Pulis has perfectly handled Berahino saga
10th September 2015

Who’s the best striker in the Premier League? It’s you Rondon don it’s you Rondon.

Beating Stoke is always delightful and the 1-0 win sent away fans home content, but not much more, in fact, many saw that chant as the highlight of a day that saw Albion make hard work of a game against nine-men. What I cannot knock though is Tony Pulis’ honesty.

The Berahino saga is something that frustrates all fans. His tweets were those of a petulant child and as a manager is must be difficult for the Welshman to pick and choose his words to try and keep the player onside as well as the fan base that are baiting for blood.

8th February 2015 - Barclays Premier League - Burnley v West Bromwich Albion - Saido Berahino of West Brom looks dejected - Photo: Simon Stacpoole / Offside.

Saido has burnt some bridges – the same day the Independent front page showed the refugee crisis at it’s very worst he was posting pictures of himself on a jet. The other issue with this is at this point he was on strike, getting paid, for nothing.

What Pulis has done is play the situation brilliantly. He has been open and honest in the media and kept the door open for a Berahino return, even describing the integration of Berahino into the team as tough.

Pulis hasn’t sat and defended Berahino as such, he has openly understood why the fans feel like they do about the striker but, with Rondon, Albion have a new hero, a new goalscorer, and a man that seems to like being at The Hawthorns.

As Pulis, Richard Garlick and co said, there is nothing wrong with Berahino having ambition and wanting to better himself. I said in my last blog the move to Spurs actually makes some sense to me. A higher level, some European football, England players around him and a decent coach. But if they were never going to pay Albion the deal was never going to happen, especially if the structure of the deal was never in Albion’s favour.

Now the deal hasn’t gone through though he has to act like a 22-year-old and keep his performances up. He’s no doubt got the ability but with Rickie Lambert and Salomon Rondon (the best striker in the Premier League) in the team he has to work hard to get in the side and keep his place. There’s plenty he could learn as a player from those pair but it’s also important that he learns as a person, and, as Pulis says, gets guidance from people around him.

The disrespect he showed a club he has been at for over a decade was a worrying sign of the future of academy stars. Children of today don’t go into academy football dreaming of making that club’s first-team, they see that as a stepping stone. Ultimately, if they’re fortunate enough to make the first-team of that club they should appreciate what that club has given to him.

Again, Pulis hit the nail on the head saying Berahino doesn’t mean what he says, but what he has said is disrespectful. He listens to the last man to speak to him and goes off what they say.

If fellow forward Rondon can strive now and score a hatful at The Hawthorns, taking the acclaim of the crowd, maybe then Berahino can realise the mistakes he made. We’d be kidding to say fans will welcome him back with open arms. Very much like Odemwingie, some will forgive, others will after he has scored a few goals, and some will never forget.

Albion don’t make many academy products and Berahino could have created a little bit of history had he left the right way. He’s now got some time to get his head down and work harder than ever to try and get into the England team and possibly guarantee a move.

Two good things have come of this though. Firstly, Rondon has a goal to get him off the mark that may not have happened had Berahino been available. Secondly, would be seeing how honest Pulis has been. I may not like the footballing philosophy but as a person Pulis is as open as they come and the most honest manager I’ve known Albion have.

Author: james

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