Aston Villa ended West Brom’s season on Tuesday as they beat the Baggies on penalties in the semi-final of the play-offs.
West Brom won the second leg 1-0, taking the tie to extra-time and then penalties, which Villa, unfortunately, won.
It was West Brom’s first season back in the Championship after being relegated from the Premier League in 2018.
Darren Moore started the season in charge, before he was sacked in March following a string of poor performances and results, leaving James Shan in charge for the final few months of the campaign – including the play-offs.
West Brom are now tasked with appointing a permanent manager with the hope of mounting another promotion push next season.
But to do that, they will need to learn some important lessons from the 2018/19 season. What have they learned, though? Here are five things West Brom can take the season going into next year…
The defence needs sorting
Quite simply, West Brom were far from good enough defensively over the course of the season. Too many goals were let in, with most of them being very avoidable. A focus needs to be placed on the defence next season.
Energy over experience
West Brom’s midfield often looked tired and laboured in big games, and that is down to the lack of energy and youthfulness in the side. There are far too many “experienced” players not pulling their weight in the side. An injection of energy is needed in West Brom’s midfield.
A way of playing
West Brom lacked identity in their attacking play during the season. Look at Daniel Farke’s Norwich, Chris Wilder’s Sheffield United and Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds. They all have their unique styles of play and they stick to it. West Brom need that.
Gayle needs to be signed up
West Brom need to sign Dwight Gayle on a permanent basis. The on-loan Newcastle forward netted 24 goals for the Baggies over the course of the season and was named as the fans’ Player of the Season. He simply has to stay.
West Brom need a creative midfielder
The decline in West Brom’s forward after Harvey Barnes left the club in January was all too telling. He was the heart of West Brom’s attacking play and they need to sign someone to take over his role, albeit six months too late, for next season.