Tony Pulis will be appointed as manager of Premier League strugglers West Bromwich Albion, according to reports in British media on Wednesday.
West Brom on Monday dismissed Alan Irvine after a run of seven defeats in nine matches that left the club in 16th place in the Premier League table, just a point above the relegation zone.
Pulis and former Tottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood were reported to be in contention for the role, but the BBC has reported that Pulis, 56, will sign a two-and-a-half-year contract at The Hawthorns.
The former Stoke manager was named the Premier League’s manager of the year for steering Crystal Palace away from relegation last season, but he left the club on the eve of the current campaign after falling out with chairman Steve Parish.
Pulis is said to be happy to work within the current set-up, which has former Wimbledon manager Terry Burton as technical director and Richard Garlick as the director of football administration.
Pulis will be Albion’s fourth coach in just over 12 months since Steve Clarke was sacked in December 2013.
Pepe Mel and Irvine followed after Clarke.
Pulis is expected to be in place for Saturday’s FA Cup third-round visit of Gateshead.
He has never been relegated as a manager and helped Crystal Palace to 11th in the top flight last season after taking over in November 2013.
Wenger confident about new year fortunes
Arsene Wenger remains confident 2015 can be a vintage year for Arsenal.
His rejuvenated side head to Southampton on Thursday having taken 10 points from the Christmas schedule and with one defeat out of nine games in all competitions.
Victory at St Mary’s Stadium would lift Arsenal back into the top four and leave them within striking distance of third-placed Manchester United.
Arsenal, who have a doubt over forward Danny Welbeck because of a thigh problem, hope to have leading lights Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Mikel Arteta and Jack Wilshere all fit again in the first quarter of the year, which Wenger feels will give his squad an opportunity to deliver the consistent performances needed.
“I believe that there is a deficit between the potential we have shown and the number of points we have. That is what we want to get right,” Wenger said. “Now it is time to catch back the points that we lost now until the end of the season.”
Jose Mourinho said it is no accident his team lead as they open the second half of the league schedule away to Tottenham.
“We are top of the league at the end of the first round because we deserve it and because it is a consequence of what we did,” Mourinho said.
“Chelsea is playing very well since the beginning of the season. That’s the only thing we work at, the only thing we concentrate on and, in the second part of the season, we are going to try to do exactly the same thing.”
Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge is set for a return this month, manager Brendan Rodgers said, hinting the club are unlikely to dip into the transfer market to solve their striker issues.
Swansea will be without Jonjo Shelvey as they travel to play QPR today. The club “reluctantly accepted” the midfielder’s four-match ban after he was charged with violent conduct for elbowing Liverpool’s Emre Can.
Other managerial appointments
Meanwhile, Alan Pardew is expected to be confirmed as Crystal Palace manager ahead of their game at Aston Villa on Thursday. His departure from Newcastle is said to be a foregone conclusion, and on Wednesday it was reported that he was discussing “personal terms” with Parish.
Steve Bruce, the Hull City manager, denied he was interested in shifting to Newcastle, the club he supported in his youth. Steve Carver will lead Newcastle as interim coach in their home match with Burnley on Thursday.
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