Author: Frank Heaven
Not many saw it coming.
Portsmouth’s appointment of West Bromwich Albion assistant head coach Michael Appleton as new manager left fans from both clubs scratching their heads.
His lack of experience in a field rumoured to include seasoned campaigners like Steve Coppell and Sean O’Driscoll is striking.
So what exactly have Pompey seen in the 35-year-old — who becomes the 21st player managed by Alex Ferguson at Manchester United …
The term ‘rollercoaster season’ is over-used – but Birmingham City’s 1993-94 campaign certainly deserved that label.
The season started with high hopes, which quickly subsided, only to rise again, then fall once more, then rise a final time, before being dashed at the very death.
But if it ultimately ended in disappointment, it was also a season which marked the beginning of a long overdue turnaround in Birmingham’s fortunes.…
Regular readers will know our Great Teams series, which recently clocked up a quarter-century of posts with this piece on Swansea’s 1978-79 vintage. Here, our Baggies correspondent Frank Heaven takes a slightly different tack, picking at an old wound in the shape of Albion’s Division Three bound plonk from 1990-91. The first in a new “Hopeless” series, we’ll look to follow this up with similar contributions in the very …
They may not have been a team for the purists.
But the West Bromwich Albion of 2001/02 knew how to do drama.
With only eight games of the season left, they stood 11 points behind bitter local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers, who occupied the second automatic promotion spot — but turned things around in a barnstorming finish to the campaign.
It was a wet dream for Albion fans, a nightmare for
About three years ago, a Boro-supporting mate joked to me: “You’re doing a great job grooming our next manager.”
At the time, Tony Mowbray was guiding West Bromwich Albion towards the Championship title and an FA Cup semi-final appearance, playing a style of football that had both myself and the purists purring.
Today, my mate’s prediction has come true — with the Middlesbrough legend appointed manager of the team he …