Now Tony Pulis must be left to do it his way

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OK everyone, relax, Tony's got this – enjoy your Banks's and have a Happy New Year.

It may be a marriage of convenience, an odd couple – call it what you like – but as long as the Peace/Pulis partnership holds together, better times lie ahead for the Baggies. The sense of relief running through fans is almost tangible after Albion reached out to football's answer to Red Adair.

Everyone knows Tony Pulis has never, ever seen any of his sides relegated.

He's a firefighter as much as he is a fire breather. Neither he nor his teams take any prisoners.

Stoke City legend – Tony Pulis carries the Olympic Flame

And while it may not be to everyone's taste, when survival is at stake, the ends will justify the means come May at the Hawthorns. It may not be pretty either but a bit of good old Black Country grit is exactly what the team needs at the moment.

Too many Baggies players look like they're lost in their own private pity party; feeling sorry for themselves and, at times, beaten before a ball has been kicked.

Yes, things go against you when you're down and the Stoke game was the epitome of that old adage – a match decided by the tiniest of margins and sweaty breaks more than any gulf in class and skill.

But now is the time for the players to show what they can do, to roll up their sleeves, knuckle down and get on with earning their salaries. And no-one is better equipped at getting them to do just that than Mr Anthony Richard Pulis.


Born in Newport, south Wales, on January 16, 1958, he was the son of a steel worker of Maltese descent and supported Manchester United as a boy.

His playing career began at Bristol Rovers, alongside Ian Holloway and the two became such close friends that the Millwall boss is godfather to his son, Anthony (he's also close friends with Gary Megson, by the way).

The early years at Eastville had a profound effect and he recalls: "We learned our trade at a club with really, really good people who had old fashioned values. I truly believe that it's because of the way we were brought up back then that we have managed to achieve what we have done in the game.

Pulis enjoys a laugh with his pal Mick McCarthy


"The basic principles were drilled into us, both on and off the pitch. Nothing was given to us and we had to work very, very hard for everything we got."

He famously saved Crystal Palace from relegation last season and recalls: "The thing that worried me most when I went into Palace was that there was a resignation that we were going down. That was from the top of the club to the bottom. We had to clear out that perception."

Job done there, but not long after the season ended, he left in a row about transfer funds and has been touted for every PL job going

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