Spanish football journalist Guillem Balague has revealed to Goal 91 that former West Brom coach Pepe Mel was undermined at the Hawthorns and forced to speak in English despite his difficulty with the language.
The experienced coach arrived at the Midlands club in January 2014, guiding the Baggies to safety before being dismissed after just 17 games at the helm.
Upon his appointment, Mel had insisted that he wanted to introduce a free-flowing attacking style of football at West Brom, underpinned by a desire to keep possession and make the team more attractive for fans, according to FourFourTwo.
However, Balague suggests that he was never afforded such an opportunity, with those within the club unconvinced about his methods.
“[Mel’s] below-par mastery of the English language was always going to be an impediment to getting his footballing message across but the situation was made far worse by the reluctance of not only the players, but also his own coaching team, to put the message into practise,” the respected journalist (below) told Goal 91.
“In fact, the club ‘advised’ him to speak English as the fans demanded so. Really? I thought the fans wanted the team to win and play well. Pepe Mel felt on his own at West Brom.”
Mel’s short-lived stint in the English game may have been forgetful from the outside but, with an outspoken number of West Brom fans growing increasingly frustrated at the unadventurous football served up under current boss Tony Pulis (below), the Spaniard’s adherence to an attacking gameplan suddenly seems a lot more commendable.
As such, the Baggies appear to be condemned to another season of lower-mid-table mediocrity.