Alan Pardew has quite a few ignominious records as a Premier League manager, of which losing seven consecutive games with three different clubs is perhaps the prickliest one. After being restored in the managerial hot-seat in the Premier League, with West Brom this time, things aren’t looking all that bright for the Englishman.
There’s a cliché that clubs often perform well immediately under a new manager. While Crystal Palace proved that old saying wrong by taking time to get used to Hodgson’s methods, West Brom are likely to do much of the same, not because of Pardew’s style of management, but because of the fixtures they have.
West Brom have forgotten how to win
Midweek fixtures are never a good thing, no matter where you are. By now, managers in the Premier League must have gotten used to it, but the chaos of squad rotation is never a good thing to explain to the reporters or the clamouring fans. After all, if it fails, you’re the villain, and if it works, well, there’s more pressure on you to alter things and get them right in the future. Just ask Jürgen Klopp.
I’m going to be honest here. Liverpool have quite an attack and seeing that lineup against Everton — neglecting the good performance in hindsight – did baffle many. Now, keeping in mind the midweek fixtures, I’m pretty sure Alan Pardew was equally distraught when the Liverpool lineup was put out. After all, he harbours hopes of making it three wins in three against the Merseyside giants and there’s not a good chance of that happening when you’ve got Coutinho, Mane, Salah and Firmino playing in tandem.
It’s hard to understand exactly what sort of approach Pardew has. It’s not as if his sides have always been defensively rigid or play good counter-attacking football. I suppose you need to be someone who doesn’t have a fixed philosophy to be linked with the England job. Pards was linked with the job when things were all rosy at Crystal Palace. But we all know that Pardew’s sides are never that far away from a façade, something that has become apparent in West Midlands as the Baggies have failed to win a game since August.
West Brom were used to ‘hoof-ball’ and it seemed to have worked for them. But if this season has shown us anything, then it’s the need to alter your gameplan. Even Jose Mourinho’s proven game plan seems to have lost its shine, so you can only imagine how the lesser flexible gameplans must be working out.
It won’t be easy stopping the Liverpool attack which has plundered 34 goals in the league this season, the third highest. Seems like West Brom’s winless run will go on for a longer time, and with that, the pressure on Pardew’s shoulders will be immense.
Liverpool: Mignolet, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Klavan, Robertson; Henderson, Can, Wijnaldum; Salah, Coutinho, Firmino
West Brom: Foster, Nyom, Evans, Hegazi, Gibbs; Robson-Kanu, Krychowiak, Yacob, Livermore, McClean; Rondon
West Brom: L-D-D-D-L (Jeez!)
West Brom: 15 (B365)