The 61-year-old has been appointed to take over from Valerien Ismael, whose tenure at the club was ended after leading the Baggies to only one win in the last 7 games.
Steve Bruce has substantial experience, having managed Aston Villa, Hull, Sunderland and Birmingham. Despite keeping Newcastle up during difficult times, the takeover of the club, whilst not leading to immediate change, even led to Bruce leaving Premier League club Newcastle in October.
The questions are: Why Bruce? And, Why now? West Bromwich Albion have had a great season in the Championship until recently. However, they have now fallen to sixth place, and their promotion push is faltering. Bruce is seen as the man to halt the slide, since he has extensive experience in English football’s second tier, having twice won promotion to the Premier League with now, former Premier League clubs, Birmingham City and Hull City.
So, whilst his statistics don’t compare to the best of Premier League managers, whose win percentage is usually north of 50%, he does engender a fighting spirit, and is almost a kind of ‘Houdini’ manager…enabling relegation escape when all seems lost.
His appointment for 18 months is hopefully enough to secure promotion with West Brom, and then probably just long enough for the club to see if he can offer anything that can ensure an extended stay in the nation’s top football league.
However, if after promotion, the Baggies slump, the contract could well be short enough to part ways amicably.