West Brom’s decision to sack Tony Pulis is not a surprising one. The Baggies have struggled for goals, clean sheets and points so far this season. They haven’t won a league game since a 1-0 victory at Turf Moor in August and a run of results like that in this day and age is always likely to lead to a change in manager.
The problem is that West Brom just sacked a manager that most would bring in to save them from relegation. Had Tony Pulis been available a week earlier, would West Ham have taken him until the end of the season? I would think so. I certainly think he would have been higher up the list than recently relegated David Moyes.
In fact, the only other manager that has consistently improved underperforming teams to steer them clear of relegation is Sam Allardyce. The thing with Allardyce teams is that they are organised and direct, always associated with grinding out scrappy wins to fight for survival. Whilst Big Sam may deliver Premier League survival, the traits of his teams may sound all too familiar for the West Brom fans.
The favourite for the job is Alan Pardew, a manager whose temper can be as erratic as his team’s performances. Pardew is the type of manager who might come in and bring instant results, but the West Brom squad is an ageing one and is unlikely to be able to adapt to Pardew’s style in the same manner as Crystal Palace initially did. He also has a tendancy to go on long streaks without a win, something that West Brow can ill afford given their current league position. He’s an option, but far from a guarantee.
The West Brom board now need to decide if they want to stay up, or if they want to try and play open attractive football. As Crystal Palace fans discovered for 5 games with Frank De Boer, it’s extremely hard to change the DNA of a team to do both.