With the season drawing to a close, and with West Bromwich Albion’s position in the 2015/16 Barclays Premier League almost guaranteed, now seems as good a time as any to assess the latest Baggies boss.
A certain number of fans have voiced their dissatisfaction with Tony Pulis. Particularly after the consecutive home defeats to QPR and Leicester, there were some calling for yet another managerial change. Pulis’ style is seldom worthy of celebrating without the results to accompany it. As a result, when things don’t go his team’s way, he is more likely to come in for criticism.
However, the Welshman has come in and secured safety after only half a season in charge. The cup victory against West Ham and the league win at home to Swansea in particular were very impressive performances, and if Albion can reproduce some of that form next season, they should be looking up the table as opposed to over their shoulders.
In terms of signings, Pulis hasn’t yet had a chance to bring in the players he wants. He secured Callum McManaman and Darren Fletcher, and both of them look outstanding. Granted, Macmanaman has been injured, but he looked like he could have single-handedly secured a victory against Liverpool in the last home game, and will only improve at the football club. Fletcher, on the other hand, has not been injured. He has led the side to safety, and done exactly what he was brought in to do. If Pulis is given the summer to stamp his authority on the squad, then next season should see West Brom get back on the track Roy Hodgson set them on four seasons ago.
Despite the football produced under Pulis this term, the new manager certainly knows how to win games. Surely that is the only consideration that really matters when analysing a team’s (or manager’s) performance?
Anyway, next season should see a solid mid-table finish if Pulis is allowed to make the transfers he wants. Provided he can get the men in that he wants, and provided the pinstripe shirt and blue shorts are abandoned, all should be well at the Hawthorns.