Bore Bore Baggies: West Brom’s Managerial Monotony

Nev's Notes

So you wake up tomorrow morning and you’re the chairman of West Bromwich Albion.

I know that’s not the easiest scenario to picture, but give it a go. Let’s be honest, at the rate that the Baggies have been hiring and firing senior members of staff, it may be wise to mentally prepare yourself, just in case.

You check the agenda and it’s not looking too peachy. You’re bottom of the Premier League, you haven’t won since January and your senior players have an unhealthy obsession with Spanish taxis. Most pressing of all, you’re without a manager.

Searching for inspiration, you open a filing cabinet in your office. Your predecessor has left a folder, entitled Unimaginative Managerial Candidates. Bingo.

The three names atop the list – Hodgson, Pulis, Pardew – have been scribbled out in red crayon. The only remaining options are Allardyce and Hughes. They’re both already managing other clubs. Panic stations.

Who the hell do you turn to next? The famous five are all off the table and there has literally never ever been anyone else ever who has ever managed a bottom half Premier League team ever. If only Pardew had done the outstanding job everyone expected him too. Maybe it was just the wrong Alan? How about Curbishley instead? Or Irvine? Or Partridge?

Maybe you could appoint someone who hasn’t managed in the Premier League before? A Championship coach perhaps, with fresh ideas and a determination to prove himself at the next level? HA! Good one mate! Where do you think this is, Swansea? Now quit the jokes and keep looking for Steve McClaren’s email address.

The point I’m making, through this admittedly underwhelming fantasy, is that West Brom are the victims of their own managerial monotony. Too often, they’ve plumped for the easy option. They’re the kings of playing it safe. West Brom are that guy at the party who puts Mr Brightside on.

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What happened to the club that took a gamble on a young Roberto Di Matteo, or gave Steve Clarke his first permanent management role? Surely the performances of bitter rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers under Nuno Espírito Santo this season would suggest that looking outside the box can be a worthwhile risk?

My advice to whoever the chairman at the Hawthorns is at the time of reading is to be brave. Don’t let one Pepe Mel put you off making a left-field appointment. Do a Swansea. Do a Watford. Take a risk.

But whatever you do, don’t listen to that thick Yorkshire whisper in the back of your mind…

About the Author

Rowan Nevin
Hi, I'm Rowan. I'm 22 years old and I'm from Bristol. I'm a Journalism graduate from the University of Portsmouth.