Steve Clarke has 'unfinished business' at West Brom

Steve Clarke today claimed he had “unfinished business” as the Baggies launched the search for his successor.

Steve Clarke looks on as West Brom crash to defeat in his final game in charge
Steve Clarke looks on as West Brom crash to defeat in his final game in charge

The Scot was sacked last night after 18 months in charge in the wake of the 1-0 loss at Cardiff – the Baggies’ fourth successive defeat.

He led the club to a best-ever Premier League finish as they ended last season in eighth place but they have picked up just 31 points from 34 games in 2013.

Fans were split down the middle over the decision to relieve Clarke of his duties, with an online poll currently even at 50-50.

Have your say, were Albion right to sack Clarke?

In a statement issued through the League Managers’ Association, Clarke said: “I believe I have unfinished business at West Bromwich Albion Football Club so it is with deep regret that I was relieved of duties as head coach last night.

“I could not have been better prepared for my first job in management after over 14 years coaching experience learning from some of the great managers in the modern era.

“It was certainly a challenge to succeed Roy Hodgson, having been appointed England manager, after he successfully guided the club to a 10th place finish in 2011/12, after only securing their Barclays Premier League status the year before.

“It goes without saying that I was extremely proud to have built on that achievement by securing the club’s highest ever finish in the Barclays Premier League and for over 30 years in the top flight by finishing eighth in 2012/13.

“Going into this season expectations were high, perhaps unrealistically so, but with it still being only our fourth consecutive season in the top flight, our primary objective had to be to establishing our status in the Barclays Premier League.

“I was, and remain, convinced that we were well placed to achieve this aim.

“It has been an honour to manage this club and I would like to thank the staff who have assisted me in every possible way as well as the fans who have been tremendous throughout.

“Now, I wish everyone connected with the club the very best for the future.”

Richard Bevan, chief executive of the LMA, said;  “Steve Clarke’s achievements at West Bromwich Albion are very significant indeed.

“In November 2012 they won four consecutive matches for the first time at the highest level in over 30 years.

“In April 2013 the club defeated Southampton 3-0 at St Mary’s this was their 14th win of the season and the club’s highest number of wins in the Premier League.

“By the end of the season they had accumulated 49 points which secured 8th place and the club’s highest finish in 32 years.

“This season Steve has engineered some outstanding results, the 2-1 victory over champions Manchester United was their first win at Old Trafford since 1978.

“The next match was a deserved 1 – 1 draw against leaders Arsenal.  Soon after most commentators thought the Albion were very unlucky only to get a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.

“This is a coach who can clearly pit his wits against some of the very best in the game worldwide.

“Obviously we are very sad for Steve, as the reality is he has only been given 18 months in his first managerial position during which he has achieved some real successes.

“Perhaps his dismissal is another example of a coach getting more out of his team than anyone expected and then, when results start to take a down-turn, the raised expectations count against him.

“Whatever the future holds for Steve, the fact remains that last year he set a club record for their finish in the Barclays Premier League and having worked with some of the game’s most notable managers in Sir Bobby Robson, Jose Mourinho and Kenny Dalglish he need have no doubts about his coaching and management credentials”.

The football world reacts to Steve Clarke's sacking on Twitter:

Roberto Di Matteo was the early favourite with the bookies to make a shock return to the Hawthorns, after he was sacked in February 2011.

The following year, he led Chelsea to their first Champion's League title after defeating Bayern Munich on penalties at their own Allianz Arena.

Also said to be in the running are former Fulham boss Martin Jol and Molde manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

In a statement, Albion sporting and technical director Richard Garlick points to the team’s performance over the calendar year as key behind the decision.

Albion have won only seven of their 34 Barclays Premier League games during the calendar year – a 20 per cent win percentage yielding a total of only 31 points – despite a substantial investment in the first-team squad.

The statement confirmed the decision was made unanimously by the board of directors, with some reports suggesting chairman Jeremy Peace and Garlick gave the news to Clarke when the team coach arrived back at the club training ground.

Joint-Assistant Head Coach Keith Downing has assumed control of first-team affairs whilst the club considers all available options for a new head coach.

See Steve Clarke's final press conference as Albion boss after the defeat to Cardiff:

Garlick said: “We have reluctantly come to the decision to relieve Steve of his duties after very careful consideration.

“It has been well documented that we have not had the rub of the green in certain games this season but that does not cloud the generally disappointing points return during this calendar year, culminating in today’s fourth-successive defeat at Cardiff.

“This club's track record proves we do not take such decisions lightly, having only enforced a change in this position three times in approximately 14 years.

“But with key games coming thick and fast, we felt it was important we acted now to give the club the best possible chance of a successful outcome this season.

“Our player wage bill is the highest in the club’s history and we feel we have built a squad capable of being very competitive in the Premier League.

"We now begin the search to find a new head coach who will work within our existing structure, which has been in place for the past six years.”

Clarke’s assistant Kevin Keen has also been placed on gardening leave.

"On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Steve and Kevin for their efforts over the past 18 months,” added Garlick.

“We wish them and their families well for the future.”

The statement added: “The board will make no further comment until a new head coach has been appointed.”

Have your say, were Albion right to sack Clarke?

Comments for: "Steve Clarke has 'unfinished business' at West Brom"

Brierleyhillbaggie

Whether its right or wrong it's done now and I trust jp to make the right decisions. Not saying its what I wanted as I see no better candidate. Please not Martin yol as I see this as a total backwards step. Come on then all the gloaters and told you so's who do you want

Cyril

Brierley, don't hedge your bets mate, come right out and say it, you know no better than we do, ya know, all the 'told ya sos'.

Brierleyhillbaggie

Don't get what you mean Cyril I did come right and say it I don't claim to know more than most others and I certainly don't shove my point off view down others throats ( not saying you do either) so what's your point and trying to get at?????????

Cyril

Brierley, if that seemed a bit 'touchy', it's probably because that's how I feel and I didn't really mean to be rude. I find I jump in two feet first when we talk of 'Committees' , 'Told you so' and the like.

The vote has shown a 50:50 split on Steve Clark so we have enough on each side for a war. Healthy for the E&S blog boards, but certainly NOT healthy for the club, who are my main concern here.

My wish is that the new man gets us together, wins a few early on and plays some attacking football. I don't know whether the side were displaying the dour look of the Chief Coach, but by heck it was awful to watch for 70 minutes last Saturday. I have to say I was seriously contemplating saying 68, 69, 70, OUT ! Me finished.

Brierleyhillbaggie

Cyril

There wasn't any mention off any committee but this ain't the first time you left me a rude and unnecessary remark and other people for that matter just cause you don't agree with what I say I read the comments every day but rarely post now a days cause off people who think they know best and leave stupid and rude posts just cause they hide behind some name and no one knows who they are. There might be a fifty fifty split but there ain't no war there is just people who leave there opinions and the people who shove there's down other people's throats and you seem to be one off them. I'm no member off any committee or club and speak freely off my views only. What we both want is exactly the same regarding the new manager. The main reason I didn't want sc sacked is there don't seem to be a replacement off any significance and all the managers in the poll I don't see as any better than sc. I would rather have sc than no one at all and I also liked the football that we played even though it was getting worse. I slated sc last season cause every time lukaku played we played hoof ball and boy do I not like hoofball. As the saying goes if you got nothing nice to say then you really shouldn't say anything at all

Cyril

NEVER have I hidden behind a pseudonym, nor felt the need to. So it's OK for you to judge other people's efforts as 'stupid and rude posts' but not for YOU to post them. Best we don't converse maybe ?

WALL HEATH BAGGIE

BHB

Double standards i'm afraid . You have thrown many a jibe at me and therefore i reserve the right to reply . If you cannot take it then do not give it . Cyril offered you the olive branch and you threw it in his face.

Put up or shut up.

Mboy

I know that JP knows what he's doing and I trust him to make an appropriate appointment.

It will be interesting to see who becomes "up for the job". No doubt that we're looking for another Head Coach, so it could be an unknown person who has done well as a number 2 at other major European clubs, maybe.

We Only Need One Half!

I hope so because, up until now, all the ones who have been calling for S.C.s head have managed to put forward, (drum roll please) Neil Lennon??? a guy who probably isnt even looking for a move, if anyone knows different, please, enlighten me, and this week has just presided over Celtics heaviest defeat since 1963.

Genius.

Mboy

WONOH - will you and your mate TRBH apologise to me when SC turns up at Chelsea (like what Stan Collymore believes)?

Cyril

Wonoh, it couldn't go on mate. If you saw today's game you would see it big. He may well be a wonderful coach, I don't pretend to know, but absolutely anyone could see there was something tragically wrong.

The only comparison I have is with Don Howe's days. A man who coached at the highest level but ruined West Bromwich Albion. Who knows what pressure these people can handle ?

CantelloRocket 78

Well I tend not to change my general positive attitude, but that doesn't blind me to the reality of a situation-

if the average time a Manager or Coach stays at a club is 14 months, then he's either going to fail, or be snapped up by someone else - take Ron Atkinson, Ossie Ardiles, Roy Hodgson, etc., as examples- meaning we're unlikely to have anyone around long enough to make him part of the furniture.

All you can do is give a guy the time and the opportunity to see what he might be able to achieve, then accept the inevitable, one way or another.If SC had followed results a few weeks back with one or two more scalps, he'd probably be attracting 'higher profile' clubs, instead he's now out on his backside - such is the world of football management.

Hopefully whoever comes in next will eventually leave us with a positive legacy - I haven't heard any names officially mentioned yet, and there's been very few suggestions on here, so until I hear more, it's anybody's guess......

The Real Bully Hoo.

I'll do better than that Mboy, you are the font of all knowledge and I worship at your altar. I shall spend the rest of my days kow towing at your feet and begging your forgiveness in my folly at ever doubting your great wisdom.

And while I'm at it, Tony Blair I beg you pardon for ever doubting those Weapons of Mass Destruction existed.

We Only Need One Half!

Mboy, course I will. IF he does, and just as soon has you show me where I said he wouldn't??? back to you.

Talking of Chelsea, you may recall you thought RDM was not good enough for Albion and predicted his departure (apparently?) only for us to see him win The Champions League in just over 12 months of leaving. So, who is your choice now? and do you see your (realistic) choice having that sort of potential?

Do you not want to predict the next manager will leave at some point, just to get in early?

Cyril, yes I saw the game today, and yes I didn't think it was good enough, but what everyone seems to be missing is S.C. is not (the whole) problem, the players need to shoulder the blame more so than S.C.

Last week he was slagged off on here for not knowing what he was doing, wrong formation, players out of position blah blah blah, I would suggest that any team that creates 26 shots, 12 of which are on target, and still lose 0-2 isn't because the manager has got it wrong??? unless the ones stating that think that if he had got it right we would have doubled those amount of chances?

Point in question, today, Man City, ONLY managed 22 shots and 7 on target, but still managed to beat Arsenal 6-3. So, on the off chance you are reading this Mr Pellegrini, don't both applying for the Albion job, your not up to standard according to some of our contributors, and we have posters on our boards who could do far better, and no doubt will be applying for the vacancy forthwith.

Mboy

WONOH - being as you've asked, I think that JP may well go for someone like Paul Clement at Real Madrid.

TRBH - What I'm asking from you is that you will finally respect my opinions, as they seem to have some validity. Your comments above suggest that I may be waiting some time for this to happen.

This IS a sad day for the club, but please remember that it is JP who makes these decisions, not us posters who simply put forward an opinion. I trust JP to make an appointment that he believes would be successful, but he can never be 100% sure.

Jack the Hat

Cyril,

May I add Don also played for us and England at the highest level. Just goes to show, best players don't always make best bosses mate.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Jack the Hat

Bully,

Right on mate the only weapon of mass destruction was U.S.A 's greed for oil. Where were they when we had the Falklands problem?.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

The Real Bully Hoo.

Mboy.

You may or may not have noticed that over the years I've been wrong more times than I care to remember.

I've apologised on here to other posters, to players, to managers and to the chairman.

In fact whenever I've done you down I've ALWAYS apologised to you.

I'd rather admit my shortcomings and apologise even when I may not need to than leave somebody fuming at my pig-headedness.

To me this is a combination of good manners and maturity.

You on the other hand have never apologised to anybody. In fact you've never admitted to getting anything wrong. If you are indeed omniscient and enjoy some sort of footballing version of Papal infallibility then once again accept my sincerest apologies.

We Only Need One Half!

Mboy, fair enough, you at least are putting a name forward unlike the majority who wanted him out and cant even offer a potential manager/coach to replace him.

Couple of things though, are we not just swapping one unproven No2 for another? and if we do appoint him you know he will be on to a hiding to nothing, because the exact same posters who have been using that stick to beat S.C. will obviously use it again.

Secondly, do you think he would even be at Real Madrid if it was not for the Ancelotti connection? S.C. came to us from Liverpool, where he had gotten the job entirely on merit.

Mboy

I acknowledged to your mate Cantello that I was wrong about Olsson in the Summer.

However, yet again, your post shows a lack of respect.

Cyril

Jack, when Don Howe arrived, we all had thoughts that he would 'do an Arsenal' for us. Similarly that SC would do a Chelsea but without the cash. There were odd times it showed signs because we certainly outplayed Chelsea and the Man.U. match was special too. But the routine bread and butter games generally failed to entertain or produce a positive result. If you ignore his arrival and first 10 or so games, then we would certainly be relegated should the present trend continue. The Board DARE NOT let that happen if it's possible to avoid it. They acted. They had to in my view.

Jack the Hat

Cyril, Brierleyhill,

Mates, I wanted the results to come good for ALBION ( Us all ) and Steve, but my fire finally went out after the Cardiff fiasco. Couldn't it have been so much different, the line for success and failure is so fine it is hardly noticeable. Most of us are shooting from the hip at the moment, but it will all be over when things get back to normal. Come the days end we are all BAGGIES ay we.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Mboy

Pat Murphy's analysis on the BBC Sport website is a perfect reading of the situation!!

faulko31wba

I knew he would go after today

Did well but not aswell as I thought he would who ever comes in I hope they kick the players up the backside.

Avoid Relagation this season.

We Only Need One Half!

Well it will make some people happy, just hope they remember how they have hounded this bloke if it all goes tits up.

That said, J.P. has never let us down, yet, pray he doesn't this time.

p.s. Can I be the first to predict the next manager will leave at some point. Thank you.

smethwickbaggie

I think it's the right decision, but I'm certainly not on here to 'gloat'. Why would anyone do that? Surely we're all fans who want what's best for the club. I can't believe all the shock horror tweets from ex pro footballers expressing their dismay at the decision. The club's in freefall for goodness sake. What else could the board do? They're responsible for the running of the club and they have to do what they think is best to safeguard its financial security. That doesn't mean allowing the club to be relegated. Not worth making any suggestions for a replacement as you only get shot down in flames. Besides that's why JP and his board are there and why they get well paid.

BURNLEY BAGGIE

This is a mistake the last few weeks we have been really unlucky the non pen at Chelsea the SS miss last week the long miss today.

So who now...? When Clarke got the job I wanted Ray Wilkins, I still think its a good call

Cyril

Burnley, may I suggest if we do get Wilkins, the club song could be,

"I'm passing sideways for Christmas,

To prove that I love you"

with due courtesy to Spike Milligan.

Jack the Hat

Cyril,

If we have Ray Wilkins, unlike the Red Devil fans we will be having Crab páté butties at half time. Do I not like that.

L☺Ls.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

sjbbaggie

Premature premature premature

Gutted gutted gutted

I really hope that we don't now do a Wolves

Bye SC thanks for some memorable times.

Pembrokeshire Wolf

Wolves fan in peace with constructive comments.

My best friend is a baggie and I accompanied him to the Norwich game last weekend. His view is that SC changes the team too often instead of deciding his best team and sticking with it. He could not believe that Long and Morrison were not in the starting line-up and I agree with him. Despite the progress made by Albion in the last couple of years, they are not in the situation where they can afford to rotate the squad - they need their best team on the park at all times.

And why didn't they find the extra few quid to get Lukaku back for another season?

By the way, what do you mean by 'do a Wolves'?

Statos Boring Brother

Also a Wolves fan in peace.

Personally I would like all our leagues to introduce a rule saying that managers can't be sacked during a season. This would give managers time to develop and build their squad without the constant fear of the axe hanging over them. It would save club's a fortune in payoffs not just for the departing manager but also the members of the backroom team who tend to go at the same time as the manager.

Having said that, JP's action doesn't compare to Morgan's panic decision to sack MM. If you are going to dispense with a manager/head coach during the season, mid December is the ideal time to do it. He has a few weeks in which to appoint a new man (with one probably already lined up) and the the transfer window opens in a couple of weeks given him a chance to make a few changes.

Good luck to Wolves legend Keith Downing for his spell in charge -however long it is.

Jack the Hat

Pembrokeshire Wolf,

Lukalu wanted to join Everton, nothing to do with money. sjb was referring to wo1-ves *Double-Drop* as if you didn't know; now they will have to play with their Yo-Yo but I won't laugh, I promise. Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha,

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

honved1954

Hi WBA, the same old story in football these days. It's all about money not sport, since BT sport has become involved it's going to get even worse. The teams with the money are all set to make even more, a team winning the PL & the CL are likely to net over £200 million. On the other hand look at Northampton & Torquay they may not even make a profit. Wolves took a rash decision to fire MM and it has cost them a fortune, to be honest I can't see them finishing in the top 2 this season, it's all gone pear shaped yet again. Like SC KJ don't know what is his best team and thereby lies the problem for WBA & WW. Good luck to Keith Downing in his interim spell. Try to keep positive you baggies supporters, surely it cant be as bad as SM & JM made it @ WW.....

Jack the Hat

Pembrokeshire Wolf,

Sorry, my Norman Wisdom broke in.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

solihullbaggie

Well that day at cardiff was a complete wast of time and money, I'm not surprised Clark has been kicked out, 7 wins this cal year is pathetic! where and who our new coach is going to be, Iike S.C. i don't have clue.

Cyril

Solihull, if you went to Cardiff and witnessed that, you deserve all our sympathy. You got less than 20 minutes from our team and then only after they were losing.

Tipton Baggie

Surprised yet not surprised by Clarke's departure.

Yes results have been poor across the whole of 2013, but I honestly believe the form would've turned around. This the best squad we've assembled in the Premier League, so any talk of relegation especially as we're not even halfway through the season is pointless.

We've not won in 6 matches yet we're still only four points off the top ten.

There appears no obvious candidate, which so far includes a mix of our ex managers (RDM, Mowbray) and young inexperienced managers similar or even less experienced than Clarke.

While I would acknowledge the poor form, I would also point to Sunderland as a classic example of a club who chop and change managers like no ones business with relatively little improvement.

Are Stoke any better under Mark Hughes? Are Sunderland any better under Poyet? Will Palace be that much better under Pulis than they were under Holloway?

I said at the start of the season we would finish mid table and I feel we still finish mid table with or without Clarke.

I would like to wish Steve Clarke all the best and of course support the new manager whoever he may be.

We Only Need One Half!

Not Mowbray mate, he has already shown he has no respect for this club.

The Real Bully Hoo.

Very sad day and we've lost a good man.

Brierleyhillbaggie

Morning mate

Well here we are mate looking for a new manager then. The thing that hurts me is we're now no better than the wolves regardless off how the new manager does. We've got idiots on here shouting the odds just like the dingles do and a club that sacks managers in panic just like there's did. When I first come on here talking to yourself and jth we used laugh at the way the wolves did all these things and we always new what we were. Sadly mate were now no better thanks sc all the best for the future

The Real Bully Hoo.

Morning Bhb, always a pleasure to hear from you.

I agree it seems to be a reflection of modern society. Built in obsolescence. Everybody famous for 15 minutes etc. People seem to have short attention spans and the Little Britain sketch sums it up with Lou and Andy, 'I want that one.'

No doubt if the new manager doesn't hit the ground running we'll all be calling for his head by the end of February. Sorry to sound so down but it's how I feel. I'm sure that by Saturday I'll be up for it again.

Mboy

BHB and TRBH - With all due respect, our club is NOT run like the Wolves. This shows an alarming lack of respect for Jeremy Peace, who has only "sacked" four coaches in all the time that he been Chairman, who runs our club excellently, I believe.

May I also respectfully point out that it isn't the IDIOTS on here that sacked SC, it was JP's decision, and his alone.

The Real Bully Hoo.

Mboy.

For your information I've always defended JP on here, even in the yoyo years when most were criticising him. In fact to the extent that I've been accused of being Jeremy Peace on here. Please don't accuse me of lacking respect for our chairman and once again don't try to put words in my mouth.

BHB is drawing a comparison with the posts on the Wolves boards and the ones on here and saying that this is a knee jerk sacking similar to Wolves with Mick and it's a reasonable comparison. That does not constitute an attack on the chairman's running of the club.

Brierleyhillbaggie

Mboy

With all due respect the Albion is beginning to take that route weather you like it or not. We ripped the dingles on here about the things they did but there is similar things now happening to us. Regards the idiots you get people like yourself leaving rude and vicious remarks to everyone else's comments and then take little bits off everyone else's remarks and make your post like its the voice off reason. Your entitled to your opinion and most off us respect that but don't shoot down other people's beliefs. These are the things that happened on the dark side and we had great pleasure ripping them for it. So have people forgot what we are and where we come from ????????sadly i think people are forgetting and just so you know I have the utmost respect for jp as it is him who pulled us from has beens to the present day prem club we are.

Trbh

Some people would be calling for his head if he don't win his first too games such is this sight now. My problem with it all is its ok sacking if you got some one better snd I can't see anyone better at the moment but I trust jp to get it right as he ain't let us down yet but there's always a first and buying a poor player ain't like getting a poor manager cause there ain't no one out there what's the saying cutting your nose off to spite your face take care mate

Mboy

BHB - I don't see how we are like the Wolves. We've sacked 1 Manager in 4 years, they've sacked 4 in 1 year!!

Jack the Hat

Brierleyhill,

December 15, 2013 1:39 pm

That first lump was a bostin gripe mate, made my day. Cheers.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Brierleyhillbaggie

Mboy

Agreed we ain't sacked four managers in twelve months but this is how it all happened to begin with mad mick got panic sacked the next lot just were not good enough. So what's saying our next appointment is goin to be Any better. The dingles would abuse there players and boo at games. Oh hang on a minute that ain't happening over hear yet is it exactly just like the dingles people like you now obviously believe we're bigger than we are and people like me remember what we were

Jth

Hello mate the truth either hurts or makes you laugh simple. I put my views on here but try not to force them as some times when some one puts a different perspective and you think about it it makes sense you change your mind but some people's views that's all they care about take care mate

DwarfzappA

I'm a believer, poppycock.

WKWWA > a roller coaster, that ain't going to set the English football league alight, prove me wrong.

Any manager you like, give him unrestricted reins and i am confident Albion will still fall in line of the English leagues pecking order.

Some football talk is tosh, i read this week that Shearer won't be pursuing another managerial post, he sits in the studio with a half smirk on his face, and says WBA FC were punching above their weight.

Clubs like the Baggies have a huge (albeit softly softly) battle on their hands with the media from top to bottom before they even kick a ball.

WBA FC, i'm sure it's one big TEST.

Wolfmaster2000

True that. Any team who isn't from London, Manchester or Liverpool is an unwanted guest on the PL as far as the media are concerned. Patronised when you win and derided when you lose by a smug face lineker or someone similar

Starsky

Kinda sad but not surprised

KevinD

I have never been a fan of our chairman, board or the majority of their decisions over the past 10 years and have made these feelings known previously, however, I thought that with the appointment of Steve Clarke and our relatively mid table seasons that we were a club building with a plan.

It us therefore quite ridiculous to have to stomach what appears to be another decision based upon more knee jerk that rationale thinking.

A team with 4 losses and the manager is out, surely the results are more to be associated to the capability of the players to do what they are paid to do and be able to put the ball in the net occasionally from the 20 -30 chances created in a game.

The ineptitude of the team have let the manager down and as for Richard Garlick I would hope that people who live by the sword.........well you know the rest.

I would like to offer my personal thanks and best wishes to Steve Clarke in his next post, surely he has a bright future.

Well Albion board as you have made such a dramatic decision, I am sure that you have done so with the wisdom of having a replacement for immediate appointment.

Pity we can't get a refund for the season tickets and show the same lack of loyalty they bestow on others.

Vortice

Kevin,

I too am sad to see Steve Clarke go, but to be fair to the board, they haven't said the sacking was down to the last four results but to the points return from all matches in the last calendar year and even we have to admit that's not good enough - in fact it is relegation form.

Jack the Hat

Vortice,

Obviously the board have played the percentage game and 20% success rate over a given time, just wasn't good enough to allow Steve to continue.

KevinD,

What knee jerk reaction are you referring to as I can't see one?.

Some fans are never satisfied, what a retort after all Jeremy Peace and the board have done to keep prices down because of the recession. Now try and apologize.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

funny old world

Kevin D take no notice of Jack, he changes his opinion like the weather.he's beginning to sound like the ones he accuses, a dingle.

Jack the Hat

funny old world,

Takes one to know one so you must be a BAGGY. Do you want the knife returned, y'know the one you left in my back?.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Ronnie Allen

I saw the game on the internet today with my son and we were so poor. So many players under-performing. I feel sorry for Steve Clarke, but I do understand the decision made by JP. It is a business and that business turns over £80-£100 million (?) a year in the Prem, so the Prem is where he wants to be.

If Man U lose tomorrow, will Moyes lose his job? I don't think so.

Halesowenbaggie

No choice. His decisions on the pitch, his points ratio, how many times have we been boo'ed off at half or full time. We're playing like a Championship side, the guy has not improved us in any way, yes we've had some great games but very few this season. When Hodgeson and then Ashworth left it took the heart out of the club it could be a long time til we're back. That said get rid of the unlucky blue shorts, they have traditionally been a bad omen in history and things will immediately look up.

Gabbys Elbow

Ian Holloway........................................

He will play good football again, and he will always be good for a laugh with his press conferences/media interviews? I'm struggling to think of anyone else that JP would consider, as I'm certain that he will not look backwards at RDM?

I like JP and RG so Im sure that they have a plan, and to be fair to them, sacking SC now gives us a fighting chance to recruit/offload in Jan and still stay up.

Im sorry to say that it was the right decision, and as I read earlier, there is no time to sentiment in professional sport? The suggestion that SC will turn up at Chelsea and help them win the league is spot on...

Danish Baggie

Looking at the posts, for and against the sacking, I undestand both sides. Always supported Clarke, but I have not been impressed by our latest performances. Yes, its partly to blame on the players but its SC´s job to motivate them, and they havent looked motivated at all of late. Looking forward to see whats next. That Hull game is a massive one now, if it wasent already. Lucky for us, the teams below us didnt pick up many points. Still only 4 points off top 10. Good luck Wba

CantelloRocket 78

Danish,

ahhhh, still only 4 points off the top 10 you say, the first person I've seen mention this-

looks like only you and Roy Hodgson think this way, and despite Steve Clarke's shortcomings, it means he was only a win and a draw from the premiership top half-

but instead he's been the subject of painful personal insults on here, and is now unemployed for Christmas.

A rather unpleasant, cutthroat game is football these days, don't you think.......?

Mboy

Cantello - don't worry too much, he's still getting paid til the Summer and he'll more than you and I put together in that time. After that, he'll be free to join Chelsea (unless an agreement is made before that!!)

CantelloRocket 78

MBoy-

I'm not concerned about how much Steve earns, it's more the issue you often talk about - giving someone due respect.

Steve Clarke appears to be a genuinely nice guy, who was offered the job by Albion, and no doubt tried to do it to the best of his ability-

even so, he's been called names on this site such as 'fool', 'numpty', and 'pillock' - admittedly mainly from a very disrespectful, boorish direction - now he'll probably be spending time over Christmas talking to his family and friends about how he's failed in his job, and been sacked.

It may or may not have been necessary to 'relieve him of his duties', but as a human being it's also about showing a degree of compassion-

concern for others, fair-mindedness, and a little humility should be amongst our most valuable and prized assets as human beings.

Mboy

Cantello - I agree with everything you've written here. I guess that is why we're not hard faced, millionaire businessmen like JP!

do lallytap

He just had to go, I have been saying for weeks that he had to go and I have also been saying for weeks that he had an agenda at the Albion, he wasn't picking the right team or players who could have kept him there and if all rumours are correct then once again I was right.

Those rumours are similar as to why RDM was put on "Gardening leave" and Chelsea are yet again involved...put them on this gardening leave and they can't go anywhere else while their contract still runs if you get my drift.

It's the only reason they have this gardening leave excuse...it stops them doing what they REALLY wanted to do and I am certain Clarke was going back to Chelsea as a number 2....JP caught wind of it...looked at the teams he was playing and there you go, here we are today, Clarke relieved of his duties....what other reason would we still be paying him week in week out, come on this is the Albion here !

Who would I want...DON'T WANT Warnock, I would go with Jol or Ralf Rangnick

END !

We Only Need One Half!

Do, I asked you on the other board but never got a reply, given the stick you have given Clarke these past many months, why would you want to replace him with a manager who has done worse than S.C. last season and this, such as Martin Jol?

Confused?

Jack the Hat

do tap,

Jol, hmmm, Rangnick suffers with stress disorder, don't think ALBION would suit him somehow. I'm going for big Sam Allardyce, Black Country man isn't he.

Right, now your turn to throw one.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

CantelloRocket 78

WONOH,

this is intriguing-

we were told Steve Clarke's an idiot who hasn't got a clue what he's doing-

we're now told from the same source that he's been deliberately picking the wrong team and players all because he had a cunning plan to find his way back to Chelsea-

so the guy's both a brainless fool AND a devious genius.

He must be both, because yet again I'm always proved to be right.

And here's me thinking the only place to find A-grade tripe is at the local Butchers............lol....

Cyril

Dolalley, I have to admit, being of a suspicious nature with football, politics and money, your argument about gardening leave has a ring of truth to it. If Chelsea offer to buy out his contract to terminate the gardening leave, you can be top of the class, (as long as I'm second).

Captain Mardon International

I am personally am gutted as he has had some serious bad luck, but it seemed we were getting a little too shot shy for some reason.

simmo54

It had to be done and fair play to the Board for having the balls to take the only appropriate action.

SC will be paid until the end of June and it will be interesting to see where he ends up. Will it back to No. 2 or will he look to take a head coach/managerial role at a championship club to test himself. The decision will tell us a lot about this own belief in himself.

We have all seen the slow demise and the lack of any response from SC.

We need to get the right man in very quickly - who ever that may be and right now I wouldn't have any clue to who this might be.

Not - Holloway, Not Jol, NOT RDM,

What about Malky Mackay - done wonders with Cardiff and can galvanise players - he dis sign Odie though ?????

JimmyMac

Its really unfortunate, but with the squad of players he had at his disposal, I do not think he was getting the best out of them and sometimes his tactical decisions concerning substitutions and team selection were questionable (Brunt, Ridgewell). He wasn't helped during the transfer dealing in the summer, with some dodgy signings (Anelka) and a few rash last minute dealings (Anichebe), but even so, they should be performing a lot better than they are.

I trust JP, and hope he appoints someone with good football knowledge and has someone already lined up for the role.

Please not Martin Jol, or Ian Holloway. I know he is not a manager, but I like the way Gary Neville comes across and he has good football knowledge, talks sense and has good tactical awareness. Could someone like him be interested?

Vortice

It seems to me that the only reason we did relatively well last year was because for the first half of the season we essentially played with Hodgson's team and his discipline. Once Clarke's influence began to dominate the performances and results suffered. Take away the early form of last season and except for one or two glimpses we are relegation candidates.

WALL HEATH BAGGIE

Thankfully Mr Peace does not sit on the fence and dither. It is all about results and performance , neither have been good enough.

Cyril and Smethwick are bang on the money with their posts, some others are as clueless as

the team were yesterday.

We Only Need One Half!

All right Max, I agree with your last sentence. So who is your choice and why do you think he will be a improvement?

WALL HEATH BAGGIE

One Arf

I gave the name of Lennon last week which is NOT genius according to you.

Giving names only leads to ridicule.

I trust Jez to get it right and i am staggered any Baggie thought Clarke should have stayed.

We Only Need One Half!

Hi Max, sorry, I thought you were just tossing that name out there, what makes you think he is even looking for a move? has I have not seen anything that would suggest such. Surely the first question should be when looking for a replacement is "is he available?"

My other problem with Lennon, if we are talking seriously, is he would becoming from the SPL, which quite frankly I don't see any where near the EPL standard. Ok, he gets to play in the Champions League each season, but that's a given, Solbakken is doing the same, but he couldn't make a decent job with a Prem team in the Championship.

Just a point aside, Leigh Griffiths, 3rd highest scorer in the SPL last season, yet all he can manage (so far) in the 3rd Division is 7th, EPL 3rd highest scorer last season, Gareth Bale, can you imagine what he would be on by now in the 3rd Division?

I am not having a pop at Wolves with those last facts, I am trying to highlight the chasm between SPL and EPL, in my view. Those are the reasons why I believe he would be a non starter for us.

Considering the poll on whether he should have stayed or not is pretty much 50/50, it was not as clear cut, amongst the fans at least, decision as some would have you believe.

Stourbridge Baggy

As we all know, we probablly have the best squad of players assembled in living memory .I think we could pick practically any manager and be successful ,we just need the living legend, the man whose heart pumps blue and white blood through his veins , the clubs all time record goalscorer Tony BOMBER Brown to give a team talk before each match then if these players can't go on to be one of the most successful Albion teams in history " shoot em " . Brst of luck to Steve Clarke , maybe too nice a guy Boing Boing

Jack the Hat

Lets get one thing straight, we have had some good times and some brilliant results with Steve Clarke. I have always tried to back him though the good and bad ones. The team formation, performance and result against a poor Cardiff side signaled the end of the road as they were indefensible. Jeremy was left with no option but to touch the air-trigger. I sincerely hope Steve does well with his next appointment, as he has good experience in the full picture for his C.V. as a Premiership Head Coach. So long and you will always be welcomed back by the fans.

I'm going for a true Black Country Head Coach, Sam Allardyce. I remember him doing well when he stood in for us.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Cyril

Jack, Sam Allardyce may well be a good call, but I have no recollection of him doing well when he was acting assistant manager to er, who the hell was it ? In fact, my strongest memory is the shock, horror in the Halfords by the many ladies around my seat when Sam burst into a diatribe of bad language that would have made my Sergeant Major blush.

Jack the Hat

Cyril,

... uz O sed, proppa Black Cuntry maet.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

Laurie Boy

It could be Michael Appleton.

KevinD

Vortice and fellow fans I think that you are probably right in many ways with your comments and views, I was as usual sad with the news as I liked Steve Clarke.

The comments are correct that the team aren't playing with the desire and commitment at the moment but how much of this is down to our uncertainty regarding the January window and the ongoing non-contract talks with Long, Clarke himself which may have a significance.

Let's hope with get a quality experienced manager.

chuck

Going the same way the wolves did what a time of year to give him the sack

boy from the REAL black country

Madness! A knee jerk reaction to a disappointing result. No decent potential candidates available to replace him, whoever gets the gig will do no better or worse than SC, so we will probably be here again in 12 months time (or even sooner!) Whatever happened to giving a manager time to come through a rough spell? The guy has had some really bad luck at this season, yes, he has made mistakes and i have questioned some of his selections/substitutions but this is just outright panic! Remember he was still learning his trade as a main man rather than as a number 2, he will get another job, so i suppose once again some other club will benefit from our impatience...

Thanks for your efforts Steve, sorry you have been so shabbily treated by the club.

WALL HEATH BAGGIE

9 wins in 42 is not knee jerk.

boy from the REAL black country

First real bad patch in terms of results/performances and they sack him, if thats not knee jerk, exactly what is? Wouldn't have been sacked 2 or 3 weeks ago after a defeat!

BrierleyHillOriginalBaggie

Rather gutted as I think we are well good enough for another mid-way finish with Lady Luck a little more on our side

I think it's a bit premature,I'd have thought the Spurs game,that would have been fairer on him,can't see anyone stepping in this side Xmas,unless something's as good as done

But it's happened now,so SC thanks for some enjoyable memories/results all the best for your future

Amazing how he got us competing against the best but we couldn't deal with the so called minors

People go on about team selection,why do managers tinker so much nowadays?

It's because they're taught that way,the continental approach,to prevent burnout

But why? I can understand the teams in Europe with excess traveling resting a couple for a game,sure SC was used to this with Chelsea/Liverpool

But this is Little Albion,playing less games than in the old First Division

When I was younger,you knew the team before you set off,it didn't change unless someone was injured or suspended,so why not now

Let's get more back to basics,regular team,regular pattern

It's a simple game so why try and make it difficult

Hope this doesn't come back to haunt JP as he's done a grand job up to now

I await to see who is unveiled

boy from the REAL black country

Top post Brierley, agree entirely. Anymore results like today and AVB will be next! Fancy him down the Albion anyone?

priceywba

Well Well... Here we are again, iv,e been a baggie fan all my life and i,m 56 now and in them years iv,e seen things happen at the Albion and when Steve Clark cam to us i was a bit ? well who is this guy but he got the Albion to 10th one season and 8th the season after and becouse we have been playing bad it,s Steve Clark who get,s it in the neck. What about the player,s what about Peace, there,s other club,s playing bad and are thay sacking them. Iv,e always loved WBA i have them tattoo on my arm give the guy a chance. we beat Man Utd away we dew we Chelsea and knely won that game dew with Arsanal and neley won that game. Where will thay find a manager who can do that, i don,t like saying this but we will go down this season now Steve Clark has gone Hull next week and we are at home, and we have not been playing very good at home from the start of the season. I just feel as a baggie fan that we are the joke club where the clubs below us who have lost loads of game can play the Albion and beat us. We was a great Midland side in the 70,s and i was hoping it was on it,s was back, but not now but if i,m wrong about all this then i will say sorry..

The Real Bully Hoo.

First of all I wouldn't blame JP because he's in a can't win situation, hung if he does, hung if he doesn't wield the axe.

My problem with this is there's nobody that stands out to fill the vacancy. All of the candidates fall into various categories.

'Why would you?' Give the job to RDM when he was sacked here a few years ago.

'Has it ever worked?' Caretakers like Keith Downing nearly always win games until they're made permanent.

'Yesterdays men.' Experienced managers like Martin Jol, Alex McLeish who've been sacked for failing at similar size clubs to ours.

'No 2's.' Like Paul Clement. Might work but an almighty risk.

'Lower leagues,' None come to mind, Nigel Pearson has hardly pulled up any trees at Leicester despite having money to spend. Neil Lennon might be a good shout and would certainly shake things up but could be a potential Paolo Di Canio.

'The Foreign route.' Could be our best bet to fit into our management system but still a risk to acclimatise in the middle of a PL season.

I've just looked at the latest betting and there's some weird and wonderful names in there. I would be excited I suppose at Rangnick or Solskjaar but if you asked why I'd be struggling because I know next to nothing about either of them as managers.

Who would I go for?

Right out of left field. Paul Scharner. Intelligent bloke who knows his football and has a liking for the club and would have the fans behind him.

Easy for me to say though because I won't be the one picking up the pieces if it goes wrong.

Who'd be a chairman?

DwarfzappA

Are players loyal to the course, do they give their all individually, or collectively can they determine the future of a manager/coach ?

Our friend Hansen commented on Berbatov (Sunday MOTD last week), and he was spot on with what he said, i was surprised how strongly he put his point over.

Widely used by many is 'we hit a bad patch or collective drop in form', most of us accept this as being quite normal BUT is it hiding some underlying problem within ?

Regardless of 'missed chances' (Norwich and Cardiff), the players displayed a different attitude and approach to what we witnessed against United and Chelsea.

I wonder

wolvobaggie

Personally think right decision,current form, plus form from latter stages of last season indicate that unfortunately Steve is or was incapable of halting our current abysmal slide down the premier league table,he was given in proportion to other West Brom managers the opportunity to bring in players that should have improved the team,but he seemed unable to know the best formation of the team,and then waiting until too late in games to make effective tactical decisions .Doesn't appear to be a stand out candidate with relevant experience out there,cannot see Mr peace bringing back Di Matteo ,or going down the former player route Jol ,so will be very interested to see who Jeremy brings in.He has in the past brought in somebody with little or no experience in managing in the premier league .

priceywba....Plymouth..

Well Well here we are again, what,t Peace playing at we beat Man Utd 2-1 Chelsea 2-2 Arsanal 1-1 and becouse we have lost some game,s Steve Clark is out. Iv,e been a Albion fan all my life and im 56 now and seeing Steve Clark sack,t make,s me sick. We finnish 10th one season and 8th the next who can you find to do that ( NO ONE ) It,s a big mistake sacking him big mistake beacouse Steve Clark will go to a club and make them big. It,s time Peace started spending some of this money at the club and get rid of some of the player,s who let Steve down, there,s still a long way to go and we would of been okay,but now ? . I have the badge tattoo on my arm becouse of how i feel about West Bromwich Albion but now ? Peace has let me down and a lot of other fans.............. Good Luck Steve.

capehill

Richard garlick is a clown, what has he done for the club, the signings we were after never came, JP was being a total idiot about money we didn't have, but on the last hour he and garlick decided to shell out 12 million on a load of crap, sorry if this is a bit strong but im fuming and gutted right now, What will we achieve by sacking SC, who will we get , a dross jol, Warnock, we better not, RDM , weve already had him and 2nd managerial posts bear no fruit. MCkay , get out of here, no other big name will come here , yep because JP has already stated that there will be no money............................................................................... well done Mr Garlick as you put it, SC was reluctantly relieved of his duties, I wouldn't be reluctant to put you in a taxi me self. your s,,,,e m8

capehill

TRBH I have to agree with your above post reference foreighn/overseas manager, it makes sense to me as the candidates mentioned wont make a difference, as u say they have tried at similar clubs same as ours with probably a bigger budget but failed. I cant understand how our results and play have gone so bad, there must be something underlying which we don't know about. Its bizarre after some really really top performances. Our squad as it is , is very good and as we all know should be playing at a higher level, but for some strange reason we just cant do it, ok the refs aint helped much, mr Howard webb again yesterday got it wrong. Put all theses things together its a disaster, but I hope we can sort it/ grind out some results, galvanise with a couple of new faces and push on, please don't let this be the demise of our season.....roller coaster , who'd want to be a baggie, boing boing

The Real Bully Hoo.

Hi Cape.

I agree that there must be something we don't know about going on.

Three diabolical refereeing decisions or lack of them Stoke, Arsenal, Chelsea cost us potentially 6 points. We would be sitting 10th with 21 points now, so would we be sacking Steve Clarke? I don't think so.

On top of that we'd have gone into the recent games we've lost full of confidence instead of in a crisis which makes all the difference to the player's mindset as well as the crowd's. This would probably have led to better performances harvesting even more points.

The main thing is like I said. Who is out there that's a better manager. All too many people just want change for changes sake, they automatically assume different will be better.

Oh well let's wait and see, I hate waiting for a new manager, you always fear the worse. Somebody has mentioned Wilkins and I can understand why as he is always being touted by the media but if you listen to the interviews he gives he really doesn't have a scooby doo and McLeish is another, I'm going now, I'm starting to scare myself.

Jack the Hat

Bully,

Allow me to put the frightener on mate, how about John Terry ( Chelsea )?.

BOING~~~~BOING~~~~J♣H.

JohnWishbear

Ok. Let's say I feel bad for sc. Don't agree with some of his decisions and the ones I do agree with I feel were too late to make a difference. I'm worried of who we get now and I hope it's not a snap decision. I feel the players have to take some blame for this downturn form and not just SC. Thanks Steve, it was always going to be tough and I wish you well for the future. Did anyone notice that JP recently said we were an over achieving Championship side and yet the reason for relieving Steve of his duties were they were unhappy with the results? Surely being 4 points off top ten in the prem is still over achieving?

JohnWishbear

Sorry I had to change my username. Used to be johnnyboy.

Mboy

Can I please make a request? Could people stop criticising all of these people who MIGHT become our Manager, as we don't know who JP is going to appoint, and he might appoint someone who has been slagged off before they start? For example, he MIGHT go for Neil Warnock!!

At the end of the day, I don't mind who is appointed - that's JP's "problem". Ideally, I would like someone who has the club at heart and would show some passion (like Jol, McInnes, etc), but can accept a promising number 2 from somewhere appropriate (Eg Clement) or others who MAY have impressed JP in the past (eg Dave Jones, Glenn Hoddle).

I think we ALL would agree that whoever comes in will need our 100% support at the start.

We Only Need One Half!

Mboy, now is precisely the time to be criticizing potential managers, because its self destructive doing it after they are appointed.

Who ever JP appoints I will support wholeheartedly, has will the majority of supporters I would imagine, until then this is the time to air any reservations, not undermining them once they are incumbent, as happened with S.C.

BrierleyHillOriginalBaggie

Think there's something deeper than results do do with it

Just wondering if there's been a fallout over Anelka

Proving to be a costly move

Quite comical some of these names being mentioned

I so much don't wish

priceywba....Plymouth..

Well i think we have had it, and as for JP he,s made a big big mistake getting rid of Steve Clark.

King Jeffs Left Boot

It's all about money at the baggies, as soon as jp sees us sliding down the table the pound signs in his eyes start turning, west brom is run more like a business than a football club, always has, I'm not saying that's wrong, just look at the Leeds Sheffield Wednesday ect ect , we cannot afford to go down with our wage bill, he's thinking of protecting his assets above everything, he doesn't care who he upsets, that 60 mill plus is all that matters to keep our club in the prem, thanks SC for giving us some great times and results, just hopeJP knows what he's doing coz I'm not sure.

WakeyBaggie

A classy statement from Steve Clarke exactly as I would expect. However football is a results industry and Steve's best run was at the start of last season with what was effectively the team that Roy left. Since the turn of the year are form has been very poor and in these cases the manager/coach will always be in the firing line. I don't buy this theorem that it is the last few games that have cost him hid job it's the last 12 months. Personally I thought he was too safety first. Last week against a Norwich team that concede for fun he stated with one up front and two holding midfielders. By changing it at half time he was admitting he picked the wrong starting line up and whilst we battered them in the second half we were always fighting an uphill battle. I have no idea who they will appoint but JP has a pretty good record and I'm sure he will get it right again.

Cannockbaggie

JP PLEASE SELL THE CLUB TO SOME BODY THAT BACKS THERE MANAGER UNLIKE YOU, JP IS A WASTE OF TIME FOR US,PATTERNS SHOWN UP AGAIN WITH MANAGERS IN AND OUT AND NOT SPENDING MONEY IN XMAS AND SUMMER TIME AND NOT BACKING MANAGER, THIS IS OUR CLUB AND YOU HAVE BROKE US AGAIN, CHEERS JP SEASON TICKET WAS A REAL WASTE OF TIME . WE HAVE NO AMBITION TO GET BETTER PLAYERS LIKE LUKAKU ETC SO TIME TO SELL CLUB FOR ME.

We Only Need One Half!

Cape, I know what you mean about Jones, and I know nerves are raw at the moment, but come on, that's a bit strong calling him that. To be honest, I don't care where the manager comes from, Wolves, Villa, not bothered, the important thing is can he do the job and do it well.

Mboy, are we criticizing potential managers, or are we merely putting up reasons why they may not be such a good choice? I thought that was what these boards were here for, you offer, I rebut, and vice versa. I think you will find what is winding up the 50% still backing Clarke is that after listening to them for over a year, the S.C. out brigade have less of a clue than Clarke ever did, something they constantly accused him off.

As for slagging potential managers, makes no odds, once they are appointed they will receive my, and hopefully everyone else's full support, now is precisely the time when we should be pointing out their possible faults and reasons why they shouldn't be appointed, if appropriate, not after they are appointed.

Mboy

Cape hill - I think that you need to go back to school and learn how to READ!!

Now run along you odious little man!!

bob.williamsfindlay

I wanted Clarke, thought he'd do a good job, but he was found wanting in so many departments. Some say, judge over the season not the calendar year, but this isn't how 'the business case' works. Seven wins is relegation form in any language = one off great results doesn't mask the reality. I fully accept all the blame shouldn't be at Clarke's door; Peace and Garlick were responsible for the knee-jerk panic buys. In my opinion we have a squad of individuals, we no longer have a team; too many are unsettled and with personal axes to grind. Hard to say, but a fresh start is required; not suitable for a 'nice' coach ....

WALL HEATH BAGGIE

B + although how you know there is unrest in the dressing room is open to conjecture.

Baggie Ed

The unfinished business was getting us relegated. I don't know why so many people are surprised by the decision to relieve him of his duties. Mark Lawrenson baulking at the "calendar year" references, why isn't that a valid stat? We were awful the second half of last season and have carried that into this season. He had to go.