West Brom need results and fast, but nothing is easy in the Premier League.
Sam Allardyce is yet to pick up his first win in charge of the Baggies having been thrashed 3-0 by arch-rivals Aston Villa and 5-0 by Leeds United, either side of an actually impressive point up at Anfield.
Now they welcome a faltering Arsenal side to the Hawthorns tonight. It’s almost a six-pointer for the Gunners as a victory would pull them back closer to the top seven, whilst a defeat would certainly condemn them to a likely battle at the wrong end of the table.
And the 66-year-old ‘firefighter’ can do himself a world of good with some alterations to his starting XI. Evidently, things are not working out.
Albion have leaked eight goals and scored just once in those three matches. Not much can be done defensively with the likes of Kyle Bartley, Conor Townsend and Kieran Gibbs on the treatment table, so perhaps it would be wise to make a change in attack.
No that isn’t Charlie Austin or Kenneth Zohore, it’s the Baggies’ big-money summer signing Karlan Grant.
After a £12m move from Huddersfield before the domestic deadline, the 23-year-old has simply failed to provide the goals required to lead the line.
Indeed, Grant is only averaging 1.3 shots per game, which is marginally worse than midfield duo Conor Gallagher and Matheus Pereira, per WhoScored.
That’s not encouraging for a striker playing up top on his own, even more so considering the praise he arrived with.
At the Terriers, his boss, Danny Cowley, called him “ruthless in front of goal” whilst Lee Bowyer, who was linked to the Baggies job at one stage, once claimed that Grant “causes problems and scores goals.”
We’re yet to see either nor have we even seen a glimpse of that, so it’s time for Allardyce to show no mercy. After all, he didn’t bring him in. It was Slaven Bilic and Luke Dowling.
With Hal Robson-Kanu also still on the sidelines, there can be no harm in giving Austin a proper run-out. His record at this level is far better having contributed to 44 goals in 110 appearances, via Transfermarkt.
A six-year deal on £20k-per-week isn’t looking like the smartest piece of business from Albion, but if they do go down, then they may be well-equipped to mount an instant comeback charge.
But for now, Grant must be axed until he finds those goalscoring boots from the bench. He’s not fit to start in the Premier League.