Bitter rivals West Brom and Aston Villa go head to head tonight at The Hawthorns.
Both clubs are in good form, and will not only hope to get one over their rivals, but will seek to progress up the Championship table
Neither have been in their job for long, so let’s compare these two managers…
West Brom fans must have known that they had a good manager on their hands when Moore took over at the end of last season.
Despite The Baggies’ horrendous position in the Premier League in the first half of 2018, the former player gave them a scintilla of hope in remaining in the league with a fantastic run. In fact, Moore’s form with the club was so good that he was awarded the Premier League Manager of the Month for April.
He has carried that good form into this season’s Championship campaign. Although it has not been plain sailing, as the club reached the apex of the league before suffering a slight slump, they are now in third place and major contenders for promotion.
There was a question mark over Moore when he took over at The Hawthorns, but he is answering many of his critics.
TT Grade: A
When boyhood Aston Villa fan Smith became manager of the club in October, he had a huge task on his hands. He was the manager of high-flying Brentford at the time, but this was the move that he wanted.
Despite a slightly slow start to life at Villa Park, Smith’s team are just getting better and better. They are now unbeaten in five league matches, and are only three points off the top six. That would have been unimaginable to many fans a few weeks ago. There seems to be only one way The Lions are going this season and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they end up in the playoffs.
At Brentford, Smith developed a team that were widely regarded as one of the most attractive teams to watch in the Championship. He never achieved a huge amount of success with them, but relative to the shoestring budget he had, it was a team that punched well above their weight.
It is for that reason why his time at Villa looks promising, as he will be provided resources that would not have seemed imaginable with The Bees.
TT Grade: B+
Both managers inherited clubs in a dire position, and while they have both helped resurrect their clubs from the doldrums, Moore has probably done a better job.
Admittedly, Smith has been in the job for a shorter period of time, but it is also the success that Moore, who played over 100 games for The Baggies, had in the Premier League which just gives him this battle.