4 contenders for the West Brom jobby Jack Kitson / 03 April 2018, 14:14Tweet
Alan Pardew parted ways with West Brom on Easter Monday following a torrid four month spell in charge, during which he registered only one Premier League win from 18 matches.
The Baggies, seemingly destined for the dreaded drop, have not yet made an announcement regarding when exactly they plan to name a new permanent manager - Darren Moore has been placed in caretaker charge - although a summer appointment appears the most likely outcome.
Below we take a look at four of the early contenders to become the Next West Brom Manager.
Not the most inspiring appointment by any means, but the experienced Mick McCarthy is available for employment in the summer, as he seeks out a new challenge in management after revealing that he’ll be leaving Ipswich Town at the end of the current campaign.
On the face of it, steering Ipswich to just the single top-6 finish in five seasons at the helm is hardly eye-catching, while the pragmatic football was a source of immense frustration to many supporters, but then it’s worth noting that McCarthy was severely restricted by a shoestring budget.
Should, as expected, West Brom go on to be relegated, the Midlands club will be looking to orchestrate an instant return to the top-flight. While it didn’t work out for McCarthy at Ipswich, it’s worth remembering that he previously led both Wolves and Sunderland into the Promised Land, and if the funds are available at the Baggies he would no doubt be very tempted should they come calling.
When Leicester City axed Craig Shakespeare back in October there were whispers of a possible upgrade from assistant manager to top dog for Michael Appleton. However, despite bagging two wins out of two as caretaker, the club instead opted for former Southampton boss Claude Puel.
Appleton began his managerial career at administration savaged Portsmouth, with whom he took down to the Championship under difficult circumstances. He returned to the dugout with Blackpool, for all of 11 games, then lasted just 67 days at Blackburn.
At his fourth attempt in the managerial arena he struck gold at Oxford with the partnership proving to be an ideal fit, as Appleton led the club up into League One and also to the Football League Trophy final, followed by an impressive 8th place finish back in the third-tier and another EFL Trophy runners-up spot. But, he was then lured over to Leicester as an assistant to Shakespeare.
Appleton is no doubt yearning for another job as manager, and it comes as no surprise to see his name in the frame for the job at West Brom, afterall he was previously the club’s caretaker for a single game, while he also ended his playing career at the club.
The same old names tend to be bandied about for the same old jobs, and after the back-to-back tenures of Tony Pulis and Alan Pardew it’s perhaps time for West Brom to break the mould and opt for a different approach.
With that in mind why not give Graham Potter a chance. The Englishman has worked wonders over in Sweden with Ostersunds, with whom he's led to three promotions up to the top-tier, then domestic cup glory, and an impressive run through to the Europa League knockout stages (beating Arsenal at the Emirates).
The 42-year-old made 47 appearances for the Baggies between 1997 and 2000, but now after catching the eye as a manager, his fresh new innovative approach is just what a stagnant West Brom need, and if reports are to be believed he is high on the club’s list of replacement.
Östersunds boss Graham Potter has just beaten Arsene Wenger at the Emirates.— The Sack Race (@thesackrace) February 22, 2018
What an achievement
If he hadn’t already, the English gaffer has now certainly caught the eye of English clubs. #ARSOST pic.twitter.com/h8nsjYfzLY
We’ll be honest, here at The Sack Race headquarters we miss Nigel Pearson, honestly we do. He may not be to everyone’s liking, but his disciplined and no nonsense approach would be most welcome at a club suffering a severe confidence crisis, while his quotes are absolute gold e.g.
“I think you are an ostrich.”
“Are you (journalist) flexible enough to get your head in the sand? My suspicion would be no. I can, you can't.”
“What is the point in talking to him (Mike Dean). He's one of the most arrogant man I've ever met.”
Let's not forget Pearson laid the foundations for Leicester City’s stunning Premier League title success, while he has experience of winning promotion up to the Premier League - with the Foxes - which will be West Brom’s priority should they be relegated.
Back in 2006 Pearson oversaw four games in caretaker charge of the Baggies following the departure of Bryan Robson, winning three and drawing the other.
The 54-year-old was last seen in these shores at Derby, while he’s been in charge of Belgian second-tier side Oud-Heverlee Leuven since September 2017, leading the team to 2nd spot last season.
Pearson is clearly enjoying his time managing in Belgium, but the chance to galvanise one of his former clubs will surely grab his interest, and could prove to be a shrewd move by both parties.