Albion are preparing to host Leeds after frustration on the road.

We asked three long-time Albion fans for their thoughts on the 2-0 defeat at Aston Villa.

And are there any concerns about firepower going into Leeds’ trip to the Amex?

See if you agree with their comments.

1. What were your thoughts on Albion’s performance versus Villa?

James Heasman: This was a very frustrating game. There is no doubt we are a nice side to watch and kept possession well, but, there is no cutting edge in the last third, and this was not helped by the formation. Graham Potter got the tactics wrong, and in reality we did not particularly trouble a poor Villa team. Whilst I think the ‘false nine’ works against better teams, when we play against lowly teams, we have to take the initiative and Saturday we quickly ran out of ideas. We were ponderous on the ball and frequently surrendered attacking position because of a lack of option. I am hoping we bounce back against Leeds. I would also highlight the excellent support from the Albion fans at the weekend, the home fans were incredibly quiet which made our lack of attacking intent all the more galling.

Colin Beales: The pattern from last year has come back to haunt us. Large sections of the game we control the game, but look slow and predictable in the final third, lacking the cutting edge to get us a goal. Once Villa got their goal the heads dropped completely, and the sloppy play clearly aided the chance for Villa to increase their tally.

Tim Ayling: It was another confusing performance to be honest. We controlled it, but apart from the five minutes before half-time never looked like scoring. I understand not playing a striker against Liverpool, but against two out-of-form teams like Newcastle and Villa makes no sense at all. They were there for the taking and we let them off the hook.

2. Who was your pick of the Albion players?

James Heasman: Jason Steele had a good game as did Shane Duffy and Adam Webster, but for me Lewis Dunk again proved that he is one of the best centre-backs in the country.

Colin Beales: I would say Tariq Lamptey as he had some moments of intent, but largely have to give some credit to how Targett dealt with the threat. I’m probably going to go for Jason Steele as he was the player that I was most concerned about having lacked first team football for so long, but he looked calm, distributed better than Sanchez of late and wasn’t at any fault for the goals.

Tim Ayling: Bissouma was very good, especially in breaking up play. Lamptey looked like the only player who could create anything for us. Once he went off we were finished as any kind of attacking force.

3. Are you concerned Albion are not posing enough of a goal threat and, if so, how can that be changed for the Leeds game?

James Heasman: Yes I am. Leandro Trossard was okay at the weekend and is having an excellent season, but if he is the furthest player forward, we have problems. In my opinion this is an issue of our own making, and since promotion to the Premier League we have yet to sign a premier league quality forward, Maupay has done his best but struggles as a loan striker and we have yet to satisfactorily replace Murray. In terms of Leeds, I would start Maupay, as we need something up front. In the last two games our midfield and creative play generally has been disappointing, consequently I would leave out Moder and Gross and give Taylor Richards or Jeremy Sarmiento a start, plus Alexis MacAllister or Enock Mwepu if fit.


Colin Beales: Absolutely, if this was a one-off game of a small spell just in this season then I wouldn’t be too concerned, but this is a pattern we’ve seen before and if we don’t work out a solution, we will slide down the table back towards our usual spots in the league table. As for changes to address this for Leeds I think I’d be dropping the false-nine which worked well against Liverpool but doesn’t suit every game. If the pattern continued in the Leeds game I may be tempted to throw in a youngster like Sarmiento. He likes to run at teams which may drop us that vital opportunity we don’t seem to be able to create at the moment.

Tim Ayling: Yes, very much so. Playing a striker might be a start! Last season we were at least creating, but now we have a lot of the ball without looking like scoring.