Standing Up For Big Sam At West Ham!



I feel for Sam Allardyce at the moment.

At the start of the season the manager was given objectives by the West Ham United board…

“The club have made clear that they want to see progression on the pitch and at least a top-10 finish as a result.”

The West Ham hierarchy also insisted that Sam hire an attacking coach and that the team had to play the ‘West Ham way’. Basically the fans want to see entertaining football and more points on the board.

Well now we are in mid February and ‘The Hammers’ are comfortably in the top ten, currently occupying eighth spot. They have recorded impressive home victories against last seasons top two (Manchester City and Liverpool). They have a better goal difference than Liverpool and have banged in thirty-six goals so far this term.

They often play with two up front with new signing Diafra Sahko hitting the ground running since his summer move from Metz.

Another new-boy who has impressed is Aaron Cresswell. He has been one of the English Premier League’s better full-backs this season. He isn’t scared in going forward and creates plenty of chances too. The twenty-five year old has been an ever present this term and runs up and down all day!

Senegalese international Cheikhou Kouyate has added power, steel and versatility which has also helped the Hammers during this campaign.

Loanees Alex Song and Carl Jenkinson have both come in and added quality to the squad and improved the pool too.

Longer-term stalwarts James Tomkins, Mark Noble and Winston Reid have also impressed this year and have been the corner stone to all that’s good with the club.

Then we have Stewart Downing. At Liverpool, Downing seemed to lose his way. But now ‘Big Sam’ has moved him into the hole behind the front two and Stewart has been outstanding in his new role. The former wide-boy has now helped his teams cause with five goals and seven assists. The thirty year olds form has been so good that he has been called back into the England fold this term.

Allardyce has heeded his owners advice and brought in former England international Teddy Sheringham to coach the strikers. Everyone has been quick to give Teddy all the credit for West Ham’s upturn in goalscoring fortunes, yet it was Sam that picked Teddy and brought in the new forwards too.

For a time, West Ham’s league form and change in style seemed to bring rest bite for the Hammers gaffer who was suddenly receiving plaudits rather than criticism for his tactics.

But alas West Brom’s thumping 4-0 triumph over the Hammers in the FA Cup yesterday brought out all the claret and blue doubters. Many of West Ham’s away support were understandably angry and frustrated by the result but to once again turn on the manager seemed too easy for me and a bit harsh.

The truth is that it’s only the clubs second defeat this year but they have only won two as well, with seven draws mixed in. That run of results just isn’t inspiring. Plus the fact is, the clubs supporters love nothing more than a good cup run and they will see that as a chance missed.

The Andy Carroll signing seems to have caused a bit of a rift between the manager and the clubs owners. Obviously when you spend £15m on a player, then you want to see them more often than not playing and contributing. But you can’t always count for injuries and Andy hasn’t had the best of luck on that front. But lets be fair to Sam and Andy Carroll, when he is fit he can be unplayable at times and brings the Hammers up a level. But the timing of his latest serious injury has been a big blow for Allardyce as its another stick to hit him with.

Another one of Sam’s problems is himself. Coming out and saying he’s the most sophisticated boss in the EPL wasn’t the greatest thing to do. But you have to understand why he does it. It’s because people always bring up ‘long ball’ and ‘bully boy tactics’ when they discuss Sam Allardyce’s teams. That simply isn’t fair. He has a terrific managerial record of getting teams to play above themselves and consistently stay in the Premier League.

His confrontational style when dealing with the home fans will not see him rebuild bridges to quickly if results continue to stutter and the boo boys will just grow in number. In that sense he has to handle himself better in my opinion.

Now in the past West Ham did have a rich tradition of producing superb young footballers and producing creative, enjoyable football but they also have a recent history of being a bit of a yo-yo club. The last manager that probably had West Ham trying to play the ‘West Ham way’ was Gianfranco Zola and his style caused inconsistent results and the current board sacked him.

Yet every challenge Sam has had at West Ham, he’s handled and accomplished. He secured promotion in his first year and then kept them up after that. He’s now got them playing good football and in the top ten.

But Sam Allardyce will probably leave the London club this summer. His contract is up and I doubt after yesterday the board will want to renew it. They will see the new stadium, that will be ready in 2016, and the new tv deal as an incentive to bring in a new manager that can get enthuse the support.

Who will that be?

I have no idea but I hope they get it right because if they don’t the fans and the owners may look back at the Allardyce years as being better than they ever gave him credit for!

15 Responses to “Standing Up For Big Sam At West Ham!”

  1. Firstly I think your timing is poor following a heavy defeat and terrible performance. Let us fans vent some anger to get to feel a little better.
    I think its important to note that the more attacking style of football requested was not made by SA he was in a win win situation, lose and he could blame it on G&S win and it would be down to his ‘sophisticated’ methods.He has let a possible two great players slip by (Morrison and Zarate) and still insists on playing his mate ‘Nolan’ even though it is obvious to all unbiased football critics that he is slow and at best a fair championship player.
    Yes he got us into the premiership by the skin of his teeth with the most expensive and arguable the best players in the championship, and yes he kept us up and we should end up in the top 10. But at what cost? The simple truth is he just isn’t ‘one of us’ nor will he ever be.

  2. BIG Difference is Our Owners demanded Sam changed the style of play, which he did, and he started to gain some respect from the many doubters, but what happened once Carroll and Nolan were fit? due to the stupid wages both are on they had to be accommodated as quickly as possible, what happened, the goals started to dry up we were scoring, and the style.

    Yesterday from kick off the line up was wrong, but typical Sam’s arrogance he is always right, then he made the changes far too late, again just Sam! The good players Our Owners seem to have brought in seem to have lost all the early confidence why?

    My opinion is Sam was never West Ham, everything with him is financial motivated only, he would not worry about being sacked now he would just grab the money and go, what interest does he really seem to have developing young players. Credit to Sam he was brought in to do a job, he did it though not in an entertaining way, credit as I said he changed this season, only to go back in full reverse! In just over a year we a moving to a new 54,000 seater stadium if Sam is still stubborn no way will we fill it. It’s time for the owners to think very carefully who will manage us in the OS?


  4. Chris – Firstly timing is all down to what happened yesterday. Secondly let me assure you I have no problem with fans who pay their money & support their team having a say or booing. I just think its a bit too easy to have a pop at the manager all the time. Players are also responsible. I will be amazed if anyone gets a few years of great football from Morrison before he implodes and does something stupid again. Fair play if you just don’t see him as one of your own, I cannot argue with that.

    Jay – I am a big fan of Carroll and think when fit he can be a top striker, but injuries seem to follow him. I would also say that a lull in form was always going to happen this season.

    Again fair play to you for your comment, I can’t really argue with most of your points. He may have given the next guy a bit of a better chance with the squad he leaves after this season.

  5. The whole sam thing is not about whether he is a good or bad manager .to me he has from the start had no respect for West Ham football club history or the fans .
    When people say to me you can’t play decent football and stay up they are talk ing rubbish . Look at swansea..
    I like thousands of hammers fans don’t want him at the club such an arrogant man . Before he came if asked who would you not want managing the club
    Sam would be top of the list. I look forward to the end of the season when Sam and his the two henchmen ( Nolan/ Carroll) leave our club and whoever takes over and wherever we end up position wise I will and many more have no regrets . West Ham Utd will always be there and so will I .

  6. James – Have you got any managers in mind?

    I agree you can play decent football and stay up, but you have to convince panicky owners who will sack a manager just based on results.

  7. BFS just isn’t the man to take us forward, on the one hand the 2 David’s are talking about getting us into Europe and competing at the top level whilst on the the other Sam is blaming our poor performance on playing 3 games in a week! Well if we get into Europe he’s got an excuse more or less every week if we lose! Thanks Sam but now it’s time to go , please please please let’s go and get Mr Bilic he will take our club forward coyi ‘X’

  8. Good shout Dan with Bilic.

    Btw should the owners not receive same criticism? They hired & stuck by Sam. They also tease fans with talk of Europe, better football and signings yet not fully delivered in those imo.

  9. In fairness, BFS has done what’s been asked of him, and WestHam fans are grateful for that. But like all managers he fails to understand or accept the passion and frustration of the fans.
    the West Brom game is a clear example of his gamble not paying off.
    but if he had a full squad to choose from would the result have been different?

  10. Sam brings one thing and one thing only. Mid table mediocrity . You mention sitting 8th at the moment and a comfortable top 10 finish. I’m honestly not so sure. 13 games left and I can see probably 2 wins the way Sam has us playing at the moment. 12th-15th place beckons come May. Benitez is out of contract in the summer and has to be the way forward rather than sit and stagnate under Sam season after season.

  11. Pretty good article Scott , shame the anti Sam brigade have at last got the bad result they have craved and the opportunity to kick off again .To judge from the replies it would seem the average WHUFC fan is a neurotic, knee jerk reacting anti Allardyce ,anti owners ,anti Carrol & Nolan boo boy . Thankfully this is not the case , the silent majority don’t throw their toys out of the pram when we lose .Yes , it was a dismal performance by the team and hard to watch but hey look where we are in the league and get real . If this is Mid Table Mediocrity bring it on , far better than being at the bottom of the table in a relegation scrap . I don’t know who will be the manager next season but i cant see Sam staying whatever happens , why would he ? Any prospective candidate is probably looking at where we are in the table and looking at these so called fans reaction to the manager and the owners and thinking , maybe not.

  12. Allerdicci should never have been manager full stop, as for waiting for a bad result to have a say, if you look around West ham forums there’s always something positive & something negative, the man divides opinion. Yesterday’s result sums the man up, he was forced to change due to injury, no complaint, when Nolan signed for us, I was pleased, but he’s now struggling, not his fault; age catches up with us all, the manager insists on playing him, therefore it’s the managers fault, to change the game yesterday he pushed Kouyate up and brought the hapless obrien on, why obrien? The game was gone, we didn’t have the game changers on the bench, so why not send a couple of youngsters on, for the experience. No, we only play youngsters 7 or 8 at a time, so they can get demoralised! For the pro allerdicci, I say we should have come up automatically, although it was a good day at Wembley, this season he was forced to change at the start of the season due to injury, we started well, at the next available opportunity he reverted, then; so he couldn’t be forced back, he falls out with; then loans out the playmaker for the front two, now you have 2 disillusioned strikers, they are not your hoof the ball upto kind of players, therefore Nolan is always going to look like a spare part, he’s not a Zarate or Parker. Soton have given us a glimpse of how a football club can find a quality manager, bringing the youth through, playing good football. The owners do have to share some of the blame as do us fans, I’m not a believer in the “they bought us to sell us at a profit” opinion, I did think we could have spent more money, but hey, its not mine, your owners money is of less importance now with FFP in place, it’s how much income the club can generate, and I reckon the owners in place now, are good at that, and they are Hammers to boot. We’ve seen how the team can play, and win! Until we revert to the allerdicci way, so, please don’t renew his contract! To the fans that berated a man in his 60’s yesterday, I understand your feelings, but; how would you feel if that was an elderly member of your family?

    Season’s rant over

  13. There will always be other managers to employ . I never said sack Sam now but ,would not renew his contract . Other clubs have found managers who have improved their position in leaque and played decent football ,but most of all they respected the club and fans .

  14. Really its funny how this egotistical clueless coach who actuslly thinks clubs like real madrid and barca would ever consiider this clown as thier coach and england imagine watching carrol if fit with nolan playing and embarrassing our country with route one football. Hopefully allardyce and pullis will marry each other and enjoy thier football somewhere in the championship getting clubs into the premier ss for sure there not wanted at west ham by football purists and still allardyce hasnt eon a thing playing his way as we slip down the league. Get him out now sully son once and for all.

  15. Ok the team looked shattered energy across the team from front to back..I watched the two previous games and the effort from everyone was exceptional ..especially from the Southampton game..
    The debate about SA will rage on .The fans ..those who went have got a right to vent their fury INSIDE the ground not in the car park against an old man.
    When the dust settles and we beat Spurs away next week the season will be looked upon as a success..We have improved doubt about that.
    I think its time for everyone to pull together and finish as high as possible..

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