It was heavily reported during the summer that a break in Steve Bruce’s contract could have seen him leave West Brom, with Sean Dyche tipped as a potential replacement at the Hawthorns.
After the Baggies’ shocking start to the Championship season, which has seen them win just once in the opening ten fixtures, those on the West Brom board will surely be regretting not appointing Dyche during the summer.
They suggest that a break clause could have allowed Bruce to move on from the Hawthorns this summer after he replaced Valerian Ismael last term, as he was clearly seen as a short-term solution at the club.
However, that solution has quickly become a problem this campaign, with the Baggies’ only win of 2022/23 coming in a 5-2 victory against Hull City, as they currently lie 21st after seven draws and two defeats.
Although Dyche is still available after leaving Burnley and could be a strong replacement for Bruce if he is sacked, the club could have avoided this situation altogether if they had been ruthless in the summer and made the necessary change.
Bruce has won just eight of his 29 matches in charge at West Brom, resulting in a disappointing points-per-game average of 1.21, which is a shocking return when you consider that the Baggies were amongst the pre-season favourites for promotion after some eye-catching additions, such as John Swift and Jed Wallace.
Dyche, meanwhile, averaged 1.34 points per game at Burnley and regularly kept them in the Premier League, despite being amongst the favourites for relegation in all of their Premier League seasons.
He also has a Championship title on his résumé, helping the Clarets win the league in the 2015/16 campaign, before keeping them in the Premier League until last season when he was sacked before their relegation.
“I only have words of praise because what he’s done at the club over the last 10 years is phenomenal. He gave the club a really clear identity, he’s managed to keep the team, with one of the smallest budgets, consistently in the league.”
Therefore, considering their respective records, and Bruce’s less than impressive start to the season, it seems fair to say that the club had a nightmare in not appointing Dyche during the summer. He’d likely be doing a much better job at this point in the campaign.