New West Brom head coach Alan Irvine believes the club shares similarities with Everton at the time when David Moyes first took over a decade ago.
Ex-Sheffield Wednesday manager Irvine, who has left his job as Toffees academy boss to take up the vacancy at The Hawthorns having been confirmed as Pepe Mel’s successor last weekend, spent five years as Moyes’ assistant at Goodison Park.
After managerial experience with Preston and the Owls, he returned to Everton to oversee their youth programme but has now secured his biggest job to date.
“The situation at this club is similar to what I went through at Everton when I went there with David,” he said. “I’ve got a great deal of respect for the club right the way from the first team through to the academy.
“It is run very sensibly and, as a result of that, any head coach coming in has got a great chance of doing a good job. A number of the players who have had success in the Premier League with the club are still here.
“But it’s a small squad at this moment in time and, clearly, the first job is going to have to be to get some more players in.”
Irvine is looking forward to utilising the experience of a 22-year coaching career to help West Brom move on from a turblent season which saw Steve Clarke sacked and then Mel departing after just a few months. He will work closely with West Brom’s technical director Terry Burton to get the squad up to speed.
If Tim Sherwood is to be believed, Irvine was not West Brom’s first choice as the former Tottenham manager claims he was offered the job and turned it down.
“I went to speak to the chairman and the board there a couple of times and was happy with how the discussions were going,” said Sherwood. “I was offered the job before we started to negotiate. It just wasn’t right for me in the end, so I decided to give it a miss.”