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EXCLUSIVE: West Brom hero Robertson questions timing of Pulis sacking: Would you rather ugly or relegated?

West Bromwich Albion would be in a better position on the table had they kept Tony Pulis as their manager.

That is according to Baggies icon Ally Robertson.

Pulis was fired in November when the club were one point above the relegation zone as fans became furious with the Englishman's notoriously dour and defensive tactics.

Alan Pardew, the man who replaced Pulis, has made the situation worse as the team now sit eight points from safety at the bottom of the Premier League.

Robertson, who spent 17 years with the West Midlands club, believes it was a mistake not to part ways with Pulis at the beginning of the season. However, he told Tribalfootball that the situation was exacerbated when the club prioritised attractive football over securing their top-flight status.

"He (Pulis) should've been sacked at the start of the season," said Robertson. "It's something we'll never know. It's difficult to answer.

"Pardew took over a team that was flat. Pulis, to be fair, the fans had had enough of him. But as ex-players watching, we'd rather be as we were and finish tenth in the league then finish where we are now."

In the current Premier League climate, sacking a manager in the middle of the season is commonplace. So much so that on Monday, Southampton made Mauricio Pellegrino the ninth manager to be culled during this term alone.

Clubs don't make this decision apathetically. They seek change and renewed confidence. For example, Claude Puel replacing Craig Shakespeare at Leicester City completely transformed the trajectory of their season, likewise with Sam Allardyce at Everton.

Unfortunately for Baggies fans, the lack of improvement under Pardew has been startling.

Upon arrival at the Hawthorns, the 56-year-old harboured a reputation of being able to get his teams out of relegation trouble, like he did with Crystal Palace in 2015.

That has all gone out the window with Albion. Since replacing Pulis, Pardew has yet to win one Premier League match. In fact, his only victory as Albion manager came in the FA Cup fourth-round against Liverpool.

"He's [Pardew] come in you, and hope a new manager comes in and changes things," Robertson added. "He's come in and nothings been changed.

"At the minute, whoever has taken over West Brom isn't having a great time. It just looks a terrible, terrible situation. They're making chances and not taking them. Behind the scenes, the chairman got sacked. It all seems a bit of a mess at the moment."

Despite the club's precarious position and lack of hope for survival, Pardew has not been dismissed. Recent reports have suggested Albion's Chinese owners are giving allowing him to turn things around over the next few weeks.

You can purchase Ally Robertson's book, Thou Shalt Not Pass: The Alistair Robertson Story, by clicking on the link here.

Andrew Maclean
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Andrew Maclean

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