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Five replacements for Alan Irvine as West Bromwich Albion head coach

| 30.12.2014

West Bromwich Albion chairman Jeremy Peace is looking for his fifth permanent manager in less than four years since sacking Roberto Di Matteo in February 2011. The club are 15/8 chances with Coral to be relegated.

Peace’s reputation as a ruthless chief has been fairly earned. While he may now have fired Alan Irvine, Pepe Mel and Steve Clarke since Italian coach Di Matteo brought the Baggies back into the Premier League, this itchy trigger finger is becoming a nasty habit.

Roy Hodgson is the only man in The Hawthorns hotseat in recent times to avoid getting a P45, but that was because his country came calling. With Peace having no compunction about dispensing with Albion bosses, Coral’s football experts got thinking about who would want to take the job at West Brom?

We came up with five managers looking for work, so read on to see our short-listed names…

Tony Pulis
There may be a battle to secure the Welshman’s services, because Newcastle United are need a new boss with Alan Pardew set to take over at Crystal Palace.

St James’ Park could be more of a draw for Pulis because the Tyneside team are of greater standing in terms of fanbase. However, he worked wonders with another Midlands team Stoke City, and may see West Brom as less of a goldfish bowl than Newcastle.

Tim Sherwood
It’s customary to link former Tottenham head coach Sherwood with every job going, so we don’t see why the Baggies should be left out. It was a similar story when Spanish boss Mel made his departure, but Irvine landed the role instead of the Premier League winner with Blackburn Rovers.

Five months of Premier League managerial experience for Sherwood contrasts sharply with someone of Pulis’ calibre, so that and his refreshing honesty, which Peace may see as an inability to be discreet, could count against him here.

Vitor Pereira
Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, another Jose Mourinho protege rears his head. Pereira worked with both ‘the Special One’ and Andre Villas-Boas in various roles at Porto, before making the step into the hotseat in the Dragons dugout where he won back-to-back league titles.

Having appointed Di Matteo and Mel, Peace has previously showed he is prepared to go down the foreign coach route. On-loan winger Silvestre Varela would certainly welcome working with his fellow Portuguese again.

Martin Jol
Another foreign option is to give ex-Spurs and Fulham boss Jol a route back into management. He played for West Brom in the 1980’s, so knows the club well.

The steady decline the Dutch manager saw Fulham take under his charge may be off-putting to Peace but, Pulis apart, there are few coaches with as much Premier League experience as Jol available.

Paul Clement
Brother Neil spent a decade at The Hawthorns, so there are connections between the Real Madrid assistant boss and Albion. Is now the time to strike out on his own and leave Carlo Ancelotti’s entourage?

Peace may be encouraged by Southampton’s success with Ronald Koeman backed up sibling Erwin, though family values could be sacrificed if the Clement brothers cannot revive the fortunes of the Baggies.



Jamie Clark

Athletics aficionado, die-hard snooker fan and Crystal Palace supporter Jamie has written for Coral since February 2014 after spells with Soccerlens and the Press Association as a digital journalist and copywriter. A former East Midlands sports correspondent and Bwin tipster, he is a graduate of both the University of York and University of Sheffield, with a Masters in web journalism from the latter.