Tony Pulis: West Brom's small squad deserves more credit

Proud Baggies boss Tony Pulis says his small squad deserve more praise for their stunning season.

SOCCER - English Premier League -  West Bromwich Albion  V Crystal Palace
Pulis may be better pushing for Albion's record points haul instead of European football.

Albion outfoxed Arsenal at The Hawthorns on Saturday to win 3-1 with clinical counter-attacking football and a focus on set-pieces.

It was the first victory of the season over a team in the top seven, but it lifted the Baggies to 43 points, the same tally they finished the last campaign on.

Albion are now seven points clear in eighth place, and Pulis thinks his tight-knit squad has done wonders.

"We deserve a bit of credit," he said. "I think people have got to realise we've only got 16 senior players at this football club.

"People only scratch the surface, they never dig a little bit deeper and find out what we've got and haven't got.

"There were two kids on the bench and it's been like that most of the season.

"We've got one loan player, Marc Wilson, to take the senior group up to 17 players. They've done fantastic these lot."

Pulis wants to establish the Baggies in the top half but said 40 points would always be the target with such a small squad.

"Let's see what next year brings," he said. "It depends if we can get a few more players."

But that doesn't mean his team are content now they've reached that mark this season.

Hal Robson-Kanu, who scored Albion's second goal 75 seconds after coming off the bench, said: "We're certainly not taking our foot off the pedal. The manager has said he wants us to work even harder now we're at that 40-point mark.

"That's what's we've been doing in training and I think it showed in the game."

Many of Albion's players will be joining up with their international teams at the start of the week but winger Matt Phillips is expected to pull out of the Scotland squad with his ongoing hamstring strain in order to recover at the Albion training ground.

Compatriot James Morrison will likely miss Wednesday's friendly with Canada but could be fit for Sunday's World Cup qualifier against Slovenia.

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Comments for: "Tony Pulis: West Brom's small squad deserves more credit"

Jack the Hat.

Why is the squad so short of senior players when we all know our aging squad is crying out to get its average age down? There will be even more leaving in the Summer and Albion have let senior players leave in the Winter window to Stoke, Birmingham and Villa without replacing them. A club needs four strikers when in our top league, Albion have half that number. Number wise our squad is in a right state, lets hope the situation is addressed in the Summer and four players won't offset the deficit.

I agree our boys have had a marvelous campaign and have earned the right to be called *The Pride of the Midlands*



Jack there used to be a beer that was called Pride of the Midlands and know one has heard of it for a number of year's. How things can change is amazing just saying


Jack the Hat.


There was a drink made by Marsden years ago called Double-Drop, you can still buy it today, some things never change.

Marvlus ay et?



Because Pulis had so much dead-wood to shift from the previous regime. It took him four windows to finally find takers for Gamboa and Pocognoli for example.

Why does the club need four senior strikers when Pulis only plays one up front? That means three strikers will be taking a wage without contributing anything on the pitch. We're not Man United who have 55 games a season to rotate them.

Jack the Hat.


If you don't know why four strikers are needed I ay tellin ya.



We'll certainly need a mini overhaul in the summer, central defender perhaps although Dawson looks ideal alongside Evans. Central midfield as Darren Fletcher will not go on forever, I'd like to think we can approach Camacho or Cavalho again as either of those look to be a step up on what we currently have. A striker is a must. This current squad have done wonderfully well this season, we do have Matt Phillips to come back as well. Overall things do look bright.

The Real Bully Hoo.

I was thinking about that very thing at the weekend Mark. I'm not sure that Carvalho who is World class would be a good fit with us. That's not me being unambitious but our strength at the moment is a tight knit squad and we risk losing that at our peril. I suppose it all depends on personality, if Carvalho is a modest bloke then great but if he's a Billy Big Rowlocks then it could be damaging.

Southampton seem to get it right. They bring in foreign players slightly beneath that very top line like Cedric, Clasie, Romeu, Tadic and recently Gabbiadini. They've also sold a few of them on at a very tidy profit.


Morning Bully

We were in the Harcourt Hotel, Harcourt Street Dublin on Saturday for the Baggies first half, what a fantastic result at full time which resulted in drinking more Guinness than the norm, I bet you and your mates were ecstatic. Tony Pulis has done a fantastic job at the Baggies I would love the club to back his plans for the future, a new extended contract should be put to him now lets hope the board make a wise decision.

The Real Bully Hoo.

I drove the car home mate but could just as easily have floated home on air. Sounds like it was a successful trip. Cheers.


Camacho won't happen, Pulis checked his video and does not rate him. Livermore and Yacob are in the squad to play the holding midfield role and do not need to adapt to a new league like Camacho would.

Carvalho is a beast who is worth breaking the bank for. He's been linked with Man City and Arsenal so the chance of him joining is unlikely. Fletcher is still leading by example and has another good 12 months in his legs before he needs to be replaced. It would take an exception players like Carvalho to replace him any time sooner.

CantelloRocket 78

Well on Saturday, we faced one of the biggest clubs in England with a spare 'keeper, a free agent, and three teenage kids on the bench-

this surely speaks for itself, and a few months ago it was claimed only three PL clubs have smaller or cheaper squads than ours.

Like I said elsewhere, TP deserves a medal for what he's done this season...

Ant Baggie

Yes, TP's working wonders in such a competitive league, TP, the coaching staff, the players, the medical department...etc... they all deserve a lot of credit, there's no doubt we need a few quality additions in the summer, to bolster the squad. I wonder, what will happen with the younger ones like Field etc.., if we beat the previous highest points tally, ( with the attitude and the way we're playing, Saturday for example, could well be on target for that) Will the young 'uns, get more game time then? for the experience, I'm guessing they might be going on loan at some point? Who knows?... but I'm off to Old Trafford, never been there before for a match (only been there to have a brief look, when we were on our way to Oldham about 1989 or something like that, so I can't wait).

Good times! COYB!!


Dear Tone, please don't feel you have to press home what you and the lads have achieved with such a tiny squad, because the vast majority of us are in total appreciation of the fact - how could we not be, we're in 8th place [damn it], and have comfortably held this position for a long time - just brilliant. However, if the above, and regarding how hard it is to retain this position owing to that small squad, is aimed more at JW, then keep on banging that drum mate, because you are totally justified.

And if you can achieve what you have with the present squad, just imagine what you could do with the addition of a few more quality players - surely this is obvious to anyone with a modicum of ambition?

Kev in Mallorca

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, if TP wanted to say something then he would say it, he's his own man.


Whatever, whatever.........................


With all due respect, Williams and Pulis meet every week - given that fact, do you really think either would use the press to get their opinion across? Tony is praising his squad for achieving this season after a transitional summer. New owners, a new Chairman and the shifting of dross and deadwood players meant success this season would simply be our continued presence in the league.

This isn't FIFA or football manager - careful improvement of squads takes time. Of those clubs who get new owners and immediately splash the cash, take a look at how many signings fail. Man City under Sven; Abromovich's first and second season; Cardiff; QPR; Villa; Wolves; Reading etc. All had wealthy owners promising the earth and spending over-inflated fees on average players. All failed.

Try acknowledging reality and putting down the playstation controller.

The Real Bully Hoo.

Hi Stripey, while I can't read his mind, I don't think Tillie was asking for the new owner to splash multi-millions. His concern was like mine, that our squad is very very thin as the bench proved on Saturday.

We've got two injuries and we're down to the bare bones. Had we had 5,6,7 or more injuries and suspensions we would have been really struggling and I think Tony Pulis knew this during the window and wanted something doing about it.

During the last couple of windows we've lost more players than we've brought in. Not asking for world beaters but good players that could have done a job and also importantly challenged the people in the team because as we know only too well from the past, players with no one challenging their position can become complacent.

Kev in Mallorca


We all know about the problems with the squad, a blind man with no arms could see it, so don't be thrown by that over exposed information.

I can see what you can in Btid's post "The Conspiracy Theory" against JW.


and like you I respect their right in trying to brain wash everybody with it.

CantelloRocket 78

Well personally, regarding the squad, I feel we're still clearly short of attacking options up front, so I watched and listened with interest at what those within the club were saying-

towards the end of January, TP was asked about Jay Rodriquez at Southampton, and replied that the door had been shut on us regarding the player, indicating we were interested and had enquired about him - Pulis also said that we'd approached Bournemouth about trying to get Callum Wilson, but Eddie Howe had said he wasn't for sale.The following month, John Williams said in an interview ' did we really try hard to get a striker in January? No... '.So you ask did we seriously attempt to bring someone in, or not, and if we wasn't serious, why were we contacting clubs to ask about their players...?

The Chairman also said that if we paid a sizeable amount of money on a new striker, either him or Rondon would probably be on the bench, which would be a waste of resources, yet he also said that we might bring in a striker this Summer, so if Rondon stays, the situation would be the same - with one possibly being on the bench - so does this mean we'll be reluctant to spend much on such a player if one of them isn't on the pitch, it would be a waste of money...? On which point, JW added in the interview that ' we might spend a sizeable amount on a new striker, I'm not saying we will, and I'm not saying we won't... '.

Basically the messages were somewhat conflicting and unclear, so it's natural for fans to listen to what these people say, and ask questions - if supporters didn't, they could be seen as apathetic and disinterested, which would show a lack of passion or concern for the club they follow...

The Real Bully Hoo.

My point still stands, we're a couple of injuries away from having a problem. Rocket mentions Calum Wilson, clubs don't sell players like him in the winter window but when Bournemouth bought him he was a player with promise and therefore didn't cost much. We should have been looking to sign a future Calum Wilson for a modest fee. A player who could have stepped up in an emergency.

As for conspiracy theories and vendettas. I think most readers on here whether they like me or not will agree that I don't do "hate campaigns" against anybody at the club, the opposite in fact. Like Tillie everything I've said about the chairman is based on statements he's made. This isn't therefore a conspiracy or a theory, it's fact based on fact.

I'll be only too pleased to get behind him if he gets on with the job of A) Bringing in the players we need. B) Fully supporting the Manager. C) Stop making misleading statements that get supporters excited and then leave them flat. D) Having done C, don't then ask where the missing supporters are?

The ball is in your court Mr Williams, show that you're trying to achieve those aims and you will get my full and undivided loyalty because you will have earned it. PS. Sorry if this doesn't fit in with some views that I'm just a Happy Clapper.


Couldn't reply sooner as my sword [Sting] was glowing blue, so had to battle with 20.000 screaming Orcs, but after 3hrs sadly found I was just 2 kills away from the prize of spending a night in Galadriel's Elfin Paradise, instead I was offered an evening in Gimli's dark cave - which I declined. However, I was then confronted by a big Japanese 'Boss Man' in a pork pie hat, and who I've had to kick-box with all night. So I put him on 'pause' while I get a 'reality check' back on here, but find only a chap in striped pyjamas who seems very upset with

PS - And Bully, thanks for reading my PS bedazzled mind correctly, but hey oh.

The Real Bully Hoo.

Which PS Tillie????


He won't be, but TP should be considered as Manager of the year given the limited resources he has had available to him. The top 6/7 teams have spent £100's millions on their squads, being able to buy almost any player in the world, so they should win something every year. To hopefully achieve 8th place or at least a top half finish would be a fantastic achievement for everyone connected with the Baggies. COYB


There's a long time left, but it's between Conte, Pulis and Dyche as things stand.

Conte deserves praise for doing an amazing job while being in a new country. But it's easier when you take over a squad worth hundreds of millions! Pulis will need over 50 points and a 7th-8th place finish to beat Dyche in my honest opinion. That's assuming Burnley carry on with their current production up until the end of the season. A midtable finish on their budget is remarkable.