West Brom have parted company with boss Tony Pulis after a poor run of form for the Baggies in the Premier League. The Welshman looked under pressure and a 4-0 defeat at home against reigning champions Chelsea on Saturday sealed his fate. The odds were pretty poor for him getting sacked for quite a while, so even matched betting was off the table for most hardcore gamblers.
The decision is not a hard one to understand. The Midlands club are struggling for results and form, while the Baggies fans have also complained about the style of play from their team under Pulis.
However, now Pulis is gone most fans will be wondering which boss can come into the club and have an immediate effect on the team’s performances. It is a difficult one.
Pulis is a known Premier League survivor. He keeps teams in the Premier League and that is his sole purpose as a football boss. Since he joined the Baggies, the team have finished 13th, 14th and 10th in the league table.
He does not try to over-complicate things, but his teams do not always play attractive football. Supporters will accept a team playing industrial football for a while if it is effective.
However, after a couple of seasons, it tends to get tedious and fans become disillusioned with their team. The Baggies will be grateful that Pulis has kept the team in the top-flight, as previously they were famously a yo-yo club.
The problems start when not only is the football tedious, it is not even effective at winning games anymore. Two wins in their last 21 Premier League games is a terrible record for any team.
West Brom are in that middle group of clubs that are much of a muchness in the English top-flight. They are the sort club that would like to progress, but the clubs hierarchy are just happy to remain in the Premier League.
It will be difficult for the Baggies to find a boss capable of moving them away from the relegation zone at this point of the season. No doubt the same old names of Sam Allardyce and Alan Pardew will be mentioned, as they are experienced, top-flight bosses.
However, West Brom are the sort of club that would be an ideal place for an up-and-coming boss to learn his managerial trade.
One name that springs to mind straight away is that of Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill, whose mum recently sadly passed away, which put talks with Scotland on hold for the time being.
The former Shamrock Rovers boss is now the joint favourite to take over the club at odds of 4/1, with former Baggies midfielder Derek McInnes the same odds.
O’Neill is the sort of boss that would thrive at a club like West Brom. However, the Baggies cannot afford to take a gamble on their next appointment. For me, O’Neill would be a shrewd appointment. He even knows a number of West Brom’s players from international duty.
West Brom were a comfortable midtable team last season in the Premier League. However, this season if their form does not change quickly they will be involved in the relegation battle.
I doubt many Baggies fans have missed the nerve-wrecking relegation battles in recent seasons. Whatever manager comes in needs to work quickly and make sure that the Midlands side are not dragged into the relegation zone.
It seems the majority of West Brom fans are pleased that Tony Pulis will no longer be managing their team. However, as the saying goes you have to be careful what you wish for.