Sam Allardyce’s playing style has come under fire once again in recent weeks and as a result, Upton Park’s attendances have been dwindling. Attendances have decreased to as low as 31,000 this season which is a stark contrast to the Boleyn Ground being sold out for nearly every game last season. So this drop begs the question: how will West Ham fill the Olympic Stadium when they move in?
The Stratford stadium could hold 54,000 fans, but if the club cannot even fill a 35,000-seater stadium in Upton Park, then how do the owners think we will fill the Olympic Stadium? It would come as no surprise to me if the Olympic Stadium was to sell out for every game for the first few seasons as fans want to experience what the new stadium is like. But after the first few seasons, the owners must realise that the attendances may not live up to expectations and may drop quite severely.
Ticket prices is often the first obstacle for West Ham supporters. The recent home win against Hull City is a good example of tickets being too expensive. Hull were only promoted to the Premier League last season but tickets for the game were still as high as nearly £50. You cannot call a fixture like that value for money, especially when you look at the way the team played.
Another thing the owners may have to look at is the manager. An arena as fantastic as the Olympic Stadium should be the home of a team that plays attractive football and more importantly, we must go back to our roots and play the West Ham way. That may mean the club may have to look at persuading Allardyce to change his playing style but it is difficult to see that happen because Big Sam is known for playing a certain way but that is not the West Ham way.
The Hammers have been linked with appointing Malky Mackay or Michael Laudrup in the summer because, reportedly, the owners are growing tired of Allardyce’s playing style. Either of them would play more attractive football but it seems the owners will try to sign a creative player in the summer before looking at making a managerial change.