Latest Birmingham Mail Column
West Bromwich Albion finally decided to sack Alan Pardew following a disastrous run of results since he took over the reins from Tony Pulis. However the fans want at least three questions answering
1) Why did they leave it so late to sack him?
2) Why did they appoint him in the first place?
3) Why not change manager last summer?
The second question is the most important because he should never have been given the job. Was he really the best candidate for such a great job at a great club?
I wrote in this column a few weeks ago that Alan Pardew had a disastrous win ratio of 5.8% which was nearly 3 times worse than his predecessor Tony Pulis? I also pointed out that it was criminal let his reign just meander along defeat after defeat. That is not being me being a smart backside because virtually every Baggies fan could see it was getting progressively worse week after week and that relegation would be the penalty for allowing it to happen.
Relegation is all but mathematically certain 10 points away from 4th bottom Crystal Palace with a much inferior goal difference. To have any chance Baggies with have to win every single one of their six remaining games-sadly it isn’t going to happen.
When you appoint a new head coach/ manager during the season after bad results your new appointment is like pressing a button marked “Hope” somebody at West Brom has pressed the “self-destruct” button instead and it’s the board who must take responsibility for that.
Good luck to the likeable Darren Moore in his spell as caretaker manager. Many Baggies fans have different ideas about who they want as the next manager for what is certain to be a very tough Championship league- for what it’s worth I would go for Michael Appleton with Craig Shakespeare as number two. They have great knowledge and understanding of the club and its supporters and will know what is needed to bounce straight back out of what promises to be the toughest championship season yet.
Blues and Villa are battling it out at different ends of the table and face a nervy run in to the end of the season and both played last night but this was written before those games so things could be slightly better or worse.
Blues are out of the bottom three but not yet out of the woods. However the two back to back wins under the direction of Garry Monk has given the club and its supporters a massive lift in hope and expectation. A welcome bonus has seen the gloom and doom that has been in the atmosphere around the club for some time is evaporate with each game.
When they appointed Garry Monk the board of directors pressed the “hope” button and that’s all the appointment has given the club is “hope” that they can be out of the relegation zone on May 6th. However as the manager has made it very clear that there is still a lot of work to do in the remaining 7 games to ensure survival.
Villa have to get back on the winning track after two defeats and a draw (before last night’s clash with Reading) has seen the possibility of automatic promotion slip away unless of course both Cardiff and Fulham have a major wobble.
It looks like playoffs for Steve Bruce’s team and that is a lottery at the best of times. However Steve Bruce’s record of winning promotion through both the playoffs and automatic places is excellent – 4 times he has taken a team into the Premier League twice through the playoffs and twice automatically.
The 7 or 10 games remaining will see if he can get a “five card trick”.
By the way I know I am biased about this area but the support for our teams is absolutely fantastic especially away from home. And at a time when both Blues and Baggies have been battling against relegation while Villa’s push for promotion has also seen brilliant support. And it isn’t cheap to follow your team home and away. Last night just under 5000 travelled to Bolton to support Blues who are 12th in the table of average home attendances with 20k this season. Villa continue to have the second best home crowds in the division just over 31k. Wolves are third best with over 28k
West Brom have consistently had home gates in excess of 24’000 in the PL.
I hope the clubs appreciate it.