West Bromwich Albion has had its share of successes and failures over the last 15 years. The Baggies developed something of a “yo-yo club” reputation after three promotions followed by swift returns to the Championship between 2002 and 2009. Since promotion back to the big time in 2010 Albion has cemented its place in the English Premier League.
Tony Pulis’ appointment as manager last year proved to be an excellent decision as he eased the club’s relegation fears and brought stability. Formed in 1879, West Brom has only won five FA Cups to date, been runners-up on five occasions and have won the League Cup once. Before the appointment of Pulis, the Birmingham boys were managed by Alan Irvine, whose time in charge was forgettable.
Irvine was replaced by Pepe Mel with the hope to regain team spirit but instead he suffered seven defeats in nine games. Pulis arrived in January turned the Black Country club’s fortunes around. In just a short space of time the Welshman obtained what others could not.
West Bromwich Albion achieved a credible 13th-place finish in the Premier League with 44 points and managed to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals. The 1953/54 season is fondly recalled by those at The Hawthorns as the Baggies’ league campaign started with nine straight wins. However it was a 1-0 defeat by arch-rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers that dashed their title hopes.
Consolation for fans came when the FA Cup was won the same year. Three new recruits have joined Albion in the current transfer window.* James McClean, James Chester and Rickie Lambert are the team’s new signings.
For the upcoming 2015/16 season, West Brom will face one of the biggest teams Manchester United on Saturday. Under Pulis’ leadership, the fans will be hopeful of an upset over the Red Devils.
*Correct as at 6 August 2015.