Latest West Brom News: Valerien Ismael’s Baggies Philosophy Compared to Slaven Bilic’s
Slaven Bilic and Valérien Ismael have very different playing styles, according to journalist Luke Hatfield.
The Croatian manager was in charge of West Brom from July 2019 to December 2020, while Ismael is now in charge after being named by the Baggies this summer.
What’s going on at Ismael’s West Brom?
Looking only at West Brom’s results, the team have had a very positive start to the season, amassing 22 points in their opening 11 league games to position themselves firmly in the promotion table.
However, there have been murmurs of unhappiness among fans about the Hawthorns’ style of play under Ismael, and they haven’t gone away after the team’s recent loss to Stoke before the international break.
Some have compared Ishmael’s style to the ancient West Brom manager Bilic, who managed to get the club promoted in 2019/20, although his team weren’t always the nicest to watch.
ENTER THE CONTEST
What did Hatfield say about the comparison?
Hatfield disagrees with this point of view and thinks Bilic and Ismael are “vastly different”. He claimed Bilic was keen for his team to play from behind, while Ismael has more rigid tactics that focus on directness and putting pressure on the opposition.
Asked about the similarities between the two coaches by GIVEMESPORT, Hatfield replied: “They are very different to me. Under Bilic it was really a 4-2-3-1, where you just as much had to put the ball on the ground, play nice and engaging football and break teams that way. Whereas, under Ismael, it is a strict 3-4-3.
“And it’s really getting the ball rolling and squeezing teams when they’re in possession of the back and forcing mistakes and scoring that way. It’s minus the eight, nine, 10 passes in an accumulation, it’s plus three or four.
“That doesn’t mean they can’t play football, they are, and they showed that in the last few games before Stoke, where they were playing pretty well with teams. But in terms of the general mantra, it’s quite different.
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Can Ishmael’s Approach Win?
The results so far indicate that it is possible.
Then again, there have been signs over the past month that other teams have become familiar with West Brom’s style of play, as the team have only won two of their last six league games.
Hatfield said he didn’t expect Ismael to change his approach just yet, but if the results start to go against him on a regular basis, the Frenchman may have to rethink if he needs to change things s ‘he wants to give. West Brom has the best chance of finishing in the top two this term.
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