Saturday 4th November, West Bromwich Albion were defeated by Premier League debutants Huddersfield Town, despite the Terriers being down to 10-men in the second half. The West Brom team lacked energy and a cutting edge, like they have all season.
The fans were frustrated, and they expressed that dissatisfaction when chants of ‘Pulis out’ and ‘Tony Pulis, your football is …’ (You know the rest) rang out from the away fans section.
The fans of West Brom got their wish when manager Tony Pulis was given his marching orders following a 0-4 defeat at the hands of defending champions, Chelsea.
I do have sympathy for Tony Pulis, because he is a respectable manager and he has proved that if you want to stay in the Premier League, he is your man.
However, the purpose of this article is to say that fan opinion’s really do matter, and they must be heard. Soccer fans don’t have to be satisfied with negative, tedious football.
The idea of just surviving is soul-destroying and not what being a fan of the sport is about.
Being a fan is about having hope that one day, your team can achieve success against the odds. I don’t think I have to remind you of Leicester City?
Spending weekends watching your team shouldn’t become a chore. Fans have the right to express annoyance if they aren’t happy with the product. They are the ones that pay hard-earned money.
The West Brom faithful will now have hope for the future, and the chairman of the club deserves great credit for that. Yes, Pulis was sacked for not picking up enough points and going 11 games without tasting victory, but the fan’s discontent played a pivotal role, without doubt.
In terms of the next coach to take over at the Hawthorns Stadium, I would suggest that the Baggies look for a young European to take charge. Fresh, modern ideas would rejuvenise the club, get the fans interested again and most importantly, create a sense of hope.
Look at the likes of Huddersfield Town and Watford. Both overachieving so far, this season with young European coaches in David Wagner and Marco Silva, respectively.
Admittedly, that way of recruitment is a risk. Employing the likes of Tony Pulis, you know what you are going to get.
But, every fan dreams of a Leicester-esque scenario, no matter how unrealistic that is. And with a Tony Pulis type manager in charge, it goes from unrealistic to never in a million years.