It feels later than normal to have our first managerial change. In previous seasons we would be on our third one by Christmas.
West Brom sacked Slaven Bilić after holding Manchester City to a 1-1 draw at The Etihad. Rumors have been rife that the loss to Newcastle in Matchday 12 would be the end. It looks like the decision was made before this game & clearly the board had no confidence in their chances. Allowing Bilić to continue & get this performance out of his side, severely undermines their decision.
Other rumors circulating are the board didn’t trust Bilić with the January transfer funds. West Brom’s net spend in the summer window was around $36 million with half of that going on Karlan Grant. Nine of the eleven players they brought in were 26 or under with limited Premier League experience. The two experienced players who came in were 36 year old Branislav Ivanovic & 31 year old backup Goalkeeper David Button.
Bilić has done a decent job to get the performances he has, out of this squad. Looking at their summer recruitment, I thought they were building a squad for the Championship to win promotion back to the Premier League next season. It’s evident the sqaud are still playing for him & I think this will turn out to be a massive mistake in the long run.
Gun for hire Sam Allardyce comes in on a contract till end of the season. We all know his modus operandi & what he will do with the squad available to him. Big Sam will work on West Brom’s shape to give them defensive stability & try to maximize set-piece opportunities. Known for his astute transfer dealings, he will recruit experienced players with Premier League know-how in the January transfer window.
I have two concerns for Big Sam. First, can he get his ideas across to the players? With the schedule compacted this season, there is significantly less hours on the training ground available. Secondly, how will the squad react? They clearly like Bilić & he has built a great relationship with the players.
My overall concern is who do they turn to if they get relegated? Big Sam will move on if they go down.
Only time will tell if West Brom’s gamble pays off.
We are delighted to confirm the appointment of Sam Allardyce as our new Head Coach ✍️— West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) December 16, 2020
Take a bow Sébastien Haller! The technique for this bicycle kick is perfect & a strong contender for December’s Goal of the Month.
SEBASTIEN HALLER ARE YOU SERIOUS pic.twitter.com/7XN6oq1Use— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) December 16, 2020
PREMIER LEAGUE MATCHDAY 14 BETTING LINES
ODDS & ENDS
- Everton are in a good moment with wins over Chelsea & Leicester in their last two games. The Toffees are good value at +128.
- I don’t think we’ll see the customary new manager bounce with Sam Allardyce. West Brom were playing well under Bilić & we could see the opposite. Put your money behind Aston Villa at -107.
- Wolves 2-1 win over Chelsea with give them belief they can still compete whilst Raúl Jiménez is out injured. Back them at +123
- I like Brighton & Sheffield United to Draw +275.
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