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Ex-Arsenal Forward Smith Slams Ajayi For Error Vs West Ham

Ex-Arsenal Forward Smith Slams Ajayi For Error Vs West Ham

West Bromwich Albion defender, Semi Ajayi has been urged to step up his game after the Nigerian international committed yet another blunder against West Ham United.

Former Arsenal striker, Alan Smith did not hold back as he blasted Ajayi after a glaring mistake in the first half of the clash against West Ham on Wednesday night.

The Nigerian centre-back had an absolute howler in the early openings of the game at The Hawthorns with his back pass falling woefully short of its intended target.

It allowed Michail Antonio to nip in and bear down on goal, West Brom goalkeeper in an effort to prevent the West Ham striker from hitting a shot conceded a penalty.

Speaking on Sky Sports commentary during the incident, Smith lambasted Ajayi for the role he played in West Brom conceding the penalty. “Nightmare for Ajayi,” he said.

“It was a short back pass, miles short, Johnstone is claiming his innocence but just when you want a solid start, that is nowhere near is it from Ajayi.

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“Maybe he was trying to find [Kyle] Bartley rather than Johnstone, I don’t know but what a gift for West Ham. Sam Allardyce will be fuming with Ajayi for his lax play and rightly so.

The 27-year-old is a towering presence in the Baggies defence and has impressed at times this season in his own area and in the opposition’s but he has also looked woefully short of Premier League standard on occasions.

He gave away a penalty in the Midlands derby clash with Aston Villa recently following a clumsy trip which while possibly considered soft was a lazy movement and no one could have any faults with the decision really.

It didn’t take him long to make an embarrassing gaffe on Wednesday either but nothing came of it as Declan Rice fluffed his lines and hit the post from the spot.

“Ajayi might have got away with one but Big Sam won’t be forgetting that mistake. We’re not suggesting Ajayi’s Albion future is in doubt,” Smith continued.

“That is because West Brom are dropping back down to the Championship and it should be easier for him there but he needs to step up and cut out these silly moments.”

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  • GLORY 3 years ago

    Just too much to take for Ajayi. Ajayi is a good defender but seems to be lacking in confidence sometimes and also in tactical awareness of defending. If he ever gets a choice of going to Italy, France, Portugal or Germany, I’d advise he grabs such opportunities. The above countries know how to develop classy defenders. Ajayi has the built/talent but just those little grey areas need polishing

  • He can be sluggish and clumsy most times. Not my kind of defender.

    • GLORY 3 years ago

      I honestly dont agree that Ajayi is that bad as a defender individually. His biggest weakness, is, he is too quiet on the field of play. He plays in the defence the very wrong way, wherein, he is just playing his own game. You see, no matter how good you are, playing in the defence your way is bound to leave you very vulnerable. One of the most silent but yet most important quality a centre half has to have is creating and utilizing a very solid network of defence around himself. Doing this, requires a defender to be very loud, calling out for cover from defence partners, because no defender can do it, all by himself. Late Keshi, as good and well respected as he was, was severally exposed by tricky players such one Zairean Kanbongo Ngoy, Rodger Milla,etc but majority of fans never noticed because he was always very good at calling out defence partners to cover up. Backing out/calling out defence partners to keep the defence network tight constantly, is very very vital for a centre half. You lack this quality, you sure be labelled a bad defender, no matter how good you may be individually. Yobo was also very good at doing that and presently, Ekong is using this trick very very well, so much so, his obvious weaknesses becomes very difficult to exploit.

  • Based on his performances for club and country, i dont see him as a starter in the super eagles team. He is not up to scratch, not classy, not self aware. He is just in the team because we lack good competition in the defensive position of the super eagles. I can only list two players I can rely on in the defense of the super eagles and only one I can say is very good.
    Leon balogun is good but his age means that he is slow and prone to injury.
    Omerua started with promise, winning the Afcon of 2013, but his game diminished and he hasn’t impressed. In big games He disappoints and he loses concerntration alot.
    Awaziem to me should be a defensive midfielder or Right back and not a centre back. He cant carry the responsibility of being a centre back. He is not disciplined enough for that role.
    Akpoguma we all thought was a quality addition to the team but instead of the coach to play him as a centre back, he is being played as a right back, so we don’t know if he can hold down that position.
    We are left with troost Ekong who has the pace, discipline and desire to play as a centre back. He may not be the best passer of the ball, he might get dribbled past but he is consistent.
    The coach should scout for more quality central defenders for the super eagles because players like semi A are not ready yet for such responsibility.

    • This is a very wonderful analysis. I concur with all the points you articulated. I think the coach and the scouts should do more to get Torunarigha, Tosin, and Uduokhai who is at the moment disappointed after being dropped by Germany in the latest call up

    • Dont worry he is heading to division 2 and yet will come and claim a place in the national team. If he was that good why didn’t he save his team. He is just too soft for y likening

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