Even if the Premier League is not the best league in the world™ it’s certainly one of the most diverse. While teams such as West Bromwich Albion, and managers like Tony Pulis may not be considered the most entertaining or play the most aesthetically pleasing brand of football, they bring a much needed and interesting clash of styles to top flight football.
Arsène Wenger on the other hand, has brought his own style and method to the Premier League during his 21 years at Arsenal, and the overhaul was such that he was initially greeted with scepticism by those within the game, and his own team, at the time.
“At first, I thought, what does this Frenchman know about football?” recalled Tony Adams.
“He wears glasses and looks more like a schoolteacher. He's not going to be as good as George Graham. Does he even speak English properly?”
But his methods were thorough, professional and they were eventually backed up with success on the pitch.
In terms of the different styles on show, the beauty of football is in the eye of the beholder. Aren’t the penalty box scrambles which ensue following a West Brom set piece, or the direct, bustling, but technically strong hold-up play of a striker such as Salomón Rondon some of the most entertaining aspects of football?
And isn’t a team passing the ball around the back of their midfield and defence for the majority of the game, in a desperate search for possession football, one of the most boring things in the game?
The answers to these questions depend on personal taste, but there’s definitely something for everyone in the Premier League.
When West Brom face Arsenal it’s a game which sees probably the most direct clash of styles in the league, aside from Pulis vs Pep Guardiola.
Though it also depends on which style the experienced Frenchman chooses to play. During the past few years he’s tried to adapt his style in order to hold onto leads, defeat teams who play the possession game better than they do, and nullify the intense pressing of the likes of Mauricio Pochettino or Jürgen Klopp.
Pulis has also had to add a certain element of control to his side’s play among the directness. After all, you still have to have some possession in order to win the chance to send in a set piece in the first place.
It was something Sam Allardyce had also realised, and the Englishman would always have controllers in his side such as Tugay at Blackburn, or Youri Djorkaeff and Ivan Campo at Bolton.
On Monday night, West Brom will look to use their size advantage to upset the odds at the Emirates. The only player Arsenal have who could challenge the Baggies in terms of height is Per Mertesacker, and the German hasn't started a league game yet this season.
They could also consider using Everton transfer target Olivier Giroud, who is also yet to start a Premier League fixture this season. The 30-year-old could be used to challenge the opposition centre backs up front, but he might also be useful when it comes to defending set pieces as he drops back to help the defence at dead ball situations.
The West Midlands club will threaten through their centre backs, especially new signing Ahmed Hegazi. The 6ft 5ins Egyptian already has one goal to his name this season, and should he start he'll be a threat in the box, unsettling Arsenal with his presence even if he fails to connect with the cross.
Pulis's side have considerable size throughout their team, and even wingers Matt Phillips and Chris Brunt provide a threat physically as well as technically.
Rondon is one of the most difficult strikers in the league for defenders to deal with, and he could also win his fair share of free kicks as he holds the ball up. While not quite as tall as the likes of Hegazi, he's solidly built and still comes in at over 6ft.
New signing Oliver Burke also adds some brawn on the flanks, and the club have signed him as a like-for-like alternative to Phillips, while also hoping that he manages to fulfil his potential after returning to England following a spell in Germany with RB Leipzig.
Rather than dismissing the West Brom style as boring or one dimensional, the challenge they provide adds to the interest in an already exciting and diverse league. There's room for all styles and philosophies in the Premier League; from pressing, passing, possession, and Pulis.