Tony Pulis has got another chance to do his best Harry Houdini impression.
On Thursday he was appointed as West Bromwich Albion’s new head coach on a two-and-a-half year deal. His first job is to try and keep the slumping Baggies in the Premier League, as they’ve suffered seven defeats in their last nine matches which led to the dismissal of former boss Alan Irvine earlier this week.
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Pulis, 54, took charge of Crystal Palace last November and guided the Eagles from the bottom of the table a hugely impressive 11th place as he was named the Premier League manager of the year. The situation he is taking over at West Brom isn’t quite as a dire, but it still isn’t great. One point and two places above the relegation zone, West Brom are in the thick of a relegation battle.
So, there’s no surprise they have turned to Pulis to lead them to safety. Here’s what the former Stoke City and Palace manager had to say about his new gig at the Hawthorns.
“Every successful club is built on unity and that is what I shall strive to help bring to Albion,” Pulis said. “We need everyone together from top to bottom – the supporters, all the staff, the players, everyone who has an interest in the club’s welfare. With that, we can go forward together and hopefully take this club up the Premier League.”
Pulis will take charge of his new side following their New Year’s Day clash at West Ham United, as the experienced coach will look to see where he needs to improve his squad in the January transfer window. He will take charge of the team against non-league side Gateshead in the FA Cup on January 3.
One area of concern is recruitment, as West Brom have previously left player signings down to technical director Terry Burton and other members of the backroom staff. Pulis will surely have agreed to this, or the structure is likely to change, as he aims to bring players in to aid the Baggies’ battle against relegation.