Tony Pulis: West Brom sack head coach after Chelsea defeat

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Watch Pulis' final MOTD interview

Tony Pulis has been sacked as West Brom head coach with the club a point above the Premier League relegation zone and without a win in 10 top-flight games.

The Baggies were beaten 4-0 at home by Chelsea on Saturday.

Albion won their first three games of the season, but have drawn four and lost seven since beating Accrington in the Carabao Cup on 22 August.

Former West Brom manager Gary Megson, who had been Pulis' assistant, is taking over "until further notice".

Welshman Pulis said he was "proud" to have managed the club and predicted the team can finish in the "upper reaches" of the table.

"My remit was to develop the squad and ensure we delivered results which would in turn improve the club's financial position," he said.

"We have achieved this year on year and I am pleased to have played a part in the club's growth.

"This season, expectations have risen and although we are disappointed with some of our results, one thing I would never question is this group's work ethic and application."

Pulis has been linked with the Wales manager's job vacated by Chris Coleman on Friday.

Chairman John Williams said: "These decisions are never taken lightly but always in the interests of the club.

"We are in a results business and over the back end of last season and this season to date, ours have been very disappointing.

"We would like to place on record our appreciation of Tony's contribution and hard work during a period of transition for the club which included a change of ownership. We wish him well in his future endeavours."

West Brom face Tottenham in the Premier League at Wembley on Saturday, and follow that with home games against Newcastle (28 November) and Crystal Palace (2 December).

The numbers game

Pulis is the fifth manager to be dismissed in the Premier League this season.

Frank de Boer was sacked by Crystal Palace in September after only 77 days in charge, Craig Shakespeare left Leicester just four months after signing a three-year permanent deal in October, Ronald Koeman was sacked by Everton later that month and West Ham dismissed Slaven Bilic earlier this month.

Only one manager was sacked in the first Premier League season in 1992-93, but there were 15 managerial changes between August 1994 and August 1995, including eight dismissals.

West Brom are now looking to appoint their sixth permanent manager since 2011.

Pulis achieved a highest finish of 10th last season but his overall win percentage of 29.50% from 122 matches is only the sixth highest of all the club's managers this century, with Megson's 42.53% second only to Roberto di Matteo's 48.78%.

Average attendances at The Hawthorns have fallen for the past two seasons, from 25,064 when Pulis took over in 2015 to 23,876 in 2016-17.

This term, the Baggies also have the lowest possession percentage in the top flight (40.3%) and have had the second fewest shots per game (8.6).

Three good seasons undermined by four bad months

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West Brom shouldn't fire Pulis - Shearer

Welshman Pulis, 59, who has also managed Stoke City and Crystal Palace in the Premier League, was named Baggies boss in January 2015.

They were 17th in the table when he took charge but finished that campaign in 13th, falling a place the following season before ending the next in 10th.

However, they have struggled since March, taking just 12 points from their past 21 fixtures, winning one home league game in eight months and scoring only nine goals in 12 Premier League matches this season.

Pulis' contrasting fortunes at West Brom
Premier League games only
PWDLFAWin ratio
January 2015 to May 2017942927389612130.9%
August 2017 to present1224691816.7%

'A victim of his own football philosophy' - analysis

BBC Sport's Simon Stone

Tony Pulis tends to dismiss statistics - good and bad - when they are raised by the media. So the fact he came into his news conference on Friday armed with them underlined the gravity of his situation. He reeled them off - the top-10 finishes, the top Midlands club - and repeated them in his programme notes on Saturday. The inference was clear - he has delivered.

The Welshman is a victim of his own football philosophy. He is a results man. The pretty stuff is not his style; Pulis does functional. Supporters don't find it easy on the eye and even his players tire of it. It means when results go wrong, there is no bank of goodwill to buy him time.

Supporters have had enough and, even worse, owner Guochuan Lai was on a rare visit to see the latest sorry debacle. Lai is a rich investor, who presumably enjoys the fact he owns an English top-flight team. Saturday's defeat was humiliating for him, for West Brom and for Pulis.

Having stated his case so forcefully and been met by such an overwhelmingly negative response, Pulis would surely have headed home to Bournemouth on Saturday knowing there was only one outcome.

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