West Brom have swiftly appointed their new manager.
The Baggies sacked Slaven Bilic on Wednesday morning, less than 24 hours after he steered his side to a 1-1 draw over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
And this evening, they confirmed the 66-year-old former Bolton, West Ham and England boss as their new manager. In an official statement on wba.co.uk, Albion revealed that Allardyce had signed an 18-month deal.
He will take training for the very first time on Thursday ahead of this weekend’s Midlands derby against Aston Villa.
Whilst the overall appointment of a forgotten manager like Big Sam is questionable, to say the least – there’s nothing to suggest that he will be well-backed by the board, unlike his predecessor.
In reality, it is the lack of relegations on his CV that makes him seem an ideal candidate on paper but it’s going to take an awful lot to turn around this sinking squad. It’s practically a Championship-level outfit with an owner unwilling to invest.
No one’s changing that around.
Although the change in manager could be of benefit to several players, most notably Charlie Austin, who was effectively finished under Bilic despite the Croatian dubbing him “magnificent.”
He could well be in line for some redemption thanks to the likely appointment of Allardyce as there’s nobody better equipped in the Baggies side to play his direct and aggressive style.
Austin cost just £4m in Bilic’s first summer and went onto bag ten goals in 34 appearances (18 starts) on their way to promotion last term, whilst his record in the big time is pretty respectable – 34 goals and ten assists in 108 games, via Transfermarkt.
Evidently, the 66-year-old will know exactly what he’s getting with the former Saints and QPR talisman as he eyed a swoop for him in 2015 whilst in charge of Sunderland, as per ESPN.
Once dubbed “absolutely ruthless” by Sky Sports commentator Don Goodman, could Austin go from zero-to-hero under Allardyce? He may well make the Hawthorns erupt if he finds his tune again.
He ought to consider he’s earning a whopping £70k-per-week.
AND in other news, Lai heading for a Pardew-like mistake…