Baggies need victories but Pulis panic is so premature
EST Bromwich Albion would be mad to sack Tony Pulis.
Not that they are planning to at present! However, you are never quite sure when clubs stop winning.
Okay, they have not won since August and their 10 Premier League points from 11 matches is their lowest since the 2005/ 6 season when they were relegated.
Everyone knows it’s a results game and many of the foreign owners panic and are trigger- happy because there is so much money in the Premier League.
But at The Hawthorns, it’s a case of ‘ don’t panic Captain Mainwaring’.
Just because some fans have started anti- Pulis songs, I am sure the chairman, John Williams, recognises the job Pulis has done in recent seasons with lesser funds than many of the top clubs.
There have also been injuries, although that is why squads are so necessary.
Lack of confidence comes with losses and it’s the manager’s job to restore that as soon as possible.
The next two matches are extremely difficult, Chelsea at home and Spurs at Wembley after the international break – but then there will be two home games against Newcastle and struggling Crystal Palace before the Baggies travel to Swansea.
They certainly need points from those games before playing Liverpool away and Manchester United at home.
This run then continues at Stoke on December 23. An interesting fixture – Pulis was manager there from 2006 to 2013 and maintained their Premier League status once they were promoted in 2008.
The English chairman, Peter Coates, holds his nerve. Pulis was Tony will have to start winning soon but those who are agitating should give him more credit and be careful what they wish for. also manager at Stoke from 2002 to 2005. In his second spell, he left when the Coates family felt a change was needed but Tony and the chairman remain on good terms. Mark Hughes followed and is still there. He too has done a good job but had a worrying start to the season until recently. They had just three wins from their opening nine matches but a victory at Watford was followed by Saturday’s 2- 2 home draw with Leicester. The Potteries is relaxing again! Everton’s 3- 2 comeback win on Sunday lifts them above Albion, which illustrates just how quickly things can change after less than a third of the season.
Tony will have to start winning soon but those supporters who are agitating should give him more credit and be careful what they wish for. The Baggies have hardly been the big spenders in recent years.
They are the West Midlands’ only Premier League team and I am confident they will stay up. 888sport make them 3/ 1 to go down.
I had a chat with Gareth Southgate at Stoke before the match. He was there to watch Jack Butland, Harry Maguire and Jamie Vardy, in particular. I was a guest at the England manager’s wedding in 1996. He is a lovely Albion boss Tony Pulis and, inset, England manager Gareth Southgate man but don’t be fooled by this demeanour. He can be tough.
Managing England is such a hard job with unreasonable expectations, particularly from the media.
There are also fewer players. I noted that two weeks ago, of the 245 players who were active in the Premier League, only 15 were 21 or under AND English.
It is not easy but then no- one said it was. 1966 was so long ago!
Both the Stoke chairman and myself did mention to Gareth that, for what it is worth, we would always want to see a British manager in charge of England.
They have also been the most successful – Sir Alf Ramsey, Bobby Robson and Terry Venables.