Carlos Corberan has disclosed Jed Wallace made the decision to drop to the bench in favor of Brandon Thomas-Asante, demonstrating to his employer why he is the captain at West Brom.
The manager discussed with his captain the possibility of playing both Jeremy Sarmiento and Grady Diangana in a different style, which would have meant that one of Wallace or BTA would have been dropped to the bench.
Wallace then allegedly urged that Corberan start his buddy, despite his desire to play against his previous club, since he believed it would benefit the side to play with an out-and-out attacker at the helm.
Corberan said Birmingham Live on September 24th, “Wallace this week has shown me and our team why he is our captain.”
“I thought it was important to have Sarmiento and Diangana in the first XI when I was preparing the game, to try to play the game that they wanted to play, to be aggressive with the playmakers.” Players that receive the ball with their back to the goal can turn and produce something.
“I was explaining to Wallace and Asante that one would play as a number nine and the other would come off the bench. I wanted to explain this to them because they are both very important players to me and the squad, and I have a lot of respect for them.
“Wallace said to me that Asante should play, even though he was fully determined to play against Millwall. The best way for the team was to use our number nine. Wallace doesn’t like to miss any minutes, but he has a lot of value in this club and with his team behind this answer.
“Finding someone who is this self-demanding and ambitious is very difficult to find. He is someone who was thinking of the team before himself. It’s as simple as that. I am proud and pleased to have him as the captain of my team.”
The captain showed his merit
If it was up to the boss, choosing between the two options would have been a hard call to make. While he could see the best option would be to start Thomas-Asante up top, dropping the captain would have been a big call to make ahead of a game he could have suited.
For Wallace to step up and volunteer to be the one to miss out, with his focus on the benefit to the team rather than his own playing time and desire to face his former club, was a display of selflessness that confirms he was the right choice for the captaincy this season.
While ultimately the game didn’t end up the way they had planned, and the striker ended up having a frustrating time in front of goal, these types of decisions and experiments need to be made to benefit the team.
It is likely Wallace will find himself back in the side for the visit to Preston next weekend, particularly after the poor performance going forward against Millwall, but he has proved he can be relied upon by his manager should he need to bounce anything off him, and that is important.
In other West Brom news, Corberan shared his view on BTA’s costly miss against Millwall.