Irvine sacked by West Brom

Irvine has been put on gardening leave after a run of just one league win in Albion’s last nine games and the club expects to name his successor in the next few days.

Saturday’s defeat at Stoke left Albion just a point clear of the bottom three halfway through the Premier League season having won just four games.

And Irvine, a shock appointment when he succeeded Pepe Mel in the summer, has paid the price for a run of seven defeats in nine matches. Coaches Rob Kelly and Keith Downing will take charge for the trip to West Ham on New Year’s Day.

Irvine had been without a boss’ job for three-and-a-half years when Albion chose him to work alongside director of football Richard Garlick and technical director Terry Burton.

An Albion statement said Irvine had been placed on gardening leave, and Burton said: ???We appointed Alan in the summer convinced that we had taken on one of the foremost coaches in the UK and nothing that has happened since then has altered our view. The individual progress of our players such as Craig Dawson and Saido Berahino are testament to that.

“But sadly that simply has not translated into results and they remain the ultimate currency of Alan???s position. Securing a sixth season in the Premier League is the overriding target and sometimes unpleasant decisions have to be taken to serve that imperative.

“Alan has impressed everyone with his manner, dedication and diligence but he knows that results have simply not been good enough. We place on record our gratitude for his efforts and hold nothing but good wishes for his future endeavours. This was a decision taken with regret but sadly driven by necessity.

At the time of Irvine’s appointment Tim Sherwood claimed he had turned down the job, and the??former Tottenham boss is Bet’s early odds-on favourite to succeed the Scot.

Irvine is the third Albion boss in recent years to lose his job midway through the season: the same fate befell Roberto Di Matteo and, 12 months ago, Steve Clarke.

Speaking on??Monday Night Football??Gary Neville said: “West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace is calculated in what he does. He???s done it in the last few seasons, a number of times and you???ve thought ???that???s harsh???.

“You look at where West Brom are and you think ‘that???s probably where they should be’. They???re going to dip in and out between 14th and 16th, they might go down to 18th but they???ll eventually get out of it. He does it, he???s harsh about it, he???s calculated and it???s sad for Alan Irvine.”

The successors to both Di Matteo and Clarke kept Albion in the Premier League, and Jamie Carragher said: “The owner has had success in changing managers and keeping them up. That???s what he???s done again and you???d probably expect them to stay up now.”

Other names prominent in the Bet market are Tony Pulis, Chris Hughton, Tony Mowbray??and Real Madrid assistant manager Paul Clement.