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The Chalkboard: West Brom must avoid another Graeme Jones scenario as Michael Appleton begins coaching role

Last week West Brom confirmed that Michael Appleton, a former player and coach at the club in the past, would be added to James Shan’s backroom staff.

The caretaker manager has been in need of expertise to bolster his ideas going into the play-offs and Appleton has become the second name to walk through the doors, alongside Steven Reid. This week, the former finally got to work.

However, with the 43-year-old having been a manager himself, West Brom could find themselves in a repeat scenario from when Graeme Jones was assistant to Darren Moore. It’s something that might have a devastating effect in their bid for promotion.

On the chalkboard

Appleton claimed this week, per quotes from The Express & Star that his appointment would only work if he stayed in the shadows. He said: “For me, it can only work if I take a back seat and be a shoulder to lean on. The reality is, he’s in charge and he’s the manager. I very much know my role within that.”

It’s absolutely crucial that he follows up on his words. The level of expertise he’ll be able to offer will be significant but it’s important that ideas don’t clash. It either has the potential to be a match made in heaven, or it could be disastrous.

Someone in the back seat is exactly what West Brom need if they’re to improve both on the training ground and on the pitch. Promotion is very much on the table, but things could easily turn out how they did under Jones.

The Express & Star reported in March there had been concerns about him having too much of a say on tactics when he was assistant, whilst they also claimed that Jones wanted the managerial reins himself.

It’s unknown whether Appleton has similar desires, but it would be a difficult role for him to turn down should Albion look to appoint him as permanent manager in the summer. Therefore, West Brom must be careful.

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After the dismissal of Moore there was a toxic atmosphere surrounding the club. Their promotion chances had taken a hit and performances on the pitch were suffering.

But with Shan and Appleton, the Baggies hierarchy will be hoping they’ve made the right appointments to get the most out of the playing staff in the closing weeks.

Article title: The Chalkboard: West Brom must avoid another Graeme Jones scenario as Michael Appleton begins coaching role

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