A new dawn under Allardyce?

15:07 21 May 2014


Blogger Kwame Boakye has his say on the future under Big Sam

Sam Allardyce, West Ham United managerSam Allardyce, West Ham United manager

It’s official – Sam is staying in the Hammers hot seat, I understand some fans are unhappy with this announcement as they were rather hoping Sam’s head would be served up to them on a silver platter. I would urge the fans desperate to drive Allardyce out to remember that in three seasons he has turned West Ham United from a joke who finished bottom of the Premier League, to an albeit slightly dull mid-table outfit, and who amongst us wouldn’t have taken that after Charles N’Zogbia’s last-second winner for Wigan sent us spiralling into the Championship in 2011?

In the statement issued by the club the words ‘the manager has agreed to recruit a new attacking coach’ have stirred up the red tops into something of a media frenzy. Sam has been at the club for three seasons, if he wanted an ‘attacking coach’ he already would have. It’s clear this potential appointment has been foisted onto Big Sam and that could lead to some friction. The fans calling for Paolo Di Canio to take the position need to wake up! Di Canio is a manager and would only come to the club as a manager, not as a coach under the Allardyce regime.

In my humble opinion the appointment of an ‘attacking coach’ is pointless. If the board really wish to see West Ham United playing better football, then they need to give the manager substantial funds to improve the quality of the squad. Do people honestly think that when Sam was managing Bolton and they had the likes of Okocha, Djorkaeff, Campo and Anelka all they used to do is lump it? If Sam is backed in the transfer market the football will improve, it’s that simple.

The popular question asked by journalists and pundits at the moment is ‘just what do the West Ham fans want?’ It’s a lazy question without much in the way of forethought or research. The fans aren’t expecting Champions League football anytime soon or even its uglier sibling the Europa League. What the fans do want is a bit of entertainment for their hard-earned. I think supporters realise that until we make the move down the road to Stratford we won’t finish any higher than eighth at best, so the frustrations with Allardyce aren’t necessarily about league positions.

The owners deserve credit for listening to the fans and attempting to ensure the style of football which has always been the thorniest of issues under Sam will be improved upon. The owners also deserve credit for not bowing to popular opinion amongst supporters and axing a man who in his three seasons in charge has done everything asked of him.

The challenge for Sam Allardyce now is simple; he has one year left on his contract and he needs to deliver better football and a top-10 finish in order to stay beyond his current deal. If he doesn’t deliver, he leaves and can’t really have any complaints.

If the owners are as committed as they say they are to improving things on the pitch, then this should be one interesting summer!

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