It may sometimes seem as if you can’t win over everybody within the wider English footballing community in general.
Although football has obviously become a results-based business in the modern era, the need to play attractive, entertaining football nonetheless remains paramount among core club supporters. Without an impressive enough reputation capable of covering both fields efficiently and effectively, the life of a top-flight Premier League manager can often prove testing to say the very least…
Such an analysis may therefore relate relatively well with West Bromwich Albion manager, Tony Pulis, and his current situation at the Hawthorns. Despite witnessing his side somewhat comfortably residing in the top-half of the table right how, his team have still been criticised for their forgettable approach and seeming inability to impress fans of the English game on the whole.
So then, whilst there may well be a selection of Pulis supporters out there who would still willingly rally to his cause at the first time of asking, has this current West Brom team become the most boring side in the entire Premier League?
Such a harsh choice of phrasing admittedly doesn’t arrive in the most poetic form possible, but seeing as the Baggies have only scored eight goals in ten games so far this season, the stats fail to shine Pulis’ squad in the most promising of lights. Regardless of where his side currently sit in the table, surely that striking output can’t be considered good enough among the majority of the Hawthorns faithful?
West Brom have nonetheless proven themselves to be the clean-sheet experts in 2015/16, finishing three of their resolute away wins this term with a 1-0 score-line. Pulis has therefore reinforced his ability to keep things organised at the back since moving to the club. Although it is by no means pretty to watch – which arguably defeats the point of going to the stadium as a spectator altogether – no one can pretend that his tactics aren’t at least partially effective.
In comparison, Liverpool have only scored a grand total of nine goals so far this season, and sit just one place higher than Pulis’ ‘boring’ Baggies after ten matches.
However, in the long-term, such an unambitious approach can only lead to deep-rooted stagnation in the end. As both Swansea and Southampton have successfully proven in recent seasons, no team has to sacrifice the need to play attractive football in order to thrive in the Premier League. Whilst neither side has impressed all that much so far in 2015/16, at least their respective fan-bases go home every weekend somewhat entertained if nothing else.
Among watchers of the Premier League in general, the Baggies have unfortunately become known as the most forgettable team in the league. Nothing truly exciting or captivating ever seems likely to develop at a club overseen by Tony Pulis, even if West Brom remain impressively organised, determined and truly focused on most occasions. In-fact, the recent saga surrounding Saido Berahino and his reported transfer request, seemingly filled more head-lines than the rest of his Baggies teammates have achieved out on the pitch for a long while.
Yes, both the aforementioned England U21 striker and new-boy, Salomon Rondon, could well strike up a meaning for partnership up-top this term – but again – considering Tony Pulis’ decision to utilize Berahino out-wide a disproportionate amount of the time, that particular notion also seems questionable with all things considered.
In the end, West Brom are a solid unit with well-drilled players across their starting XI – for that, the club deserve credit. But seeing as Tony Pulis employed a similarly unambitious approach at both Crystal Palace and Stoke City in the past – the Baggies arguably still go down as the least enticing team currently operating in the English top-flight, even if relegation does in-fact look a long way off for the Hawthorns faithful at this stage in the season.
If you think West Brom will fail to maintain their Premier League status this term however, the Baggies are currently 11/2 to be relegated with William Hill
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