WE decided to ask Anfield Wrap contributors what they would do this summer with clubs that weren’t their own; how they would resurrect Aston Villa? How can Arsenal make the next step? Who would you hire and who would you fire?
Each got to advise, be Director Of Football or even take the reins at the club in question. And of course, we asked Dave Downie to do Liverpool.
You can read the others here:
- You Are The Boss #1 – Crystal Palace
- You Are The Boss #2 – Spurs
- You Are The Boss #3 – Swansea
- You Are The Boss #4 – Everton
- You Are The Boss #5 – Liverpool
- You Are The Boss #6 – Burnley
- You Are The Boss #7 – Newcastle
- You Are The Boss #8 – Aston Villa
- You Are The Boss #9 – Norwich City
West Brom – Paul Senior
So, I got West Brom. Bloody hell.
Neil wants me to write more, and then he hands me the task of sorting out the club with the best away pub in the world. You wont see much of me on the training ground, I’ll be balls deep in lamb bhuna down the Vines.
My idea for West Brom is to remove any hint of that little cap-wearing pea head of a manager’s style. Pulis is gone, Senior is here, and it’s going to be a fiesta in the Black Country. Think Middlesbrough of the 90s, but without the relegation.
Big Jeremy Peace usually insists on his managers being called head coaches. Not for me though – I’m his manager, and he trusts me to shake up this town.
Anyway, no messing round here, pure business. I stroll into the Hawthorns, angry, ready to get to work, I’ve got a clear idea what I want. Power, pace, aggression, lads who can work both ways, but offer decent numbers. Goals win games, and any lad in my front four needs to offer that. We’re aiming big this year, we’ve seen what Leicester can do.
The lads down the Vines are pleased with my appointment. They tell Liam behind the bar that “his Senior fella” wants to play, he’s happy to counterattack the big sides, but have a real go at anything outside the top seven. They’re excited. They’ve heard that club legend Ronnie Wallwork could be part of the backroom staff. Senior’s here and he’s going to do it right.
So, my squad.
In Berahino and Rondon I’ve got two strikers that I can cash in on, and I fully intend to. I’ve tried to be conservative, but I think I can get £35m for the pair. That’ll help add to the £20m Jeremy Peace has lashed in for me. He’s backing me, and why not, we’ve got the big bucks from the Premier League this year. Jeremy wants Europe back at the Hawthorns – me too.
In Ben Foster, I’ve got a solid number one goalkeeper, truly underrated. Concerned new Liverpool manager Dave Downie might sniff around him, but that’s a fight for another day. Ben stays, and Jezza has been told to fight off anybody who enquires. He’s given me his word.
I’m content with my centre halves. Evans, despite his faults, can do the job and Jonas Olsson is decent enough.
I want to spend all my Rondon and Berahino cash on numbers. This is a side that’s been built on being solid, so to create a Midlands carnival I need to spend on the front four, but in midfield and full back, I want to try and get some real value.
Daryl Janmaat was a top target, but Gokhan Gonul from Fenerbache is my choice. He’s free, and the Turkish international has more than enough to succeed here. Bargain.
I’ve had Dave Downie on the blower, and he’s agreed to let me have Joe Gomez for the year. Joe will be my first choice left back. I know he’s going to be a centre half in the future, but this deal works for all involved.
So that’s my defence sorted. I need a bit of a bastard, who can hold the midfield so my fun lads can play. Not many players impressed me more (post his debut) than Jan Kirchoff at Sunderland last year. Sam thinks he’s had me, but for £5m I’ve got a diamond, and still £50m to spend. He’ll play next to Darren Fletcher in my 4-2-3-1. Darren’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but he’ll keep the ball moving, and didn’t miss a game last year. He can keep the armband too.
I’ve got six solid lads so far. Now to have some fun.
Sofiane Feghouli from Valencia is also on a free. He wants big bucks, Jeremey has agreed to it, he wont stick around here forever, so for £100k a week I’ll stomach the wages, as I’ll get serious re-sale on him in the future.
So Feghouli is on my right wing, on the left I want a tricky speed merchant. Memphis Depay hasn’t worked at United, and I part with the £15m Jose wants for him. He can rebuild his career here at the Hawthorns. A risk, but one that could massively pay off.
My number 9 and number 10 is essential to this magic. Rafa is absolutely raging but Georgino Wijnaldum is mine. He’s not a bag of tricks like Juninho, but I think he’s absolute mustard, and will improve WBA massively. £15m again. I’ve got 20 to go on my number 9.
I need my number 9 to be able to get the lads in behind involved. A bit of strength, pace, the ability to influence games on his own by driving at defences, more of a 9.5. Breel Embolo from Basel. £20m. Unbelievable talent. He’s seen the business we’ve done, he’s happy, we’re happy, Rickie Lambert’s fuming, but who’s arsed?
This West Brom side is as good as it gets (for them), the lads from the Vines are thrilled. Everybody will be excited to see this side, Senior has done the business. We’ve got goals, we’re solid, we’ve got pace, skill.
I’ve added Kolo Toure, Dembele from Fulham and Flamini to the squad too, all on frees. Fancy myself for top eight.
The lads down the Vines are telling Liam they cant wait for the season to start, they love the Euros, they love England, but the Baggies are in there blood, and this side is the best they’ve had in years. I agree.
Preferred 11 (4-2-3-1)
Foster; Gonul, Evans, Olsson, Gomez; Fletcher Kirchoff; Feghouli, Wijnaldum, Depay; Embolo.
Ins: Gohhan Gonul (free – Fenerbache); Joe Gomez (loan – Liverpool); Jan Kirchoff (£5m – Sunderland); Sofiane Feghouli (free – Valencia); Georgino Wijnaldum (£15m – Newcastle); Memphis Depay (£15m – Manchester United), Breel Embolo (£20m – Basel); Kolo Toure (Free – Liverpool); (Moussa Dembele (the young one) free – Fulham); Matthieu Flamini (free- Arsenal).
Outs: Berahino (£20m – Spurs); Rondon (£15m – some mad Russian club).
Released: Callum Mcmanaman, James Mclean, Gareth McCauley, James Morrison.