West Brom seeks stability with Irvine at the helm

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 11, 2014 at 5:06 am •  Published: August 11, 2014
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WEST BROMWICH, England (AP) — After a chaotic year marred by managerial changes, Nicolas Anelka's controversial "quenelle" salute and a season-long relegation battle, West Bromwich Albion will hoping for a much more serene campaign in the Premier League this time round.

It's been a busy summer at the Hawthorns, with a vast turnover of players including the arrival of Nigeria striker Brown Ideye on a club-record fee and the hiring of Alan Irvine as team's fourth head coach in the last eight months.

Irvine is a gamble — like unheralded Spaniard Pepe Mel before him — after being brought in from Everton's youth academy. It's the first time he has managed in the Premier League after spells in charge of Sheffield Wednesday and Preston North End in the English second tier. Under him, both teams were relegated.

West Brom only secured its Premier League status on the final day of last season, and is embarking on a fifth straight year in England's top flight as one of the teams who are likely to be sucked into the fight to avoid the drop.

The powerful Ideye joined for 10 million pounds from Dynamo Moscow and should give the team more of a goal threat than last season.

And they could have a whole new defense following the arrivals of fullbacks Jason Davidson and Cristian Gamboa — who played at the World Cup with Australia and Costa Rica — and center back Joleon Lescott from Manchester City.

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In: Brown Ideye (Dynamo Kiev), Sebastien Pocognoli (Hannover 96), Jason Davidson (Heracles Almelo), Cristian Gamboa (Rosenborg), Craig Gardner (Sunderland), Joleon Lescott (Manchester City), Andre Wisdom (Liverpool on loan).

Out: Billy Jones (Sunderland), Liam Ridgewell (Portland Timbers), Steven Reid (Burnley).