Alan Pardew departed West Brom on Monday after gaining just one win in 18 Premier League games as manager at the Hawthorns. For many, his dismissal did not come soon enough.
Pardew arrived at the club in November following the sacking of Tony Pulis. The club was a point above the relegation zone at the time of Pulis's departure. They now sit ten points adrift of safety.
Gary Megson - a hero to West Brom fans due to him having twice led the club to Premier League promotion in the early 2000s - took temporary charge in the interim before Pardew was appointed.
He led the club to two draws in his two games in the hot seat. There was a 1-1 at Wembley against Spurs followed by a 2-2 with Newcastle at the Hawthorns.
A run of four consecutive defeats had been arrested. There was also a feeling that the team had rediscovered the qualities which had made them a tough nut to crack under Tony Pulis. Chants of "one Gary Megson" rang out from West Brom fans following the draw with Newcastle.
Despite Megson having given Pardew a cushion for his arrival, those were results which he did not appreciate. According to Alyson Rudd of The Times, the new boss called Megson after his first game in charge - a 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace - to admonish the 58-year-old for denying him his 'new manager bounce'.
Given the results which followed, it was likely Pardew's inability to inflate the team's motivation which caused his disappointment rather than any which Megson had burned. Megson, who had joined the club as Tony Pulis's assistant during the summer, soon left with John Carver's arrival as number two to Pardew.
19-year-old Sam Field was one of the players Megson had introduced to the starting line-up upon his appointment. He scored his first senior goal for the club in the 2-2 draw with Newcastle.
Field was a player to whom Pardew did not take a shine. According to Matt Wilson of local paper, The Express and Star, senior players at the club did not enjoy Pardew's treatment of their younger teammates.
After substituting Field at half-time in his second game in charge, Pardew did not play the midfielder again in the league until the 3-0 defeat to Man City on January 31st. It's said that before the game, Pardew had asked Field - in front of the whole West Brom squad - if he was "shitting himself". It was not the type of motivational talk a young player required ahead of a game against one of the best teams in Europe.
The 20-year-old Oliver Burke also received similarly shoddy treatment from Pardew. After a late 2-1 defeat to West Ham on January 2nd, the Scot was called out by Pardew for crossing the ball late in the game. West Ham had won possession from the injury time cross with Andy Carroll grabbing a 94th minute winner at the London Stadium.
"We get Oli running down the corner in the 94th minute - if it had been me I'd have run it into the corner and accepted the point. But we're under pressure to get a win and I can understand why he's put it in the box. Then they go up the other end and score," Pardew told the media after the game.
According to Matt Wilson, Pardew had urged his players just days earlier to take more risks in their bid for survival. That's the type of mixed message which would make you wonder if Pardew knew which direction he was going with his hand on the tiller.