With the team ten points from safety with only four games remaining, West Bromwich Albion’s time in the Premier League is set to end after only one season.
With a change of managers and an end of season push that got the fans dreaming just that tiny bit, we look at the three main reasons to the Baggies’ downfall upon their return to the top flight.
- Lack of support in the transfer market in the summer
West Brom entered the 2020/21 Premier League season as Championship runners-up and there was hope that the expansive football that was being played under then manager Slaven Bilic would convince the owners that further reinforcements were needed to continue this positive style of play. Sadly, bar Karlan Grant, who was signed from Huddersfield for a mammoth £15 million, Callum Robinson from Sheffield United and the odd loan signing, money was only spent on making loans from the previous season permanent.
The lack of spending continued into the winter transfer window, with Mbaye Diagne, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Okay Yokuslu all coming in on loan deals until the end of the season. Whether spending more money would have made any difference to the performance on the pitch will never be known, but the club have suffered without the backing.
2. Slaven Bilic was not given enough time
You may think that seven points from the first 13 games is a fair cause for a sacking, but as said previously, a lack of spending may have resulted in the team just being unable to get over the finish line in terms of results. Yes, Allardyce has come in and improved the team, but scoring only five goals and conceding 22 goals in his first seven games in charge is not a sign of an improvement on what they already had.
Under Bilic, West Brom scored five goals within three games and did not concede 22 goals in the league until the 11th game of the season. Claiming a credible draw away to the soon-to-be Champions in what turned out to be your last game as West Brom manager was a kick in the teeth for Bilic.
3. Inability to score and defend has led to their downfall
31 goals scored and 65 conceded is a fair refection on what has been a very poor season for the Baggies. Their top scorer is Matheus Pereira with nine goals, he is also their top creator with five assists, and the team tend to really struggle without him when he’s either suspended or injured. Callum Robinson has five goals, four of which have been against Chelsea, while Mbaye Diagne has come in from Galatasaray and impressed, but with only three league goals, has not done enough.
Sam Johnstone has been superb all season and his fine performances led to an England call-up in March, but his defenders have been incredible poor and defensive reinforcements will be needed ahead of next season, once the Baggies relegation back to the Championship is confirmed.