Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 2nd 2015 Contents A55
Friday, January 2, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
LONDON---With the enviable
record of never being relegated as
a manager, Tony Pulis survival
instincts earned him the West
Bromwich Albion job yesterday in
the English Premier League.
Although Pulis has signed a two-
and-a-half-year-contract, the 56-
year-old Welshman s priority is
replicating the rescue act he per-
formed so unexpectedly for Crystal
Palace last season.
The Premier League manager of
the year award was bestowed on
Pulis last season for taking Palace
from last place when he was hired
to an 11th-place finish within six
The situation is not as perilous
yet for West Brom, which was a
point above the relegation zone
before yesterday s match at West
But the fear of relegation was
troubling enough for the central
England club to fire Alan Irvine on
Monday after just four months as
a Premier League manager.
In Pulis, West Brom is gaining a
more far experienced coach, who
has been out of work since quitting
Palace on the eve of this season.
Before focusing on Premier League
survival, the former Stoke manager s
first game in charge of West Brom
is against non-league club Gateshead
in the third round of the FA Cup on
"Every successful club is built on
unity and that is what I shall strive
to help bring to Albion," Pulis said
"We need everyone together from
top to bottom --- the supporters, all
the staff, the players, everyone who
has an interest in the club s welfare.
With that, we can go forward
together and hopefully take this club
up the Premier League."
Pulis reputation was forged at
Stoke, which he took from the sec-
ond tier to the top flight where an
aggressive, long-ball style made the
team hard to beat. The tactics did
not always impress rivals, and were
once disparaged by an official West
"Stoke train with cannons rescued
from local medieval ruins," a match
report in the West Brom program
read in the 2007-08 season. "Foot-
balls are loaded into them and fired
into the distance ... it s a game plan
that squeezes the life out of what
used to be known as football."
But with Pulis becoming West
Brom s fourth manager in just over
a year, the club is far more appre-
ciative now of his survival special-
The West Brom Web site yester-
day praised Pulis for making his
Stoke side "such a thorn in Albion s
side throughout a seven-year stint,"
before highlighting his "proud record
of never suffering relegation as a
"He arrives with Premier League
survival the priority target outlined
by the Albion board," the club web-
site said. (AP)
2015 by seeing its English Pre-
mier League lead wiped out by
a frenzied 5-3 capitulation to
Tottenham yesterday as former
midfielder Frank Lampard drew
Manchester City level on points
with a 3-2 victory over Sunder-
Uncharacteristic defensive frail-
ties by Chelsea allowed Tottenham
to beat its London rival for the
first time in almost five years,
with Harry Kane scoring twice.
Never before, across Jose Mour-
inho s two spells as manager, had
Chelsea conceded so many times.
"We made some defensive mis-
takes," Mourinho said. "We had
some individual problems with
the defensive structure."
As did Man City, but the cham-
pions recovered after squandering
a two-goal lead for the second
time in a week, preventing a
repeat of the 2-2 draw against
Burnley on Sunday.
It showed just how important
it was for City late on New Year s
Eve to secure the 36-year-old
Lampard until the end of the Pre-
mier League season rather than
see him return to sister club New
York City FC to start the Major
League Soccer campaign in
With Chelsea and Man City
level on points, goal difference
and goals scored, only alphabetical
order separates them.
Arsenal and Liverpool are
struggling to make the top four.
Liverpool threw away a 2-0 lead
to draw 2-2 with bottom-place
Leicester and stay eighth, while
Arsenal missed a chance to dis-
lodge Southampton from fourth
place by losing 2-0 at the surprise
Southampton is only a point
behind Manchester United after
the third-place team drew 1-1 at
Stoke, with Radamel Falcao recov-
ering the point.
All three teams in the relegation
zone drew. Crystal Palace, which
is on the verge of completing the
managerial signing of Alan Pardew
from Newcastle, drew 0-0 at
Burnley drew 3-3 at Newcastle,
which is yet to appoint Pardew s
West Bromwich Albion con-
firmed Tony Pulis as the new
manager earlier yesterday, and he
was at Upton Park to see his team
draw 1-1 at sixth-place West Ham
to stay a point above the relega-
Everton is surprisingly in the
bottom half of the standings ---
three points above the danger
zone --- after Hull s 2-0 victory
inflicted a fourth straight loss.
Queens Park Rangers survival
hopes were helped by a 1-1 draw
against Swansea. (AP)
Chelsea players stand dejected as Tottenham's Nacer Chadli celebrates scoring a goal during the English
Premier League soccer match at White Hart Lane Stadium in London, yesterday. AP PHOTO
Chelsea's lead wiped
out by loss at Spurs
Manchester United's Radamel Falcao, second right, scores during their English
Premier League soccer match against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium in
Stoke on Trent, England, yesterday. AP PHOTO
STOKE---Manchester United striker
Radamel Falcao rescued a 1-1 draw at
Stoke yesterday to extend his team s
unbeaten run to 10 matches in the
Although United has collected only
five points from its three games in the
congested Christmas program, Louis
van Gaal s team remains third.
Ryan Shawcross stunned United by
scoring in the 2nd minute against his
old club but Falcao leveled in the 26th
with his third goal since joining on loan
from Monaco in September.
Peter Crouch hit a post in the second
half at Britannia Stadium and the for-
mer Tottenham striker felt he should
have been awarded a penalty when his
header struck Chris Smalling s arm.
Mame Biram Diouf, who managed
to score just once in 2 ½ years at Unit-
ed, wasted a great chance to put Stoke
2-0 up after an error by Jonny Evans,
who had a shaky game at centerback.
Despite a stellar cast of forwards
including Wayne Rooney, Falcao, Juan
Mata and Robin van Persie, United
rarely looked threatening on the attack.
A clever second-half volley from Van
Persie was the closest the visitors came
to adding a second goal.
Just 109 seconds into the match,
Hughes team went ahead. Crouch
headed Marko Arnautovic s corner goal-
ward and Shawcross, the former United
trainee, was there to guide the ball
Diouf exposed the visitors defensive
troubles when he dispossessed a nerv-
ous Evans and looked down on goal,
but he curled his shot high and wide.
Then, completely out of the blue,
Michael Carrick ran to the near post
and flicked on Rooney s corner to Fal-
cao, who skilfully tapped in from close
United started the second half poorly.
There were too many attempts at com-
plicated passes and threaded through-
balls that did not come off, thanks
partly to the heavy rain that was now
falling on the uneven surface.
Stoke was adamant it should have
had a penalty when Crouch s header
struck Smalling s outstretched arm.
Van Gaal brought Adnan Januzaj and
Ander Herrera on for Luke Shaw and
Falcao, which allowed Rooney to move
up front as both teams unsuccessfully
chased the win.
Mata lobbed the Stoke defence to
find Van Persie, who chested the ball
down and volleyed just wide.
At the other end, Crouch hit the
woodwork from Arnautovic s corner
and Diouf s deflected volley flew inches
Falcao rescues draw
for Manchester United
Survival specialist Pulis takes charge at West Bromwich Albion
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