• Nathan Smith

WEST BROM: FIVE MANAGERS THAT COULD TAKE OVER AT THE HAWTHORNS


After an unsuccessful return to the Premier League, West Brom will be looking to bounce back to England’s top tier at the first time of asking.


With Sam Allardyce unable to keep the Baggies up, he has announced his departure from the Hawthorns and West Brom will be looking for a new manager to guide them back to the so-called ‘promise land’.


Here are five possible options for West Brom…


CHRIS WILDER


Chris Wilder has achieved numerous promotions in his career. For example, he has taken Northampton up from League Two and Sheffield United all the way from League One to the Premier League.


The straight-talking manager enjoyed a superb season in his first Premier League campaign, guiding Sheffield United to an unexpected top-half finish.


However, this season has not gone to plan for the Blades, causing Wilder to step down from his role in March.


The current favourite for the role, it would be interesting to see if Wilder would stick with his 3-5-2 system that worked wonders with Sheffield United, or whether he opts to go with something different for his potential new team.


He has proven his credentials in the Championship already, and he may well be a great fit for the Baggies as they try to earn promotion.


VALERIEN ISMAEL


Barnsley have without a doubt been the surprise package of the Championship this season, and that is owed a lot to the management of Valerien Ismael.


While the Tykes were knocked out by Swansea in the play-off semi finals, no one expected them to be even in the play-offs, especially when Gerhardt Struber left for New York Red Bulls early into the season.


Ismael has managed to get his team to play exciting and effective football, getting the most out of the players he had at his disposal.


A move to West Brom could be viewed as Ismael’s gateway into the Premier League, especially if Barnsley lose some key players over the summer window.


MICHAEL APPLETON


Having played for and worked with West Brom as both a first team and under 23 coach in 2019, it is no surprise that Michael Appleton has been linked with the manager’s role at the Hawthorns.


Appleton has had a successful season with Lincoln City, leading them to a play-off final with a chance to join West Brom in the Championship next season.


He has a good record in terms of developing players, and that could be vital for the Baggies as they look to revitalise their squad following relegation.


Sunday’s play-off final could be a big factor in terms of Appleton’s future, and if Lincoln fail to get promoted, there is a chance that Appleton may be in a Championship dugout regardless.


KARL ROBINSON


Karl Robinson was once expected to do big things as a manager in the EFL, and while he may not have reached those heights just yet, he has carved out a reputation as a strong manager in League One.


Having taken MK Dons to promotion to the Championship, his side flattered to deceive in England’s second tier, and he was let go in October 2016.


A mediocre spell at Charlton followed before arriving at Oxford United, where Robinson has guided the U’s to two consecutive play-off campaigns, including one final, where they lost to Wycombe Wanderers.


While certainly an outsider for the role, Robinson has put the work in to earn an opportunity like this at West Brom and while the appointment is risky, it may prove to be a risk worth taking.


ENZO MARESCA


Having started out at West Brom, Enzo Maresca is no stranger to the club, and may be looking to take his first steps into senior management with the Baggies.


Maresca played 47 times for West Brom, before moving on to Juventus for an at the time record sale.


From there Maresca carved out a successful playing career, playing in multiple top leagues across Europe.


He is now the manager of Manchester City’s Elite Development Squad, otherwise known as their under 23’s and working with a strong level of young talent may prove helpful at West Brom, both on the pitch and in terms of recruitment as well.


It is unlikely Maresca will be the man to take charge of West Brom next, but if he keeps on a strong coaching path, he may soon return to the club he kicked off his career at.