If last Saturday’s FA Cup clash between Tony Pulis’s West Bromwich Albion and Sam Allardyce’s West Ham United represented a ‘set to’ between two of the more traditional managers in the British game, the 4-0 result was a pretty clear victory for the Welshman. Allardyce, ironically born in Dudley, a few miles deeper into the Black Country from the Hawthorns, was left well beaten, and with the rancour of fans that had travelled from the East End to West Bromwich bemoaning his team’s display. For Allardyce, it must have been a frustrating experience. His club sit in a comfortable and probably over-performing eighth place in the league, having even flirted with the prospect of a European dalliance for the next season. Shorn of talismanic striker Andy Carroll however, a defeat to Pulis’s newly-invigorated Baggies is no disgrace. Two things were clear from the game. Firstly, fans have short memories, and secondly, Tony Pulis certainly knows how to organise a team. Continue reading →
When West Bromwich Albion dispensed with the services of Alan Irvine, just before the turn of the year, they wasted precious little time in appointing Tony Pulis as their new manager. The former Stoke City and Crystal Palace boss was bound to be in demand about this time of the season as chairmen of struggling sides sought salvation with the man who transformed Palace’s fortunes last season. If, after two successive victories under Pulis however, Baggies fans thought that all would be sweetness and light under the new regime, the rapid exit of Paul Jewell from Pulis’s entourage will have quickly disavowed them of such a belief.