4 Candidates to replace Tony Pulis at West Brom
In a rather predictable move, West Bromwich Albion parted company with its manager yesterday. Tony Pulis' exit had been in the pipeline for some time as the club could no longer condone his brand of football. Miserable form saw the Baggies win just twice in their last 21 Premier League matches, spanning last season. An 11-game winless run this campaign has left them hovering precariously above the relegation places. Saturday's 4-0 home defeat to Chelsea proved the final straw for the Chinese owners.
After successful spells at Stoke City and Crystal Palace, Pulis moved to the West Midlands midway through the 2014-15 campaign. He leaves West Brom in the same position as when he arrived - a point above the relegation zone.
The Welshman made a significant impact at the Hawthorns as the Baggies finished 13th, 14th and 10th in his three seasons in charge. Overall, he racked up a 29.75% win ratio from 121 games in all competitions.
With Pulis now out of the picture, who should West Brom's hierarchy approach to rescue the club's disappointing campaign?
Here are four potential candidates.
Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill is the favourite to take over at West Brom. And rightly so. The 49-year-old has worked wonders with his nation since 2011, guiding the Green and White Army to Euro 2016 knockout stages. His heroics also appear to have alerted the Scottish FA. O'Neill is unlikely to replace Gordan Strachan, though, as he's expected to head to England instead. Should he get the nod at the Baggies, he will link up with countrymen Gareth McAuley, Jonny Evans and Chris Brunt, who all ply their trade at the Hawthorns.
Who is better equipped to revive West Brom's ailing season than Sam Allardyce? He flaunts an impressive track record having previously steadied tumbling clubs West Ham United, Sunderland and Palace. 'Big Sam' has been linked with almost every Premier League job opening recently, and it's no different this time. However, he adopts similar methods to Pulis, which may dent Allardyce's chances.
If the Baggies are seeking a progressive-minded tactician, Ronald Koeman fits the bill perfectly. Once linked to Barcelona, his attacking philosophy is envisioned by West Brom fans. Although the Dutchman suffered a blow after a disappointing second season at Everton, he remains one of the best in the business. Consequently, Albion may find it difficult to convince him to join. It depends whether Koeman views it as a big enough step.
The Aberdeen boss, Derek McInnes, could be the man to improve his former club's fortunes. Having spent three seasons as a player at the Hawthorns, he has experienced a steady rise since venturing into coaching in 2007. McInnes flaunts remarkable numbers, losing only 141 times in 457 games - averaging a win ratio of almost 47%. However, his appointment would present a risk having never managed in the Premier League.