West Brom needs a miracle to survive their relegation battle this season. The club sacked manager Slaven Bilic on Tuesday after they slumped to 19th place in the table with just one win in 13 outings this season.
West Brom have made their worst start to a season in the Premier League era in terms of wins registered from their first 13 games of the season. Nonetheless, Bilic's tenure was marred by misfortune as well, as the club was on the receiving end of three one-nil results.
The game Chelsea could have easily been a win had it not been for a second-half collapse from West Brom. In Bilic's last match as manager, the Baggies fought tooth and nail to earn a vital draw against title-favorites Manchester City. However, that was not enough to save the manager's job.
Sam Allardyce's appointment as West Brom manager is a no-brainer.
Dudley-born Allardyce got sacked from his last job at Everton in 2018 but has famously never let any of the teams he has managed get relegated. Allardyce masterminded rescue missions at Bolton, Blackburn, Sunderland, and Crystal Palace.
The manager arrives at the Hawthorns after being out of a job for more than two years. Moreover, this time around, with 1/3rd of the season gone, he has a mountain to climb at West Brom.
Under Bilic, West Brom's defence performed well, apart from two outings against Chelsea and Crystal Palace. The arrival of Branislav Ivanovic from Zenit St.Petersburg this summer has strengthened their backline.
The first problem Allardyce has to tackle at West Brom will be the lack of chances being created up front. The club has scored only ten goals this season, only Sheffield United and Burnley have scored fewer goals. Callum Robinson has been their top scorer with just two strikes.
Apart from the lack of clear-cut chances up front, Allardyce has to find a defensive blueprint for the West Brom back line to follow. Bilic often got criticized for altering his formations from 4-5-1 to a back three in certain games, resulting in negative outcomes.
Allardyce will have to rely on the veteran players in the team - Ivanovic and Kieran Gibbs - to sort out the team's defensive shape.
One thing that Allardyce would not have to worry about this time around is his style of football. Despite guiding Everton to an eighth-place finish in his last job, concerns over the team playing negative, direct football signaled the end of his tenure.
The Baggies' faithful will have no such concerns. Promoted to the Premier League this season, their first target is to stay in the competition next year.
Allardyce brings a wealth of experience to the club, having worked in the top flight for more than a decade. His biggest achievement - guiding Sunderland to a 17th place finish during the turbulent 2015/16 season- will surely lift the spirits of the Baggies fanbase.
The man knows what it takes to guide a team to Premier League safety during a relegation battle. The task might be daunting but Allardyce has the experience to add another feather to his cap.Published 17 Dec 2020, 20:29 IST