EPL: Tony Pulis to Manage West Bromwich Albion


The manager carousel in the EPL is on full swing as we enter the transfer window and the New Year. Per BBC Sport, Tony Pulis will be named the new West Bromwich Albion manager tomorrow. He will be the fourth manager the club has employed since the start of last season, following the footsteps of Steve Clarke, Pepe Mel, and Alan Irvine. Irvine was sacked earlier in the week, firing up rumors that Tim Sherwood may step in and take the job. It seems that the Baggies have gone the route of the miracle worker, Tony Pulis.

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Pulis is well known for his long ball tactics, where the squad sets up defensively and aims to attack opponents with long passes from the back. Many regard this tactic as boring, but the results under the former Stoke City and Crystal Palace boss don’t lie as his teams have never been relegated. Despite a low budget with Stoke City, Pulis continually found ways to keep them afloat in the Premier League thanks to a stout defensive record. He also gave them the reputation of a tough team that no one wants to play on a cold, crunching night. Pulis was relieved of his duties at Stoke after the 2012-13 season, with the Potters looking for more attractive football.

In November of 2013, Pulis took over a Crystal Palace side from Ian Halloway that looked doomed for relegation. Once again, Pulis pulled some strings and worked a miracle to keep the newly promoted side up. Not only did he keep Palace up, but they finished the season in 11th and the manager’s work did not go unnoticed. Despite a brilliant year from Brendan Rodgers of Liverpool, Pulis was named the 2013-14 EPL Manager of the Year. After disagreements over a transfer budget, Pulis walked out on Crystal Palace just before the start of this season.

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While Pulis is known for his great work on keeping sides up on smaller budgets, is he the right answer for this West Brom squad? Irvine’s firing was a bit harsh considering the squad he has, with many experts picking West Brom likely to be relegated or close to it. The Baggies can use help on defense as they’ve conceded 28 goals in their first 19 matches this season, putting them one point above a relegation spot in the table. While a tightening of the defense will likely occur under Pulis, where will all the goals come from? West Brom have only scored 18 times this season, ranking them 17th in that category. Perhaps the long ball style of play can benefit pacey players such as Saido Berahino and Stephane Sessegnon to beat defenders and finish goal scoring opportunities.

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Regardless of the circumstance, the hiring of Pulis is a solid one for West Bromwich Albion and should give them not only a fighting chance to avoid relegation, but a likely probability to stay up. It will be interesting to see what power he is given for the coming transfer window; it’s very likely he’s being given the budget demanded since that was a point of conflict causing him to leave Palace.

What are your thoughts on this appointment? Will Pulis keep yet another team up in the EPL? Let us know with your comments below.