It cannot be underestimated, the impact that Callum Robinson has had on West Brom’s recent upturn in fortunes. Sam Allardyce’s change of heart in the Stamford Bridge dug-out two Saturdays ago, to replace a defender with an attacker in Robinson when for all the world it appeared as though it’d be Lee Peltier who would fill in for the injured Branislav Ivanovic, was quite literally a game-changer.
Sam Allardyce said: “I’ve got to give Callum Robinson a lot of praise. He’s had a long wait to get in the side. He looked a little short of confidence when I came here. He was having a run where he wasn’t getting chances and wasn’t scoring goals. All of a sudden when he’s got the opportunity he has taken it. He took his opportunity at Chelsea by scoring those great goals and then he also took another opportunity against Southampton. That third goal he scored was really needed because it killed them off. We’ve found a goalscorer in him at the moment, but he’s got to continue now and keep scoring goals. The more goalscorers we have on the pitch, the better chance we have of winning games. Callum played a massive part in both of our recent wins and I’m really pleased for him. He’s been patient. He’s kept himself fit enough to go out and impress when he’s had an opportunity.”
Where previously he was reliant on the same 12 or 13 players to perform each week, now others are taking up the mantle. Doors are being opened and further avenues are being explored; all of a sudden, Allardyce has calls to make, both in terms of personnel and system.
Sam Allardyce explained: “Watching Matheus in the hole [at Chelsea], Callum Robinson maybe couldn’t have played if we had started in a back three. We might have had to put him on the bench and I think when you score two goals and played like he did – we had to go with what we finished with. It worked very well for us against Southampton and got us a very credible three-nil win and a very important three goals – and also a very important clean sheet for Sam [Johnstone] with the penalty save at the end.”