West Brom have emerged as “serious play-off contenders” as a result of a solid run of form and might become an even bigger threat if the club is sold, according to Carlton Palmer.
On 6 October, the BBC analyst told Football League World that the Baggies are “a solid and hard side to beat,” and that Carlos Corberan’s team will draw a lot.
However, amid the current “off-field saga” around ownership and money, the ex-England midfielder has stated that a new regime willing to invest in the squad will boost the team’s increasingly remarkable performances on the field.
“West Brom have entered the play-off spots after winning their last two games,” Palmer stated. I believe they are serious play-off contenders, and if they can resolve the off-field drama with the sale of the club and bring in new owners to invest in the playing side, they may be even stronger.
“It’s early days but they are looking strong defensively, only conceded 10 goals, they’ve scored 17 – only four clubs have scored more than them so they’re a solid and hard side to beat and likely to pick up a lot of draws on the evidence I’ve seen, four already in their first 10 games.”
From the ashes
Being five games unbeaten and near the head of a sizable group of play-off competitors, trailing a top two that looks certain to pull away this season, is a lot more encouraging situation than many would have predicted in the summer.
The need to cut players from the salary bill as a result of West Brom’s precarious financial situation contributed to justifiable fears that last season’s close call would be the closest West Brom would come to a play-off spot for some time.
But, once again, it is a credit to Corberan’s efforts that the Albion have already reached this level after victories against Sheffield Wednesday and Preston North End, with the 4-0 thrashing of the high-flying Lilywhites being particularly noteworthy.
A sale to new ownership who are truly there and available has always been a fan’s goal, but with grim predictions about funding and the club’s future, it has become even more critical.
If Corberan and his team can achieve this much with controversial majority shareholder Guochuan Lai in place, surely a fresh regime would allow the manager to make a serious push for promotion.
West Brom were not as badly hit in the transfer window as some had expected, but it stands to reason that a squad that is more concerned with adding talent than letting it go would be a more formidable opponent.
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