Managers and the curse of West Bromwich Albion

Ex-Sunderland and Republic of Ireland international Kevin Kilbane last week joked on Match of the Day 2 that on the back of Manchester United’s 4-1 defeat to local rivals Manchester City, man

Ex-Sunderland and Republic of Ireland international Kevin Kilbane last week joked on Match of the Day 2 that on the back of Manchester United’s 4-1 defeat to local rivals Manchester City, manager David Moyes needs to avoid defeat this weekend at West Bromich Albion.

Not only because it would be another three points dropped to a team that United would be expected to beat but because of the curse that now has managers shaking in their boots.

Shown the door at respective clubs

In recent years, five top flight managers have been shown the door at their then respective clubs after facing West Brom. To put it simply, if you lose against West Brom – home or away – and you’re on a bad run at your club – turn your phone off, ignore all emails and go into hiding for a bit.

Chris Hughton was the manager who started this unfortunate trend—losing 3-1 at the Hawthorns back in December 2010, he was sacked a day later as Newcastle United manager. Next came Mick McCarthy in February 2012 who was shown the door at the Molineux after being comprehensively thumped by a West Brom side then managed by current England gaffer Roy Hodgson, Wolves sacked McCarthy with 24 hours. Many questioned this sacking, believing that McCarthy would have somehow kept Wolves up but they were relegated to the Championship just a few months later.

Since then the trend has snowed balled and David Moyes will be hoping that the trend doesn’t continue with him.

Is David Moyes next?

March 2012 saw Chelsea lose by a goal to nil away to West Brom, Andres Villa-Boas who is the current Spurs manager, was sacked two days later after an unsuccessful time in charge at Stamford Bridge.  His replacement, Roberto Di Matteo – ironically an ex-West Brom manager himself – was next to succumb to the ways of the curse as he suffered a 2-1 defeat in November 2012 and despite winning the Champions League in the first few months after he replaced AVB in the hotseat, he was sacked by Roman Ambramovich 4 days after the losing to the Baggies.

And then last week saw the sacking of the eccentric Italian, Paolo Di Canio, as Sunderland manager after only five games of the league season gone and £20 million spent in the summer, not even Di Canio could escape the curse. His Sunderland side, currently bottom of the Premier League were hammered 3-0 at the Hawthorns prompting Di Canio to remonstrate with the travelling Sunderland fans at full time in a bizarre first for Premier League football. The Italian was shown the door a day later.

Will Moyes be next?

Patience is a virtue

Probably not but stranger things have happened in football, the Scot has not had the best start to his Manchester United managerial reign – drawing with Chelsea, losing at Liverpool and taking one heck of a thumping from Manchester City last week. His lacks of signings in the transfer window also haven’t gone down well with many.

However they do say that patience is a virtue and although it often doesn’t appear to exist in football—the fact that Moyes was Sir Alex Ferguson’s first choice may allow him a little more time to get his team in shape than would be usually given.

United lie 13th in the Premier League 5 points from the top, but have shown nothing like title contender form and although it’s still very early days, Moyes will be eager to change the club’s fortunate around.

The ex-Everton manager is unlikely to be shown the door at Old Trafford just yet but after another defeat and poor performance, he may be, for tonight at least ceasing all communication from the outside world! 

What do you think? Will the curse of West Brom continue? Have your say in the comments section below, on Facebook or on Twitter.