Alan Pardew has been named as West Brom’s new manager.
He inherits a side two points above the relegation zone and here we take a look at what Pardew needs to do at The Hawthorns.
Win over the doubters
On the face of it swapping Tony Pulis for Pardew is not a dynamic step forward. Albion are in the same circumstances to January 2015 when they hired Pulis, sitting one point above the relegation zone. Pardew, Sam Allardyce and David Moyes are the old heads on the managerial merry-go-round and the pressure of the Premier League, and possibly losing the top-flight money, means owners turn to them. Pardew will have his early critics and he must win them round – something Pulis never did.
Add some style
Pardew needs to bring some flair to a West Brom team which has been desperately lacking invention. Pulis’ reign was a marriage of convenience when he came in to save them from a relegation battle but fans soon tired as they looked for progression. Albion pay good money – shelling out £100,000-a-week for PSG loanee Grzegorz Krychowiak – so they need some style to add to what substance they have.
Baggies fans can quite rightly ask for more than a relegation battle with the club now in a eighth straight Premier League season. They want to see the club challenge in at least the top 10 and even have a decent cup run once in a while. They can resist bids for their best players but while they fail to sell out The Hawthorns and as other clubs outstrip them financially there is a glass ceiling.
Resolve Jonny Evans’ future
The captain is in line for a new deal after Manchester City, Arsenal and Leicester all failed with moves during the transfer window. Evans, contracted until 2019, is crucial to Albion having been given the captaincy after Darren Fletcher left for Stoke on a free transfer. West Brom can ill afford to lose someone so vital on and off the pitch.
Sort the backroom staff out
Caretaker Gary Megson confirmed last week he banished fellow assistant head coach Ben Garner from the training ground to ‘lift the mood’. Garner has not been sacked and the decision on whether he stays at the club will lie with the new manager – and Garner briefly worked with Pardew at Crystal Palace. Garner left Palace in July 2015 after seven months with Pardew so there is a call to be made.
Stay updated with the latest news, gossip and football stories by following us @Football_P