Tony Pulis shouldered the blame for West Brom’s comprehensive 4-1 defeat in their Premier League season finale at Arsenal.
West Brom were essentially out of the game by half-time at the Emirates Stadium as a Theo Walcott hat-trick and Jack Wilshere’s stunner put Arsenal into a 4-0 lead, with Gareth McAuley’s second-half header proving scant consolation for the visitors.
Head coach Pulis refused to criticise his team, though, and stated that his failure to make changes to the XI from the team that shocked champions Chelsea 3-0 on Monday was the reason for defeat.
“I think if anybody needs to take criticism it’s probably me,” Pulis said. “The Chelsea game took a lot out of the players on Monday and maybe I should have freshened things up before the game started.
“There’s always that dilemma: do you stick with the same players who did so well or make a few changes? They might have run out of steam a little bit.
“We’ve had an unbelievable last six games, four away from home, it’s easy to look back and think ‘I should have done this or that’, if anyone takes any blame it should be me.”
Pulis, whose side finish the season in 13th, also reserved praise for Walcott and the depth of options at Arsene Wenger’s disposal.
“I think Walcott is outstanding as a front player,” he added. “His movement is first class. You know he can score goals and his movement was top drawer.
“He’s a different type of player to Olivier Giroud. I don’t care what anyone says you can play him [Walcott] or Giroud up front and still be potent.”