By Paul Robinson

23rd Sep, 2021 | 4:00pm

'Brilliant' Ismael hailed as West Brom tactical switch 'paying dividends' - Robinson

Paul Robinson has applauded Valerien Ismael’s decision to switch West Brom from a back four to a back three this season.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Spurs and England number one claimed the stats show the decision is “paying dividends” for Albion.

As revealed by Playmakerstats (16th September), the Baggies were conceding on average just 7.4 shots a game prior to last Saturday.

Only Manchester City were boasting better numbers than Valerien Ismael’s side prior to their 1-1 draw with Preston North End.

West Brom’s defence was their biggest issue in the Premier League last season – no team in the division conceded more (76).

When asked by Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs for his thoughts on the defensive turnaround, Robinson said: “I have been really impressed.

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“He did brilliant job at Barnsley last season to take them into the play-offs. The West Brom board saw the way he conducted himself and the way he set Barnsley up and they took a chance on him.

“He has clear ideas on what he wants to do. He changed West Brom to a back five very quickly and it is paying dividends. Defensively they are very sound.

“It is an old cliche but success is built on clean sheets. If you do not concede goals you are going to win a lot of football matches. That is especially the case with them because they have a lot of creative players in forward areas.”

In other news, Paul Robinson claims one signing shows West Brom are ‘serious about promotion’.