Given the messes West Bromwich Albion have found themselves in down the years, it would take more than the wand of Harry Potter to summon a spell capable of ending the club’s yoyo period.
It’s been a reoccurring theme throughout the years but another man with the same surname, Swansea City’s Graham Potter, could be the individual with the powers to finally banish the demons that lurk at the Hawthorns.
Albion have their problems and even though Jimmy Shan has done the best possible job under the circumstances, there is a feeling in the air of negativity, rather than positivity. It’s rather strange going into a play-off campaign.
However, someone who may be able to sort that out next season, regardless of whether the club achieves promotion, is Potter. That’s the manager, not the fictional character.
The Sun on Sunday (05/05: page 59) – via HITC – reported that West Brom are eyeing him as the man to take the reins on a permanent basis next season, but it could cost £2m to prise him away.
With that in mind, here are the possible consequences of Potter reuniting with West Brom 19 years after he left the club as a player.
Potter is a fantastic man manager and knows how to create a culture and thriving environment. His eight years at Swedish side Ostersunds, where he took the club all the way from the fourth tier to the Allsvenskan, tells you all you need to know in that regard.
He built a legacy there and an atmosphere which the players loved. They may not have possessed the greatest of footballing ability, but by creating a pleasant environment they achieved things beyond their wildest dreams.
In some senses, he’s done the same since arriving at Swansea. Obviously, the success hasn’t come yet, but he took over a side recently relegated and in danger of falling away. He’s been able to stabilise the Swans and wipe away the negative atmosphere that will have been creeping in after a relegation.
He saw 12 players leave last summer but that had no effect as he was able to instil a belief in the team that saw them finish tenth in the league.
The atmosphere at West Brom, whether that be at board level or on the pitch, hasn’t been too favourable for a number of years now. Potter could help change that.
Giving Mark Jenkins praise would be beyond most Albion supporters at the moment but they would have reason to give him plaudits should Potter be appointed as manager this summer.
The Chief Executive at West Brom hasn’t had the best of relationships with the supporters and that’s putting it lightly. Jenkins seems to constantly work his way through uninspiring and safe managerial appointments that save the club some money.
Potter, however, would go against that and bringing him back to the Hawthorns would be a masterstroke. Yes, it could cost the club £2m, but it would be evidence that Jenkins is finally looking at the bigger picture.
The appointment of the Swansea manager wouldn’t be safe, nor would it be cheap, but it would help paint a picture of where West Brom can be in the future.
If Jenkins has any ambition, then he’ll consider the long term future, rather than the short term. Wouldn’t that be a rarity?
Where would West Brom be had they kept some of their very best young talents down the years? It feels like a broken record, particularly after Izzy Brown’s departure. However, as Rekeem Harper’s contract looks set to run down and with Borussia Dortmund reportedly chasing Jamie Soule, the debate could again be renewed very soon.
However, Potter could help wipe away those concerns. After he lost a number of players at Swansea last summer, he brought through young individuals who have thrived at the Liberty this season.
The main men to focus on here are Dan James and Joe Rodon, who have been two of the Swans’ key players since the 43-year-old manager took over.
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Looking at that, there should be encouraging signs for Baggies’ supporters, especially given the fact that 69% of Swansea’s goals were scored by players under the age of 23 this term.
Potter was monitored by the club back in March 2018, only for nothing to materialise. This time around, though, they must do everything they can to lure him back to the Midlands.