Three games in and personally I’m yet to be convinced. The nine signings in the summer window are making us look a ‘very good squad,’ and I applaud the two Davids for their input.
But, as we all know, three points out of nine and three home defeats before the end of August doesn’t bode well, especially with two tricky away games at Hull and Manchester United coming up. And then Liverpool at home sandwiched between them. Inevitably, Big Sam will soon start rolling out the old clichés of ‘we need time to gel,’ ‘we are down to the bare bones,’ etc. But after being passed off the pitch and soundly beaten by a Southampton team thrown together by a certain Ronald Koeman, it seems that our much heralded ‘new style’ might just need a new technician. One that is qualified to fully implement the tools he’s been given to work with.
To be honest, I’m not convinced that Sam has been at all instrumental towards bringing these new additions to our squad. I say that because the majority of them are not stereotypical Allardyce players. As an example, why did we end up signing Andy Carroll from Liverpool? It certainly wasn’t because he had always dreamt of playing for the mighty Hammers. It was because Brendan Rodgers knew he was a bad fit for the system that he wanted to work to.
On the flip side, he fitted Sam’s footprint perfectly. I’m not at all disrespecting Andy Carroll. On the contrary. Injuries apart, he has been good for us, and I do believe he will be able to adapt his game to work as a pair with Enner Valencia. The question is, will Sam dare to go there?
If ever he gets a full squad to choose from, will he know which eleven to start with? I’m doubtful. I think he may be ‘the kid in the toy shop’ at the moment, stood looking at an embarrassment of riches, but not knowing how they all work!
Going back to Allardyce’s Bolton days, we all know about the quality players the he moulded into a fair team on little money. But they were all very experienced players by the time they went to Bolton, all handpicked by Sam to do a specific job in order to make a specific system work.
Can that type of success be replicated with players who he didn’t choose to sign, though? Can it be replicated using a system that he is being told to use and, let’s be honest, totally alien to his football beliefs? Again, doubtful.
Sadly, there currently seems to be a trend setting of sections of our own ‘fans’ who claim to be happy for us to be losing games. This being in order to see Sam replaced sooner rather than later. I can see where they are coming from without fully endorsing their politics.
And to be brutally honest about Sam, you would never ask a decorator to paint you a Picasso would you? Maybe Ronald Koeman was asking our owners a question last week: ‘How good a manager could I be if I was given a very good squad?’
A view from the East by Kevin Paul