West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Sam Johnstone has attracted a fair amount of criticism following Wednesday evening’s heavy defeat to Derby County.
The former Aston Villa and Manchester United stopper saw four efforts sail past him in the midweek gave as we fell to back to back losses against Frank Lampard’s side and it was the 22nd goal we have conceded so far in the 2018/19 Championship campaign.
That said we sit in fourth place in the second tier table as we go into this weekend’s clash against Blackburn Rovers at The Hawthorns, and although there’s reason for concern and it reminds us of the long-standing issues we have defensively in the squad, frustrations should be tempered as it was only the third defeat of the year.
Swansea and Man United need to be reported for trading standards, £10m they had off us for Bartley and Johnstone under the blatant lie that they’re footballers. #WBA
— Patrick (@pmeddz) October 24, 2018
In my opinion Johnstone is an excellent shot stopper he made 2 or 3 excellent saves tonight he cannot be blamed for the lacklustre defence in front of him
— Tom Hughes (@TomHughesWBA) October 25, 2018
— Malc Macca (@MalcmacX) October 24, 2018
To play how we play you need a goalkeeper who is confident on the ball and centre-backs who pass like midfielders. Johnstone is a good shot-stopper but isn’t a ‘sweeper-keeper’ and the less said about Bartley the better #WBA
— Danny Wright (@dannyw_92) October 24, 2018
I agree they were all shocking at the back Chris, but how much cover did they have? Our midfield have no legs or pace and that has been a problem for years…
Pulis bought hard working athletes with little quality and we're still suffering. I feel for Bartley on his wrong side..
— Cads (@blackcountrycad) October 25, 2018
He's made 3 great ones since you've tweeted this
— John Joe McCreedy (@John_Joe) October 24, 2018
Frustration was high, especially in light of the scoreline in midweek, and fans should be looking for significant improvement defensively and that includes Johnstone, but earlier in the season when we saw more reliable players turned on, there was a marked uplift in form so we have to hope that happens again.