There were certainly plenty of positives to take from Tuesday evening’s clash with Bristol City at The Hawthorns.
Four more goals and another three points under head coach Darren Moore in our Championship campaign sees us rise into third place in the table based on goal difference.
One issue did stand out from the game though and with three at the back in the shape of Ahmed Hegazi, Kyle Bartley and Craig Dawson that created plenty of talking points on social media during and after the game.
The main one being, whilst they each have their defensive qualities, none of them would actually be considered a ballplayer – for me maybe Dawson more so – but it was an issue plenty of fans could easily pick out from the game as we tried to build from the back.
Hegazi, in particular, bore the brunt of that criticism.
Hegazi is a complete clown with the ball
— smethwickend (@Smethwickbooboy) September 18, 2018
The boo boys will start on hegazi soon. And rightly so. He needs to be dropped and sold ASAP! Shockingly inept player.
— Paul Saunders (@psmariners) September 18, 2018
And people moan about Bartley…… Hegazi can’t defend, pass, dribble or mark. Apart from that he’s alright #wba
— Ross Melrose (@rmelrose11) September 18, 2018
@mattwilson_star I’m all for playing out the back, but our players aren’t the ones to do it. Maybe Gibbs, but hegazi definetley isn’t the type who wants to be on the ball
— Michael Poultney (@devwakey) September 18, 2018
— Ripley 22 (@RipleyofAlbion) September 18, 2018
A joy to watch first half. Hegazi worries the life out of me ???? pic.twitter.com/AbArpRVi8A
— ???? DOOD ⚪️ (@RudeDoody) September 18, 2018
Why and how is Hegazi still a West Brom player!? A liability at the back #WBA
— Alex Bridges (@BridgesAlex4) September 18, 2018
With the switch in style under Moore compared to the more basic Tony Pulis idea of football, this was always probably going to be an issue and we’ll be looking for more from Bartley, in particular, I would think.
Hegazi does what he does though, plenty of fans like it and a big concern is we are leaky at the back with attack carrying us at this minute. Whether it’s a work in progress or not as we seek a better balance is open for debate, but without a turn in Hegazi’s form again, I can only imagine the calls will get louder.