After Saturday nights shock announcement from West Brom officials that Alan Irvine will be unveiled as the new Head Coach, fans are having mixed emotions on the appointment of the Scotsman.
Fans were under the impression that former Tottenham Hotspurs manager, Tim Sherwood, was going to become their new chief. With him being bookies favourite for such a long time and already having talks with Jeremy Peace over a contract, supporters were right to expect that he was going to be their man. Rumours are that Sherwood had agreed a contract at The Hawthorns, however he was not satisfied over the deal which his fellow wing men, Les Ferdinand and Chris Ramsey, were offered. The deal was that they would come as part of the coaching staff but they were asking for a wage that is more than current coaches, Dean Kiely and Keith Downing, earn put together annually.
However, Alan does have a fair experience of management he started his career assisting former Manchester United manager, David Moyes, at Preston North End and then Everton. Irvine subsequently became a manager in his own right, managing Preston North End from 2007 to 2009 and Sheffield Wednesday 2010 to 2011. It was announced on 12 July 2011 that Irvine had returned to Everton to replace Ray Hall as the manager of the club's academy. Irvine has been manager of Everton’s highly-regarded Academy bringing through players such as Ross Barkley and Jack Rodwell. During a coaching career that spans 22 years, he also established a burgeoning reputation in Academy roles at Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers between 1992 and 2002.
Albion Technical Director, Terry Burton, had to say about the appointment "In the end it came down to two outstanding candidates for the role." He then added “He has a vast knowledge from grassroots up thanks to the roles he has performed during his decades in the game."
Alan Irvine will join the Baggies when his current role at Everton comes to an end, bringing Rob Kelly with him as joint assistant head coach with Keith Downing. He has landed the Hawthorns hotseat five years after missing out narrowly to Roberto Di Matteo in a previous race for the job. Irvine has signed a 12 month rolling contract.
Many Baggies fans suggest the best way for Irvine to get himself quickly in the Baggies fans good books is by bringing in some signings, which is one thing they have been begging for since the end of the 2013-14 season finished. With the club getting rid of the so called "dead wood," there is more than enough room for new signing and the club already announcing that no-one in the current squad is for sale. He can be almost rest assured he's got a good team to build on.