At the Board meeting the co-owners set up to discuss how Sam Allardyce was going to take the club forward following a below average season, it was agreed that an attacking coach should be added to the backroom staff.
So, why Teddy Sheringham? He has supported the club since childhood, so for him the decision to take on the role was a no-brainer and having played for the club he knows the surrounding and how things work at Upton Park. He has known Big Sam for a number of years, playing together at Millwall, and he is a well respected figure within the game.
However, this may seem as the right way to take the club forward in both David Sullivan and David Gold’s minds, but the cynics may see it from another point of view. Yes he is a fans’ favourite so he may work to get them back in favour, but it could be seen as a move to alleviate some of the pressure from Allardyce’s shoulders. On the flip side, though, it is also important to bear in mind that he has no previous coaching experience.
The reason for Sheringham’s arrival is that the joint chairman want to see a more attacking style of play and, as the club have only scored a total of 85 goals spread over two campaigns with virtually the same set of striking options, Allardyce felt that Sheringham was the man to shake this up. Looking at those two seasons compared to when Sheringham played us in 2005/06, the team hit the net a whopping 107 times in that season alone.
So will Sheringham have much of an influence when it comes to picking the team and tactics for a matchday? At the end of the day, the final decision lies with the manager but you would hope, as Big Sam has personally picked Sheringham to fill the role, that he would listen to the ideas of both him and his existing coaching staff. And due to his well timed appointment, Sheringham may have a say in the recruitment of new strikers.
With Sheringham’s considerable experience, it is plausible that he may be able to boost the players’ confidence and further develop their existing skills, and will be on hand to assist Allardyce tactically. But does this mean there will be a system change, or will the boss stick to the plan that has served him so well throughout his managerial career? Only time will tell.
So, will this appointment work? I personally have mixed feelings on it. We finished in the top ten in our first season back in the big time, showing that Allardyce is more than capable of making the big decisions himself, and I believe it was only down to the sheer number of injuries we suffered in key areas during last season that resulted in our final league position.
On the other hand, it may be a good move even if it simply heightens the morale of the club and the fans, but I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens during the forthcoming season.