Head coach explains Ideye and Berahino conundrum
ALAN Irvine believes Brown Ideye has inadvertently become a victim of Saido Berahino's success.
Albion's record signing, who scored in yesterday's behind-closed-doors friendly with Leicester, has struggled for game time since his big money move from Dynamo Kyiv in the summer.
The Nigeria international has played just 394 minutes of this season - half of which have come in the Premier League.
Ideye has failed to make the 18-man matchday squad in the last two games.
But Irvine claims that is down more to his team's requirements, rather than any slight on his striker.
And Ideye's failure to break into the starting line-up also owes a great deal to Berahino's rousing start to this season - with the Albion head coach claiming both players have very similar attributes.
"He is doing OK but Brown’s competition is Saido," said Irvine.
“You’re looking at partnerships and people who can play together.
“I’m not saying they can’t play together but they’re both of a similar type and they’re at their best going in behind people.
“Unless you’re going to play quite a direct style, two going in behind isn’t very effective.
“If you’re playing against Crystal Palace or Newcastle with the way they play, you’re not going to get an awful lot of space in behind.
“Brown is suffering a little bit because of how well Saido is playing and I don’t think people would be too pleased if I left Saido out to play Brown."
Irvine continued: "It's about a balance, it’s about the different needs of when you pick a bench looking and saying ‘Can I cover as many eventualities as possible?’
"In terms of the weekend, it was a case of ‘Who have we got that can change things around?’ Sess could come on off the front, he could come on the right or left hand side and in actual fact I picked Victor because I thought ‘This is going to be Crystal Palace again’. I ended up bringing him off at half time, put Victor on and things changed.
"It was a difficult game for Sess to play in because of the lack of room, what was happening he kept coming off - as he does - but coming past their midfield.
"Sami gives us an option on the left and right-hand side and playing either up front or off the front and it just gave us more alternatives.
"Brown gives us one option - that’s to replace Saido if Saido has got a problem.
"Brown is probably a victim of Saido being in such good form and being the talk of what seems like the whole country at the moment."