This 2013/14 season has been magnificently tight, granted not great for West Ham, but throughout the league it is exciting from the title chasers to the 10 teams within six points from midtable to bottom of the pile.
Following a successful 2012/13 season there were high expectations amongst Hammers fans, yet reality has a cruel bite and with injuries all over the park we find the team struggling at the bottom. But it isn’t panic stations just yet, because of how close the league is, all it takes is a run of games picking up points and soon enough West Ham will clamber up the league.
Of course this is easier said than done and many of our performances this season have been dire. But there is a run of winnable matches in February that could be key to our survival or relegation. With key players like Reid and Carroll returning to the team the fight for survival can only get stronger, and Big Sam needs to return to the simplicity of football, and get us back to being hard to beat as we were last season. It may not be pretty and it might bring some dull 0-0 games but if it pulls West Ham out of the relegation mire then it could definitely be worth it.
A win or two and the table will start to look very different, it is possibly the closest season in the Premier League era, and would only take the most experience bookie or lucky guess to correctly predict the final standings come May. Sacking a manager is always one of the first reactions to a bad situation, and in the footballing world this has become all too common. Is it right to sack the manager during the season? I’d say the best time is around June so the new gaffer can get to know the players. This is my recommendation to David Gold and David Sullivan, the time is right to stick with Sam because he has the experience to get us out of the current situation but come the end of the season a change of flavour might be on the cards.
Gold has said this is a “low point” in our history but I would say it is a lot more positive than the 2010-11 season under Avram Grant that led to inevitable relegation. At that moment in time there were fans calling for someone of Allardyce’s style to come in and rescue the sinking ship.
Whilst it is tough to watch some of the recent performances, outclassed by Man City and the kids to the slaughter at Nottingham Forest, those are gone and the club must put every effort into staying up.
The chances are good as the Premier League keeps itself too tight to call, as long as the fans are behind the team and Big Sam can mastermind a run of wins, this season can still be salvaged.