A handful of Chelsea supporters on social media were in uproar after learning Armando Broja had been left out of Albania’s starting line-up yesterday.
Broja began on the bench for the crucial World Cup qualifying fixture against Poland.
Only a point separated the two countries heading into the contest, with the pair still dreaming of automatic admittance to Qatar next year.
Despite the high-stakes nature of the affair, Albania boss Edoardo Reja decided Broja’s efforts were best served as a substitute.
This came as something of a surprise, considering the 20-year-old had scored in each of his nation’s previous three matches, including two huge match-winning strikes, both in victories over Hungary.
But Reja overlooked the Southampton loanee’s fine record and selected a more experienced-looking XI.
Chelsea fans – not to mention a few Albanian and Saint’s followers –struggled to understand Reja’s judgement call on Broja.
Here’s how they reacted on Twitter:
Broja not starting for Albania and Southampton is a crime— Paynee.⭐⭐ (@CFC_Woods) October 12, 2021
I dont get it ,why isn’t Broja starting hes literally our best player😭— 90minchelsea (@90minchelsea) October 12, 2021
how is broja still not starting— Tom (@TomCFC__) October 12, 2021
Why do albania keep benching broja— quavo🇰🇪 (@_victor_qb) October 12, 2021
Albania missing Armando
Broja did ultimately enter the Arena Kombetar, but not until just before the hour mark.
The dynamic forward could not impact the match in Albania’s favour, however.
Poland eventually grabbed the only goal of the evening 13 minutes from time.
Play unfortunately had to be suspended following Karol Swiderski’s precious attempt, as the Albanian crowd reacted badly to going behind.
They threw bottles at the Poland players, who left the pitch for around 20 minutes.
After the stadium shook off their anger, the contest resumed yet the home side could not find an equaliser.
Had Broja been involved from the first whistle, perhaps the outcome would have been different.
Albania face England at Wembley next, before taking on Andorra.