Reports have emerged over the weekend linking Charlton boss Lee Bowyer with a move to Premier League West Brom, to replace beleaguered Baggies boss Slaven Bilic.
West Brom are currently without a win in the Premier League and could soon dispense with Bilic’s services, and Bowyer is in the frame. The former West Ham midfielder has done a stellar job at the Valley, working under tough conditions to get them promoted and battling bravely against the drop last season. They have started well again this campaign, leaving Bowyer once again on the radar of top clubs.
“I first heard of it was when I saw Ged (Roddy, Charlton’s technical director) in work this morning – he mentioned it. I wasn’t even aware of it,” Bowyer told the SLP. “I think you know me now, I don’t look at social media or the papers. I keep away from all that.”
Whilst Bowyer admitted it is nice to be recognised for the work he does, he admitted that life under new Addicks owner Thomas Sandgaard is good and he’s happy where he is.
I’ve got an owner now that is interested and wants to move the club forward and is moving the club forward. That – as a manager – is what you want. I want to be successful. I’ve never once denied that. I want to be successful and be as high as I can and challenge myself.
If that left any Addicks fans in doubts as to their former YTS player’s motives, he confirmed he is happy where he is.
“I have an owner who wants to move in the same direction. I’m happy here.”
Bowyer appeared for Leeds, Newcastle and Charlton in an illustrious but often controversial career, but has emerged as one of English football’s brightest young coaches, in a complete contradiction to the persona he cultivated on the field.
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If this were anyone else, at any other club, you’d be inclined to think the ‘happy’ rhetoric was just words. For some reason though, with Bowyer, I don’t think it is.
He has Charlton in his blood, he started his career there and resisted the obvious urges to leave last season when Duchatelet left and the new owners proved to be just as controversial. He stayed put, kept his squad together and proved his motivational skills as much as anything else.
Lee Bowyer can see a route back to the Championship with Charlton and perhaps even beyond. A move to West Brom right now might look good, jumping up two steps, but in eight months time, the two clubs are likely to be competing on an even footing. In that event, why would he leave a side he has a status with, for one that gets through managers quite rapidly?
This is a non-starter for us.