Tony Pulis sacked by West Brom after torrid run of results
20 NOVEMBER 2017 • 6:02PMWest Bromwich Albion have sacked Tony Pulis – the manager who has never been relegated - and are targeting an experienced replacement to help secure Premier League survival.
Pulis was dismissed on Monday morning after talks with chairman John Williams as the strugglers took action following a torrid run of two wins from 21 games, stretching back to last season.
He becomes the fifth top-flight casualty of the campaign after a decision which has polarised opinion outside of the Black Country, due to his record of never suffering the drop in over 1,000 games as a manager.
Albion feel they were left with no alternative but to wield the axe as a result of the disenchantment from supporters over Pulis’ defensive style of play and tactics, combined with results and a highly-paid underperforming squad.West Brom were thrashed 4-0 by champions Chelsea on Saturday - their 11th game without a win - and Pulis endured chants for his dismissal from fans, with owner Guochuan Lai also making a rare visit to the Hawthorns.
Williams and Lai discussed their next move on Sunday and Pulis has paid the price, six weeks before his three-year anniversary, with the club already on the hunt for a successor ahead of Saturday's game against Tottenham Hotspur.
Albion are targeting a manager with top-flight experience and will charge Pulis’ successor with the remit of ensuring safety.Sam Allardyce, the former England manager, Ronald Koeman and Nigel Pearson are emerging as early contenders, while Alan Pardew is likely to be recommended by West Brom’s technical director Nick Hammond after the pair worked together at Reading. Links to Northern Ireland’s Michael O’Neill have been dismissed.
Pulis, meanwhile, has already been installed as one of the favourites to succeed Paul Clement if Swansea make a change, while he will also figure highly as a contender for the Wales national team after Chris Coleman left for Sunderland.
Williams said: "These decisions are never taken lightly but always in the interests of the club.
"We are in a results business and over the back end of last season and this season to date, ours have been very disappointing.
"We would like to place on record our appreciation of Tony's contribution and hard work during a period of transition for the club which included a change of ownership. We wish him well in his future endeavours."Pulis, 59, only signed a new contract in August and will leave with around £2m in compensation.
On Friday he said he would leave with his head held high over his achievements, but his final months were played out against a backdrop of discontent from supporters fed up with his style of play and perceived lack of ambition.
Defeats at Southampton and Huddersfield had intensified the pressure and the result, performance and atmosphere against Chelsea proved the final blow.
Pulis replaced Alan Irvine in January 2015 and has undoubtedly left the club in a healthier state, assembling their best squad of the Premier League era and breaking the transfer record with the £18m capture of Nacer Chadli last summer.
After inheriting a poor, unbalanced squad from Irvine, he guided Albion to 13th and then 14th but at the start of last season came the first genuine signs of opposition from fans.
He eventually finished 10th, despite an alarming run in the final two months, yet it was arguably the January transfer window in which it started to go awry.
Albion’s refusal to sell Salomon Rondon to Chinese club Tianjin Quanjian for £30m frustrated Pulis, who was prepared to use the funds to bring in players such as Watford’s Troy Deeney. Rondon has scored just two league goals this year.
The problems then mounted in pre-season when Darren Fletcher quit for Stoke and Chadli informed Pulis he wanted to leave the club, complaining he was being played out of position. The Belgium attacker then refused to go on the training camp in Austria, which badly undermined Pulis’ authority. Pulis’ trusted deputy Dave Kemp retired.
Manchester City’s interest in Jonny Evans over the summer also affected the Northern Ireland international, while other experienced players bemoaned their lack of involvement.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2017/11/20/tony-pulis-sacked-west-brom-torrid-run-results/?WT.mc_id=tmg_share_tw