West Bromwich Albion 0 - Millwall 0

Date: Saturday 23rd September 2023 
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
(3-4-3) Palmer 7.2, Ajayi 5.3, Bartley 5.7, Pieters 5.2 (Furlong, 77 5.0), Townsend 6.6, Molumby 5.2 (Yokuslu, 83 5.5), Mowatt 6.6, Phillips 5.5 (Wallace, 77 5.3), Sarmiento 5.8 (Swift, 77 5.6), Thomas-Asante 5.5, Diangana 6.0
Unused subs: Griffiths, Kipré, Chalobah, Ávila Gordón, Fellows
Manager: Carlos Corberán  5.3
(3-4-1-2) Bialkowski, Leonard, Cooper, Wallace, Norton-Cuffy (Esse, 78), De Norre, Campbell (Mitchell, 78), Longman (McNamara, 66), Flemming, Bradshaw (Emakhu, 82), Watmore (Bryan, 66)
Unused subs: Trueman, Saville, Harding, Adom-Malaki
Referee: Tom Nield 5.1
Attendance: 22,325   Home Fans 6.3   Away Fans 4.5
Submit your ratings for this game by clicking here: Ratings submitted so far: 12

Brendan Clegg:

Another game, another missed opportunity for a win. In the end we probably did just about enough but overall I think our points tally reflects our approach and ambition.

CC made a number of understandable changes for our 3rd game in a week and on paper it looked okay although again I was disappointed that we went with the 3-4-3 that more often then not ends up being a 5-2-2-1.

It was moving to see the 92/93 class there to celebrate Ian Hamilton. A special team for me as it was my first season ‘proper’ as 10/11 year old going to every home game, a fair few away games and spending other Saturday afternoons glued to Radio WM awaiting the goal klaxon. I had to chuckle that Steve Lilwall was still identifiable by his gait, walking up the Halfords touchline like he’d ridden to the game on horseback from London. Imagine having the Swansea night and Wembley as your introduction to football?! RIP Hammy.

Back to reality and the first half was a waste of everyone’s time. We were totally hopeless, unbalanced, negative, deep and boring.

We set up every game like we’re playing Manchester City. In full retreat, going backwards. I’m sure it’s really clever the number of pivots we have and how we’re sucking the opposition into us like Zerbi’s Brighton.

Except it isn’t. We’re in the championship, teams aren’t very good or sophisticated. You can be too clever. Personally I’d rather we had the extra man in midfield and tried to dominate teams in the middle and outnumber them in their third instead of on your own six yard box.

The only thing of note in the first half was Palmer saving a penalty quite well to almost wake us up. Our attacking trio couldn’t click at all. Diagana showed flashes but was so deep receiving the ball he was never going to hurt anyone and I also thought if we were going to play this way that he and Sarmiento were on the wrong sides.

Millwall didn’t try either. Didn’t want to walk into our traps. More fool them. We were fortunate anyone in the ground bothered to stay after the 1st half.

At least we had a go after the break. We squeezed up, Diagana and Sarmiento actually pressed and we started to cause problems.

Mowatt, looking stronger, pulled more strings and hit the bar, Diagana looked more lively and after popping up for the only time of the game on the left, beat his man and put in a great cross I think Molumby totally missed before Phillips was blocked.

BTA missed a sitter, nodding onto the bar when all he had to do was head it down.

Millwall had nothing by reply and as our subs came on we pressed without really coming close. Annoying sub comment - you’ve got Grady on but Wallace comes on to play left. WHY? Wallace looked lost… give him a chance and let him go back to basics.

In the end a frustrating one. We’re chucking points away and as desperate as our plight is… we’ve still got a very strong squad and 6 out of 9 this week with more risks taken was definitely achievable. Corberan has to be more flexible and go for games from the off.

  • Palmer - 7 Another point he won us.
  • Semi - 6 Dominant. Some ropey passes.
  • Barts - 6 Solid and no risks. Wouldn’t mind keeping him in.
  • Pieters - 6 Assured but also spare. Why not have a spare player 10 yards further forward.
  • Phillips - 6 Reliable again, looked solid.
  • Mowatt - 7 grew into it and used it well.
  • Molumby - 5 Sloppy but grafted. Absolutely no threat.
  • Townsend - 7 Solid game and got forward.
  • Grady - 6 Some outstanding moments but ultimately too predictable.
  • BTA - 6 Another big shift but had to score. We really should’ve signed another striker even if it was just until Jan and instead of a right back if budget was the issue.
  • Sarmiento - 5 Couldn’t really get into it or sort his feet out. I don’t think the system helped him at all.

With the exception of Wallace I thought all the subs were 6s and had a go, and again I don’t really blame Wallace - he should’ve been put in the right.