West Brom boss Irvine criticises 'poor' Berahino after England call-up

Saido Berahino

West Bromwich Albion manager Alan Irvine has criticised Saido Berahino's performance against Newcastle.

West Bromwich Albion slipped to a 2-0 defeat on Sunday, as a resurgent Newcastle United defeated the Baggies 2-0 at The Hawthorns.

That was West Brom's first defeat since losing 2-1 to Liverpool at the start of October, with the players seemingly growing under new manager Alan Irvine after a difficult start.

Irvine's arrival has led to inspired performances from young striker Saido Berahino. With seven goals in ten games heading in to the Newcastle clash, the 21-year-old forward had dazzled so far this season - and his exploits haven't gone unnoticed.

Whilst born in Burundi, Berahino qualifies for England given that he moved to Birmingham at the age of ten, and was rewarded for his great start to the campaign with a call-up to Roy Hodgson's England squad for fixtures against Slovenia and Scotland.

Meanwhile, rumours have strongly linked Tottenham Hotspur with a move to sign Berahino in January. A £15m fee had been put on Berahino's head, with Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino in desperate need of a spark up front.

However, Berahino's hugely successful week ended badly with defeat against Newcastle, and manager Irvine criticised his performance, citing concerns over his international call-up.

"He probably had his poorest game but people have poor games," said Irvine. "Everybody, including myself, will probably go away asking ‘Is it because of what has just happened to him during the week?’"

"But you can have a poor game any time. I would like to think what happened during the week has given him a massive boost and maybe it just didn’t happen for him for whatever reason," he added.

Berahino now has the chance to impress for England during the international break, before returning later this month to face Chelsea with Albion - a daunting task for the Baggies and their star striker.

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