West Brom appoint Pepe Mel as new manager
Pepe Mel has been awarded an eighteen-month contract at The Hawthorns, with the former Getafe coach replacing Steve Clarke.
January 10th, 2014
The Spaniard had been favourite for the West Brom job over Christmas, although the 50-year-old’s odds were drifting until the past few days when a big gamble materialised on this highly-respected European coach.
Mel has a wealth of managerial experience and has taken charge of a series of Spanish clubs including Getafe, Rayo Vallecano and Betis, with the new boss taking charge of a team who have just one win from their last eleven games.
It’s a tricky opening tie for Mel who heads to St Mary’s with his new Baggies team, although he will retain the services of Keith Downing who has been in caretaker charge for the past few games and oversaw a recent 1-0 win against Newcastle United.
“I’m delighted to welcome Pepe to the club,” Richard Garlick, Albion’s sporting and technical director, said.
“His appointment concludes an extensive recruitment process during which we have cast the net far and wide to identify the most suitable candidate to take the club forward.
“Pepe was a strong contender from the outset due to his impressive achievements and has emerged as our number one candidate. He is a forward-thinking coach whose teams are renowned for playing an attractive and positive style of football.”
Some will regard the instalment as something of a risk considering that Mel has no experience of managing anywhere other than Spain, although Mauricio Pochettino and Manuel Pellegrini have both adjusted quickly to English football and West Brom will be hoping that their new boss can do the same.
Predecessor Steve Clarke was axed after Albion won just seven of their 34 league games, with West Brom just four points clear of the relegation zone.