West Bromwich Albion have finally dropped into the second tier of English football after years of skimming above the Premier League relegation zone, and they’re probably better off for it.
Tony Pulis vacated the managerial post at West Brom in 2017 which should have marked the end of his style of “football” and brighter times to come.
However, like a foul smell that lingers for too long, the legacy of the Welshman lived on. Through Alan Pardew, fans were subjected to one of the most excruciatingly bad periods of their recent lives supporting the Baggies.
Realistically, the only way to revitalise the club was to cut the head off the snake and start again. And Darren Moore is the man to do it. Moore made a very respectable effort of keeping West Brom up last year, and he’s not doing too badly in the Championship either – with his team currently sat in 5th place four points behind league leaders Sheffield United.
Indeed, with such a stellar lineup, most of whom stayed on from their time in the top-flight, it’s hardly surprising that West Brom are amongst the favourites to reach the Premier League come 2019.
With such a long season ahead of them there’s plenty of time to improve on their current standings. With that in mind, here are two ways the club can take themselves a couple of steps closer to promotion this November…
Address defensive frailties
For a side who have been playing their football in the Premier League for going on nine years before being relegated West Brom’s, defence looks shoddy at best.
A total of 23 goals in 15 games have already leaked through their back-line, which isn’t good enough for a promotion pushing team, and a recent 4-1 battering at the hands of Derby highlights just how extensive the problem is.
Fans are concerned with how frequently their defence gives the ball away when attempting to distribute from the back, and the number of goals that have directed resulted from wayward passing (as per ExpressandStar). If this wasn’t problematic enough, they see no viable options on the bench to replace their current starting players, which means they’re stuck with what they’ve got.
We dare say that, if it wasn’t for the squad’s heroic efforts going forwards, the team would be in a far, far worse position than they currently are.
Give it to Gordon (Gayle & Rodriguez)
West Brom are going to need to adopt the “attack is the best form of defence approach” for the time being, whilst their defence address their numerous shortcomings.
The Baggies have in their side two of the most prolific strikers in the league, in James Rodriguez and Dwight Gayle, who, together, have contributed 16 goals towards the clubs 33 so far this season.
Both players have spent time in the Premier League, and, to be fair, both performed relatively well.
With games against Hull and Ipswich, who both have equally bad defensive records, coming up this November, there’s a perfect opportunity for the two players to get some more goals under their belt, and boost their confidence.