It was all doom and gloom before the season started. Apparently.
Big Sam was still at the helm and his head honchos on the pitch were out injured. Batman and Robin (Nolan and Carroll), the non-dynamic duo were dying to relive their past glories of a slow, lethargic frontline. Knockdown after knockdown in slow motion was not to be an option.
What was Allardyce going to do? His little favourites were out of their cemented starting places. One of them slower than a snail and overweight, the other a party animal and – although brilliant on his day – can NEVER do it against the big clubs. One hundred grand a week in wages, which could prove to destroy the club in the future. Everyone feared the worse and yet another battle against the drop.
Questions were raised. Could the manager change his philosophy or is he just a dinosaur stuck in his old ways? Now, if he had brought in a big striker like Crouch, then nobody would’ve been surprised, and there’d be no reason to complain now as we know what to expect. But Sam did something that could prove to be the last straw. He dangled a carrot to us fans and basically said…
“Look, this is how you play football and we are going to attack teams and press hard. But once my boys are fit I’m going to revert back to how I feel comfortable. Once we have our 40 points in sight it would make sense to just go for it but I’m going to destroy the future of this club and potential stars. Song will lose faith and Cresswell will be snapped up in the summer. Diame was a good player and look what I did to him by playing him out of position. The fans don’t want me and the board don’t either so I’m going to keep you up, collect my bonus and leave in the summer, but you will not be left in a strong position. I will decimate the confidence of the fans, board and every player so they move on and I can go back to where I belong. In the dark ages, coaching boring stability football. ”
Games against City and Liverpool at home were mesmerising. Here we are blowing away the two league contenders last season of last season. The football was scintillating and pundits were overzealous in their praise for West Ham. And of course, Big Sam. Shearer had the audacity to claim Hammers fans were fickle regarding the manager yet, a few weeks prior, Newcastle fans were calling for Pardew to be sacked because they’d had a bad start. Hypocritical?
I was excited to watch West Ham play but knew it was only temporary. Once the golden boys were back they would be drafted back into the team. For this reason I turned down two free tickets to games this season from my father, as I refuse to watch the team under this Dinosaur. Our fans were getting carried away and even ex-Hammers were saying we could finish fourth. The return of Nolan and Carroll worked against the likes of West Brom and Leicester because they are poor sides, but when you play against the top sides and use Carroll as a focal point, you will get found out.
Next time you empty a bath, watch the way the water spins around and exits the plug hole. This is symbolic of the atmosphere, the confidence, the belief and the hopes for the remainder of the season at Upton Park.
This is the thing about West Ham fans and Big Sam. We don’t dislike him because he plays long ball. It’s not actually anything to do with results. The reason is that his approach and negativity, resignation and stubbornness is what rubs us up the wrong way.
For me, it all started against Chelsea. We were high on confidence with our best chance of beating them for years. What did he do? He went there with damage limitation in mind. The real Sam was back. Now I can understand last season when we didn’t have the players or formation available, but to keep moving Downing onto the wing to accommodate Nolan is pathetic. As soon as I saw the line-up I turned the TV off! All the fans paid good money and travelled in excitement only to see a team on another planet run us ragged and not even break sweat.
Next game – Arsenal at home. A confidence draining defeat. Alarm bells are ringing now and a pathetic draw against West Brom followed. All because the manager refuses to drop his golden boys. Hull at home was a defining moment, also. The first half was terrible and we should have been 4-0 down. Second half we went back to what worked at start of the season and we destroyed them.
So what happens in the following game? Does he stick with the winning proven system and formation? NO! He goes all defensive and negative and, ultimately, we get beaten by Liverpool. Not even a great Liverpool. The midfield is bypassed in this system and Carroll is isolated.
For me the season is over. Week-by-week we will continue to fall down the table. I hope that we finish just above the relegation zone and Sam is sacked. Get rid of the dead wood, sell injury prone Carroll at a loss, get rid of Cole, O’Brien and Nolan and move this club into the next century! It’s pathetic!
How good this season could’ve been had the manger showed a pair of balls! He is ultra conservative and a wimp! He will not move us to the next level and should go back to the lower leagues. Thanks for getting us up and stabilising us, but your days are finished at this club. You have dangled a carrot of hope and you have the squad there to perform and win (as proved) but you refuse to do it. You constantly anger the fans by playing the wrong players in the wrong positions, and this is why we don’t want you.
Yes, we are eight, but we will drop down the table. Nolan will continue to play. Alex Song will be off, Sakho will be off and Cressswell too. Jenkinson will go back to Arsenal and any player with any sense won’t want to join this circus with Big Sam, the confidence sapping ringmaster, at the helm.
The evidence is there to suggest the team can do it, so for me it is one man on a revenge mission and it’s very personal! Get him out and take the stench of negativity and pessimism with you. Drag your fellow Dinosaurs along with you and go! The chairman’s son can see it so I just pray that they do the right thing and remove this disease from the club.
I personally would then go back and watch matches and I’m sure a lot of others will too.