Everton academy boss Alan Irvine has been named manager of West Bromwich Albion today. The former Everton player will take over a side that just managed to avoid relegation this year. Irvine was a finalist for the job along with former Spurs manager Tim Sherwood to replace Pepe Mel who is leaving by "mutual consent".
Irvine will be joined by join-assistant coaches Rob Kelly, who worked with him at Preston North End, and Keith Downing.
Prior to his recent stint as Everton's academy manager, he was the manager at Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday. Before that he had run Everton's academy for several years after doing a similar job at Blackburn and Newcastle.
It is an interesting appointment by West Brom. Irvine did not exactly have great success at either stop, but he is considered to be a very good coach. If the structure is set up for him to focus on coaching the first team it is possible he could see success from a side that should be comfortably mid-table next year.
For Everton, this will be a difficult loss to replace. Many pointed to Irvine's original departure as a reason why the School of Science faltered during the late 2000's, and that pressure will be on Martinez to appoint another talented individual to head up the academy. With Everton's current financial situation, keeping the academy running is the most critical thing on the Spaniard's to-do list this summer.