The focus will fall on Alan Pardew and his departure is inevitable. A single win in 15 Premier League games and a place eight points from safety tends to lead to one conclusion.
But the improved performance in West Bromwich Albion’s latest loss at Vicarage Road bought Pardew some credit and, after reviewing his position again on Saturday, the club’s board decided to retain his services for Saturday’s visit of Leicester.
A paucity of credible alternatives to take charge in the current predicament is a factor and should the Hawthorns crowd turn on Pardew in another defeat, West Brom’s hierarchy will have a further round of discussions.
Jake Livermore rips his shirt in frustration after West Brom concede late on at Vicarage Road
The defeat leaves Alan Pardew and his side eight points from safety as relegation looms
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But beyond Pardew, the 1-0 loss shone a light on wider issues at a club heading for the Championship. Troy Deeney’s well-taken winner placed Salomon Rondon’s miss firmly in the shade.
When Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian offered West Brom £35 million for Rondon during 2017’s January transfer window, Tony Pulis was eager to bank the cash to fund new recruits.
Prime among his targets was Troy Deeney, whose time at Watford had grown fraught. Deeney was interested in a move to his native Birmingham to become West Brom’s top earner.
A dejected Jay Rodriguez crouches over after Troy Deeney scores his 300th league goal
Pulis felt his side were secure for another year following a superb opening half to the season and the enormous sum on the table could prove transformative. Rondon was said to be keen on the riches on offer in China. But, as negotiations for Deeney became difficult, West Brom’s hierarchy decided that selling Rondon could not be countenanced, so each striker stayed.
Rondon scored once again after that stage last season and four more times in this Premier League campaign. Though his game is about other aspects — hold-ups, flick-ons — the £15m signing from Zenit exemplifies West Brom’s struggle for goals.
As a team, they have scored only 22 times in the Premier League. No team in the Football League have fewer.
At Watford, Rondon was guilty of spurning a gilt-edged chance, heading wide from a Kieran Gibbs cross when unmarked eight yards out.
The Watford captain went through on goal in the second half to finish smartly past Ben Foster
Deeney's goal piles the pressure on Baggies boss Pardew as Watford snatched a 1-0 victory
Not long after, Deeney was capitalising on a bad mix-up between Chris Brunt and Grzegorz Krychowiak to speed clear and clip a cool finish over Ben Foster, condemning Pardew’s team to a fifth straight Premier League defeat.
West Brom tried for Deeney last summer and in January but a deal could not be concluded. He has experienced a turbulent time at Watford this season but has hit two winners in successive weeks.
That was the attraction to Pulis and Pardew, who arrived acutely aware of the need to strengthen West Brom’s attack in January. But a £15m bid for Deeney was judged unacceptable.
Aleksandar Mitrovic was another on the list who could hit the ground running but it is believed Newcastle were not prepared to do business with a relegation rival. Mitrovic has struck three goals in three games on loan at Fulham.
West Brom have managed just a single win in their last 15 Premier League games
So West Brom turned to Daniel Sturridge and completed a loan move worth £4m, including fees and wages. But Sturridge has played just 78 minutes since and those familiar with his Liverpool career are not surprised. A hamstring injury will keep the 28-year-old out of the match against Leicester on Saturday too.
Pardew’s decision to drop Jay Rodriguez for Sturridge in the crucial contest with Southampton on February 3 surprised players and might point to the moment circumstances turned for Pardew.
Rodriguez had been in good form and so replacing him with the new signing raised eyebrows.
Pardew has been battling dressing-room discord since the taxi episode in Barcelona, with Brunt and Claudio Yacob making feelings known after the loss to Huddersfield, although the display at Watford showed improved commitment.
That proved enough to keep Pardew in position as owner Guochuan Lai and chief executive Mark Jenkins weighed up the impact of any change.
West Brom have scored only 22 times in the league - no team in the lower Leagues have fewer
The board are aware Ostersunds manager Graham Potter would be interested in returning to the Hawthorns, where he was once a player.
Derek McInnes, another former West Brom player, might enter thoughts should Pardew go. McInnes, 46, has done superbly at Aberdeen and won the Scottish League Cup in 2014.
One option could involve bringing back coach Ben Garner in a caretaker capacity with Darren Moore assisting. Garner, 37, had a successful two-year spell as assistant manager under Pulis before leaving when Gary Megson took interim charge.
Defender Jonny Evans insisted West Brom can survive. ‘The most important thing for us is that we still believe,’ he said. ‘We’re working hard. The fans were receptive to that and it gave us a lift.’
Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-5460967/West-Brom-manager-Alan-Pardew-stay-execution-now.html