The West Bromwich Albion season never looked likely to take off; relegation always looked the eventual outcome and, by the time the season came to an end, not even serial survival Sam Allardyce could keep them up. The dismissal of manager Slaven Bilic, following a draw at the Etihad, remains a controversial one.
We’ll never know whether the ex-West Ham United manager would have guided those at the Hawthorns to safety after getting them promoted the season before. Perhaps those at the top of the club should have waited to find out because, it was clear from the off, Allardyce had lost his magic touch when it comes to survival.
Even after making January adjustments, his style of play looked out of place in a ‘new’ type of Premier League; Allardyce’s way of playing looked like it had been countered, to some effect, by modern-day patient, tidy football.
It wasn’t a season without some highs, but relegation signals the lowest of lows as the Baggies found out.
West Bromwich Albion Season Review: Sam Allardyce Survival Luck Runs Out
Moments to Remember
As alluded to before, Sam Allardyce and West Bromwich Albion did still enjoy some moments to savour throughout a rather disastrous campaign. But, there was no moment more enjoyable than a stunning thrashing of Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea.
The win saw the Baggies go the season unbeaten against the London club and inflict Tuchel’s first defeat as Blues boss. It wasn’t a lucky win, either. It was an embarrassing afternoon for Chelsea. They weren’t just defeated, they were demolished by West Brom at Stamford Bridge.
Christian Pulisic opened the scoring before a Thiago Silva red card sent Chelsea’s game plan to a crashing halt. Goals from Matheus Pereira soon saw Allardyce’s side go ahead before Mason Mount’s goal pegged them back.
The Baggies were only just getting started, however, as two goals from Callum Robinson and one for Mbaye Diagne sent West Brom cruising to victory.
Moments to Forget
Yet, despite those positive moments, the drop still loomed; the inevitable still remained inevitable. Now, heading into the Championship season, they are manager-less and looking to bounce back.
Perhaps the most disappointing moment of the season was the 5-0 loss to Leeds United. There are so many to choose from, however; so many moments they’d rather forget.
The later loss against Arsenal put an end to their survival hopes and maybe dealt the biggest blow in the process. And even when they were battling for a draw against Liverpool, luck wasn’t on their side as Alisson Becker became the first goalkeeper to score a winner in the Premier League.
The last gasp winner sort of summed the West Bromwich Albion season up. No matter what they did, nothing seemed to work. When a point was in reach, they were unlucky enough to concede to the Liverpool goalkeeper.
On the final day of the season, they welcomed the fans back to the Hawthorns before conceding victory to West Ham. In spite of taking the lead, the Hammers dealt a blow in the form of three goals.
West Bromwich Albion Player of the Season
From the very first day of the season, West Brom’s best player was clear as Matheus Pereira nestled a free-kick into the top right of Jordan Pickford’s goal. The playmaker proved his quality time and time again despite constant defeat.
He’ll be one of a handful of players likely to be targeted by Premier League clubs in pursuit of his creative flair this summer. Whether or not he leaves is yet to be seen, however. Ending with 12 goals and six assists in all competitions, he certainly deserves another crack at the top flight.
A Special mention goes to Sam Johnstone, who, despite facing shot after shot, defied the odds to impress Gareth Southgate enough for a place in his Euros squad.
Yet, as we know by now, his saves were not enough to keep West Bromwich Albion afloat, who head into next season hoping to bounce back once more in the second tier.
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