The Baggies have played their way out of the Championship by playing some lovely football and virtually eased their way to automatic promotion. Incredibly Roberto Di Matteo achieved this feat in his first year at West Brom and only his second year in management. As a young and upcoming manager he will be keen to implement his own ideas and this could be the difference between himself and previous manager Tony Mowbray’s handling of the team. He has already shown that he is not afraid to mix things up as the club have recently released midfielder Robert Koren who was one of the side’s standout performers this season.
They’ve managed to keep a lot of their squad together from when they were in the Premiership last season and that has benefited them in winning promotion this season, and the players will be more prepared for the Premiership this time around. They also have a good base to the side of players that are capable of playing in the Premier League; for instance Scott Carson is easily good enough to play in the top tier. He has had a lot of unfair criticism over the years because of his performance for England when they lost to Croatia in the Euro 2008 qualifying match.
In addition they have seasoned players like Chris Brunt and James Morrison and they have a lot of young players who will be eager to make their mark like Joe Mattock, Reuben Reid and Simon Cox.
A lot of their season could depend on midfielder Graham Dorrans, the Scotsman has been a revelation for the side this season and was named the second best player in the Football League. With the club recently rejecting an offer of £4m from West Ham, they will be keen to reject any further overtures from other clubs and hang on to their star player.
The team will still need reinforcements and it will be interesting to see just how much money they spend. Obviously West Brom fans will be fearing the drop again after many years of ‘yo-yoing’ between the divisions, but you have to have to feel that this is perhaps the chance they’ve had in a while to stay up and stay put. There are still question marks over the side’s ability to defend, but as long as Di Matteo recognises this and invests in the team, whilst also adding a few players in other positions then they have the ability to stay up.