Express & Star

West Brom season review: Highs, lows, revivals and protests

Albion’s revival fell just short of a play-off spot at the end of a rollercoaster campaign.

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Carlos Corberan arrived in October and turned Albion's season around (Getty/Adam Fradgley)

Real importance was placed on Premier League promotion, but Albion languished at the bottom prior to Carlos Corberan’s arrival. Here we review the major highs and lows of the Baggies’ campaign.

Success

From sitting 24th in the Championship to, eventually, ninth has to be seen as a success because – prior to Carlos Corberan leading the Albion turnaround – there was genuine fear, certainly among the fanbase, the club were in a relegation dogfight with belief on the floor.

The decision to appoint Spaniard Corberan was a hugely successful one by Ron Gourlay. The chief executive rightly faced criticism for the way Steve Bruce was appointed with no other candidates considered and then, by the CEO’s own addition, allowing Bruce to stay too long. But for those questionable calls, Corberan’s appointment has been an excellent one and Gourlay deserves credit for that.

There were other successes in the playing squad. Jed Wallace had a fine debut campaign, Dara O’Shea and Jayson Molumby continue to mature into excellent assets, Okay Yokuslu sparkled at times, goalkeeping academy graduates earned their stripes and Brandon Thomas- Asante showed that affordable, unpolished lower league gems just need a chance.

A word too for The Hawthorns form. Albion’s home record under Corberan could hardly have been better.

Failures

The appointment of Bruce failed and left Albion staring alarmingly into the abyss.

When promotion to the Premier League was billed as a priority, as Bruce was belatedly shown the exit door, many were fearfully calculating the damage of dropping to League One.

The experienced Bruce attempted to turn Albion into a swashbuckling attacking outlet. The Baggies looked lively at times but the goals didn’t flow, and the cost was felt down the other end as opposition took advantage of, at times, amateur defending.