Joseph Masi has been speaking on the Baggies Broadcast about how Valerien Ismael is under pressure from people above him at West Brom.
The Baggies have made a solid start to the season under Ismael who arrived over the summer after guiding Barnsley to the play-offs last season, but they did taste their first defeat in their previous match against Stoke City which will have left a sour taste in fans’ mouths heading into the international break.
Will West Brom achieve promotion?
Ismael was clearly seen as the man to get West Brom an immediate return to the Premier League, however, he will need to keep up this run of good form and be picking his most in-form players, although Masi has stated that the Baggies hierarchy want to see some return from their investments such as Karlan Grant and Grady Diangana, considering they splashed out £27 million on the two of them combined.
Since the pair arrived at The Hawthorns on a permanent basis back in 2020, they’ve managed to net just six times between them, with Grant getting five of them and registering three assists, and Diangana contributing just the one goal and assist.
Masi was quizzed over whether or not Ismael was under pressure from the board to play their more expensive players, especially as they have featured in 11 games each, with Diangana especially flopping, with just one assist to his name this term.
Masi does believe that Ismael is under pressure from the board.
“That’s absolutely correct, there is pressure. Absolutely no doubt about it, there is pressure from the top to play them.
“Ismael would have been told he needs to get these players firing again and needs to put his arm around them and get them back to their best, because Albion can’t afford to have two players like that sat in the stands.
“There definitely would have been that pressure, but on the other hand, they’re wonderful Championship players, absolutely wonderful Championship players.
“I think any manager, if you said to them, do you want Grady Diangana and Karlan Grant in your squad in the Championship, the vast majority of managers would want them, so it’s not really a hindrance.”
TIF Thoughts on Ismael…
Despite a positive start to the season, which saw them win four of their five opening league matches, they have fallen away from those standards recently, scrapping a lot of draws as well as wins by just a single goal – and this could be down to several factors such as team selections, injuries and tiredness.
Judging by how West Brom have started the season and the results they have picked up against the likes of Bournemouth and Sheffield United, you would expect to see them challenging for the automatic promotion spots or the play-offs at the very least, so Ismael shouldn’t be put under pressure to play certain players and should be left alone to keep picking up good results.