With victory over Bristol City in midweek lifting West Bromwich Albion into third place in the Championship table at this early point of the season, fans are thoroughly satisfied with the attacking intent on show from the team, but defence has become a hot talking point.
Despite our free-flowing scoring ways, we have hit 20 goals in the second tier in eight games so far and that is two more than table toppers Leeds United, but we have conceded 12 – the same number as Ipswich Town who are sat in 24th place.
Clearly, improvement is needed at the back and I’ve already done a couple of pieces looking at the reactions to the performances of Ahmed Hegazi and Kyle Bartley, so now it’s the turn of Craig Dawson.
The 28-year-old wanted away over the summer and found himself marginalised for most of pre-season before being slowly re-introduced when it was clear a move wasn’t happening, and for the large part he’s kept himself off the radar and put in the work, featuring in five games so far in 2018/19.
His individual showing against Bristol City was pretty poor though and with the summer, he’s an easy target. Especially as he had the armband for that game, and that would’ve got the back of some up immediately.
All for a big score line but two things that stood out to me on the negative. Firstly Dawson looked disappointingly disinterested first half & Hegazi looked asif he'd been hitting the jager bombs #WBA
— Matt Merrick (@Mev7Merrick) September 18, 2018
The front 3 of Barnes, Gayle & Rodriguez – Scintillating. The back 3 of Bartley, Dawson & Hegazi – Abysmal. Frustrating & enjoyable to watch. Not quite sure how to feel! Enjoy the W, I guess! #WBA
— Josh Roberts (@JoshRoberts1988) September 18, 2018
Much better tonight, Bristol are a decent side. Thought Barnes and Barry were excellent, but Darren needs to sort out the mess that is Dawson, Hegazi and Bartley or promotion will be an uncertainty.
— WBA FAN (@FanWba) September 18, 2018
Barnes, J Rod, Gayle, Philips ????????????????
Hegazi, Gibbs, Bartley, Dawson???????????????? #wba
— Jon Gething (@jgeth89) September 18, 2018
Dawson best of a bad 3, HRK gets a 5
— Adam Whitehouse ✌ (@amwhitehouse90) September 18, 2018
Craig Dawson does not deserve to be captain not led by example at all over the summer obviously wants to leave in January…
— Ben Fox (@topperwba) September 18, 2018
All three are fairly inept currently. Bartley looks poor, Hegazi flits between good and bad, and Dawson just isn't right
— Chris Lepkowski (@chrislepkowski) September 18, 2018
Any of the back three. Dawson is vastly overrated quite honestly and I have not been impressed with Bartley. Hegazi gets most of the focus, but he is little worse than the other two, tbh.
— The Shepherd (@DickLaurent96) September 18, 2018
I can get the disinterested comments, but given how he’s knuckled down I’m prepared to say putting on the armband skewed his focus possibly and it meant he failed to focus on his own game properly. With that said he’s not been at his previous levels?
The only way to clear that one up is his next showing with significant improvement – otherwise comments about a January departure with only grow.