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 Posted by Matthew Evans
Jun 16, 2014

Irvine choice uninspiring for West Brom

New West Brom boss Alan Irvine was last in charge of a team in 2011 with Sheffield Wednesday.
New West Brom boss Alan Irvine was last in charge of a team in 2011 with Sheffield Wednesday.

The fact that West Brom have announced an email address that fans are to write to if they want their season-tickets refunded sums up the reaction to the appointment of Alan Irvine as West Brom's head coach.

- Report: Irvine lands West Brom job

It is underwhelming, unambitious and just incredibly disappointing. No one expected a big name, but the least that could be expected would be someone who could provide a bit of excitement and get the fans "back onside," as chairman Jeremy Peace said he would.

Tim Sherwood was the overwhelming favourite for the job, and it seemed to be his until the wages for Sherwood's two assistants, Les Ferdinand and Chris Ramsey, became a stumbling block. Irvine then came from out of nowhere to get the job.

The negative reaction is completely understandable and one that I wholly share. Irvine's track record is awful, being sacked by both Preston and Sheffield Wednesday. He hasn't had a manager/head coach role since being sacked by Wednesday, which was three years ago, and has a reputation for poor football.

Albion seem to have become obsessed with the idea of having a coach, rather than a manager, citing the example of how good Roy Hodgson was on the training ground. The thing is, Hodgson also had vast experience and was tactically very astute. Irvine may well be a great coach but his record suggests he isn't the best when it comes to match day, such as tactics and substitutions.

It is an appointment that stinks of penny-pinching, particularly with the stories emerging about wages being the stumbling block to getting Sherwood. The former Spurs boss would have been a risk, but Irvine is even more of one: He is neither an experienced Premier League manager who had a failure at that level on his record, like Martin Jol, nor is he an exciting young manager, like Sherwood.

Peace will need to back Albion in the transfer market if he is to get the fans back onside and give Irvine some kind of chance at being a success and surprising everyone.