Pardew Desperate for Results
Defeat to Southampton at the weekend leaves West Brom four points adrift at the bottom of the table with boss Alan Pardew in need of results. Pardew was handed the reigns at the Hawthorns at the end of November last year. Taking over from Tony Pulis, Pardew inherited a side lacking in confidence and enduring a desperate run of form. The appointment of Pardew was seen as a safe bet for West Brom. A manager that knows the league and has the experience that the Baggies hoped would lead them to safety. However, this hasn’t happened. West Brom are now watching those above them slowly build a gap, and the decision to hire Pardew seems to be a bet that won’t pay out.
No New Manager Bounce
Pardew has made improvements at West Brom in terms of entertainment. Still recovering from the Tony Pulis era, Albion fans were grateful for a new manager – any new manager. With West Brom gaining the reputation for dour and turgid football under Pulis it was up to Pardew to turn fortunes.
But entertainment doesn’t win points; results do and Pardew has not improved Albion’s results. One win in the 12 Premier League games under him is a major concern. Although West Brom were a side low on confidence, the new manager bounce was expected but never came. Pardew was unable to pick up a win until attempt number nine, despite facing teams that were fighting relegation themselves.
The results aren’t coming for Pardew and time is running out, as the final stretch of the season aproaches. Albion need to turn a corner if they are going to survive. Relegation is something that Baggies fans know well, but a lot has changed in their Premier League tenure. The quality of England’s second tier has improved vastly and there may not be an immediate return.
Season Long Issue
A key component that West Brom have adopted under Pardew is a strong start from kick off. Albion have burst out of the blocks and scored inside the first 10 minutes in five of their last six games. This is often pointless however, as Albion’s inability to hold a lead is a major problem and a season long issue that has continued throughout their change of manager.
West Brom have lost 18 points from winning positions so far this season. This is a big contributor to their current position in the league. Teams will drop points from leading positions over the course of a season but, if Pardew can buck this trend, it would give Albion a chance.
Stats will tell you that West Brom appointed the wrong man, but survival for Pardew is not impossible. The Baggies have struggled with injuries all season, never really being able to put out their strongest side. Creative players James Morrison and Nacer Chadli have both been unavailable for virtually the entire season. With recent knocks to key players such as Kieran Gibbs, Grzegorz Krychowiak and captain Jonny Evans adding to his problems, keeping players fit will be key to any chance of survival.
West Brom travel to Chelsea in their next fixture and, although Chelsea look vulnerable, this game will not be the one to pin West Brom’s hopes on. Their season will be moulded by the six games that follow. Pardew will have his eye on the Huddersfield, Watford, Leicester, Bournemouth, Burnley and Swansea games. The club are four points adrift at the bottom but just six behind Southampton in 15th. With Pardew in need of results, he could see a good return from these games.
The six games that follow Chelsea will not only define West Brom’s season. They may also vindicate the appointment of Alan Pardew. In the managerial game of stick or twist, Albion decided to twist. It is yet to be seen whether or not they twisted enough.
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