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West Bromwich Albion

A look at the problems West Bromwich Albion faced this season

:Headline: A look at the problems West Bromwich Albion faced this season:
The Baggies have been relegated to the Sky Bet Championship.
Sports Mole

West Brom have dropped out of the Premier League after just a season back in the top flight.

It was the first relegation Sam Allardyce has suffered in his managerial career.

Here, the PA news agency looks at where it went wrong for the Baggies.

Why could Allardyce not save them?

West Brom conceded goals for fun in Allardyce's early games (Nick Potts/PA)

When the former England boss replaced Slaven Bilic in December, the amount of games and coronavirus protocols at the training ground meant he did not have much time to implement his ideas.

In his first five home games the Baggies shipped 19 goals, scoring just twice, as they lost 5-0 to Manchester City and Leeds while also losing 3-0 to Aston Villa and 4-0 to Arsenal.

It ultimately took too long for the manager to get to grips with his new side's failings – although once he did they at least put up a decent fight.

How much did the Baggies shoot themselves in the foot?

Sheffield United beat West Brom in February (Martin Rickett/PA)

Albion will rue dropped points against relegation rivals Fulham, Newcastle, Brighton and Burnley since the turn of the year, while they also lost to rock-bottom Sheffield United in February.

Impressive performances against Tottenham, Manchester United and Everton earned them just a point.

A shock 5-2 win at 10-man Chelsea on April 3 showed what they could be capable of but it was too late.

Did Albion use their funds wisely?

Albion had a meagre budget of £20million going into the season but had already gone over it by the time Bilic was publicly putting pressure on the board to re-sign Filip Krovinovic on loan.

He struggled and ended up joining Nottingham Forest on loan in January, Grady Diangana has not lived up to his £18million price-tag – although not all of it was upfront – while £15million Karlan Grant has struggled.

Turning Matheus Pereira's loan move from Sporting Lisbon permanent was a savvy £9million deal but the forward has still struggled for consistency.

Did the winter signings arriving too late?

Mbaye Diagne joined on loan from Galatasaray (John Walton/PA)

Okay Yokuslu, Mbaye Diagne and Ainsley Maitland-Niles have helped immensely since their loan arrivals.

But all three joined towards the end of the window and what West Brom would have given to have them for an extra few games.

Loan deals such as these are always more likely to happen at the end rather than the start of the windows but getting them in the building a few weeks earlier would have given Albion a better chance.

How did decisions – on and off the pitch – impact the season?

Albion feel they have been on the rough end of decisions and planning this season.

Allardyce has been very vocal with his objections to the fixture list and said he felt the Premier League was contributing to Albion's relegation.

On the pitch, tight VAR calls and referring decisions have also angered Allardyce, notably Pereira's red card at Crystal Palace and Conor Gallagher and Branislav Ivanovic being denied penalties in the game.

He branded VAR a laughing stock after Diagne was denied a goal in the 3-0 win over Southampton, with the technology unable to find the right angle to prove whether the striker was on or offside.

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