What next for managerless West Brom?

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 21 November 2017, 10:13

THE SACKING of Tony Pulis was not unexpected yet it now leaves West Brom’s owners in a unique position.

Chinese business tycoon Guochuan Lai and his pals decided enough was enough and sacked Pulis yesterday in the wake of a 4-0 thrashing at home by champions Chelsea.

The result leaves West Brom fourth from bottom in the Premier League - just a point above West Ham in the official ‘drop zone’.

They haven’t won a league match since August 19 and the defence is shipping goals like the Titanic took on water.

Usually, when a club is in such dire straits, when confidence has evaporated and the team needs a stiffening up, the despairing owners turn to - Tony Pulis!

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However, it’s now proven that the special tactics of the ‘Welsh Mourinho’ clearly haven’t worked and after just less than three years in charge, he has gone and with it his philosophy of building walls around the goalkeeper.

Guochuan Lai has to find a replacement manager asap and the usual names are being linked with the vacancy: Sam Allardyce, Alan Pardew.

Five names in the frame for the West Brom job

Both are capable managers and have proven themselves enough times to be considered viable candidates.

But were West Brom to plump for Allardyce, would they not be choosing a new coach that does excactly the same as the old one did? Like for Like.

And having just realised that that the robust, abrasive style of play is not working anymore and had failed miserably under one of its main proponents, it’s hardly a good idea to bring in a man for more of the same.

Pardew saved Crystal Palace from relegation when he walked into a despondent Selhurst Park in January 2015 with them rooted in a relegation dogfight.

They finished tenth that season and it has to be said that while Pardew knows how to knuckle down and can play ugly to get results he can also mix it up a bit.

Northern Ireland’s Michael O’Neill has never managed a club in the English league. What a gamble that would be - but a worthwhile one given his vast credentials for organisation and his impressive motivational ways.

The big problem is that West Brom’s foreign owners need to sell an unfashionable, medium sized club to the TV market back home in China. Not an easy task at the best of times.

The men from Shanghai Sports were clearly hoping to hang on until the end of the season, then give Pulis the push and bring in a more glamorous, no doubt foreign coach to open up the football and make it more watchable.

That’s off the agenda for now. What’s needed is a dramatic rescue act and a proven manager capable of escaping the drop. That usually means a British manager.

Hull City’s failed experiment with Marco Silva mid-season last year underlines how dangerous it is to drop a rookie straight into the battle.

Pulis would be your ideal man to take over a club stuck in a rut at the bottom of the league.

What a story if he were to reapply for his old job - and get it.


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