West Brom have parted-company with boss Steve Clarke, after the Baggies suffered a 1-0 defeat at Cardiff yesterday.
The defeat left the club just two points clear of the relegation zone in 16th position in the Premier League table.
The decision was confirmed by Richard Garlick. The Baggies sporting director told the clubs official website: “We have reluctantly come to the decision to relieve Steve of his duties after very careful consideration.
“It has been well documented that we have not had the rub of the green in certain games this season but that does not cloud the generally disappointing points return during this calendar year, culminating in today’s fourth-successive defeat at Cardiff.
“But with key games coming thick and fast, we felt it was important we acted now to give the club the best possible chance of a successful outcome this season.
“Our player wage bill is the highest in the club’s history and we feel we have built a squad capable of being very competitive in the Premier League.”
The club has some decent players and according to the above statement the biggest wage bill in the clubs history. The Baggies may have decent players, but maybe not players from the top bracket of the game.
West Brom have not spent a major amount of money on new signings in recent years. They are a good example of management by the hierarchy and are sensible in their spending. The Baggies have stayed in the top-flight by being very clever with their money, but that sometimes means the team being solid rather than spectacular in style of play.
The likes of Stephane Sessegnon and Morgan Amalfitano are players within the West Brom squad that can provide a real flair or something out of the ordinary in the team. However, the Baggies are not regarded as an exciting team to watch by some.
Steve Clarke is rated as a very good coach within the game and is unlikely to be out of the game for very long. The decision did come as a slight surprise, but the Baggies have struggled to win games this season.
Clarke has worked at some of the biggest clubs in England as a coach, under the likes of Jose Mourinho and Kenny Dalglish. His first venture into management has not been a bed of roses. His first season at the club went very well, with the Baggies finishing 8th in the Premier League last season.
This season has been a rather up and down campaign for West Brom and their Scottish boss. The Baggies board have never been scared of making big decisions and surprise decisions and Clarke seems to have paid the price for the team’s current poor run of form.
The Baggies have drawn at Chelsea, and won at Old Trafford, yet the Midlands club find themselves perilously near the relegation zone. This is because West Brom has not performed against the lesser teams in the league.
Steve Clarke has to take a huge slice of the blame for the team’s poor form. The Scottish boss has had enough time to make the team his own and instil his own style into the team. Unfortunately the team’s performance was not good enough to get the team the desired results.
No Doubt Steve Clarke will be back in the game very soon, because he is a talented coach, maybe slightly wiser for his experience at the Hawthorns.
I am not sure what the West Brom board or fans expectations were for this season. The Baggies finished eighth last season, behind the teams that are currently competing for the Champions League places this season.
Clarke was a victim of his own success really, because eighth position was a good league position for the Baggies. There is no question that West Brom should be midtable, but they were unlikely to achieve a better league position than last season.
However, the Baggies are now odds of 6/1 to be relegated from the Premier League and performances have to improve if they are to stay away from trouble.
West Brom are now looking for a replacement for Clarke and a number of names have already been linked with the job. Former-Baggies boss Roberto Di Matteo has been installed as favourite for the job.
Martin Jol, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Stuart Pearce are all believed to be in the running for the vacancy. Whoever takes over at West Brom will inherit a decent squad, who should have enough quality to survive the drop this season.
Were West Brom right to sack Steve Clarke?