Anichebe Gets New Coach

Victor Anichebe’s West Bromwich Albion, have appointed Nosa Igiebor’s former coach, Pepe Mel as their new manager.

The 50-year-old succeeds Steve Clarke, who was sacked in December, on an 18-month contract.

Mel was heavily linked with the West Brom vacancy last month, however his demands to bring his own coaching staff to the Hawthorns are believed to have scuppered those initial negotiations.

But Mel appears to have revised his demands with Albion announcing that assistant head coach Keith Downing and goalkeeping coach Dean Kiely would retain their roles.

Mel has held numerous posts in his homeland and Brazil but most significantly with La Liga club Real Betis, who he coached for three years until he was sacked at the beginning of last month.

He led the Seville side to a seventh-place league finish last season, earning them a Europa League spot. However the axe fell on Mel after poor results this term.

The Baggies were reported to be on the brink of appointing former Werder Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf as their new boss but it is understood the German turned the West Midlands club down because, he believed, they could not match his ambitions for European football.

Former Cardiff boss Malky Mackay was also believed to be in the running, with reports suggesting he was seeking to avoid a lengthy legal dispute with Bluebirds owner Vincent Tan in order to secure a swift return to management.

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