Saido Berahino
Saido Berahino must focus on making back page headlines, not front ones Getty

Last season

Premier League: 17th

FA Cup: 3rd

League Cup: 2nd

Top scorer: Saido Berahino (5)

Summer work

West Bromwich Albion were just three points away from playing in the Championship this season and have gone about rebuilding a defence that shipped 59 goals last season. Manager Alan Irvine has added six defenders to the Baggies' ranks including, most enticingly, Costa Rica's World Cup star Cristian Gamboa from Rosenborg. Irvine will need Joleen Lescott to recapture past form and Liverpool's Andre Wisdom, who is on loan at the Hawthorns, is highly thought of at Anfield. West Brom struggled for goals last season and will hope £10m signing Brown Ideye will take some of the pressure off last season's top scorer Saido Berahino and contribute the lion's share himself.

Manager - Alan Irvine

West Brom surprised many when they opted for former Everton youth team manager Alan Irvine over bookies favourite Tim Sherwood in June. The 55-year-old, who previously turned down advances from West Brom to remain at the Toffees' academy, is highly regarded as a coach but untested as a top-flight manager and have been thrown in at the deep end with an Albion side that looked doomed at the end of last season. There are few bigger challenges than the one facing Irvine next season.

Key Player - Saido Berahino

Saido Berahino had his most memorable moment of his short career last season when he scored West Brom's winner at Old Trafford as the Baggies recorded their first away win against Manchester United in 34 years. He ended up with five league goals, the same as joint top scorer, Stéphane Sessègnon, and remains one of the side's most eye-catching performers. There is, however, a bit of the Ravel Morrison about Berahino, who despite being naturally gifted is never far from off-field misdemeanors.


It is going to be long season for Albion fans. Irvine has done well to reinforce his leaky defence and tie down captain Chris Brunt, but there simply are not enough goals in this team and unless their defensive signings click soon, a protracted relegation battle is likely. Indeed, it could well come down to a staraight shootout between West Brom and arch city rivals Aston Villa to see who survives another season in the Premier League.


A disheartening start to Premier League management for Alan Irvine. 17th.