Can Pepe Mel get West Brom out of their current dip? - Big Debate

What can Pepe Mel change to get West Brom out of their alarming slide, and does he need new signings?

West Bromwich Albion head coach Pepe Mel takes his seat in the stands before kick-off
West Bromwich Albion head coach Pepe Mel takes his seat in the stands before kick-off

With Albion edging closer to the relegation zone, we want to know your thoughts on their current slide.

Let us know in the comments below.

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Comments for: "Can Pepe Mel get West Brom out of their current dip? - Big Debate"

CantelloRocket 78

I'm afraid these 'debate' questions are often a bit pointless-

how do we know what Pepe can do, when none of us had even heard of him until less than a month ago, also the fact he's never worked in this country before??

What I would say is when things go wrong, people have a tendency to analyse and criticise every tiny detail, the finger points to you, you, and you being the problem, this and that at fault-

when Roy Hodgson came in, he quickly transformed the organisation, performances, and confidence of the players he'd inherited, bringing out their best qualities rather than harping on about what they'd previously been doing wrong-

it's a team game, and when one factor changes, it often transmutes throughout the whole group of players, so a good Coach has the potential power to make that change-

only time will tell if Pepe has the ability to do this, until then, all we can do is hazard a guess.

We Only Need One Half!

Well said, just be thankful E&S have had the sense not to run a poll on this one, because I am sure we know which way the wulfies would have voted.

Danish Baggie

Spo on. Like not long ago " was it the right decision to get rid of Carke "

On both , only time will tell.

Quinton Baggie

Its all about players attitude to the manager and whether they want to play for him....look at Man Utd, they have the same squad but since Fergie has gone the wheels have come if Pepe Mel can rally the players then we have a chance...what bothers me is now he is going to leave if he cannot bring in his supporting team in May, so what does that instill to the club? It all looks very messy to me...also what peeves me is when a managaer gets sacked there is always one senior player who states that the players should have done better...well if that is the case why did they not do it in the first case? Takes a bow Mr Steven Reid.


Well its up to the players if thay want to play football, Pepe can only work with the players and try and get the best out of them. Thay need to sort out the SL move 1st and take things from there, i feel we are very close to the bottom of the table and its going to take Pepe a few weeks to make a better team, i think we have Everton next and thats not going to be a easy game. With West Ham and Sunderland both winning yesterday we need Pepe to do his stuff now... Come on you Baggies....

robert griffiths

I really hope that he can work a bit of magic but I'm not overly optimistic. His record at Betis on paper is arguably no better than SC. For what it's worth I think Clarke would have kept us up. The whole situation smacks of panic at the top and that's transferring down to the team. If we do go down it will be more to do with the fact that we have been abysmal in the transfer market and the way our club is structured that is down to Peace and Garlick. All teams go through bad spells, sometimes you just need to hold your nerve. Whatever happens there will still only be one team worth supporting COYB.


If we had had started the match with the same attitude and players that we had in the closing minutes we would not have lost.

Think Shane Longs mind was at Hull because I just done understand how he missed that sitter.Thought Morrison played well

but the attack was ineffective,no urgency no real attempt to take on Southampton which put loads of pressure on our defence.

Still believe we need a couple of fullbacks but I suppose we will have to sell first if we are to sign anyone.

I dont know why E & S are asking opinions of Pepe Mel.Ask again after four or five matches,by then most will have more of an idea just what he is,or is going to,bring to the club.


JP must think that Pepe Mel can do a good job at the Hawthorns that's why he has employed him.

Only problems that I can see if the reports are true is that JP expects him to do it with his hands tied behind his back. That is without his own support team and no money!

Only time will tell!



All this "Can Pepe Mel" Thing is completely irrelevant to me! As far as I'm concerned we could have the best head coach or coaches in the world, if the players don't perform on the pitch it all means nothing! I've heard certain people keep saying "We have the best squad that we've had for years" if that's the case then why aren't we winning more matches? We have been very poor since the last day of November last season when Swansea City embarrassed us 3-0! As is usual the head coach takes the blame. The real blame however lies with the players, they simply aren't consistent enough or in some cases good enough. I thought that even when we finished 8th last season. The summer dealings haven't had the desired effects, and although we spent around £12 million, I don't think that comparatively small amount was spent wisely, we haven't replaced proven goal scorers like Lukaku, Odemwingie and even as far back as Kevin Phillips! So how do we get out of this mess? We have to spend the same amount as other clubs around us spend, otherwise we are not going to be competitive. Are we going to do this? NO because although we have a chairman and board that are extremely proficient with the finances, and in my opinion we will never be broke with these people in charge. They won't or cant go the extra mile to ensure we get better quality players than we have now. This is a recipe built for failure, a sad but true fact that is now showing it's ugly head. Until we start competing at a higher price, other clubs around us will continue to progress and we will be left behind or even worse, we will slip back to the championship and will have to start rebuilding again. Maybe that's acceptable to some people, but it's not to me. I want our club to win trophy's again, and to play attractive winning football again. As I said before we will never be broke, but we won't win anything either until a change of thinking and policy comes along.


Yes Terence and thats why our gates are 3.000 + down each week and unless our chairmain starts spending im afraid the trend will continue as fans will ultimately just get fed up .


It was 3-1 against Swansea away last season. (Lukaku scored just before half time - the second half revival never materialised!!)

We Only Need One Half!

terence, whilst I don't agree with a lot you have written, spending etc, your line "we could have the best head coach or coaches in the world, if the players don't perform on the pitch it all means nothing" is one of the most sensible I have read in a very long time and sums up the situation very succinctly.


Its been interesting reading people's thoughts on Pepe Mel, many positives but also many negatives. I think in terms of the caliber of coach we as a club could attract, this is as good an appointment as we could have expected realistically. From what I've heard, his preferred style of play, fast and attack minded with the emphasis on pressing the opposition high up the pitch, I like idea of. I've often been frustrated at Albion when they've been so slow in attack, giving the opposition time to retain their shape and making them difficult to break down, particularly those that pack the midfield as most teams tend to do these days.

From what I've read, those in the know have said this could be a very shrewd appointment, specifically Guilleme Balague has spoken very highly of his abilities as a coach. I think the process as a whole has been very thorough, its taken its time but as the well worn phrase goes, act in haste, repent at leisure.

Whether or not his expertise will translate to the Premier League is something we'll find out over the next 5 months or so. I said at the start of the season that we wouldn't get relegated and I haven't seen anything to change my mind, so those that are saying they will be sending back their season tickets, sling your hook JP etc, etc - get a grip and support Pepe Mel, whether you agree with his appointment or not, give him your full support at the games and on these pages.

We also shouldn't forget the contribution of Keith Downing and Dean Kiely, they've both done a fantastic job of steadying the ship so I'm pleased that they're being kept on at least for the time being.

I should also say, Cyril has written some fantastic posts, he's the one person that can be relied on for some common sense, its been a pleasure reading them. A lot of other good posters have fallen by the wayside, so it would be a shame if more followed.

I don't have time to read the in fighting and the childish and resentful drivel that has been coming from the trolls, plus I'm getting married in March so I have lots to do, so this will be my final contribution for while, probably till the summer.

Take care all.

CantelloRocket 78


congratulation on your forthcoming wedding mate, mine's now lasted 31 years, and the priceless secret to this?-

I'd say an extremely patient and understanding wife ;-)

All the best, and return soon.

Kev in Mallorca


;-] and some new teeth.


The Real Bully Hoo.


Congratulations mate on the wedding and that's a cracking post as well. I've clocked up 40 years now and it only seems like 4 decades.

CantelloRocket 78


so that means we've now been married for 71 years?

Errr...........better add not to each other, of course..........


Thanks Shropshire for the very kind words. Best of luck with the wedding bells. Is she going to let you go the match after or have you got to go waste time on a honeymoon ? If I may be so bold, may I suggest just a few things that may help. We have never argued about my wishes to attend The Hawthorns from that day until the present. All money is in a shared accountant and its uses never queried. In return, I provide tea every morning, do all the washing up, vacuuming, car repairs, gardening, oh lots of things. We've managed 61 years, it'll be 62 this year. If I've made you think twice and you still do it, DON'T blame me ! LOL


Looking at the photo, if that was Pepe BEFORE the kick off I would hate to see his facial expression after.

There are a few fundamentals that need to be addressed immediately. Brunt is not a captain, never has been, and certainly not worth his place in the team. Anelka scored 2 pretty fortunate goals against a poor West Ham Side and is not a Baggies type player - too egotistical - WE NEED A LEFT BACK URGENTLY - neither Liam nor Popov are Prem Quality. Berahino has to be given a run as a no 10 - not on the wing and not brought on as sub. Pepe that's your starter for ten - now lets get it sorted.


We have to do some business in the January window - we must get a forward who can score goals regularly and as I have said on may occasions a left back.

We also need to ship out any number of players from the list:- Lugano, Rossenberg, Popov, Brunt, Ridgewell, Reid, Anichebe, Anelka, Dorrans.


The obvious answer to the question is, yes he can get us out of this slide. However whether he has the nous is another thing as we know so little of him and his working practices. What is necessary is that he instils some confidence into the players. With very few exceptions confidence seems to be at a real low ebb and in a league where the teams in the bottom 12 or 13 seem to be of very similar ability, then the confidence players go into games with could be and often is the difference between 0 and 1 point or 1 point and 3. Man management therefore rather than tactical awareness maybe the most vital part of Pepe,s job at present.


How about playing our strongest team for a start instead of leaving it till we go a goal down! Vydra and Berahino the Xmas period has ended now so forget this rotation malarkey get a settled side, each player should know what his team mate is going to do where he is going to be as second nature! It's obvious to me.


By the way I think pepe should have his team over now, and appoint a new captain, and teach our players how to control and pass a ball, + giving it all for 90+ mins is going to boost your chances of collecting points, rant over

The Real Bully Hoo.

Can he make a difference?

I've noticed this season that Samir Nasri has started chasing back and making tackles. He was always extremely skillful but the difference is attitude and what's brought out that difference? A new manager.

There's no saying Pepe Mel can do this especially as time is tight and many will be willing him to fail but we can do our bit by getting behind him and having a bit of patience. Cut out the groans if a pass goes astray and the boos if we're a goal down at half time.

I've just watched Stoke play Liverpool and they lost in no small way down to bad luck and an atrocious penalty but what Stoke displayed throughout their team was SPIRIT. Something that's been lacking in our game too often but I'm sure the Stoke spirit was fed by having a partisan crowd shouting them on throughout the game.

I said when Keith Downing took over that he needs to pick the players that are up for a scrap and I think that still applies. Liam Ridgewell is never going to be an Ashley Cole but nobody can accuse him of leaving an ounce of effort in the dressing room and we should get behind players like this not constantly attack them.

As with Nasri I've noticed that Ramires, a player I'd always thought of as playing the game in the right spirit has started throwing himself to the ground in the penalty area on a regular basis. What's brought about this change? A new manager but that's another story.

We need a bit of unity in the camp and that goes for the terraces as well.


It's no secret or is it

Should Pepe choose to view these recorded games Arsenal, Man U and Chelsea he just might put his finger on a solution double quick. This squad have shown us they can do it, can Pepe unlock the underlying problem.

I remember reading (T Mowbray stint) that the club policy would be to bring player contracts into line and all new recruits would fall within this structure. In the last window was this policy breached thus causing possible unrest amongst senior professionals.

I wonder


I do think that with a new Head Coach there will be unity from the fans and we will all get behind Pepe and the team. What I would question is the spirit and unity in the team because I haven't evidenced this at any time this season. Whether the summer signings have had a less than harmonious impact on the squad I don't know, but when your captain lacks any kind passion and motivation it runs through the team very quickly. Bully, the problem with Ridgewell is that he is just not up to it.

The Real Bully Hoo.


In your view. At the moment I think we have bigger problems than the left back position. He's been our left back for the last three seasons when we've finished 11th, 10th and 8th.

Jack the Hat

We are in the Premiership and need to upgrade the squad to stay in it, if this is all we can now expect from our footballing staff. Now is the time for the squad to show us what they mean to do. End of.


The Real Bully Hoo.

In an interview with Keith Downing, Keith made two very important points.

1. He said that Pepe Mel speaks good English.

2. He said that they had a good conversation and PM said that he was happy to work with himself, Deano, David Oldfield etc.

Seems that again you have to take the media 'facts' with an extremely large pinch of salt.


The most important thing is that the new manager has to get us out of this rut otherwise we will find ourselves in deep trouble.

For me our current position has been an accident waiting to happen due to the fact that our chairman was not ambitious enough to move the club forward last summer.

Interestingly enough we find ourselves playing Everton as our next game the team that we were competing against last season for the sixth/7th place, oh what a difference this season looks they have moved up a gear and are now holding a top four place we I am afraid have gone backwards.

On the day of the transfer deadline in the summer I commented that whilst we had spent money I didn't feel that the signings we had made had strengthened our squad I didn't feel it was any poorer just had not got better and I still stand by that.

When you look at Everton they attracted a good manager and inturn can attract good quality players unfortunately due to our structure and set up we appear to not be able to do this and whilst we

Know little about our new manager to be able to start criticising which I would not do, it does get me frustrated that we couldn't attract someone with more premier league stature.

Unfortunately as a club I think we are stuck in a rut and the only way we will ever move forward will be if there is a complete clear out of some of the deadwood in players and the suits that run the club ,and then someone in to then try and move us to the next level but with JP in charge it's never going to happen.

At the end of the day it's his club and his money and he has done a great job unfortunately though I think he has taken us as far as we can go I just hope that his luck has not run out and that the new manager will turn us around



I am going to have to disagree with on the Chairman not showing ambition last Summer , we signed Anelka , Sinclair , Vydra , Sessegnon , Anichebe, Amilfitano and Lugano for either large fees or huge wages or both, hardly umambitous in my book . Why these signings have not gelled or performed is open to debate , personally i would put the blame at Garlick and Clarke's door .

Peace must take some blame for the Pepe Mel appointment but frankly after Saturdays truly abysmal performance it would not matter who we bought in because WE ARE ALREADY DOWN and the sooner we accept it the less painful it will be.

The Real Bully Hoo.

Oh dear Max.

I hope the wife didn't complain when you climbed over her to get out of bed this morning.



Sorry Mate totally disallusioned with WBAFC at the moment.. My Missus is a Saint , she has to be putting up with me .

I actually feel sorry for Pepe , he is going to have to perform a near miracle .

Hope you are well.


If JP has to "take the blame" for appointing Pepe Mel can he also please take the credit if / when things work out ??

I won't hold my breath.

The Real Bully Hoo.

No problem Max, you're just being a typical football fan. We've all done it but if we win a couple we'll all be singing from the rooftops and if we lose a couple we'll be full of doom and despondency. The thing is none of us know what will happen in the next couple of games.


I'm not great on statistics but we've got 21 points, we have 17 games left, a point a game will see us on 38 points, probably enough to keep us up. That's what we've averaged up until now despite having a diabolically bad run. So it shouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility to reach that even if Pepe is only half decent.


If we do survive the drop this season, fingers crossed we will, then I hope JP remembers that most of this team have been disappointing and should be got rid of,.

Danish Baggie

Dont forget, a win v Everton will give us 6 points form the last 9. Now on that ratio we would have been 3rd last season. Keep smiling and keep beliveing ;-)

CantelloRocket 78

Yes my friend - things are never perfect, but funnily enough, had Shane scored near the end, KD would've finished his spell in charge unbeaten in all 5 league games he's overseen.

Saturday was a poor game and display, but we're still probably one win from the top half of the table, yet Pepe Mel comes into a club where many of the fans are acting like we're cast adrift at the bottom of the table, launching personal attacks on many of the players, and turning angrily on the Chairman.

Some are saying ' is Pepe now wondering what he's let himself in for?'-

well he's dealt with the Baggies Hierarchy, no doubt forming his own opinion about the players, out of interest, I wonder how much he'll be studying us fans as well......?

The Real Bully Hoo.

Lovely post Danish and Rocket you've missed out new public enemy number one, not Al Capone but step forward Richard Garlick.

As for the chairman we're drifting back towards the 'he should step down,' posts.

If only life was that simple, JP steps down and a big cuddly billionaire takes over and gives us loads of money and says' this is a gift I don't want it back and I won't get involved in buying players or changing the club's name.'

Come on Sheikh Inginmybootsattheprospect.

do lallytap

Can Pepe turn it around, yes of course he can...if he is allowed.

Take it from me this isn't a happy camp, the dressing room has been divided and my guess is that it's when we bought these big time Charlies in on £80k a week and we all know who we are on about the dressing room was lost.

In any workplace if you employ someone who is on 2, 3 or 4 times more than the others then it will upset the applecart and no matter who comes in as long as you have got those players who are only here for a meal ticket then you will never turn it right....This is why I said if Pepe is allowed to.

He needs to come in and come in with his own backroom staff, thats the most important part of this scenario....HIS TEAM....and clear out these big time charlies and bring back some HUNGRY YOUNG players....Albion are not a big time charlie club we all know it we are a hard working, proud HUNGRY club, lets get the players who show West Brom for what we stand for and none of this rubbish we have had for the past 2 or 3 seasons where these big time charlies have dragged our name into the gutter with their stupid actions

It's going to be a long hard slog, especially with the rubbish that fool...yes FOOL Clarkey bought in...the Rosenbergs, the Anelkas, the Anichibies, the Luganos...I can go on and on while good players like Berahino, Dawson and Vydra be pushed out in the cold.

It's going to be a long hard slog, it really is and if, ...IF...he can keep us up then the biggest test will be next season starts NOW...RIGHT NOW.

Let him bring HIS men in right now and start the process for as long as you still have Clarkes croonies on the scene then all we will do is struggle on with their input



Do you think Mr Garlick is without sin regarding the signings ? serious question not being critical of your post in anyway.

We Only Need One Half!

Do, couple of things,

Can you show me where youve had this 80k p.w. figure from, as I have not seen it anywhere?

I thought the point of a coach such as Clarke was that he didn't bring any signings in?

How can you accuse him of bringing in Anelka, Rosenburg etc and being a fool, than praise Vydra?



Not sure really what he can do, if your so called best c/f cannot put the ball in the net from a yard out what can you do?


Hello all, been watching the boards for a while and thought I'd chip in.

Personally, I will be behind Mel 100% but there is only so much a head coach to do in situations like this. This season has very much felt like a transition one so far - we've had a good spell of seasons in the PL, but legs and bodies are getting tired, and the mentality of some players are going the same way - Clarke probably inherited the sunset years to be honest. We have some talent in the team, but I do feel we need to reinvest somewhat in players that will perform - both physically and in spirit. Long probably needs to go now - the constant "I may go or I may not" debate is getting tiresome and is probably disruptive - but there are plenty of other players who have reached the end of their journey with WBA. I'm not calling for massess of money to be spent, but we could do with spending some cash on poaching a few young(!) players from the Championship who have the drive and ability to take it to the next level. I'd love to see us take on Cresswell from Ipswich - and people like Ings would do no worse than our 12m outlay duo. We really should not be getting linked to free/loan moves of defenders who are pushing 32/33, when our own existing defence is starting to creak. Give a few more YP like Roofe a spell too.

I accept the way JP runs the club, and it has done us well, but transition periods require both time and investment, and he needs to commit to that process - even if Mel'style of football takes off, I can realistically see us needing another season or so to really strengthen our squad again. With a new coach, we may also see more inconsistent results to start with - but I am confident we will stay up, and hope we all stick with him, regardless of the Everton result - which may well be a victim of that early teething period.


Welcome and a good post if i may say so. Its funny you should mention bringing in young players because that is what occured to me Saturday , we needed players on the pitch with something to prove and some real fire in their stomach.

Good calls on Ings and Cresswell .

Hope you post again .


Thank you for the welcome and the kind words. Trying to strike a balance between reality and not being negative. Young blood is key, I think. A lot of the transfer stories have been speculation but I do feel that if they all proved true we would be in a constant position of renewing a 30 years+ squad over the next few years. Let's promote some youths, take the initial bedding in season on the chin, and look to the future.

The Real Bully Hoo.

Hi Surrey, welcome and a good post to start.

One thing though, haven't we got last year's Danny Ings from the Championship in Matej Vydra?


Afternoon Bully, and thanks. Yes we do, as you say, have last years Ings in Vydra - but we just aren't playing him. I'm not sure whether that's because he was a bit of a snap loan deal and his style isn't actually in keeping with the current WBA approach, or whether the coaches just need to take a punt with him more - that being said I lack the skills and experience for a coaching role so I'm happy to be proven wrong.

For me it comes down to these loan deals with options to buy later on. I can see the merit in it in terms of assessing ability throughout the season, but I don't think the performances we are seeing justify the approach - and I'm not sure how it impacts on the players motivation towards the end of the arrangement. I'd like to see a bit more long-term vision and commitment in our deals - some of our recent acquisitions appear to be ill-fitting (and high paid) snap purchases, or players in their twilight years who are just going through the motions. The difference between Lugano and someone like, say, Cresswell, would be that after moaning of a lack of first team chances, the latter would probably be hell bent on proving a point and making a name. The former has been terrible when he's actually had a chance to play.

Kev in Mallorca

If I may I'll just repeat part of my post yesterday.

We all saw things we'd rather not have but lets not carry on stating the obvious and deepening the doom and gloom. It's time to be looking to the future under Pepe.

Well hear we go again, some fans just won't let it go will they? The same fans know this and know that, well I do know for a fact that there's only enough room for one behind that plant pot in Jeremy's office and mar mate's bagged that.

So don't you think it's about time to stop spouting off what you think you know, if you can't say anything which isn't doom and gloom isn't it better, at this time, to say nothing at all? I wouldn't mind but we've heard it all many times before.

I'm sure Pepe has enough experience to spot what wrong so lets leave it to him, he doesn't need fans whipping up the sheep among us and so transferring that to the ground on match days.

This ain't having a go at anybody in particular it just me trying to stop the moaning and trying to get fans talking up the Baggies instead of ripping them apart at every opportunity, we all know that things ain't right but why revel in it?



The Real Bully Hoo.

Got to agree Kev. Every little negative is now being picked up on and magnified a million times on here. Players who've done the job in recent times haven't become bad players overnight.

If we win three in a row under the new manager it won't mean he's the Messiah and if we lose three it won't make him a naughty boy. We need to all be a bit grown up about it and remember we all want the same thing, whether we agree about how we go about it.


I hear you Super Kev , perhaps you can start us off and give us the positives from Saturdays performance and then give us some reasons to 'talk up ' the team as you see them.

I will await your epistle with great interest .

Kev in Mallorca

Mar mate

By your own admission you've never sung along to "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life" so I'm just saying "at this present time" try singing to Boyzone's "You say it best when you say nothing at all".

I'm sure you don't want me to repeat what I said yesterday as I've already repeated above but there again you've asked me to go into all the gory details, is it a sexual thing that you like talking about things that cause you pain? Well I ain't guna fall into yowa trap so all I'm guna say is at least Pepe saw in the last 10mins on Saturday that there is hope.


Hope yowl be singin' on Monday night.

PPS. where was ya over the 'oliday?



I aint into pain and i have no sado masochistic tendencies. Sorry about New years Day did not arrive at the ground till late due to unforseen problems .

I will be getting behind the lads Monday and have me Ole's ready if needed. I have not fined anyone this week but the day is still young LOL .

Keep smiling .


Kev - I've asked Max to say nothing at all, but he won't listen to me. Hopefully he'll take more notice of you!!


To quote Q.I - NOBODY KNOWS !!!!!! (read in booming echo type voice)


In reply to your thinly veiled swipe, if Pepe keeps us up then i will be the first to say i was wrong and give Mr Peace the credit he deserves for the appointment but not unlike yourself i will not be holding my breath.


It wasn't thinly veiled it was a direct and clear response to yet another unnecessarily negative post - you are down on the new guy before he has pulled his trackie on.

If Pepe keeps us up you may indeed say you were wrong - but no doubt with a comment about seeing how he goes over a full season or some such barb. If we do happen to go down (which I honestly doubt) then you can crow about how clever you were.....

As Kev says - the negativity is gradually eroding the club - we watched it happen at wolves over a few seasons and we laughed - well its happening here now and it aint funny.


You got Kenny jacket, we got pepe mel, boing boing, the answer to the question is YES.