Rather like the one faced by the British public at the General Election, West Ham’s owners have an important and difficult choice to make. In the same way the voters had two distinct visions for the future in front of them when they walked into the ballot box, David Gold and David Sullivan must decide whether to keep Sam Allardyce in charge or opt for someone else to lead us into the Olympic Stadium.
In many ways Allardyce’s reign at Upton Park mirrored the life of the coalition government. David Cameron became Prime Minister with the country’s economy in crisis following the global financial crash of 2008, while Big Sam inherited a side who had just been relegated from the Premier League and a deeply divided squad. Both Cameron and Allardyce instigated sweeping changes designed to stabilise and then reform
In Cameron’s case that included in string of financial austerity measures, while Allardcye fundamentally changed the Hammers style of play. While the impact of the Prime Minister’s policy can be debated by economists it is clear West Ham made significant improvements under their northern manager.
He took the club back to the Premier League at the first attempt and has successfully kept the side up for the last three seasons. The Hammers will finish comfortably mid-table this season and he has also reformed the club’s squad. It is clear West Ham have a younger, hungrier and more talented group of players than they have had for a decade.
So why isn’t it certain he will be given another term of office? Like Ed Miliband and the Labour Party there are those who feel West Ham should and can do better. They are not motivated by queues for food banks, rocketing house prices in London that make it virtually impossible for young people in the capital to get on the property ladder or an impoverished National Health Service.
Instead it is the style of football, the ambivalent attitude towards the cups and a reluctance to introduce youth team players into the first team mix. But what of the alternatives? Is there a man of substance who can deliver us to the promised land? Or will we simply find a slimeball who will charm his way into the seat and take us to ruin? The country ultimately decided to play it safe. Don’t be surprised if West Ham’s owners opt for a change in Government