When West Brom owner Lai Guochuan took the decision to sack Slaven Bilic, and appoint Sam Allardyce in his place, there was only one thing the Baggies had in mind: Premier League survival.
And following confirmation of that move, sporting director, Luke Dowling, wasted no time in letting the world know why the club had turned their attentions towards one of the top-flight’s veteran bosses.
He said: “In Sam we have a man who has a proven Premier League pedigree with a track record of improving every club he has managed.
“We believe and, more importantly Sam believes, we have a group of players that have the quality needed to give the club its best chance of Premier League survival.”
And on late Sunday afternoon, it became that much clearer why the Baggies took the decision to name Allardyce their new manager.
Away to Premier League champions Liverpool, West Brom fans would have been forgiven for accepting a potential defeat even before the game had started.
And when Sadio Mane struck after less than a quarter of an hour, the writing was seemingly on the wall for them. The entire first-half saw West Brom camped well inside their own half, with no outlet whatsoever, and apparently quite happy to just walk away with their dignity in tact.
But then, the second-half saw a slightly more adventurous Baggies side come to the party, and when Semi Ajayi scored with less than ten minutes remaining, it just smacked of one of those old-school, Allardyce masterclasses.
As per Sofascore, they had just 22% possession over the course of the game, but staggeringly, finished with more shots on target than the Reds – three to two.
Described as being a “phenomenal” man-manager by one of his former players, Stephen Warnock, the West Brom boss came up with a blueprint that worked to perfection at Anfield.
If Lai was hoping that a mid-season change could inspire a turn in fortunes, then he seems to have got exactly that. The early signs are very promising for West Brom’s chances of staying up this season, and that’s in no small part to Allardyce being a potential game-changer.