West Bromwich Albion have been left without a manager after Steve Clarke was sacked after some less than impressive performances. Chairman Jeremy Peace decided to pull the plug on the ex-Chelsea assistant after a 1-0 away defeat to Cardiff. But now who is the right man for the job?
Roberto Di Matteo was sacked in similar circumstances, half way through a season and Peace decided to appoint Roy Hodgson as manager. The for Fulham man came with lots of Premier League experience, turning Albion’s fortunes around, establishing them into a top flight team. Despite a short reign at the club, he left West Brom in a positive light with the capabilities of moving forward and developing on what he had accomplished.
The best thing West Brom can do is something similar. Albion need to appoint someone with plenty of experience, ideally in the Premier League to get them out of the current situation they are in much like Hodgson did in the past. One man that immediately springs to mind is Martin Jol.
Despite being sacked by Fulham just a few weeks ago, the former Tottenham man has proven himself in the Premier League and won the Dutch Cup with Ajax. During his time in Netherlands his side had the meanest defence, but they also scored an impressive 106 goals finishing with a plus 86 goal difference. Jol favours an attacking style of play, which would suit West Brom’s impact players such as Stephane Sessegnon.
Another thing in Jol’s favour is his previous playing spell at West Brom. Back in the 80s he played 63 times for the Midlands club, evening captaining them. He played in both semi-finals in each domestic competition. His previous knowledge of the club would win over some fans but his Premier League experience is vital for Albion at this time.
Another manager linked with the post is German Ralf Rangnick. Despite starting right at the bottom of the coaching ladder, Rangnick built himself up from the bottom, eventually landing the Stuttgart job. Despite an impressive European campaign he was fired for some poor league form but he really made name for himself at Schalke.
He lead them to the Champions League semi-finals, beating Inter Milan 7-3 on aggregate on route to the last four stage. He was one of the favourites to replace Hodgson when he left for England and is again now. He is a master tactician, with great understanding and knowledge for the game. He is someone who will surely flourish in the English game with the way he approaches games and West Brom will definitely be tight at the back if he is to come on.
Sean Dyche, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Mike Phelan have all been linked with the job, but Albion need someone who with Premier League pedigree. They need someone like Roy Hodgson who can turn the club around, stabilise them and put them back on the front foot.