Darren Moore unjustly sacked?

West Brom are fourth in the Championship, on course for the play-offs

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Why have West Brom sacked Darren Moore?

By Joe Harker

On Saturday West Bromwich Albion issued a statement following their 1-1 draw with Ipswich Town.

The statement announced that head coach Darren Moore had been sacked along with coaches Graeme Jones and Wayne Jacobs after "a disappointing run of results" that the club said "has seen Albion lose ground in the challenge for automatic promotion".

James Shan has been placed in temporary charge of the first team though West Brom said they would attempt to make a permanent appointment as soon as possible.

The Claim:

West Brom blamed Moore for not being able to "engineer consistency of form and results", reports The Guardian.

Moore's sacking was described as an "enormously difficult decision" by club chief executive Mark Jenkins, who said the former manager had failed to convince the board that he could get West Brom promoted back to the Premier League as quickly as possible.

Jenkins insisted the club "made it clear" to Moore that West Brom's objective was getting promoted quickly and the likelihood that they would not make the automatic promotion spots sealed his fate.

Despite the sacking it is likely that West Brom's only chance of promotion this season will be through the playoffs. Having sacked the manager for having them on course for the playoffs they will now be relying on his replacement to get them up through the playoffs.

The Counter Claim:

Former West Brom midfielder Richard Sneekes has argued that sacking Moore was "harsh". With the team in fourth place and in contention for the playoffs were things really so bad at The Hawthorns that they needed to dispense with the manager?

Saying that his former club's last three games were ones they should have been winning, Sneekes questioned whether a relatively poor run of form really warranted sacking the manager.

The club are doing much better than Swansea City and Stoke City, the other clubs relegated from the Premier League last season. They are fifteenth and sixteenth respectively in the Championship, some way off the playoff places.

There are other clubs relegated from the Premier League that have been trying for several years to get promoted back to the top division. Clubs like Aston Villa and Hull City would love to be in the position West Brom currently occupy.

The general reaction to the sacking from the world of football has been one of "what on earth are you doing?". Plenty of clubs that get relegated from the Premier League struggle to immediately bounce back up and get promoted the next season, often spending millions in the attempt. West Brom are in a relatively good position.

The Facts:

West Brom are currently fourth in the Championship, nine points behind second placed Leeds United. Only the top two positions in the Championship are guaranteed automatic promotion while the four clubs that finished between third and sixth enter into the playoffs to determine which one follows them up into the Premier League.

The club are seven points above seventh placed Bristol City with 10 games to go, Bristol have a game in hand over West Brom. The club appears unlikely to reach the automatic promotion places, though it would also struggle to drop out of the playoff places.

West Brom have won only four of their last 12 league games and have not won at home in the league since Boxing Day. Their away record is stronger, having won eight of their last 10 away fixtures.

Moore played for West Brom between 2001 and 2006, twice helping them be promoted to the Premier League. Appointed as caretaker manager at the end of last season, West Brom were undefeated in the Premier League with Moore in charge but were unable to escape the drop.

Former Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic is reportedly the favourite to take over management of the club. Last season he guided Fulham to the Premier League via the playoffs. Another candidate mentioned is former Huddersfield Town manager David Wager, who did the same a year before Jokanovic. Both men are out of work at the moment.

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