West Brom’s start to life under Sam Allardyce has been a mixed bag, though mostly negative.
In between two embarrassing defeats, the Baggies pulled off a phenomenal result up at Anfield, drawing 1-1 with the defending champions, but it seems it was all for nothing as they were thumped 5-0 by old foes, Leeds United, at the weekend.
Interestingly, the 66-year-old has largely stuck with the starting XI that got Slaven Bilic the sack barring one or two names, so evidently, changes are needed if Albion are to stand a chance at surviving in the Premier League.
Big Sam has opted to snub Matheus Pereira since his return from suspension, restricting the creative Brazilian to two substitute appearances and that’s a dangerous game to play.
Even after providing the assist against the Reds, the permanent summer arrival still couldn’t get in the starting XI, not even over Matty Phillips, who was utterly woeful against United.
He is undeniably the biggest creative influence in the lacklustre Baggies side – since his arrival last term, the former Sporting attacking midfielder has averaged at least 2.4 key passes per game across the Championship and Premier League.
Pereira once again tops the charts for that facet – and he’s way, way clear as the next best this campaign is Phillips on 0.8 key passes per game.
It seems baffling that Allardyce would ignore such a player from the off. He simply must be starting every single game.
“I’m going to go for Pereira because I have been blown away by his skill, his ability on the ball, the way he takes the game to the opposition and the vision he has. He is such an all-round attacking player and isn’t just one type of No 10. I think he is at his best in the centre, but we have seen him play from the right and the left, too.”
One goal in three games isn’t a sign that things are changing at the Hawthorns, so if Big Sam has any sense, then Pereira will be the first name on the teamsheet between now and the final game of the season.
AND in other news, this Baggies star BETRAYED Sam Allardyce in 5-0 Leeds thrashing…