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West Brom owners and fans pile

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PorukaPoslao: Sre Nov 22, 2017 1:51 am    Naslov: West Brom owners and fans pile Odgovoriti sa citatom

For years Tony Pulis has been the safest managerial bet in the Premier League. But that seems to be changing. The fact now facing West Bromwich Albion’s Chinese owners, led by Guochaun Lai, is that sticking with Pulis represents a considerable risk. So, of course, does sacking him, a decision that looks on the cards after the home drubbing by Chelsea. But which option is more dicey?

Lai made it clear when fronting the takeover of the club in September 2016 – at a cost of around £175m – that the new owners had no wish to make gambling a habit. What attracted them most to West Brom was the club’s stability, the Baggies having been a solid mid-table side for half a decade after years of yo-yoing between David Savard Jersey the top-flight and the second-tier.

Owning a Premier League club gives the owners extra kudos as they pursue housing development contracts in China, their main business. Dropping out of the Premier League, by contrast, would be a serious blow to prestige and finances. That is intolerable for the owners. But with their team winless since August and performances deteriorating, it has become a real prospect, despite Pulis’s proud record of never being relegated.
West Brom fans do not care about housing development contracts in China. It is interesting to wonder whether they are even particularly bothered about being relegated if the price of staying up is being bored by Pulis’s no-frills football. What is clear is that with results now as bad as the entertainment value, no one is getting what they want from West Brom. Apart from opponents. The principal interests of the owners and fans appear to be converging and that spells bad news for the manager.
Pulis used his programme notes for the Chelsea match to mount a robust defence of his stewardship, insisting, nonetheless, that he was reluctant to do so because he dislikes referring to the past, preferring to look to what can be achieved in the future. But his vision is precisely what annoys West Brom fans. Nothing suggests he foresees a day where he will regularly send out a team to be proactive. He has spent this season pioneering a formation in which three central defenders are protected by three plodding central midfielders.
West Brom have the lowest average possession of any team in the Premier League – 36.76% – and have had fewer shots on target than everyone bar Swansea. Even at Huddersfield, who played most of the match with 10 men after Christopher’s Schindler’s red card, Pulis’s team could not muster the majority of possession Dexter Manley Authentic Jersey and ended up deserving losers.
Saturday’s programme also included features on great West Brom matches from the past, such as when they beat Mario Kempes’s Valencia in the 1979 Uefa Cup. West Brom were among English football’s great entertainers back then. The Three Degrees and all that. This is not a club where supporters pine continually for bygone glories or feel entitled to demand silverware. But they expect to see ambition, a convincing attempt to make a football match more than a reality check. No one goes to the cinema to watch the news. A Authentic Steve Smith Sr Jersey spot of yo-yo action might even be bearable if delivered with a little gusto.
Pulis’s wildest dream is a 1-0 win. He got enough of them during his first season at West Brom to achieve good positions. But never Jeff Locke Jersey in a manner that generated goodwill. Which is why, now that results have dipped, many West Brom fans are pleading for change. In recent performances it has even looked like some players are struggling to summon the inspiration to apply basic instructions.
Chelsea’s four goals owed much to the ingenuity of Álvaro Morata, Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas, but also to the slovenliness that has crept into West Brom’s play, notably the uncharacteristic absence of set-piece marking that enabled Marcos Alonso to join Hazard and Morata on the scoresheet. Lai, having flown in from China to watch the match, must have noticed the air of weariness and irritation around The Hawthorns.
For Chelsea, meanwhile, things are looking up. Following the victory against Manchester United, this result made it two from two matches since the 3-0 Champions League defeat at Roma. Antonio Conte suggests that match has stimulated a change and may turn out to be as significant a turning point as last season’s loss to Arsenal. Conte altered his formation after that defeat and embarked on a run that took them to the title. The switch since Roma has not been as radical, more to do with mindset and pushing Hazard close to Morata.,106350

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