With Tony Pulis’ unsurprising sacking at West Bromwich Albion happening, the Baggies, for the first time since their Premier League return in 2010, are in an unprecedented situation: they have a chance to do something positive.
If you’re a struggling Premier League team, who do you get in? That’s right, Tony Pulis. However, with that no longer being an option, the Baggies have a chance to follow the example of Watford, who appointed an exciting, high-profile manager in Marco Silva, and are reaping the rewards – the Hornets’ approach will be one we see more and more, meaning the end of appointments such as David Moyes at West Ham (how does Moyesy, do it?!).
Whether the Baggies take note, remains to be seen, but no doubt Big Sam Allardyce is somewhere in a pie and mash shop dusting himself down, ready for the interview.
— beardybumpkin (@MattKozaj) November 21, 2017
Pulis’ sacking took place over a brief phone call on Monday morning, with the 59-year-old back in his Dorset home, something Pulis is believed to be aggrieved about, with him feeling, after three years of service, that he was warranting a face-to-face meeting. However, playing seven defenders against Huddersfield, revokes that.
Five Premier League managers have now been handed their P45s already this season, and the trigger happy chairman doesn’t sound like ending anytime soon, with Stoke’s Mark Hughes and Swansea’s Paul Clement both circling the rabbit hole.
However, despite the Swans sitting second-bottom, and the Potters just five points better off in 15th, it’s in fact, Mauricio Pellegrino, manager of 14th-placed Southampton, who should be concerned for his future.
As all gamblers will tell you, football rarely goes 100% the way it should do – shock results are always waiting in the wings, and it’s therefore only a matter of time before Pep Guardiola’s swashbuckling footballers come undone against an opponent like West Ham.
But if things had gone the way of expected outcomes, the Saints wouldn’t be four points off of the relegation zone; a position that makes the south coast-based team the second-worst-performing outfit in the top flight of English football.
12 games into his Saints career it’s already easy to pinpoint where the problems lie for the former Liverpool defender: goals.
Shane Long’s last goal game in February, Manolo Gabbiadini hasn’t found the back of the net since August and Charlie Austin has one strike to his name, this season.
With Nathan Redmond, Dusan Tadic and Sofiane Boufal starting behind Shane Long in the weekend’s 3-0 defeat to Liverpool, it’s hard to suggest that the strikers don’t have the service required; all three of the aforementioned are exciting and creative footballers.
The road to the January transfer window is a long one, with the Saints playing nine games between now and the 1st January. And unless Pellegrino finds the winning adjustment to his line-up, the Argentine won’t make it to 2018 – and probably shouldn’t.