Paul Robinson was “surprised” to see West Brom manager Sam Allardyce drop Matheus Pereira for the trip to Tottenham.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former England number one, who worked under Allardyce at Blackburn Rovers, suspects the 24-year-old was axed because of his defensive frailties.
Pereira dropped to the bench for the first time since December on Sunday as the Baggies fell to a 2-0 defeat in north London.
The Brazilian has been involved in more goals than any other West Brom player this season, with his 19 Premier League appearances yielding five goals and three assists.
Allardyce selected Karlan Grant, a centre-forward, on the left flank instead of Pereira.
When asked by Football Insider for his thoughts on Allardyce’s team selection against Spurs, Robinson said:
“Pereira has been one of West Brom’s most creative players this season so I was surprised to see him on the bench against Spurs.
“The team that Sam picked was very defensive. It was set up to be robust like they were for the first 30 minutes or so. They looked hard to break down and obviously Sam did not see Pereira fitting into that.
“He is trying to find the formula, is Sam, and it was not just Pereira who was dropped.
“I think he was just a victim of rotation on Sunday. He did not fit into the system and formation Sam wanted to play against Spurs.”