opportunity and he showed little. A frustrating night, hopefully we make up for it on Saturday #wba
— Joel Penn (@Joelwba) March 3, 2020
Going down town tomorrow to get some boots. If Charlie Austin is a footballer then there's hope for me yet
— Joey (@JoeFairfax) March 3, 2020
I know he's supposedly some pashun merchant but if Charlie Austin could shut his mouth and stop moaning for a bit and start playing football that would be great
— Hegazić (@Hegazix) March 3, 2020
Often defended Charlie Austin and appreciate he's not a lone striker, but what a pathetic performance from someone who should be doing all he can to prove himself. Don't think he's actually ran yet. #WBA
— Rich Brumpton (@richb1990) March 3, 2020
Barry was atrocious brunt nothing special. Krovonovic and zahore coming on made us look far better. Austin stunk the place out hes not suited to the billic system #WBA
— Andrew Beech (@beechyboy90) March 3, 2020
— AshTurner (@AshTurnerDJ) March 3, 2020
The 30-year-old was blasted for putting in a “pathetic” display while one supporter told him to keep his mouth shut and actually start playing football.
Another fan claimed Austin was “finished” with a further member of the Baggies faithful believing the striker “stunk the place out”.
In 67 minutes of action, the frontman could only manage one shot and won just three of his seven duels, per SofaScore, who also handed him a rating of just 6.6.
Many believe Austin is getting past it, referencing his lack of pace with the veteran being described as “slow” and “ponderous”.
Today's key points #wba
-Johnstone is no. 1 anyone saying otherwise doesn't know football
-Austin, Barry and brunt have all lost there legs
-Krovinovic is premier league quality
-kanu, ajayi, Johnstone, Robinson etc are criminally underated
— Matt (@RxbsonKanu) March 3, 2020
Gareth Barry and Charlie Austin. Really not up to it. Slow, ponderous and nowhere near good enough. Subs changed the game.
— Matt (@Matthadlington) March 3, 2020
Slav has had a mare tonight. A manager simply cannot select Barry & Brunt together at this stage of their careers. Add Austin to that & you've got 3 players who can barely run. #WBA
— CH (@ChrisAlbion01) March 3, 2020
— . (@Brom68) March 3, 2020
Plenty of others suggested that Kenneth Zohore was the better option of the two after the fellow summer arrival came on as a second-half substitute.
One fan claimed that the Dane offered more while another suggested that the club mascot – a bloke in a boiler outfit – would be a greater striker than Austin.
Zohore frustrates me! Can do something ridiculously good and ridiculously bad. For me though offers more than Austin as a lone striker #wba
— Matt (@Matt_Slater_98) March 3, 2020
Boiler man > charlie austin #wba
— Luke Rowland (@LukeRowland015) March 3, 2020
Zohore > Austin.#wba
— C Scrivenić🇭🇷🇭🇷🇭🇷 (@CalScriven) March 3, 2020
Much better second half. Edwards best game for us so far. Krov off the bench looked very good. Zahore definitely a better option than Austin. Brunt and Barry very very poor no legs. Wasn’t convinced with O’Shea at CB. Hopefully momentum from second half. #wba
— Mason (@Mason7WBA) March 3, 2020
And then there were supporters wanting him nowhere near the matchday squad with some going as far as asking the club to offload him at the next opportunity.
Anyone still think Charlie Austin should be in the starting X1? No thought not. Case closed. No further questions your honour #WBA
— Kevin Adams (@AshesVictory) March 3, 2020
There are a few youngsters and loanees I’d really like to keep at the end of the season.
Unfortunately also a few old timers that it’s time to move on, I’d put Austin in that group I’m afraid.
— Jak⚽️🏈🍺 🇪🇺 (@jaksoi67) March 3, 2020
Hopefully I never see Charlie Austin in a West Brom shirt ever again. Nothing personal, just hasn’t worked out
— alf (@alfwbaV3) March 3, 2020
And in other news, West Brom boss Slaven Bilic provides injury update on Hegazi…