I waited until after the Hull fixture to complete this piece because it was a game that could have determined the outcome of our season and it turned out to be in more ways than one. To hear the fans boo off a team after a win goes to show the extent of the frustration there is in the stands at the current time, most of it toward our manager and the onedimensional style of football we have been served up in the past three seasons, but this season in particular.
As a 32 year old supporter of our club, it has left me thinking what now? What is the future of our club and where do we move onto from here? One answer to this question I think is evident to most of the fans now, is that the often terse relationship with Sam Allardyce must surely now be over.
I have never been an advocate of his style but I have backed him through recent times, often thinking to myself that our style may improve, that winning ugly to keep us up is what we must live with for now, but I’m afraid last Wednesday night and our game against Hull was a turning point. The cupped ear gesture, and following criticism of the fans, many of whom are longterm season ticket holders, has turned me cold.
The man seems oblivious to the fact that it was not the players who the boos were aimed at, but at him. It is now time this summer for sweeping changes. So what direction should we now turn? Many fans, like myself, dream of recreating an era of playing the ball on the floor, youth development and an ambition to play forwards at every opportunity. So do we look to an established top flight manager? Or do we take a chance on one of the many up and coming young managers currently plying their trade at a lower level?
If we are looking to an established manager, then two of the first names mentioned are Michel Laudrup and Glenn Hoddle. Laudrup is, of course, famous for his ability on the pitch but has he demonstrated enough managerial ability off of it? Many feel that his sacking at Swansea was very harsh, especially after delivering a trophy to the club, but for me this is a sideways step and not one for the long term.
When I hear the name Glenn Hoddle being touted as a manager of West Ham, I find myself dismissing this without much thought, as I feel he is not the man for the job at all. He has been away from the game for a long time, and I would not trust him with the future of our club being so dependant on moving to the Olympic Stadium as a top flight team. So where do we turn? For me, it’s time to regain our “Academy” status, and build for our move into the Olympic Stadium.
So would a manager with a clean slate who can be guided into the club’s way of thinking be a good move? Admittedly it’s a risk with no top flight experience, but I would be looking in the direction of Eddie Howe. A tactician, respected by his players and staff alike, This is a manager who is young himself with a reputation to build and I believe we offer the perfect platform for this to be achieved.
Will the club take a chance? I doubt it. But what’s sure is we will get nowhere fast on our current path. The fans deserve their club back