Wednesday 21 August 2019

Prolific Blues pile pressure on Pulis

West Brom 0-4 Chelsea

West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis Photo: Reuters/Peter Cziborra
West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis Photo: Reuters/Peter Cziborra

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Tony Pulis has built a career on being a fighter, but he sounded like a beaten man after watching West Bromwich Albion fall to a humiliating fourth successive Premier League defeat that left him on the brink of the sack.

With the club's Chinese owner, Guochuan Lai, in the stands, the home fans could not have made their feelings any clearer as they worked their way through a list of "Pulis out" chants that increased in volume after each goal.

Chelsea's Eden Hazard shoots at goal Photo: Reuters/Peter Cziborra
Chelsea's Eden Hazard shoots at goal Photo: Reuters/Peter Cziborra

Pulis chose not to argue against the calls for his head and admitted that West Brom chairman John Williams had spoken to him in the dressing-room following the latest loss. "What is the right decision for the football club, that's the most important thing," said Pulis. "It's not about me, the chairman or the owner. This club will be here long after I have gone. I have been in the game long enough to know what happens if you get on a bad run and a decision has to be made that is right for the club."

Pulis added: "I met with the owner last night [Friday] and he is a really good person. John came in the dressing-room after the game, but what we spoke about will remain private. We will see what happens."

Pulis had used his programme notes to try to remind the West Brom fans and possibly Lai what he feels he has achieved during his time at the club. But the only fact that mattered to the fans who chanted "Tony Pulis, get out of our club" was that this was an 11th game in all competitions without a victory.

West Brom's difficulty is the fact they first need somebody to get them out of a relegation scrap and Pulis would normally be considered the perfect man for that particular job.

Chelsea's N'Golo Kante in action with West Bromwich Albion's Matt Phillips Photo: Reuters/Peter Cziborra
Chelsea's N'Golo Kante in action with West Bromwich Albion's Matt Phillips Photo: Reuters/Peter Cziborra

Antonio Conte must love a trip to the Black Country. Conte's Chelsea team clinched the Premier League title at the Hawthorns in May thanks to a last-gasp goal from Michy Batshuayi, but this game was over after just 38 minutes.

The home side went behind in the 17th minute to an Alvaro Morata goal, before Hazard finished off a wonderful move to double Chelsea's lead shortly afterwards. Then before half-time Fabregas found Marcos Alonso completely unmarked at the back post with a free-kick and the left-back could not really miss. Hazard netted his second and Chelsea's fourth goal just after the hour.

The goal sparked a mass exodus among the home fans and those who stayed attempted to reinforce their point to Lai by chanting "We want Pulis out".

It will be a surprise if they do not get their wish.

Sunday Indo Sport

The Left Wing: The 'hell' of World Cup training camp, Ireland's half-back dilemma and All Blacks uncertainty

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport