West Brom EFL Championship Tactical Analysis

Supporters flocked back for a new era at their club, whilst another set of fans clamoured for an end to one. Throw in a managerial departure and it was just another normal Saturday in the EFL.

That’s just scratching the surface though and if you’re here for that then you’ve come to the wrong place. Here’s the EFL By Numbers, with Goodbrand Stats.

No Moore time for Darren 

West Bromwich Albion have sacked manager Darren Moore, blaming the coach for “failing to engineer consistency of form and results”.

On the one hand, West Brom are fourth in the table, with 61 points from 36 games. A pretty impressive turnaround from last season’s relegation, where the Baggies finished bottom of the Premier League. Moore’s EFL and Premier League managerial record is also favourable. In 42 games he’s won 20, drawn 12 and lost 10. 

As an outsider looking in, it appears that Moore has been sacked because the board feel the team should be in the top two. However this is the Championship, it’s a demanding league and incredibly difficult to get out of. Since the 2013-14 season, only four out of the 15 teams relegated from the Premier League have bounced straight back up.

What did it for Darren in the end though was his side’s home form, which is a complete contrast to their away form. The Baggies have the second best away record in the Championship, but only the 12th best home record.

The final nail in the coffin for Moore was his side’s failure to win at the Hawthorns since Boxing Day and their inability to beat teams around them. The Baggies have played five of the current top eight since the start of 2019 and have only taken two points.

Blades go marching on 

Sheffield United kept the pressure on Leeds and Norwich at the top of the table after beating Rotherham on Saturday. The 2-0 South Yorkshire derby win saw Chris Wilder’s side record their seventh straight win at Bramall Lane and a sixth consecutive home clean sheet.

That’s six games, 557 minutes and nine hours 37 minutes without conceding an EFL goal at The Lane. In the same amount of time, you could watch the Lord of the Rings Trilogy (theatrical) or The Godfather trilogy and also fly from Manchester to Orlando.

Sadly for their opponents, there’s a lot of things you could have achieved in the time they last won away in the Championship. Sorry to remind you Millers’ fans, but that was Rotherham’s 43rd Championship away game without a win. Ouch.

Brucey bonus for Owls 

On the other side of the Steel City, Steve Bruce has enjoyed an excellent start to life at Sheffield Wednesday. Their 1-1 EFL draw with Derby at the weekend was their ninth game unbeaten, eight of them under Bruce. They last went 10 Championship games unbeaten in 2007 under Brian Laws.

When Bruce took charge at the start of February, the Owls were 11 points off the play-offs. They are now only five points off with 10 games still to play. They say a manager is judged on the quality of his signings and with that in mind, Dominic Iorfa won’t have done Bruce any harm.

The defender was brought in on deadline day from Wolves and has enjoyed a purple patch… by his standards. Iorfa had only scored one goal in 125 games for Wolves, but deadly Dominic has scored two in five games for the Owls.

Oystons (finally) out!

“The golden mile transformed, into the golden smile” beamed Sky Sports commentator Bill Leslie as Blackpool sealed promotion to the Premier League in 2010. Since then, the Tangerine Army have had little to cheer about. Three relegations saw them drop from the Premier League to League 2 in just six seasons.

On Saturday, Bloomfield Road rocked to the sound of justice. The Oystons were finally out and Blackpool fans had their club back. Just like Seagulls on Pleasure Beach, they flocked back in their droves.

15,871 packed out Bloomfield Road, over three times their average EFL attendance of 4,576. Taylor Moore’s 96th-minute own goal salvaged a draw against Southend and the moods of the fans were higher than the Blackpool Tower.

The Seasiders sit just three points off playoffsoffs and with the fans returning, you wouldn’t bet against a fairy-tale ending.

Fans demand sale of Vale 

While all eyes were on Blackpool, 85 miles south Port Vale fans were lambasting the man at the helm of their club. Around 3,000 supporters held up red cards in protest at the leadership of Vale owner Norman Smurthwaite on Saturday.

Vale followers have grown increasingly disenchanted with their owner with relegation in 2017 followed up by a 20th placed finish in League 2 last term.

Before Saturday’s game, they were one place off the EFL relegation places and with the worst form in the division, having won just two league games since the end of October and lost six and drawn two of their last eight games in all competitions.

So in typical fashion, in the face of all protests, they only went and won. Ricky Miller’s brace inspiring them to a 2-1 win over promotion-chasing Mansfield. This was John Askey’s first win since his appointment as Port Vale manager and he’ll be hoping the Valiants can now push on and steer clear of the relegation places.