Sam Allardyce hopes that Robert Snodgrass would have a similar effect on West Brom as Gary Speed did at Bolton nearly 17 years ago. On Friday, after passing his medical, Snodgrass, 33, is expected to complete a free transfer from West Ham, having signed an 18-month contract at The Hawthorns.
Since taking over from Slaven Bilic last month, the winger is Allardyce’s first signing. Allardyce signed Gary Speed for Bolton in 2004 (Malcolm Couzens/PA) Snodgrass arrives at a club deep in a relegation fight, but Allardyce said he had experience and skills of leadership that could prove vital in the coming months for West Brom. Allardyce, who signed Speed, then 34, from Newcastle in 2004, said, “I hope he’s like Gary Speed for me at Bolton,” “He may be getting on in years, but he always thinks he’s 20 in his mind. He runs all day, he has great quality and a lot of experience, and he never gives up. Hopefully that rubs off on some of these players who look at him and say, ‘My goodness. Allardyce hopes that Snodgrass is just the beginning of the January business of West Brom. Next is a striker on the wish list, as Karlan Grant will be out for up to si “I’m not looking at Andy. I’m looking at a frontman and hopefully that will come through the door as soon as possible, but that would be from abroad rather than the country. “Two West Brom players tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday and have separated themselves. Next up for the Albions #EmiratesFACup is a trip to @BlackpoolFC in the @EmiratesFACup | #WBA pic.twitter.com/FBu6UcwcIj- West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) January 5, 2021After the training ground was closed for a deep clean, on Wednesday more tests all returned negative. Allardyce, however, said earlier claims that he needed a “disruption” to the fixture list had been “misinterpreted” as the virus continues to cause postponements and disruption. “I said it would be a good thing if the science was right and then I was portrayed in all the papers as saying we had to do it and that wasn’t the case,” he said. “I am of course and we are all concerned about the spread of this virus and for everyone’s safety. “I am concerned about the spread of this virus and the safety of everyone. “We’re back to testing twice a week, using masks and disinfectants, and we’re talking to the players to make sure all the protocols are being followed,” he said. “I ask the selected players to demonstrate their professionalism and @premierleague quality. “Catch the pre-match comments from Sam Allardyce ahead of Saturday’s trip to Blackpool – West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) January 7, 2021 “We’ve had a handful this week, but we’re happy with where we are at the moment and looking forward to playing Blackpool in the FA Cup.” Allardyce is preparing to make sweeping changes to his roster, but he challenged those coming in to show they were good enough to assist West Brom in this season’s relegation battle. “It’s impossible to play a team at full strength because of fatigue,” he said. “It’s been game after game and this is the first week we can bring other squad members into the team – experienced players who have played all over the world. “They have the chance to convince me that they are good enough. “They could say, “Gaffer, here we are, take us,” he said. “That’s their challenge. They’ve got to show us, not tell us, that they’re good enough to play West Brom, and if that doesn’t inspire them to win, then I don’t know what they are.