West Bromwich Albion manager Slaven Bilic is under increasing pressure to turn things around at The Hawthorns after a poor start to the Premier League season.
Promotion last term from the Championship saw the Baggies return to England’s top flight but Bilic is yet to guide his side to a league victory this season.
Three draws are the only points in which West Brom have gained thus far, although they performed admirably in a narrow 1-0 defeat to Tottenham last weekend.
With the international break now upon us, all except Callum Robinson, Kamil Grosicki, Semi Ajayi, Dara O’Shea and Conor Gallagher are able to afford a rest.
Such a break could hand Bilic the chance to have a much-needed assessment of his squad and make some changes for the Baggies’ next fixture against Manchester United on 21 November.
With the likes of Grady Diangana and Matheus Pereira struggling to reach the form they consistently delivered last term, Bilic could opt to change things around against the Red Devils. We have picked out one player who could be facing the axe from the Croatian’s starting XI.
That man is Jake Livermore.
Along with Sam Johnstone, 30-year-old midfielder is the only West Brom player to have started all eight Premier League games so far this season, but his performances have been somewhat below-par.
An average rating of 6.26 out of 10 via WhoScored.com sees the former Hull City man among the lowest-rated players in Bilic’s squad by the statistics website.
Whilst Bilic seems to be convinced that Livermore must remain in the Baggies’ starting line-up, it may be that a change could be in order, even if only temporarily. It would be a move with which some fans would seemingly agree, judging by Twitter verdicts such as these in response to a club tweet:
Twitter: @WBA He’s pinching a living (@BaggieMike1959)
Twitter: @WBA He’s a good sort. It’s a real shame he’s on a hiding to nothing this season. (@PsychosisSafari)
READ WEST BROM VERDICT
Those fans’ opinion of Livermore seem warranted, with statistics not painting a favourable light of the midfielder.
Along with his aforementioned low average rating, the 30-year-old has completed just 75.7% of his attempted passes, with only 0.4 key passes per game [WhoScored].
With matches set to come thick and fast when the international break is over and with pressure on Bilic’s shoulders, the Croatian could do worse than tinkering with his side; and if that means dropping one of his most trusted players, then so be it.