In fairness to Jimmy Shan, he didn’t do too bad a job in his first audition for the permanent managerial role at West Brom, as The Baggies ran out 3-0 winners over Swansea on Wednesday night, but the fact that it is Shan in the hotseat seems a bit strange in itself.
When Darren Moore was sacked on Saturday following a 1-1 draw at home to bottom side Ipswich, it seemed to catch just about everybody by surprise, with the Midlands club fourth in the Championship table, albeit nine points adrift of the automatic promotion spots and with just four wins in their last twelve league games.
After Moore had gone, many expected his replacement at The Hawthorns to be appointed quickly, given the reason for Moore’s dismissal was to give The Baggies the best chance of securing an immediate return to the Premier League.
Among those linked with the job is Slavisa Jokanovic, the man who took Fulham to the Premier League via the playoffs just last season, but with some reports claiming a formal approach for the Serb has yet to be made, you wonder just how prepared the West Brom hierarchy were for Saturday’s announcement.
The speed with which the announcement of Moore’s departure following the Ipswich draw was made, and the fact that that run of four wins in twelve in the league stretched all the way back to December, would suggest that West Brom had been considering a change in The Hawthorns hot seat for quite some time.
Combine that with there having been ten games to go after Saturday’s events, and you feel that The Baggies would have had someone ready to be parachuted in to take control with so little time left to make things right.
There is, of course, the possibility that those in charge at The Hawthorns wanted to give Shan the chance to prove he has what it takes to get West Brom back into the Premier League, but with next to no margin for left right now, that seems a huge risk to take on someone without any previous managerial experience.
Whatever West Brom’s plan is, they had best hope it works, because if not, there may be some serious questions to ask come the end of the season.