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EFL Championship 2021/22: West Brom’s fall from the top

One cannot bring up the word consistency if they are to describe West Bromwich Albion over the last few years. The Baggies will be spending another season in the Championship – their fourth in the last five seasons – next season. What started off as an amazing season has turned into turmoil for the West Midlands club. West Bromwich Albion currently sit 12th in the table eight points away from the final playoff spot. The Baggies have also had a change of manager with highly-rated Valérien Ismaël sacked after a poor run of form post October and appointed Steve Bruce.

The following visualisation shows how the Baggies’ season turned good to bad to worse week by week.

West Bromwich Albion could not have asked for a better start to the season with the Baggies staying unbeaten until matchweek ten. However, four draws in those first ten fixtures meant that Ismaël was going to need some time to implement his style. Their Expected Goals (xG) and Expected Goals Against (xGA) in the first few fixtures looked promising as shown in the chart above. Against Blackburn Rovers, West Brom produced their highest xG for the season. Things started to fall apart at the beginning of October with Albion winning only six out of their next 19 games eventually leading to the sacking of Valérien Ismaël. During this run from matchweek 11 till Matchweek 29, West Brom lost to Hull City, Derby County, Preston and Millwall. Their performance against Preston towards the end of Ismaël’s reign was one of their worst attacking performances this season.

Steve Bruce was appointed as the manager in early February and not much has changed for the Baggies since then. It took six games for Bruce to claim his first victory. Under Bruce, the Baggies have struggled defensively failing to keep back to back clean sheets. It will be something that Bruce will be looking to sort out very soon if the Baggies are to qualify for the playoffs. West Brom’s largely inconsistent form means that they are unlikely to get promoted to the Premier League, however, they will look to finish the season strong and start from scratch next season.