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Sami Ajayi takes one for the team

Super Eagles Sweeper Semi Ajayi was sent off as West Bromwich Albion held hosts Burnley to a 0-0 draw in their Premier League clash at the Turf Moor this weekend.

Wes Brom still sit at 19 position in the league with the real possibility of relagation.

After a couple of games with Allardyce in charge, I came here to predict some months back that Wes Brom are likely to be relegated. The approach of Okocha’s former Bolton coach seems outdated and not suited to the challenges of modern football. I personally wish they had stuck with Slavan Bilic through thick and thin. At least Wes Brom played expansive football and were on the front foot at times under the Croat.

Still, I pray they somehow find a way to stay in the Premier League – impossibility is nothing.

As for Ajayi, well I have highlighted his perceived shortcomings on occasions but today, he took one for the team in being issued his sack letter from today’s encounter. Had he not handled the ball, it could have ran away from him with the attacker left to bear down at the goalkeeper unopposed.

Having said that, what other choices did he have?

He could have anticipated the ball better, kept his hand well close to his turso and then sprint backwards to instigate a more careful yet effective defensive manoeuvre.

But his hands were wide enough to make contact with the ball to cause an infraction and incur a VAR generated sack letter.

Still, Semi Ajayi’s hard work and tireless efforts before that unfortunate incident should be seen in good light. Joseph Chapman, writing for Birmingham Mail describes the incident as ‘Unfortunate’ when rating Ajayi for today’s match.

On the Web version of the newspaper, Chapman wrote:

"Semi Ajayi (5/10): Was going okay in the back, bar one battle for the ball lost against Rodriguez, but he seemed comfortable alongside Bartley in the opening exchanges. The incident after half an hour which involved his red card via handball was very unfortunate indeed.”

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