By Noel Whelan

18th Dec, 2020 | 3:00pm

Exclusive: Whelan destroys West Brom board, delivers Bilic/Allardyce verdict

Noel Whelan has ripped into the West Brom board after sacking Slaven Bilic and appointing Sam Allardyce this week.

The former Leeds and Middlesbrough striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has insisted the Serbian’s departure is “very harsh” after a summer of little spending at the Hawthorns.

The Baggies confirmed on Wednesday that Allardyce, who had been out of work since leaving Everton in 2018, had taken charge with the club sitting 19th in the Premier League table.

Bilic, who was appointed West Brom boss last summer, managed to secure automatic promotion at the first time of asking but was limited in terms of recruitment ahead of their return to the top flight.

The Baggies turned Matheus Pereira’s and Grady Diangana’s loans into permanent stays, Karlan Grant and Cedric Kipre were signed from the Championship, Callum Robinson and David Button arrived from Premier League sides and Branislav Ivanovic joined on a free transfer.

Whelan has insisted it was clear the Baggies were going to be towards the bottom of the table with the squad they have and that Bilic was not to blame for their performances.

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“Very harsh, in my opinion. I’m not sure what they’re expecting from a manager with the amount of money that they gave him to spend,” Whelan told Football Insider.

“Look, let’s be realistic here, they have got a squad of very good championship players. They’ve not gone out there and smashed £30million-plus on players from the Bundesliga, La Liga, Premier League clubs.

“They’ve basically gone out and got what they could to make them competitive and that’s it – competitive. They weren’t going to go out there and set the world on fire with the players that they’ve got. They’ve been pretty close to winning matches, close, they’ve been in it but they’ve not managed to get anything out of it.

“I just think Slaven Bilic, a fantastic manager, a great man in himself, he comes across really well as a manager you’d want to play for and I’m just not sure what a change of manager is going to do for a group of players that are in the Premier League when it’s as big a struggle as it is.

“I wouldn’t say they’re bad players, I just think there’s a different calibre that you playing against week in, week out and it’s fine details, that’s what it is right now.”

In other news, Football Insider has revealed a Premier League star is Allardyce’s first target in January.