As their biggest test this season lies await against bitter rivals Aston Villa, Jimmy Shan obviously needs to get his combination spot on to move ahead to the play-off final.
Thankfully, he has a variety of options to choose from to win bragging rights in the Midlands derby and take one step closer to the Premier League.
In the next few days, he’ll need his best players to turn up big time to resist the upcoming storm. During this crucial period, lacklustre performances cannot be tolerated. With that in mind, and regardless of how experienced he is, Gareth Barry cannot be played in the crunch games ahead.
The 38-year-old’s been a loyal servant for the Baggies but has declined heavily in the past few months. Despite having made 24 appearances, he’s proven to be a very error-prone midfielder who’s struggled in the fast-paced game.
Barry’s tended to often give away possession, unable to track marauding midfielders or stop attacks in and around his side’s final third. He’s picked up 8 yellow cards in the Championship, itself proving how callous the former Villa star’s become. Indeed, he’s shaky against mobile attacks, making him prone to causing fatal errors for the Baggies.
Up against a side who play in a system such as the vibrant and attacking one Dean Smith has become rather famous for, it’s pretty much a death wish. Experience might be a factor in top-level football but far too much of it can be a bad thing, as it would be in this case.
The Baggies should go with their strongest teams with energetic young players, taking the game to Villa. Barry will probably end up being humiliated Jack Grealish and co, bringing more consequences to sink Jimmy Shan’s aspirations for promotion.
West Brom fans, do you want Barry to be involved against Villa? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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