“West Brom will go on to have a really good season”
Assistant manager at Chelsea, again at West Ham, and then at Liverpool. Steve Clarke was in danger of forever playing the sour-faced bridesmaid, but now look at him – he’s the sour-faced bride at West Brom, and what a time he’s having of it. Mike Calvin and the Life’s a Pitch panel take the opportunity to scoop egg from their collective faces.
“He’s making me feel silly because I sat here and said that I feared for West Brom this season,” begins footballer-turned-journalist Adrian Clarke. “It’s not easy to go from being a coach to a first-team manager, and I wasn’t sure Steve Clarke was cut out for it, but they’re making twice as many passes as they were last season, and they’re obviously responding to the new manager really really well. That said, we’re only three games in, so you can’t make too big a judgment with such a long way to go. He’s done well, but the real test will come when results don’t go their way.”
John Cross of the Daily Mirror has been equally, if not more, impressed by the sprinkles of fairy dust Clarke has applied to modern Premier League football. “They’ve been entertaining, they’ve been forward thinking, they’re counter attacking – it’s all come together for West Brom and Steve Clarke. I think they’ll go on to have a really good season.”
“Steve Clarke’s been desperate for a job like this,” says Jason Burt of the Sunday Telegraph, continuing the theme of this West Brom love-in. “He’s a quick learner, he’s learned from some very good people, and he’s always been very ambitious. It’s good that West Brom have taken a punt on him.”
The panel goes on to heap further praise on the Premier League’s most underrated side, before discussing the intriguing nature of Jonas Olsson’s defending and pondering who will be responsible for scoring the goals at the other end of the pitch.
Watch the full video discussion by clicking on the play button in the image above.
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Aston Villa v West Brom, 3.30pm, 30 September, Sky Sports 1
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