West Brom boss Tony Pulis claimed Saido Berahino was “lucky to be on the bench” after he left the striker out of his starting line-up again.
Berahino, 22, was left out of the Boxing Day defeat at Swansea, despite Salomon Rondon’s suspension and Pulis has left the England man out of his starting XI again at home to Newcastle.
Pulis went for Rickie Lambert up front against the Swans and on Monday he opted for Victor Anichebe in attack with Berahino left kicking his heels on the bench.
“With Saido, I’m an experienced manager and there’s a lot of things that go on at a football club that determines whether people should be in the team or shouldn’t be in the team.
“He’s lucky to be on the bench never mind starting. Sometimes things go on at football clubs that you people don’t see and don’t realise.
“He’s a smashing kid but he lets himself down at times,” Pulis told Sky Sports.
The striker’s latest omission will fuel talk of a transfer in the January window with Tottenham believed to be still interested in the £20million-rated striker.
Spurs had three bids for Berahino rejected in the summer before the player threatened to go on strike and his relationship with Jeremy Peace and Pulis has not improved in the last few months.
Pulis, before Christmas said: “If Tottenham don’t come in Saido has got to get his head down and recognise he has got to work hard, get in our team and start scoring goals again.”