The Only Money You’re Likely to Win Backing West Brom This Year5 min read
8 – Years since the Baggies were last a Championship side
5 – The round of the FA Cup which we managed to reach this season
4 – League goals from both of our current strikers, Jay Rodriguez and Rondon
3 – Points for a Premier League win
1 – The number of those Premier League wins we have amassed in 2018
I was actually going to try and find a stat for 8 all the way down to zero, but it’s basically a bit too depressing for a Bank Holiday Monday, and it was all a little too much to try and squeeze in a depreciating joke about taxis or the fact that at least we’ve scored more goals than Saido Berahino this year. Remember him? The real tragedy here is that unlike us, he might well still be in the Premier League next season, albeit looking about as comfortable in front of goal as Wayne Shaw would in a Zumba class, but never mind, I digress. Basically, my point is, that this year, we’ve been crap.
Alan Pardew's record at West Brom:
Games Won – 1
Taxis Stolen – 1 pic.twitter.com/NRItbIw2U9
— ODDSbible (@ODDSbible) April 2, 2018
So, where did it all go wrong? The real tragedy is that amongst the West Brom faithful, there’s actually very little genuine sadness or melancholia at the thought of going back to a division where we used to score goals, win games, and challenge for trophies. The Hawthorns, since the departure of Roy Hodgson to England after that 8th placed finish in 2013, has been an increasingly quiet and soulless place, and I have to admit that as much as an away day to local minnows Burton, Birmingham or Notts Forest stirs up little excitement, I do like the thought of us playing some competitive, attacking football again.
But, inevitable as it has seemed for a while, we found out today that the captain will not go down with his ship. Pardew leaves by ‘mutual consent’, which basically translates as ‘we’ve just managed to get the new owner to finally watch us play and even he thinks you’re pony, so take a big comedy cheque à la Comic Relief and sod off.’ Leaving alongside Pards will be a veritable who’s who of also-rans from over the years who will undoubtedly play their last Premier League minutes this season. Krychowiak, Brunt, McAuley, Barry, Robson-Kanu, amongst a few others who have all failed to deliver this year, and leave the Baggies with the real problem of what to do next year.
Gone are the days where a quick phone call to Kevin Phillips in the off-season would guarantee you a journeyman striker worth 20-30 Championship goals and a run at the play-offs. Instead, it will be the new gaffer’s task to try and convince some like Jermaine Defoe, Troy Deeney or Glenn Murray that the best next-step in their career is to take a step down and play 3 times a week in empty stadiums all across Middle England in a bid to get the Baggies to bounce back.
The Next West Brom Manager
That next manager market will be a volatile one. West Brom aren’t a big name, they’re no longer in a big division, and they’ll no doubt lose every one of their ‘big’ players (basically Jonny Evans, and maybe Matt Phillips… at a stretch) so it will be a case of reinvest and rebuild- but the Championship is a beast, and a good manager with a track record of success is worth just as much as any player. It’s for that reason then, that my front-runner for the WBA job has to be Roberto Di Matteo. With a track record of success (getting us promoted in 2009/10 at the first time of asking), experience at the highest level (winning the Champions League with Chelsea), and not forgetting his greatest achievement (an 8.3 win percentage as manager of The Villa), I can’t think of anyone else with whom we’re more likely to want to succeed.
So, available at at the time of going to press, make this the only money you’re likely to win on West Brom this year. Lump on.