West Bromwich Albion are set to scrap the Director of Football position at The Hawthorns.
That’s according to a report by Football Insider, who claim that a West Brom source has revealed that, following the club’s parting of ways with technical and sporting director Luke Dowling, Guochuan Lai will not look to replace the outgoing man this summer.
Instead, it is reported that the Baggies will look at appoint a more “traditional” manager this summer, with Lai hoping to find a hands-on and well-connected coach who can work closely with the club’s recruitment team, rather than this task being fulfilled by a director of football.
The news that the West Brom owner believes that his club does not require the services of a director of football, or indeed a sporting or technical director, certainly comes as something of a surprise, as the vast majority of top English football clubs now operate with this model, often with relative success.
Indeed, with a director of football in place, a club limits the risk of a manager making signings in the transfer market that suit their own individual style of football, rather than fitting with the club’s philosophies as a whole.
For example, should Sam Allardyce have stayed on at the West Brom this summer, without a director of football in place, the 66-year-old would have more than likely signed a number of strong, physical and defensively-minded players who are suited to playing a more direct brand of football.
While this may prove beneficial in the short term, if the club were to eventually part ways with Allardyce, and subsequently go on to appoint a new coach such as, for example, Scott Parker, a manager who likes his teams to play out from the back and being overall more attack-minded, the 40-year-old would have to almost entirely rebuild the squad in order to establish his style.
However, with a director of football in place – with the idea being the person in the role will likely outstay the incumbent manager – the signings a club makes are almost always ones who fit the individual club’s philosophies, while the DoF will also appoint a manager who tends to play in a way which suits the club’s demands.
As such, it would very much appear as if Lai’s lastest surprising decision could come back to haunt the Chinese businessman and his club, as we believe scrapping the role is yet another mistake on the part of the West Brom owner.
It looks like the chairman is looking for a short-term, quick-fix rather than planning for long-term success at Albion and that feels like a recipe for disaster.