This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
West Brom are believed to be closing in on appointing David Wagner as their new manager ahead of the 2021/22 season according to Sky Sports News.
The Baggies are preparing for life back in the Championship, after they were relegated from the Premier League after just one season in the top flight last term under the management of Sam Allardyce.
Allardyce left his role in charge of West Brom in the summer, and the club have been looking to find his replacement in recent weeks.
They seem to have found that in Wagner, with the 49-year-old moving ahead of Chris Wilder in the race to be appointed, after the Baggies’ owners decided not to pursue a move for the former Sheffield United boss.
Wagner has experience of winning promotion into the Premier League, having guided Huddersfield Town into the top flight earlier in his managerial career.
We ask our Football League World writers what they make of their rumoured managerial appointment in the near future.
I can’t help but feel that Chris Wilder or Michael Appleton would have been a better appointment, to be honest.
Wagner obviously did an outstanding job at Huddersfield and it really was a fairytale season. I wouldn’t say it was a fluke as that would be unfair, but I think it’s something that won’t be achieved for a long time.
But Wagner, since taking Huddersfield up, has struggled. He struggled in Germany with Schalke, and sometimes it takes a lot to recover from a bad run of form.
He has a big job this summer and has a really talented, experienced group of players to work with, so that might see them into the play-offs or there or thereabouts.
But I still have my doubts over him and whether he is the right man. For me, there were better options out there.
Yes, I can.
Wagner would not have been my first choice, in all honesty, but one thing he does have is experience getting promoted to the Premier League.
This West Brom squad are stronger than his Huddersfield team ever were and, to me, the rest of the Championship doesn’t look that strong.
Promotion is there for the taking next term and if Wagner can get this team playing for him I think the Baggies will be among the favourites to bounce straight back up.
That said, I do think there’s a risk that this could blow up in their face if things start badly.
Can you score full marks on this 21-question West Brom quiz?
I’m not convinced that Wagner would be able to take West Brom back to the Premier League in all honesty.
Admittedly, he does have experience in getting clubs out of the Championship having done so with Huddersfield, rather against expectations, just a few years ago.
Since then however, Wagner has endured a pretty dismal time of things, both with Huddersfield and Schalke, where he has seemingly struggled to build-up any kind of form with either of those two sides.
Just as we have seen with Huddersfield themselves since their drop into the Championship, it can be hard for those in football to get themselves out of such a downward spiral, and you wonder whether Wagner himself may be in that sort of position now, meaning it does feel as though it would be a risk to put him in charge of a side with such high expectations as West Brom next season.
Indeed, with some fans seemingly unsure about this appointment, it may not be easy for Wagner to win them all over, which will only heap further pressure onto him and his potential new players if they do not start the campaign strongly, making it even harder for them to secure that return to the top-flight.