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John Wile wants new West Brom boss to have attacking flair

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Baggies legend John Wile has urged the board to appoint a head coach with an attacking philosophy.

John Wile

Albion’s celebrated captain who spent five years as managing director following retirement, says the long-suffering fans deserve to be entertained.

Alan Pardew has become the bookies favourite for the role after it emerged the former Newcastle and Crystal Palace boss was being eyed up by the current board.

Wile thinks Tony Pulis did a fantastic job at The Hawthorns, but failed to evolve with his team. And he wants whoever the Welshman’s successor is to bring some joy back to proceedings.

“It is an entertainment business,” said Wile. “Yes everybody knows the implications of going out of the Premier League but you have to have some enjoyment, you’re paying money to be entertained.

“I’ll be honest, not one of the performances this season has entertained me to say I must go back there next week.

"You have got to at least show some desire to entertain. For whatever reason, Tony never got off base one.

“Like the majority of the supporters I would like to see a manager with a bit of an attacking philosophy.

“They’ve had three years of watching a team set up with more defensive payers than attacking players; and I think that balance is wrong.

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“Supporters want to see a bit more forward momentum, more pace, and the willingness to try and score goals.

“It used to be when I played the team that scored the most goals won.”

Wile was chief executive of Albion when current chairman John Williams was executive chairman of Blackburn Rovers and their paths crossed on numerous occasions.

He was impressed with Williams back then, and is confident Albion’s kingmaker will get the best man he can for the job, but doesn’t envy the situation he faces.

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“I wouldn’t like to be faced with the responsibility of appointing somebody,” admitted Wile. “There’s nobody that immediately hits you in the face and says he’s the guy.

“It’s very difficult to find the right person, you never know for sure if it’s going to work, there’s no guarantee it will.

"You try and hopefully make your enquiries and do background work, and hopefully come up with right person, it depends on players, position of club, finances, it’s not an easy job.

"The people you really fancy might not fancy the job, it is not an easy position to be in.

“But John’s a very experienced executive, he’s been in this position many times.

“He’ll know what’s involved and I’m sure whatever the appointment he makes, it will be the best he can do.

“There’s no guarantee it will work. You just hope that people understand that this club goes back a long way and has a history of playing a certain way – and I think that has to come into it.

“Tony Pulis did a fantastic job but if you don’t move forward from that defensive, patient, cautious approach, that will only take you so far. Eventually you have to change.”

Although Wile wasn’t surprised Pulis was given the sack, and agreed that is what the right time to cut the cord, he still respected what the Welshman achieved during his three years.

“I think he did a fantastic job,” added Wile. “He came in and he made us tough to beat. He made sure we stayed in the Premier League.

“I think he might not have got everything he wanted in terms of player recruitment and if he had it might have been a different story.

“The hand he was dealt, he played it very well. He ensured that the team was well organised, but for whatever reason he couldn’t get past the basics.

“He couldn’t get them to go forward, whether that was because he didn’t have the right players or didn’t recruit the right players or the players he did recruit for those positions weren’t as good as they might be. He was almost stuck at base one.”

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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