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Next Permanent West Brom Manager Odds*
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Valerien Ismael has been sacked by West Bromwich Albion and it’s hardly a surprise considering that the Baggies’ promotion challenge has started to falter. The Midlands side sit fifth in the Championship table although they are eight points off the automatic promotion places and the club decided to act following a 2-0 defeat at Millwall.
Previously to this, West Brom had lost at home to Preston and the board have decided to act before the situation got even worse. There are likely to be lots of interested parties when it comes to the vacant post and that could include Steve Bruce, Slaven Bilic and Alex Neil. It is Bruce who is the bookies favourite right now.
John Terry might also decide to interview for a fairly high-profile position and it might even be that West Brom make an approach for one of the managers currently in a job. We might see Forest Green Rovers manager Rob Edwards installed considering he has links with the Black Country after previously being involved with Wolves.
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Steve Bruce Odds-On to Take Charge at WBA
It’s unlikely that Baggies supporters are too excited about the prospect of Steve Bruce taking charge at West Brom, although the bookies currently have the former Newcastle and Aston Villa manager at odds-on which suggests he’s heavily likely to get the role as things stand. It’s possible that he was sounded out before Ismael was fired.
Bruce has a reasonable managerial track record and previously did well with Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic, with the manager only recently being sacked by Newcastle and he did keep the Magpies afloat last season in difficult circumstances.
Nevertheless, he doesn’t have a reputation for playing particularly attractive football and could easily see the fans turn against him considering his previous connections with Birmingham and Aston Villa.
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Would Slaven Bilic Consider a Hawthorns Return?
Slaven Bilic was in charge of Chinese Super League club Beijing Guoan until recently and the Croatian might consider a return to England, having previously had a stint at The Hawthorns. He was in charge of West Brom between 2019-20, with the former West Ham manager having steered the Midlands club to the Premier League before being somewhat harshly sacked.
Perhaps Bilic would be open to having another stab at this role, having held a number of managerial positions since retiring as a player. It shouldn’t be forgotten that he enjoyed a good deal of success in charge of the Croatian national team and was in charge between 2006-2012
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Could Alex Neil Return to Management at West Brom?
Alex Neil is someone who knows how to get a team promoted from the Championship to the Premier League. He had an instant impact at Norwich City during the 2014-15 season and, at the age of 40, still has a huge managerial career ahead of him. The former Hamilton boss was more recently in charge of Preston where the finances were a good deal tighter.
It’s likely that Neil will apply for the vacant role and aim to steer the Baggies back into the Premier League. They have been something of a yo-yo club in recent years although Albion will not want to miss out on immediate promotion to the top flight after being relegated last term and perhaps they’ll hire the Scot who has a previous blueprint.
It’s strange to think that Alex Neil is only 40 considering that he already has plenty of experience when it comes to managing football teams. Having been in charge at Hamilton Academical, it was Norwich City who took a punt on the Scot and he duly delivered the Canaries to the Premier League after a victory in the 2015 play-offs.
Things got a good deal tougher for Neil once the Norfolk side went into the Premier League, although he then made a switch to Preston North End and held court at Deepdale between 4 July 2017 and 21 March 2021 before stepping down at the Lancashire club which means he’s looking for a fresh opportunity.
Although things turned sour, 191 games in charge of PNE might have set him up pretty well for the rigours of managing in the Championship and the resources at West Brom are likely to be a good deal greater than what Neil had at Preston.
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Could John Terry Take Charge?
John Terry is now linked with any vacant high-profile position going and perhaps the former Aston Villa assistant manager is ready for a new challenge. He recently stepped down from his position as Dean Smith’s right-hand man at Villa Park and that was an attempt to further his coaching knowledge, with West Brom representing a good first job for someone with ambitions to manage Chelsea.
Terry perhaps has decided that management is not for him, although having seen Steven Gerrard take charge of Aston Villa and his good friend Frank Lampard take the recent job at Everton, it might be that he’s ready to give things a go in the Championship and aim to achieve a quick promotion.
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Jokanovic Could Be Next West Brom Manager
Slavisa Jokanovic has been the ideal man when it comes to guiding teams up from the English Championship having achieved promotion with both Fulham and Watford, with the 52-year-old having steered the Hornets into the Premier League at the end of the 2014-15 season, while he managed a play-off win with the Cottagers.
Jokanovic recently took a job at Sheffield United and only lasted a few months, although he might be open to a return to England and the opportunity to land a hat-trick of promotions from the Sky Bet Championship.
The bookies have the former Watford boss as among the favourites on this market and the achievements of Norwich and Watford demonstrate that relegated teams from the Premier League now seem to have an advantage.
Wagner and Appleton Next in the Betting
It’s clear that West Bromwich Albion will consider candidates who have achieved promotion from the Championship before and this is certainly the case with David Wagner, with the German having spun gold out of straw to help Huddersfield into the Premier League a few seasons ago.
Wagner was then able to keep the Terriers in the top flight for one season before things turned sour, with the friend of Jurgen Klopp then heading to Schalke where he struggled to get a tune out of the German Bundesliga club and the manager only last forty games in charge which means he’s now a free agent.
Michael Appleton is another interesting contender and the manager is currently tasked with trying to steer Lincoln City into the Championship through the League One play-offs, with the coach already having links with this Midlands club having been part of the coaching set-up in previous guises.
Appleton was caretaker manager in 2011 before having relatively short spells in charge at Portsmouth, Blackpool and Blackburn Rovers. He then enjoyed better times at Oxford United although it could be that the manager wants to remain with Lincoln and try to deliver the goods at this ambitious club.