Next West Brom boss: Who are the top candidates?

Albion are on the hunt for a new boss after Sam Allardyce confirmed he will leave the club after Sunday’s clash at Leeds.

Who are the big candidates?
Who are the big candidates?

Here Joseph Masi looks at four candidates to replace the 66-year-old at The Hawthorns.

Chris Wilder

File photo dated 15-02-2021 of Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder.

The 2020/21 campaign was a disappointing one for Wilder who lost his job at Sheffield United.

But for some reason, that seems to have overshadowed his remarkable achievements over the past 20 years.

This is the man who won four trophies with Alfreton Town.

The man who took Oxford United out of non-league and back into the Football League.

The man who took Northampton from the bottom of League Two to title winners in just a year.

And the man who took Sheffield United all the way from League One to the Premier League.

An exceptional man-manager who is known for being a straight-talker, Wilder was named LMA Manager of the Year in 2019.

Because of this season there are question marks over his recruitment and his tactical flexibility. But the bottom line is Wilder is a boss whose had one disappointing season in 20.

Currently odds on with the bookmakers for the job, the fact he has won promotion to the Premier League in the past makes him comfortably the strongest candidate on paper.

Frank Lampard

File photo dated 03-01-2021 of Chelsea manager Frank Lampard.

One of the best midfield players of his generation, Lampard did a good job while in the Championship with Derby in the 2018/19 season.

The Rams finished sixth that year but were ultimately beaten in the play-off final by Villa.

When Chelsea then called, Lampard couldn’t turn down the chance to return to the club where he is a legend. And he impressively guided them to a fourth-placed finish in the Premier League and into the FA Cup final.

But after splashing the cash last summer, Lampard was sacked after a run of two wins in eight matches left them ninth.

Thomas Tuchel’s subsequent impact at Stamford Bridge hasn’t helped improve Lampard’s standing as a boss.

But he is undoubtedly a talented young coach, while his Chelsea contacts are also enticing with Lampard having taken both Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori to Derby on loan.

Michael Appleton

Michael Appleton the head coach / manager of Lincoln City. (AMA)

Former Albion midfielder – and current Lincoln boss – Appleton is now widely regarded as one of the most exciting young managers in the Football League.

The 45-year-old has done things the hard way and learnt some crucial lessons during spells in charge of Portsmouth, Blackburn and Blackpool.

But after biding his time to find the right job, he went on to excel at Oxford United.

And he is now impressing and Lincoln and could be in the Championship next year with the Imps currently competing in the League One play-offs.

Appleton believes undertaking a masters degree in sports directorship is one of the reasons he has improved as a boss.

He has also said in the past he is heavily influenced by the New Zealand All Blacks.

A people person who is undoubtedly an innovative young coach, the likes of Sheffield United and Bristol City are among the clubs who have been keen to speak to Appleton in recent months.

But maybe it would be back home at The Hawthorns where he would truly flourish.

Eddie Howe

File photo dated 25-01-2015 of Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe.

Ideally Albion would like to appoint an experienced manager who has won promotion to the Premier League in the past.

And that is something Howe achieved at Bournemouth.

Another boss who has won the LMA manager of the year award, Howe built a reputation for playing attractive football in his time with the Cherries.

Like Wilder, he also had success in the lower leagues having also won promotion from League Two and League One.

Currently out of work, the 43-year-old has been strongly linked with the Celtic vacancy. Along with Lampard, he is also believed to be one of the managers Crystal Palace are looking at.

A big question mark surrounding Howe is his ability to handle money – with the former defender having spent a lot of cash while at Dean Court.

But he is young, bright and ambitious.

And it will be very interesting to see how he has developed following his departure from Bournemouth after they were relegated from the Premier League.

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