By George Overhill

12th May, 2022 | 8:40pm

Valerien Ismael's actions in 2021 West Brom win was Steve Madeley's funniest moment of the year

Former West Brom boss Valerien Ismael’s sprint down the touchline at Peterborough in August was the funniest moment of the season, says Steve Madeley.

The former manager reacted to Semi Ajayi’s 94th-minute winning goal in true Jose Mourinho style back before everything turned sour for both the Frenchman and the Baggies.

The winner had given Albion a fourth-straight win, had them level at the top of the league with Fulham, and led to a furious confrontation with Posh boss Darren Ferguson, so Madeley picked it out as the most entertaining event.

Madeley wrote in his review of the season for The Athletic: “It was arguably the game in which West Brom’s slide down the table began.

“They beat Peterborough 1-0 at London Road thanks to Semi Ajayi’s stoppage-time goal, but the hosts had already shown the way to negate Ismael’s style of play and subsequent opponents would use their tactics as a blueprint.

“Still, though, Ismael’s comical sprint down the touchline to join in his players’ celebration and Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson’s reaction to his histrionics was amusing — a rare thing in a season not overflowing with moments of light relief.”

Heady days

As Madeley says it has been a season somewhat devoid of laughter, at least through amusement rather than derision.

But there was a time early on when things appeared to be very different, so the memories of the strong start to the season, before the slump which cost the protagonist his job, probably add to the humour.

There is some entertaining symmetry in the fact that while the Baggies boss was emulating the Special One’s famous run at Old Trafford to knock Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United out of the Champions League, it was the legendary Scot’s son who was on the receiving end this season.

This may be what got Ferguson junior so infuriated, to the point where he delivered Madeley’s quote of the year, via The Athletic: “He’s not the God of football all of a sudden. He needs to calm down — he’s no Pep Guardiola.”

No matter how dismal the situation might get in football fans will always enjoy the opportunity to lord it over others, and doing the double over a side that ended up being relegated shows that it is always worse for another set of supporters somewhere.

The Baggies at least have the opportunity to make another run at promotion to the Premier League under Ismael’s replacement Steve Bruce, but there has not been much else to look back on fondly this year.

In other West Brom news, a BBC pundit and former Albion man has reacted to the club’s decision to let a “very good player” leave.

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