On the back of what can only be described as a dark day for West Ham United after losing 5-0 to Championship side Nottingham Forest, I felt it was time for one or two thoughts about the Sam Allardyce situation.
Let’s not make any bones about it. Our position in the Premier League and results on a whole have been far from acceptable this season. Yes I understand the injuries have played a major part to a degree but that alone brings in some issues that the management and board should answer from the August transfer window when we should clearly have signed at the very minimum; a back up to Andy Carroll. The board made some very strange comments along the lines of “we couldn’t sign a striker due to the new fair play rules and salary capping issues”……. if that was the case why are we all of a sudden able to sign anybody now? Was this just bullshit to cover up the fact that our scouting policy has been dreadful for the last 2/3 years. What does it say about the management and board that the 4/5 key players they supposedly tried to sign in the summer all turned us down? Is there a breakdown in the way we present the club to potential signings? Do we have anybody at the club that has a non business like personality, that can actually sell the club to them?
My feelings about Sam are mixed. Has his job been made impossible by the injuries and lack of signings? YES… he has built a squad of players that play his way. Two sharp wingers with excellent delivery (supposedly) to feed Carroll. Andy obviously attracts more than one defender to all balls into the danger zone which leaves Nolan (Sam’s son) free for knock downs etc. It worked well last year….. but without Carroll it’s a system you can’t play because we don’t have the personnel. You cannot replace Andy with Maiga because he is a footballer in a different league. I cannot have him at the club. We went and stood in the pissing rain at Southampton playing 4-5-1 with Maiga playing up front on his own and I have never seen a player be so lazy in all my life. He didn’t move, didn’t chase down, doesn’t have a football brain. I honestly said to my sister that day that I would be shocked if he ever wore the shirt again. I am a big lad but I would have been more productive on the day. You can’t train someone to have a killer instinct.
Defending up to the point of about a month ago had been solid and had kept us in games. Plenty of clean sheets. What happened? Well two things…first Winston Reid got injured which is a body blow in itself. Then James Collins got fit. He is tactically a very poor example of a centre back. He dives in, gets pulled out of position and gives away countless needless free kicks that we concede from. His injury was a blessing. If you don’t believe me look at the stats for when he doesn’t/does play.
So Sam’s job has been made very difficult. Do I think he should be sacked? Probably not. Don’t get me wrong, his tactics in some of the games over the last 6 weeks have been nothing short of pitiful. Some of the substitutions have been bonkers (Maiga for J.Cole after 20 mins against Chelsea), but I do appreciate that you are trying to win with very important players missing. I do think however that a change of attitude is needed. I lost respect for Sam when he was laughing and smiling after the game today.
The key for me is that despite how bad we have looked going forward. Playing some games with no forwards. We have been right in a lot of games. We have given up 14 points from winning positions. So with Andy, Winston, Ricardo etc to come back. Plus the addition of 3-4 QUALITY premier league proven players we will NOT GO DOWN. This needs to happen and it needs to happen NOW. I was utterly bewildered by the fact the so called crises meeting between the board and the manager only happened 2 days ago? They should have had a list of targets ready to go on the 1st Jan. We are desperately short of players. We should at the very least have signed a striker straight away. What are you we waiting for?
I will give it 2-3 more weeks. I won’t be shouting Allardyce out just yet, but the club has potentially three weeks in which to stop another catastrophic season happening. Pay the money, go out and get the quality we need to stay up. Bin the long ball in games Carroll doesn’t play and play to the strengths of the players you have on the pitch that day.
One last word. We had at Upton Park the best match day announcer in the country in Jeremy Nicholas. David Sullivan has tried to “cut his money” so he resigned. Stop running the football club like a business in every sense. Jeremy is exceptional at his job. Taking pennies from the lower earners at the club to pay lazy shits that don’t even want to play for the club is unacceptable. Step up and refund the 3000 that endured that shower of shit at Forest today.
Keep the faith guys and girls. Let’s hope we don’t get completely embarrassed on Wednesday!
See you on the terraces….