West Brom strife should have Aston Villa lining up new boss

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After crashing out of the FA Cup to Championship opposition, West Brom fans have little left to look forward to this season other than their style of play. According to reports, that isn’t much of a consolation.

Relegation is becoming a fading concern for the Baggies, yet their supporters are growing increasingly irritable.

Central to their gripes is manger Tony Pulis’ tactics, which are viewed as too negative for some Hawthorns purists.

As a result of the grumblings, the Welsh tactician is thought to be considering his future in the Midlands. Should he depart the club this summer, as the Daily Star suggest, then one of West Brom’s neighbours must consider tapping Pulis up.

Aston Villa have no guarantee of retaining Remi Garde this summer if relegation is confirmed as expected.

Failing to back the Frenchman with a single January signing – Garde’s first transfer window as manager – was hardly a lasting endorsement of the struggling boss’ tenure and he could well decide to walk away from the fight.

If that’s the case, Pulis would be a perfect replacement, even if his arrival would be viewed as on a par with the capture of Alex McLeish, another negatively-perceived former manager of a Midlands rival.

However controversial, Pulis is exactly what the Villans need. He has a proven track record of both picking up results and working to a budget, which fits the bill for a club that have spent far too long flitting from experienced managers with no finances behind them, to untested options.

Whether Pulis wants to drop into the Championship is up for debate, although the size of Villa should be enough to outweigh that problem.

The gulf between the two sides, which further highlights how well Pulis would do with Villa, is shown in Ladbrokes’ betting. The bookmaker currently make the Villans 16/1 to stay up, while the Baggies are far more assured at 1/25.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.