Throughout his undoubtedly illustrious career, Sam Allardyce has produced the greatest of escapes. He became the man to turn to when in no mans land. Where there was a relegation fight, there was a job for Allardyce. But, as proven by the West Bromwich Albion relegation, those days are long gone.
Football has transitioned in England. It has reach a point that the sides nearer the bottom aren’t willing to simply survive for short-term purposes. Instead, they are taking the fight to the top teams in the form of modern-day football in hope of securing a far more positive long-term future. This season has proved that.
Whilst West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United suffered relegation, the likes of Brighton & Hove Albion and Southampton are as good as safe. Throwing 11 men behind the ball with your one hope being a target man up top to launch it forward to is no longer the survival tactic.
Teams have figured out plenty of ways to eventually break down the wall of the low-block tactic. On occasion, it works, yes, but, inevitably, it ends in relegation. Now, teams like Brighton are adapting, playing from the back, becoming more tactically aware and more admirable to watch. They have taken the fight to the top teams, even winning at Anfield this season, and that tactic may well keep them up.
West Bromwich Albion Relegation: Evidence That Allardyce is No Longer the Man to Turn to
Allardyce is Out of Touch
Before taking the job at West Brom, Sam Allardyce had never been relegated from the Premier League. The Baggies have ensured the breaking of that record. In truth, it was never going to be an easy job, but Allardyce had the resources. After all, people mustn’t forget that he was walking into a side who had just taken a point away from the Etihad.
Allardyce was even backed in January, signing forward Mbaye Diagne on loan from Galatasaray. Yet, little improvement was made to begin with and, when the form did pick up, it was too little too late at the Hawthorns.
Perhaps hiring a manager with a more modern approach would have resulted in the same outcome, but at least they’d have set the foundations to bounce straight back. Allardyce’s long-ball, low-block tactic will not work when he is managing the big fish in the smaller, yet harder to escape, pond of the Championship.
Look at Norwich City, for example, they kept hold of Daniel Farke in spite of relegation; they kept his philosophy and have since secured a place back in the Premier League next season as Championship champions.
They have a second chance to showcase their good football once more after building on it over the last year. As for West Brom, they’ll have to stick with Allardyce-ball or simply rebuild with a new manager. Either way, no scenario is ideal for the Baggies.
West Bromwich Albion Relegation: What Next?
Suffering relegation is never ideal, but suffering relegation after a year with less revenue in the middle of a pandemic is almost catastrophic. Add in the fact that a new manager may be needed and you struggle to see what’s next for West Brom.
Will they bounce back in similar fashion to Norwich and Watford or will they sink into the abyss of mid-table in the Championship? One thing that is certain is that they are now very much vulnerable in the transfer market. Talents that impressed such as Matheus Pereira could become a bargain deal this summer for a number of Premier League clubs.
With 15 goal contributions in the league this season, it would be no surprise to see the midfielder depart the sinking ship led by the out of touch Sam Allardyce.