Why have West Brom been so successful this season?

Why have West Brom been so successful this season?

Steve Clark - manager of West Brom Albion
Steve Clark – manager of West Brom Albion

West Bromwich Albion have been one of the surprise performers this season in the Premier League. They currently have five point gap over fifth place as they seek to maintain a Champions League slot. What are the reasons for their success?

Firstly, the club have been able to maintain their home form this season with six wins and a single defeat. This means anything they pick up away from home is a bonus and they are utilising the advantage playing at home gives them.

Another reason for the success is the fact that they have been able to keep key players fit. Attacking stars such as Shane Long, Zoltan Gera and Peter Odemwingie have all managed to stay injury free which has allowed them to play regularly.

Having a fitter squad than normal means the manager can regularly rotate players. The main benefit of this is that it keeps everyone fresh and means players are more likely to perform to a higher level in each game.

West Brom have also benefited from the managerial style of Steve Clark. Clark is an individual who spent a long time learning the game as an assistant to other managers. He uses this experience well and coaches in a very basic style which defines the role of each player in his team.

Clark as manager means West Brom play from the back. At home the club have only conceded five goals which is the same record as Manchester City. Only Stoke City have a better home defensive record having conceded just a single goal.

West Brom have competed well against the sides in and around them competing for a top European place. They have victories over Liverpool, Everton and Chelsea, all teams expected to be pushing for the Champions League and Europe by the end of the season.

They have reacted well to any negative patch. Back-to-back defeats to Manchester City and Newcastle United in October have been followed by four straight wins through November.

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Lewis Doe is a freelance sports writer and editor who has been working in the industry for over three years. Lewis graduated from a degree in journalism at City University, London in the summer of 2009. Lewis has worked for some of the biggest football opinion and news sites in the world including FootballFanCast and Goal.com International.


  1. Another factor is the yo-yo effect, which, though chaotic, has contributed in a huge, albeit ironic, way. The parachute payments West Brom were given for dropping down from the Premiership have not been needlessly ploughed into buying more and more players, but have been invested back into the club’s infrastructure – facilities, scouting and so forth – and all this has been done gradually over a decade. Through steady investment into that infrastructure, Albion have grown in every department, aided by the nurturing by, and direction of, individuals such the outgoing technical director, Dan Ashworth (his replacement will be key to progression) and the chairman, Jeremy Peace.

    In the early stages of yo-yoing, what seemed like lack of ambition now appears to be canny, shrewd saving of financial and club resources for the current (and eye-opening) good times on and off the field (and long may it continue). Those parachute payments, seen as the ‘reward for failure’ now contribute (along with careful stewardship of the club) to West Brom’s present standing in the Premiership. This wasn’t overnight, this took years – but it wasn’t until recently that many, including supporters like myself, found out about this reality.

  2. West Brom are a beacon to other clubs, proving that you can be successful and play effective football without spending zillions. We see good planning and coaching there, and wise appointments. I hope my club, Swansea City, can emulate the Albion. We are investing Premiership money in badly-needed facilities for the Academy and first team, so let’s hope for a long stay in the top flight for Baggies and Swans!

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