After the managerial axe fell with a vengeance again this weekend, West Bromwich Albion officials are drawing up a shortlist of names to replace the outgoing Roberto Di Matteo.
Following Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Manchester City, the Baggies board moved quickly and placed the 40-year-old Italian on ‘gardening leave’ yesterday morning in a bid to stop the rot and save their Barclays Premier League status.
Former Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson is the bookies early favourite to take up the post at the Hawthorns reports the Daily Mail, in what would be a quick return to football after his controversial sacking from Anfield in January.
Hodgson endured a torrid time on Merseyside, inheriting an under-par Liverpool squad which he never really managed to get going and as a result he failed to ever win over the Anfield fans.
A number of lacklustre performances in the league meant that the Reds struggled for any consistency forcing new Liverpool owner John Henry to relieve Hodgson of his duties just six months into his tenure.
Kop messiah Kenny Dalglish was brought in as interim manager, and after a successful few weeks which saw him break Liverpool’s transfer record in the January window as well as stringing a few wins together – most notably yesterday’s fine 1-0 victory over Chelsea, there are now calls for Dalglish to be given the job permanently.
Michael Appleton has been placed in temporary charge of West Brom ahead of next weekend’s basement battle with West Ham, before they host Wolves on February 20, in what could prove to be a pivotal month in their hunt for survival.
The timing of the sacking remains questionable and will leave Di Matteo wondering exactly what he was expected to achieve with one of the smallest playing budgets in the league and with a newly-promoted side.
West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace has tried to justify the dismissal when he went on record saying, “This club's track record proves we do not take such decisions lightly, with Roberto being only our fourth manager or head coach in almost 11 years.
“Our poor sequence stretches back more than three months and there has been little sign of it coming to an end. That is why we felt compelled to act now.”
Either way, Baggies fans find their team without a manager and in a poor run of form which has seen them collect just eleven points from their past seventeen games.
They will be hoping they can bring in the right replacement with Roy Hodgson seen as the leading candidate to help steady the ship.
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