Saturday’s 1-1 draw between Fulham and West Brom may have been a disappointing start for new Cottagers boss Felix Magath, but for opposite number Pepe Mel it could yet spell the end of his brief tenure in the Premier League.
Only appointed on January 13th, the Spaniard is already facing the chop with Ladbrokes pricing the Baggies at 5/2 to be relegated, while Mel is among the favourites to be the next Premier League manager to leave his post at 2/1.
While we have long questioned the recruitment of the former Betis boss to the Hawthorns hot seat it would appear things are now coming to a head. Here are the five key reasons Mel is under pressure and on his way out:
Communication issues – One of the biggest stumbling blocks for Mel so far at the Hawthorns has been the language barrier, with the newly-appointed manager still struggling to get to grips with English – something which has affected his work on the training ground and in the dressing room.
Questionable allegiances – Mel’s poor English skills have seen Spanish-speaking interpreter Dave McDonough take a prominent role in the day-to-day running of the club, something which is rumoured to have angered players given the role McDonough previously played in the sacking of Steve Clarke, a popular figure with the squad.
Bad transfer business – While Hull boss Steve Bruce has been lauded for his dealings during the January window, it’s been the complete opposite for West Brom. Mel may have inherited a squad featuring poor buys like Stephane Sessegnon and Nicolas Anelka, but he hardly helped his own cause with the sale of Shane Long to one of their relegation rivals, with no replacement recruited either.
Losing the dressing room – Reports suggest discontent among the squad following a six-day training camp in Spain where a number of players were left questioning the Spaniard’s coaching methods. It is claimed that many are of the opinion that the playing style Mel is trying to implement is unsuitable for the team. The squad are thought to have been involved in a series of tense meetings.
The manager’s winless streak – Pepe Mel arrived off the back of a miserable spell in La Liga with Real Betis. Sacked earlier this season by the club despite leading them to the Europa League, Mel failed to win any of his last eight games in charge. While he was in the stands for a 1-0 win over Newcastle, since taking command of the first team the Spaniard has yet to oversee a victory.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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