Despite what was quite frankly an amazing start to this season’s Premier League campaign that very few saw coming, West Ham have been so poor throughout 2015.
It really is hard to believe that this is the same side that beat both Liverpool and Manchester City all those weeks ago.
Everything just seems to have gone wrong for the Hammers in recent months. The club embarrassingly crashed out of the FA Cup at the hands of West Brom, Andy Carroll was ruled out with yet another season ending injury, and West Ham were struck with one more sponsorship bankruptcy just to confirm that all is not going swimmingly down at Upton Park these days.
In light of such a poor turn of events, Sam Allardyce simply has to take the lion’s share of the blame as club manager. Yes, the players certainly haven’t been performing individually since the turn of the year, but ultimately Big Sam’s tactics, team selections and general approach to dealing with each match has been nothing short of useless.
Obviously it would seem wrong to cast such harsh criticism on Sam Allardyce personally, but as he has so far overseen some increasingly concerning trends within the club in the past few seasons, would it be fair to suggest that Big Sam has in-fact been the worst manager West Ham have paid witness to in recent history?
Well, as some of the Allardyce fans out there will certainly be quick to point out, the former Bolton, Newcastle and Blackburn boss simply can’t be credited as the worst coach the club have had in the modern era. Glenn Roeder and Avram Grant seemingly have that field covered with the relegations suffered during their terms – and as West Ham still remain firmly placed within the Premier League – Big Sam must be issued with at least some degree of positivity for the club’s current status.
Having said that, though, Allardyce can still viably be cast as the most frustrating West Ham manager to grace the east end in recent times. He simply displays little to no connection to the fans, a complete opposite mentality to the somewhat over-hyped ‘West Ham way’, and seriously lacks the ambition required to take the club to the next level when we reach the Olympic Stadium.
West Ham have been afflicted by the same old series of problems every season Sam Allardyce has been in charge at the club. It’s rare to see such a level of naivety from a supposedly experienced coach who is meant to know his way around the English game.
These Big Sam clichés have seemingly kept him in the top flight for all this time – for never has another West Ham manager displayed such a level of stubbornness and disinterest in changing things around as the club’s current boss.
In failing to capitalize on the team’s rampaging start to the season this term, the former Bolton man has seen his managerial qualities face the true test of the modern game, and has dramatically failed as a result of his worn out shortcomings.
Kevin Nolan – who with all due respect is no longer good enough to ply his trade in the top-flight – has magically remerged within the starting line-up, and the likes of Matt Jarvis have been given a run in the team of late despite completely failing to do the business whenever given the chance.
When Allardyce’s chosen starting XI gets released every weekend, it really is becoming a real bore to see the team set up so defensively – regardless of who the opposition is. Both Morgan Amalfitano and Nene, two of the side’s most technically gifted and creative players – really could have made a difference for the side in recent weeks, but Big Sam has simply ignored them so far this campaign.
Even Stewart Downing – arguably the side’s most effective player in 2014 – has been removed from his preferred position in the middle and cast out on the wing, with the technically lacking Enner Valencia also finding himself in a similar situation of late.
Time and time again the same problems seem to arise when Allardyce is in charge, and it’s simply becoming so tiring now that many of the Upton Park faithful are wishing the season would just end already.
Merely staying in the Premier League is no longer good enough now for a West Ham side that want to be deemed worthy of playing in the Olympic Stadium soon.
Successful, yet entertaining football must now be the aim for the Hammers as the team look to push on for Europe – and as such a straight forward target is seemingly beyond Allardyce’s capabilities, it really is time the club said a final good-bye to Big Sam once and for all.