SUMMER ACQUISITION IVANOVIC HAS NOT YET PROVEN HIMSELF
West Bromwich Albion's decision to secure the signing of Brainslav Ivanovic proved to be a good move at first thought. This is because of the reputation the player built for himself while he was at Chelsea. He was a tough defender to face anytime any day and had the hunger and desire to chase the three points even at the death.
His Chelsea career was made better as he partnered with some elite defenders too, with the likes of John Terry helping him build his career as they formed a formidable partnership at the Chelsea defense.
However, he has not been able to show the stuff he is made of since signing for West Brom. The Baggies signed him during the summer in a bid to shore up their backline that was inconsistent and kept taking in goals.
The Serbian at his peak was a beast and a terror for any striker who faced him. The way he went in at tackles fearlessly was so remarkable and he established himself as one of the best right-backs in the league while he played for The Blues at Stamford Bridge.
When West Brom played against Tottenham at The Hawthorns, Ivanovic was absent from the lineup. Surprisingly, the defense was intact and played better football than when Ivanovic was present. The defense did fantastically well to contain the deadly trio of Gareth Bale, Son Heung-Min, and Harry Kane.
Slaven Bilic has recently switched to a three-at-the-back defense, and even though they are trying to adapt to the system, the players are working well to get it adopted and used to the best of effect. The likes of Dara O'Shea Semi Ajayi and Kyle Bartley are some of the club's defensive options and while they can aggressively shore up the backline, they also do pretty well in the attacking front of the team too.
The defense however faltered against Fulham as they sat back too deep and allowed Fulham to gain grounds and too much space for them to get pressed. Branislav Ivanovic has some work to do to get back at his top best and earn his spot in Bilic's team as the first-choice right-back.