West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke has been named the Barclays Manger of the Month for November, and deservedly so. The Baggies season has so far been of monumental achievements. West Brom, in the month of November reached third place in the league, above Chelsea, after four consecutive Premier League wins, a club record. Clarke, 49, has proved a resounding success during his brief run as head coach. Management may be new to Clarke, but his career as a right-hand man for some of the best managers in the world, has allowed West Brom to reap the benefits of years of the Scotsman’s knowledge and experience.
Steve Clarke is a highly respected man, and has served under some of the very best, including Kenny Dalglish and Ruud Gullit, but none can compare to the charisma, leadership and aura that was “The Special One”, Jose Mourinho. The Scotsman, was Mourinho’s assistant and was not afraid to question the Portuguese man’s decisions throughout his tenure at Stamford Bridge. Low profile, sure, but lack of passion? Steve Clarke has a bowl full.
“This is a man who would question Mourinho – and a man Mourinho respected so much that he allowed him to question him.”
– Pat Nevin, who played alongside Clarke at Chelsea.
After moving away from his traditional role as a right-hand man to succeed now England manager, Roy Hodgson, at The Hawthorns following the latter’s elevation to England manager, Clarke has overseen Albion’s best start to a Premier League season. Clarke arrived at West Brom to find a club built on solid foundations by chairman Jeremy Peace after a 10th-place finish last season, surrounded by the fine work done by former bosses Hodgson and Di Matteo as well as sporting and technical director Dan Ashworth, who will follow a similar route to the Football Association next summer as director of elite development.
The appointment of Steve Clarke, the willingness to select a first-time manager who was previously only known as a coach, is so far proving another wise move.The Baggies have found a resilient, hungry and experienced manager in Clarke, and one would suspect that the Scotsman will achieve many more awards throughout his managerial career.