Since Richard Garlick took over from Dan Ashworth as West Bromwich Albion’s sporting and technical director, he has come under a lot of criticism from the fans for the transfer policy and the way the club has been run, but is he actually doing a bad job?
Many of the fans around The Hawthorns are disappointed about the price paid for deadline signings Victor Anichebe and Stephane Sessegnon from Everton and Sunderland respectively. Both have had their moments but so far have failed to make an impact. Sessegnon has been in and out of games but in my opinion Anichebe could still become an inspired signing.
He is only 25 years old, yet to enter his prime and has been improving ever since. His injuries have held him back but his strength can cause any defender problems. His only goal for The Baggies was well taken as he muscled off Man City’s Martin Demichelis, spinning and scoring with a well-placed shot. When fully fit he has looked impressive, especially away at Manchester United. He has a big future at the club, and after all it is not Garlick’s fault he has been injured.
Garlick was specially chosen by a select panel including Ashworth and has had alot to deal with in his rookie year. From the Peter Odemwingie madness and the selection of a new manager he has had to learn quickly. He has had a role in the club for years, knowing the club inside out to make what he believes to be the best decisions for the club.
However, Garlick does not possess the scouting skills Ashworth had. The former director picked up some outstanding players, such as Gareth McAuley, Billy Jones and Claudio Yacob for free transfers. The scouting team surrounding Garlick should be giving him a helping hand, but this level of expertise is not easily replaced, hence why England came calling.
He is a man not afraid to take risks. The scouting pool for a new manager was larger than ever as he looked for the best man to take the reins. He interviewed a range of managers before selecting Mel and only time will tell if the risk has paid off.
He managed to sell a want-away player in Shane Long to Hull for 7 million pounds, which was also a good bit of business. He stated in a recent press conference that the club will not be re-investing the money on players at the moment, with the club favouring loans with options to buy. This is good because the players will have time to gel at the club and to see if they have the talent required. Players like Yousouff Mulumbu have joined WBA via this method in the past.
Once head coach Mel has taken charge of his first few games, we will truly see the ability of Garlick. With a few good results and the signings returning to full fitness, the fans will once again be back on his side.