Today sees us write our first guest blog for West Ham World, we thought what better subject to write about than one that has divided opinion since his appointment. Sam Allardyce. We will look at both sides of the argument and hopefully give you guys something to discuss. For the record, we are 100% behind Sam in our current situation.
Sam Allardyce has a proven track record, that is completely undeniable, even from his biggest critics. Bolton and Blackburn are still worse off after he has left and Newcastle were worse off for a while, although they’ve now bounced back. When Sam was appointed it received a mixed response, some were happy, some were angry, we were happy, we felt he brought stability and a proven manager to get us back up into the Premiership. Even after winning promotion and finishing mid table last year, he still had his critics, for not playing ‘the West Ham way’. This term has also divided our faithful, what’s the point in playing good football and being relegated? But I pay my money to see us play football, not hoofball! We’ve all heard it many times before and it always causes arguments. We personally would like to see better football played, but, we accept it’s not currently possible. To play the beautiful game, you need technically gifted players, and not just 1, you need 11, these cost a lot of money, money which we haven’t got.
Onto our current situation, at this moment in time, the league table doesn’t look pretty at all for us, but we sympathise a lot with our manager. Our medical staff said, Andy Carroll will definitely be fit by September 1st, that is their job to come to that decision. Allardyce cannot be held responsible for the fact that they got it so wrong. We’ve all seen the impact Carroll has made since being fit, imagine how different it would have been if he was fit from the 1st of September. Add to this the injuries to key players, none of which are Sam’s fault (unless he’s running around Chadwell Heath with a baseball bat of course) and it all seems a little harsh to criticise him. Some of the teams he has set up this season have been superb, tactically spot on, the point away to Chelsea and the two Tottenham performances immediately spring to mind. But don’t forget the vital away points picked up at Cardiff, Newcastle, Southampton and Swansea, he has tactically impressed and with the given injuries mentioned earlier, it is hard to really hold him responsible.
As with every argument, it has two sides, and although everything I have mentioned above is true and correct, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Let’s start with the injuries, yes they are unfortunate, but, the most obvious argument is, everyone has injuries, it’s up to the manager to build a strong enough squad to cope with that. There’s a lot of truth in that, because the players that we’ve had come in, simply haven’t been good enough, where as other teams have had injuries (ok, not as bad) but they have coped accordingly. The most obvious place for criticism is the central striker position, spending £15m on Carroll was brave, but had us fans known it meant not having suffucient fire power for the season, I doubt we would have allowed it so easily. Is that Allardyce’s fault? The boards? Who knows what was said behind closed doors, but either way, bad decisions were made in the summer regarding player recruitment.
The superb tactical displays I mentioned earlier are tarnished by some truly awful performances lacking grit and determination. That flak must fall with the person responsible for setting the team up and getting them motivated for the game. If you can’t get a team motivated for away games against Man City, Man Utd and Liverpool, you really are in trouble aren’t you? The tactical set up in the home games against Sunderland and Newcastle and away against Crystal Palace were all wrong in our opinion. At home, barring the big teams, you should be looking at setting your stall out to dominate, have a lot of the ball and do all the pressing. Against Sunderland and Newcastle we looked second best for much of the game, we lacked possession and allowed the other team to dictate. Away at Crystal Palace, well, we all know what happened there and that was a big low point for us, we never really offered much against a Palace side hungry and determined for safety.
In summary, we think Sam is our man at the moment until the end of the season. Then we feel the board have a lot of work to do. If they do want a change in management, they have to be prepared to spend a lot of money. Many of the squad will need changing, as it contains players designed for only one way of playing. It’s certainly not a decision I’d want to make as it is carries so much pressure.
We leave with a couple of scenarios
1. If we stay up do you get rid of Allardyce? If so how quickly?
2. If we go down, does Allardyce remain in charge?
We hope you’ve enjoyed our first blog on here. If you want to read more of our stuff, head over to www.whuview.wordpress.com and follow us @whuview and let us know your thoughts.