For West Bromwich Albion, the Sam Allardyce experiment has been short and not at all sweet.
Indeed, not even a man lauded for his ability to pull off great escapes during tight relegation battles could save the club this season and the former Sunderland boss will not be sticking around for next year’s Championship campaign.
So, where do the club go from here?
According to The Athletic, the likes of Chris Wilder, Michael Appleton and Frank Lampard are all of interest and, while this season’s relegation is undoubtedly disappointing, this is still a club frequently promoted to the top tier of English football.
As far as Championship jobs go, it surely has to be one of the biggest given how often West Brom battle towards the top of that division.
With all that in mind, GIVEMESPORT writers Jonathan Gorrie, Joshua Cole, Sam Brookes and Christy Malyan have given their verdicts.
At this stage, Michael Appleton looks like the safest bet.
Indeed, he’s worked on the coaching staff before and was mooted as an option as far back as February by The Athletic given his connection with technical director Luke Dowling.
A former player of course, he’s enjoyed success with both Oxford and Lincoln of late and he could lead the latter to the Championship through the League One play-offs later this month.
Unbeaten in his two games in charge of Leicester City as a caretaker in 2017, his work in League One shows how capable he is of getting the most out of a group of players, particularly ones lacking superstars.
Given some of the Baggies’ loan stars this season will surely depart, that could be crucial in their attempts to come straight back up to the Premier League for the 2022/23 campaign.
“With West Brom set to return to the Championship later this year following a dismal stint in the Premier League, it could be argued that they may need a young manager to take them forward who has a point to prove.
“Therefore, the Baggies should look no further than Frank Lampard who was relatively unlucky to lose his job at Chelsea earlier this season.
“Having taken Derby County to within 90 minutes of a return to the top-flight in 2019, the 42-year-old could use his previous experience of working in the second-tier to his advantage if he has handed over the reins at the Hawthorns.
“A champion of attacking football, Lampard’s Chelsea side netted 69 league goals in the 2019/20 campaign and thus he could potentially bring a feel-good factor back to West Brom whose lack of vision for the future has resulted in the departure of several managers in recent years.”
“Chris Wilder is the outstanding candidate for the job.
“The job that he did with Sheffield United was nothing short of remarkable, and it showed that he belongs in the upper echelons of English football.
“Having got a taste of the Premier League, I have no doubt that Wilder will be hungry to get back to that level, and he has a great opportunity to do just that at West Brom.
“Towards the end of his time with the Blades, Wilder looked a little jaded, and needed a break. He has now had a spell away from the dugout to recharge his batteries, so he should be raring to go once more.
“The Baggies require someone who can take them back to the top-flight as quickly as possible, and there isn’t a manager better equipped to guide them to promotion in 2021/22 than Wilder.”
“Having come within a whisker of promotion during his time at Derby County, I have no doubt Frank Lampard would be able to go one step further at West Brom considering the amount of talent in their squad already established at Championship level or higher.
“Throw in the fact his good connections at Chelsea should allow the Baggies to sign a handful of promising loan players, just like when Lampard gave chances to Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount with the Rams, and the Baggies could bounce straight back up into the Premier League with the former England midfielder at the helm next season.
“Style of play is important too and Lampard’s willingness to play attacking football should leave the Midlands outfit in better shape to combat the top flight next time out, rather than feeling obliged to turn to Allardyce-ball midway through the campaign.”