First of all let me start by saying I have the utmost respect for Big Sam. I have met him three times since he took over West ham and have always found him intelligent, witty and highly entertaining in person. I first met him at The London Business Forum in November 2011 and one of the first things he told an audience of business men was the average life of a premier league manager was 1 year 8 months with a championship manager life span just 1 year 2 months.
He survived his time as a Championship manager by getting us promoted at the first attempt of asking.Technically I guess he became a Premier league manager again on 19th May 2012 when we won the play off final at Wembley.
We finished a surprising 10th place last season but the second season syndrome has started to kick in and the West Ham natives are getting restless. Last Tuesday made it 1 year 6 months in charge so January 19th next year will make it the dreaded 1 year 8 months anniversary of a Premier League manager. Will he survive until then? David Gold seems quiet on twitter lately but I am sure Mr Allardyce has the full confidence of the board!
Some West Ham fans didn’t like Big Sam from day one, they complained about his direct football and pointed out he scraped Premier league promotion via the play offs. Even when we came 10th last season they complained the football wasn’t attractive enough and he doesn’t play the West Ham way.I have backed Sam since the beginning at West Ham and have always believed his organisation skills is just what the doctor ordered for the rebuilding of West Ham. Only a few weeks ago Sam was hailed as a tactical genius for the ‘false nine’ tactic that beat Spurs 3-0. My mantra on the West Ham podcast I co-host and my brief appearance on Talk Sport radio is “Sam’s teams do not go down!”
There has been a lot of water under the bridge since that brief moment of glory and the tactic of playing no striker is wearing very thin and expected by every team we play .
What was the point of signing Mladen Petric and Carlton Cole if we aren’t going to play a striker?
The news on Andy Carroll doesn’t appear good either. He has moved from his hotel & clinic in Antwerp, Belgium to Amsterdam. One can only imagine the club weren’t happy with the treatment in Antwerp and have moved clinics and country. I can’t see any way we can be insured for his continued injury as it was a pre existing condition when we signed him. That’s £80,000 plus out of the club each and every week.
However the water shed moment for me came on Saturday after the double substitution of Joe Cole and Jack Collison for Momo Diame and Miaga to the background of the crowd chanting “You don’t know what your doing!” Later on came more disquiet from the fans which I won’t repeat suggesting a reason why Kevin Nolan was still on the pitch. When Kevin did finally get pulled off he was booed by many in the angry crowd. I briefly joined in the knee jerk reaction after yesterday’s match by agreeing that it was time for Sam’s time to come to an end but in the cold light of day I asked myself who would want to take over the job? The whole team is set-up for Andy Carroll with no sign of Andy Carroll. any new manager would have to carry on with the cards dealt to us.
In Nov 2011 at the event where I first met him he was asked the question: What 3 things make a great Football manager?
His answers then were:
1) Ambition: He claimed his ambition is greater than any club he has managed.
2) Job Satisfaction: A team that delivers what has been targeted by owners and fans.
3) Publicity: Someone who feels comfortable in the lime light and media pressure.
So what do we do with a problem like Big Sam? In the short term we back him and hope our fortunes turn very soon.
I will be going to the Season Ticket Fans Forum on 10th December to meet Mr Allardyce for a fourth time along with 400 fellow season ticket holders. I think Big Sam and Kevin Nolan will be in for a hard time on the 10th unless we beat both Fulham and Palace and give a go at winning at Anfield.
Keep calm and carry on Supporting West Ham