New Baggies boss Alan Irvine says West Brom are like Everton of old

Alan Irvine
Alan Irvine has hailed West Brom as a club that has been run "very sensibly" but said new players are still needed. Photo: John Walton/Everton FC/Press Association Images

New West Brom manager Alan Irvine believes the club shares similarities with Everton at the time when David Moyes first took over a decade ago.

Irvine, who has left his job as Toffees academy boss to take up the vacancy at The Hawthorns having been confirmed as Pepe Mel's successor at the weekend, spent five years as Moyes' assistant at Goodison Park.

After managerial experience with Preston and Sheffield Wednesday he returned to Everton to oversee their youth programme but has now secured his biggest job to date.

"The situation at this club is similar to what I went through at Everton when I went there with David," he said.

"I've got a great deal of respect for the club right the way from the first team through to the academy.

"It is run very sensibly and, as a result of that, any head coach coming in has got a great chance of doing a good job.

"A number of the players who have had success in the Premier League with the club are still here.

"But it's a small squad at this moment in time and, clearly, the first job is going to have to be to get some more players in."

Irvine is looking forward to utilising the experience of a 22-year coaching career to help West Brom move on from a turblent season which saw Steve Clarke sacked and then Mel departing after just a few months.

The Scot will work closely with West Brom's technical director Terry Burton to get the squad up to speed again in time for the new season.

"My passion is for coaching and I believe my strength is on the training ground, which is where we need to get the work done," he told wba.co.uk.

"Terry is someone I've respected as a coach from a distance for many years and I'm looking forward to working closely with him.

"I'm extremely excited about the challenge and I'll certainly give it everything I possibly can.

"I'll work however many hours it takes to make things work."

If Tim Sherwood is to be believed Irvine was not West Brom's first choice as the former Tottenham manager claims he was offered the job and turned it down.

"I went to speak to the chairman and the board there a couple of times and was happy with how the discussions were going," he told talkSPORT.

"I was offered the job before we started to negotiate. It just wasn't right for me in the end, so I decided to give it a miss.

"It is a fantastic club and it looked on the outside like it might be a perfect fit for me but unfortunately we couldn't agree for me to move forward.

"I wish them all the best and Alan in particular, someone I played with a long time ago at Blackburn."

Irvine accepted the job at The Hawthorns after agreeing to keep on coaches Keith Downing and Dean Kiely and Sherwood suggested that was one of the reasons he did not take up the offer.

"I don't know Keith or Dean very well and I've got nothing against them," he added.

"I think it is important you take your own men in and I was looking to bring in a couple of guys who I trust and who I know.

"When you go into a club you haven't got time to try and train someone to your own thinking.

"There were just a couple of ingredients missing which made me decide I wouldn't take the gamble on it."