sabato 18 gennaio 2014

Is Mel a good fit for WBA?

Monday game against Everton will be Pepe Mel's first game in charge after the 1-0 defeat by Southampton leaves them only three points above the relegation zone. Is Mel the man for West Brom? West Brom have appointed Pepe Mel as their new head coach to replace Steve Clarke after a month-long search. Mel undoubtedly satisfies the requirements West Brom were looking for: he’s set to provide a possession-based style of play to improve Baggies reputation as a passing side after the counter-attacking style they employed under Roy Hodgson and Steve Clarke. It was that he has done at Betis when his side picked up numerous plaudits for their high-pressing, attacking style of football. At Betis, Mel built a reputation as an excellent tactician, with Pep Guardiola among many applauding his flexible 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 shape. Despite some ups and downs, Mel was able to bring Betis back in the Primera Division in a honorable 13th-place on their first campaign at the top, which was a perfect base to lead them into Europa League last season. Under the intensity of his training sessions and of his playing style based on  pass the ball, a lot of youngsters flourished, such as Beñat Etxebarria, Adrián San Miguel, Alejandro Pozuelo and José Cañas did. Betis were among the most attractive sides to watch in La Liga, Mel's contract was extended but he no longer was involved in recruitment with sporting director Vlad Stosic controlling signings. With 13 new players in and the entire midfield gone, the results worsened, the relationship with the board strained and Mel was sacked in early December. But there is no doubt that Mel has positive ideas and that there will be more focus on a pro-active brand of football. Baggies fans expect Mel will keep West Brom in the Premier League. To do it, Mel will need to get the better out from Matej Vydra, Nicolas Anelka, Saido Berahino, and Shane Long. One of the bigger problem West Brom faced this season was they couldn't making these forwards working. New manager will need time to bring on his fresh ideas and to make the adjustment to the new league. But Mel can count on Keith Downing to accelerate his Premier League knowledge. West Brom have taken a risk with this appointment. Albion fans are hoping it will pay off.

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