West Bromwich Albion Combined Promotion XI

West Bromwich Albion

West Bromwich Albion have become something of a promotion specialist since the turn of the century. Their latest promotion from the Championship is their fifth since the birth of the Premier League in 1992.

We have put together a combined XI from these promotion campaigns, but first, we need a manager.

West Bromwich Albion Promotion XI

Gary Megson

Gary Megson managed West Brom to promotion from the first division in 2001/02 and again two seasons later in 2003/04. He was appointed in March 2000 and is now largely credited as the man that laid the foundations for Albion’s current competitiveness.

It had been 14 years outside of the top division for Albion before the arrival of Megson. In that time, they had spent two years in the third tier for the first time in their history and they were facing another spell in the third tier when Megson arrived. Two decades later and Megson’s time at West Bromwich Albion is still the foundation they build on.

Russell Hoult

Goalkeeper Russell Hoult joined West Brom in January 2001 and was instrumental in both 2001-02 and 2003-04 promotion campaigns. He was named in the PFA Division One team of the year at the end of the 01-02 season after keeping a record number of clean sheets that season.

In 2004, he was named as one of West Brom’s 16 greatest players, in a poll organised as part of the club’s 125th-anniversary celebrations. He played 190 times in seven years at the club before moving on to Stoke City.

Neil Clement

Neil Clement was a key player for Albion during the 2001-02 promotion campaign.

He missed only one league game and his efforts were rewarded when he was named in the PFA Division One team of the year.

A defender by trade but a real threat to the opposition goal, he helped West Brom secure promotion on three occasions during his 10-year spell at the Hawthorns. Amassing nearly 300 appearances for the club and securing cult hero status.

Jonas Olsson

Jonas Olsson had a key role in West Brom’s promotion in 2009-10 and subsequent eight-year stay in the Premier League.

The towering defender made 43 appearances during that promotion season and scored four goals.

Olsson will be remembered more for his Premier League stint and fearsome centre-back partnership with Gareth McAuley; however, his contribution to the promotion-winning side of that season set the tone for his successful stint in the Midlands.

Darren Moore

Darren Moore was a big presence at the heart of the Baggies defence as they earned promotion to the Premiership in 2001–02 and was named in the PFA Division One Team of the Year.

After Albion were relegated the following season, he helped them bounce back at the first attempt, featuring in the promotion-winning side of 2003–04.

Moore should also be given some credit for this latest promotion given that he laid the foundation for Slaven Bilić to build upon. He steadied the ship as Head Coach when Albion’s eight-year Premier League stay came to an end.

Igor Balis

You can’t talk about promotion for long in West Bromwich before hearing the name Igor Balis. The Slovakian became a club icon after his late penalty away at Bradford City pushed Albion to the cusp of promotion to the Premiership.

The full-back had famously lied to Megson that he was prolific from the penalty spot, later admitting that he wasn’t being truthful with that statement.

The Baggies had missed eight of their previous 11 penalties leading up to the crucial spot-kick. The rest, as they say, is history.

Chris Brunt

The modern-day Mr Albion has called time on his hugely successful 13-year spell with the Baggies.

Chris Brunt leaves West Brom as the club’s longest-serving player, having arrived from Sheffield Wednesday in August 2007. Since then he has gone on to win promotion in 2008, 2010 and again this year.

He has made over 400 appearances for the club and couldn’t have asked for a more fitting send-off. His final season ending in the very same way his first one did. Winning promotion in a game against Queens Park Rangers.

Derek McInnes

Derek McInnes joined West Brom in the summer of 2000 and in the following season he captained them to a place in the Premier League.

His no-nonsense, take no prisoners attitude perfectly mirrored that of Megson on the touchline.

He spent three years at West Brom making 88 league appearances and in that time became a cult hero at The Hawthorns.

It was a long road back to the top division for the club, who were in the third tier in 1992 when the Premier League was founded.

The first man to Captain the Baggies back to the promised land deserves a mention.

Matheus Pereira

Matheus Pereira was vital to Albion’s latest promotion as he settled quickly to his first season in England.

The Brazilian playmaker netted eight times last season and racked up 16 league assists. Earning him the Supporters’ Player of the Season award with 65 per cent of the votes.

Likened to the great Laurie Cunningham, Pereira is the most creative player to grace the Hawthorns in a long time.

His vision and range of passing has earned him many admirers within the game with most believing that he will continue to be a force in the Premier League next season.

Jonathan Greening

Of the five promotion campaigns, Albion only won the Championship title on one occasion and Jonathan Greening captained that team.

For many West Brom supporters, this is the only time that they have had their hands on a trophy, placing Greening firmly in the cult hero category.

He started all 46 league matches of that campaign and participated in eight out of nine cup games.

He captained them in the FA Cup semi-final during that season too and was named in the 2007–08 Championship PFA Team of the Year, alongside teammates Paul Robinson and Kevin Phillips.

Kevin Phillips

Affectionately known as “Super Kev”, Phillips missed six weeks of the 2007–08 season because of a knee injury but returned with his usual goalscoring form to win the Championship player of the month award for December.

Phillips won numerous awards over the season. He received Player of the Year awards from both the West Bromwich Albion Supporters Club and from the club itself, after scoring 24 goals from 30 starts.

He also picked up the Championship Player of the Year at the annual Football League Awards to round off a massively successful season.

Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor was primarily a goal poacher and his goals were often unspectacular but is regularly named by supporters as “Super Bobby Taylor” or simply “Superbob”.

He returned for a second spell at West Brom with the club struggling near the foot of Division One.

He scored five goals in eight games to help the club avoid relegation and just two seasons later he sealed Albion’s promotion to the Premiership with the second goal in a final-day 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

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