West Brom news: How Valerien Ismael could soon come under pressure after first loss

West Brom manager Valerien Ismael looking bemused

Midlands journalist Luke Hatfield feels that Valerien Ismael's methods at West Brom only deserve to be questioned if his team go on a run of successive defeats.

Ismael has only been in his current role for three months after leaving Barnsley in the summer, but it seems that not all of the Baggies' supporters have warmed to him immediately.

What's the problem at West Brom?

Looking at the league table, there wouldn't appear to be an issue. West Brom have lost just one of their opening 11 Championship matches, and currently sit second in the table, three points behind leaders Bournemouth.

However, Ismael has come in and implemented his rigid 3-4-3 formation, which has meant that there has been a lack of free-flowing football at times this season.

His side have won just two of their last six league games, and were booed off the pitch by their own fans after being held to a draw by Derby last month.

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What has Hatfield said about Ismael?

Hatfield believes that the 46-year-old manager deserves credit for guiding his team to a positive start to the season overall. He has claimed that criticism from West Brom's fanbase would only be warranted if Ismael's men go on a losing run in the coming weeks.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT about whether Ismael's style of play should be scrutinised, Hatfield said: “If they lose four, five, six on the bounce then maybe you can start questioning things. But after one defeat in what, 11 games? It’s hard to question his motives in terms of the boss because he’s been fantastic in terms of the results in the run they’ve had.”

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Who do West Brom play next?

After losing their final game before the international break against Stoke, West Brom will be hoping to bounce back when they return to action later this month.

The club still have four games left to play in October, as they face Birmingham, Swansea and Bristol City before finishing off the month against promotion-chasing Fulham.

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On paper, they should return to winning ways in their next two fixtures, given that Birmingham and Swansea are currently languishing inside the bottom half. Yet they have already dropped points this term against struggling teams such as Preston and Derby, suggesting that they cannot take their upcoming matches for granted.

If they do slip to unexpected defeats, the pressure could start to grow on Ismael, and he may then have to decide whether a change of tactics is necessary to get his side back on track. 

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