Alan Pardew has emerged as favourite to become the next West Bromwich Albion manager after The Telegraph reported the former Crystal Palace and Newcastle United manager is scheduled to have talks with the club about the vacancy sometime this week.
Bookmakers have reacted by slashing Pardew’s odds to become the next West Brom manager to odds on favourite, jumping ahead of Sam Allerdyce, Martin O’Neill, Derek McInnes and Michael O’Neill who had previously dominated the betting market.
Gary Megson was appointed interim coach following Tony Pulis’ dismissal on Monday. Megson will prepare the Baggies for the home fixture against Newcastle on Saturday where 10Bet make West Brom 5/4 favourite despite a poor run of form leaving the Midlands club one point above the relegation zone. Megson joined the club four months ago to help out his old friend and said he has not given any thought to the vacant job.
Pardew has proven experience in turning around underperforming sides, in the short term at least. He made an immediate impact at relegation threatened Newcastle, leading the Magpies to a 3-1 victory against Liverpool at St James Park in his first game in charge before going on to secure a mid- table position at the end of the season.
He left Newcastle to join struggling Crystal Palace in January 2015 and became the first Premier League manager to take over a club in the relegation zone and guide them to a top half position. Despite a 40% win ratio, Palace sacked Pardew in December 2016 following a run of one win in 11 and the 56-year- old has been out of a job since.
Pardew will bring different approach to playing football compared to the defensive style which is the trademark of outgoing boss, Tony Pulis. The West Brom fans have been demanding a more expansive style of play and would almost certainly get that with Pardew in charge.
Director of Football, Nicky Hammond knows Pardew from his time working together at Championship side Reading in the early 2000s. The two have already been in touch for preliminary talks with Pardew understood to be interested. He is said to believe the West Brom squad is more than capable of staying up and the stadium and training facilities will be a big asset in the bid for survival.
Pardew is expected to meet club owner Guochan Lai and if discussions go as planned, he could be installed in time to face former club Newcastle at the Hawthorns next Tuesday.