Express & Star

West Brom comment: The pressure is now piling on Tony Pulis and Albion feel like a club on the brink

As we enter the final week of the transfer window, Albion feel like a club teetering on the brink.


Opinions of a divisive head coach have reached rock bottom following a run of one win in 12 games and an embarrassing exit from the League Cup, writes Matt Wilson.

A Chinese takeover, that may prove to be the sensible option in the long-run, looks painfully underwhelming right now compared to those revolutions taking place at Wolves and Villa.

Add to that the worrying dearth of new players that has left the squad far too thin, and the concerns supporters have been voicing all summer have grown deafening.

When survival is the only aim in the league, then the cups take on added significance.

They offer something different, the possibility of success, the possibility of fun. A midweek game at Northampton in August should be a welcome escape from the claustrophobic circus and the weekly grind of the Premier League.

But instead of a confidence-boosting victory over lower-league opposition, the Baggies were dumped out on penalties and the fans were robbed of one of their two slim chances of glory before the season had barely begun.

Anomaly results in cup competitions can be accepted, but this isn't the first time this has happened.

Albion needed penalties to get past Port Vale last season before getting thrashed 3-0 by Norwich.

In the FA Cup, they needed replays against Bristol City and Peterborough before eventually succumbing to Reading on a dark day in the club's history.

There are other problems at Albion that are out of Pulis's control.

There's no indication incoming owner Guochuan Lai has invested any money yet, and there's also a suspicion among supporters that outgoing chairman Jeremy Peace won't spend anything either.

However, the Baggies have the biggest pot of money the club has ever had, and have been making club-record bids for players all summer.

Healthy offers for Diafra Sakho, Jeffrey Schlupp and Islam Slimani would attest to that.

New chairman John Williams says the reason Matt Phillips remains the only signing so far is that selling clubs are simply asking for too much money.

But that's galling for fans, who watch other clubs around them splash the cash. If no more signings are made before the window shuts next week then questions will hang over Nick Hammond, brought in as recruitment chief at the start of the summer.

But right now, it is Pulis who is bearing the brunt of the anger and if anything needs to change, it will most likely be him who feels the impact.

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