West Bromwich Albion are set to open talks with Chris Wilder over the vacant managerial position. The Telegraph reports that Wilder is the man West Brom believe can bring them back to the Premier League next season. Sam Allardyce revealed that he would step down following their 3-1 defeat to West Ham United.
Chris Wilder to West Brom: Baggies to Hold Talks With Former Sheffield United Boss
Chris Wilder to West Brom
West Brom are preparing for life in the Championship again after the survival mastermind Sam Allardyce failed to keep them in the Premier League. Allardyce took over in December, after they won just one of 13 league games under Slaven Bilic.
The task was too much to handle for Big Sam, who for the first time in his managerial career suffered relegation. The Baggies are once again in the market for a manager. Chris Wilder is said to be at the top of the shortlist.
Wilder was of course most recently in charge of Sheffield United, where he implemented a fairly unique approach. Although playing with a back three has been adopted by many in the past decade, Wilder put his own twist on it. In his take, the wider centre-backs push very high when they attack, playing a key role in their attacks. They are essentially attacking centre-backs.
Whilst it is a rogue and bold tactic, it served Wilder with great distinction at Sheffield United. He enjoyed a highly successful spell with his beloved Blades, guiding them from League One into the Premier League. His Championship success earned him the LMA Manager of the Year Award in 2019.
Wilder received even more plaudits for his performances in their Premier League return. His unique style of play saw Sheffield United finish 9th in their first season back in the top flight. However, the limelight did not last long, as United became the latest victims of second season syndrome.
It will be interesting to see if Wilder sticks with his distinct style, or if he chooses to implement a new strategy at the Hawthorns. If he does take the job, he will also face a big challenge in keeping the likes of Matheus Pereira and Sam Johnstone around, both of whom have been linked with Premier League clubs.
Allardyce Not Committed to Albion
Sam Allardyce revealed that he turned down a “generous offer” to remain as West Brom manager next season. Speaking after the defeat to West Ham, he said: “For me, it is a long-term prospect for somebody more than me. I am, as you always say, a man that comes and saves a club, a man who is short term. I am happy with that. That is my life for the last few years.”
In a statement on the club’s website, he went on to say: “If I were to stay and achieve promotion next season the expectation would be for me to continue for at least another season and, sadly, that is not a commitment I feel able to make at this stage of my career.”
Whilst Wilder may be the leading candidate, the Baggies are keeping an eye on several potential candidates. Lincoln City boss Michael Appleton is also in the running, according to BBC Sport. Appleton has enjoyed two coaching spells at West Brom already; as caretaker manager in 2011, and as first team coach in 2019.
Appleton’s priorities will remain on Lincoln for the time being, as his side are currently competing in the League One play-offs. They have one foot in the final following their 2-0 win over Sunderland in the first leg.
Sky Sports are reporting that Frank Lampard is also being considered to replace Allardyce. Lampard has been out of a job since he was sacked by Chelsea in January. Super Frank enjoyed one season in the Championship with Derby in 2018/19, where he guided them to the play-off final.