Joseph Masi and Luke Hatfield discussed all of the latest West Bromwich Albion news on the most recent edition of The Express and Star’s Baggies Broadcast podcast and during the show, Masi spent a lot of time talking about all things surrounding the sacking of Slaven Bilic.
Masi spent some time discussing the Albion board’s reasons for sacking Bilic on this podcast and while doing so, the journalist revealed that the Baggies hierarchy is of the belief that goalkeeper Sam Johnstone’s performances are the only thing that have kept the club, that currently sits second-from-bottom on the Premier League table, off the bottom of England’s top flight.
He said: “I understand this is what the Albion hierarchy has come to the conclusion of, that they believe that Albion are too easy to play against, they believe that they concede too many goals, they believe they’d be in a worse position in the table if it wasn’t for Sam Johnstone and they believe that the team hasn’t really strived or achieved any consistency this year.”
Has Johnstone been West Brom's best player this season?
TIF Thoughts on what Masi revealed about Johnstone…
Per WhoScored, Johnstone has earned an overall rating of 6.64 from his 13 Premier League appearances this term, which it may be fair to say is a respectable rating relative to the rest of his team, as it makes him the sixth-highest-rated Baggies player in the league for the 2020/21 campaign, with 19 players to have made a top-flight appearance for West Brom this season earning a lower overall WhoScored rating for the 2020/21 season than the 27-year-old stopper.
Additionally, per the Premier League’s official website, Johnstone has made more saves (56) than any other ‘keeper in the top flight this term.
With that in mind, it may be fair to say Johnstone has performed well this season, whilst it’s also clear that he’s certainly been kept busy in the Baggies’ net. As a result, perhaps the relegation-battling side would have fewer points on the board than they currently have if he hadn’t been delivering the standard of performance that he has.