Carlos Corberan reveals the ‘crazy’ choice to play Jed Wallace v Preston at the opening of the game.
Carlos Corberan has addressed his “crazy” decision to bench Brandon Thomas Asante in favor of starting Jed Wallace up forward for West Brom against Preston North End, claiming it was merely a matter of rotation.
With the Baggies struggling for goals, it seemed ludicrous that the manager would drop his only acknowledged out-and-out striker to the bench before the game.
He was eventually proven correct, with his West Brom team dominating at Deepdale, and he revealed that he wanted his captain on the pitch while utilising other players, specifically Grady Diangana, in his typical wide position.
“Sometimes when you are a coach and make a decision not to start with a specific striker, but to play with a player who can play in the position but isn’t a specific striker, is always a risk because when you don’t score the goals, it’s because you’re crazy for playing with no specific striker,” the manager said to Birmingham Live on October 2.
“Now, if you score goals, I’m not sure what that means. For me, it signifies you did the right thing, made the right decision.
“After Maja’s injury, we now have two strikers, Wallace and Asante, but fortunately, Diangana can play as a winger, where Wallace previously played.”
“In a week of games, with games in a row, you should rest one striker because you can impact games from the bench if you really need to.”
“Wallace is currently a striker, and Asante is the other, which is why we decided to play with Wallace.” I wanted to have other players in different spots on the field, as well as Wallace.”
A big call that paid off in the end
If Corberan’s team had struggled to score, the blame would have likely fallen on the manager and his choice to rotate the only recognized striker in his roster, but as is frequently the case, the major call proved to be the correct one.
Wallace’s inclusion at the top was largely due to the manager’s belief that the game would suit him. He wanted him on the field, but Diangana was the chosen wide option, so Wallace had to fill in elsewhere.
Furthermore, squad rotation is common throughout the season, especially given that teams are required to play three games every week. If Thomas-Asante had begun and received a knock, different questions would have been posed.
Corberan once again demonstrated why he is revered and respected at The Hawthorns by making big calls and sticking to his guns, and things appear to be going their way.