Analysis: Alan Pardew has lost what little grip he had left at West Brom

West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Even if there is no viable alternative available, there comes a tipping point when actually, that doesn't matter.

Alan Pardew. (AMA)

Before this game, there was an argument that keeping Alan Pardew was a better option than handing the reins to an inexperienced Darren Moore as caretaker manager.

But as each game passes and the defeats stack up that argument diminishes.

After this latest capitulation, Pardew criticised the players for giving up in the final 20 minutes, and laid into Grzegorz Krychowiak for his reaction to being subbed.

Considering fans nearby say Krychowiak swore at his head coach as he stormed off the pitch, Pardew's reaction to that is probably justified.

But it doesn't change the fact his relationship with the players is in tatters, and keeping him in charge of them is unsustainable.

They do not respect him. Not only did they prove that in Barcelona, they have questioned his tactics behind the scenes, and they are also angry with how he has mistreated some of the younger players in the group.

One of those players is Sam Field, who came on for Krychowiak when the score was 1-1. But when Pardew was asked about that change afterwards, he said 'a lot of people are begging me to play Sam'.

It smacked of a PR move rather than a decision designed to win the game, because even though Krychowiak was a tad headless at times, he was at least trying to get something going.


Bring Field on by all means, but taking off a player who looked determined to actually make a difference was puzzling.

Albion are going down regardless of who's in charge and the players who gave up in the last 20 minutes deserve to be criticised for their role in all this.

That is probably one of the reasons why Pardew has somehow survived despite picking up eight points from a possible 48 and lost the last seven games in a row.

That's the first time in 15 years this club has done that, and that run came during their first season in the Premier League back in 2003.


Albion went down that year on 26 points, which remains their lowest tally in the Premier League, but this bunch who are stuck on 20 points are doing their best to beat that record.

With Pardew in charge, there is every chance they will.

The atmosphere was not as toxic as it was for Tony Pulis's final game, but that's only because all hope has been sucked out of the supporters.

The official attendance was 23,588 but there was nowhere near that many there and the majority streamed out after Leicester's third.

After three wins from 39 league games, the fans are so devoid of hope they couldn't even be bothered to waste their breath with chants against the board, the manager, and the players.

When there is so many failing to deliver, it's difficult to know who to focus on.

There was a beautiful moment in injury time from the hardy souls and masochists who did stay to the bitter end started an impromptu chant of 'We're the Albion' and even when Vicente Iborra completed the rout, the song continued unabashed.

Fans are numb to these capitulations, they've accepted their fate. But they were proving that they will endure beyond this season, beyond this mess. It was heartwarming.

The board have accepted this season's fate too. That is the another reason why Pardew remains.

He needs to go, and he will eventually. His arguments with the players have left the dressing room and spread onto the pitch. He's lost the squad, he's lost the fans, he's lost what little grip he had.

He's essentially a dead man walking who is only clinging onto his job for a financial and strategic reason.

It's highly likely compensation will diminish once Albion are relegated, and the club will certainly be able to attract better candidates in summer.

This mess is by no means solely his fault, and the players who dropped their heads in the second half deserve just as much criticism.

However, we're approaching the stage where the board owe it to their fans to make a change even though it won't alter the outcome of the season, if we're not already there.

The number of empty blue seats was shocking, and it's incredibly difficult to entice lost fans back once they've gone.

Although the board are in between a rock and a hard place and are trying to plan for the long-term future of the club, there is also a concern that keeping Pardew on now could inadvertently damage that.

Whoever is in charge for the rest of the season needs to play the likes of Oli Burke and Sam Field in order to build for the future.

Give minutes to Jonathan Leko and Rekeem Harper too, regardless of whether they're ready or not.

It's better to lose 4-1 and see a spark of potential, something to excite, than lose 4-1 like that.

This season is a write-off. It's time to plan for the next one.


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