Before the dreadful Palace result, I had a conversation with a fellow West Ham United supporter – the maintenance man who came to fix my radiator – about all things claret and blue. When it came to the talk about Big Sam, he was of the thinking that Allardyce needed to go, an idea that is growing in the Boleyn Ground stands as West Ham drift at the dangerous end of the table.
Since the arrival of Sam through the gates at Chadwell Heath, I have seen him as a necessary evil. He was the best man for the job to get promotion back to the Premier League, he was the best man for the job to get rid of the black cloud that was hanging over Upton Park and he was the best man for the job to keep us in the top flight last season. But is his time at West Ham coming to an end? I have backed him so far but with the way this season has gone I am finding it difficult to stick up for Sam.
I have defended his route one style before because as long as the team are getting the results, it is something I can put up with. I can also defend it as long as it is part of a mixture and there are spells where the players are trying to play on the floor. But all too often the ball is launched up front and without Big Andy Carroll at the top, his tactics have largely disappointed. Whilst Sam is being credited with the rise of Ravel Morrison, the real picture is far less clear .
I don’t think Allardyce really wanted to put the youngster in the team that early, despite a great preseason, but injuries forced his hand. He certainly wouldn’t have chosen Morrison over his top boy Nolan, whose performances this season have not merited a first team place. With Big Sam at the helm, I do not think the club will be relegated but is that enough?
After such a good season last year, West Ham should be building on that and ensuring the club’s top flight status for years to come, with the move to the Olympic Stadium not far away. My worry with getting rid of Allardyce is the fact that whether it was soon after or a few seasons later, all of Bolton, Newcastle and Blackburn went on to get relegated, and the club cannot afford another relegation
Co-owners Gold and Sullivan certainly can’t afford another relegation after throwing a lot of their own money into the club to give West Ham the best chance of Premier League survival. I will try and back Sam and the team during his managerial tenure. But if results continue to decline then it can surely one go one way for Big Sam, the owners cannot afford to show the blind faith they gave Avram Grant if we are in a similar position in the coming weeks.