West Bromwich Albion secured their first win of the Championship season, as well as Valerien Ismael’s first league victory in charge of the club, with a 3-2 triumph over Luton Town on Saturday afternoon.
An early Kal Naismith own goal and a 36th minute Callum Robinson strike got Albion off to something of a perfect start in the fixture, before Karlan Grant scored what proved to be the match-winner midway through the second half.
Indeed, following Grant’s goal, Ismael’s side then appeared to take their foot off of the pedal, with Harry Cornick pulling one back for the Hatters before Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu made it a nervy final few minutes by adding a second for the visitors late on.
However, the Baggies ultimately managed to drag themselves over the line, although what could have been a confidence-building result against an impressive Luton side once again highlighted a few frailties within the Frenchman’s team.
One such frailty was on the left-hand side of the pitch, with Conor Townsend having something of an afternoon to forget at left wing-back.
Indeed, the 28-year-old failed to impress going forwards, completing just 55% of his passes, one of his two crosses, none of his six long balls whilst he took no shots at goal over his 90 minutes on the pitch.
The £14k-per-week man’s defensive statistics do not make much better reading, winning just four of his 10 duels – a percentage of just 40% – committing three fouls and losing possession of the ball a whopping 24 times.
As such, with Ismael having signed Adam Reach this summer, a player who would appear more than capable of operating from left wing-back, should Townsend wish to keep his starting spot in the 45-year-old’s side, he will certainly have to up his game against Blackburn Rovers next week – if the 45-year-old sticks with him.