Saturday 21 April 2018

Tony Pulis sacking: Why a footballing curse has been reversed

There’s something strange going on between Chelsea and West Brom…

Andre Villas Boas and Tony Pulis
Andre Villas Boas and Tony Pulis

By Edd Dracott

Tony Pulis’s sacking as West Bromwich Albion manager following Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to Chelsea marks the reversing of a footballing curse between the two sides.

Chelsea managers have found the Baggies to be a bogey team when it comes to job safety in the past.

In 2012 a 1-0 defeat at the Hawthorns saw Andre Villas-Boas sacked, while the following season a 2-1 defeat in West Bromwich proved to be Roberto Di Matteo’s final league game.

As Pulis departs, Albion are just a point and a place above the relegation zone after an 11-game winless run in all competitions. Assistant head coach Gary Megson has taken a caretaker role.

After the Chelsea defeat, Pulis defended his record at the club and said West Brom would struggle to get a better replacement.

However, some thought it was unfair to suggest the sacking was ill-advised given the 59-year-old former Stoke City and Crystal Palace manager’s prior achievements, noting it was as much about what the fans could see on the pitch as the results.

Others agreed a change was needed, suggesting Pulis and the players lacked motivation in recent weeks.

And finally, it seems some football fans won’t remember Pulis’s time at the Hawthorns for his football – but rather for his expert raiding of the club shop.

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Southampton v West Bromwich Albion – Premier League – St Mary’s Stadium

Let’s hope he got to keep the trainers.

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