Filed: Wednesday, 27th May 2015
By: Matt Bell
I thank Sam Allardyce for turning us around and making us a solid Premier League team after promotion. We have indeed made strides under his stewardship.
Looking back, relegation from the top tier in 2003 with a team packed of internationals was a nightmare. The only joy I took from that season was seeing Sir Trevor in charge for the final three matches.
The most recent relegation was the after-effect of a change of owners, a bad choice of manager (Avram) and a number of off-field incidents that served only to destabilise the club.
Football experts who warn West Ham to be careful what they wish for when replacing Big Sam have no idea other than to back a mate and fear potential relegation. 2013/2014 was awful. We had no strikers and even signed Carlton again after releasing him and our goal tally was dismal.
Yet we finished 13th and made the semi finals of Carling Cup.
Sam took us as far as he can go but if judged alone on 2015, he would have been fired. During this time he can point to injuries but the fact is when losing we have no plan B and his choice of subs is baffling.
We know that Sullivan signs players such as Nene because he can get him for free, but it was apparent that Sam preferred Carlton Cole. Cole is a lovely man and works his socks off but when up front, we lump it forward and expect him to out-jump two defenders, hold it up and lay it off. Even on the rare occasion he did so, there was no one to lay it off to.
It was Sam who decided on signing Andy Carroll and Matt Jarvis. Carroll may be popular with some but he changes the way we play. Sakho and Valencia defend so high with such vigour they cause mistakes, gain free kicks and corners and unsettle defences. The second season for both should be more productive (with Downing in his preferred playmaker position).
We only need a few players and the owners got it right when signing Hendrie early. Now if a mega-money offer was accepted for Cresswell, we wouldnít be quoted £10million for a replacement. If Valencia was sold for higher than the £12million we paid then so be it Ė this is the way a club our size should be operating. Find them, groom them, sell and replace.
Manager-wise I like Bilic as I think he is defensively sound and know what we want, as he played in a good Redknapp team. I understand that Klopp and Ancelotti are out of reach and laugh at such links. I donít want to see Moyes in charge as six months in Spain is not enough time to expand his style and his brand of football is not that far from Sams.
Have the owners got the balls to appoint Bielsa? A coach without Premier League experience but at 60 has the personality and proven record to excite and take West Ham forward? I hope so. Pep Guardiola thinks highly enough of him and I would love to see his brand of relentless pressing and goals galore light up the Boleyn.
Remember Koeman didnít have any Premier League experience, nor did Pochettino. Gary Monk, neither.
In regards to the West Ham way that draws so much criticism, I think of the teams Lyall built. A good goalkeeper (Adrian), solid centre backs (Reid, Collins, Tomkins with support from Burke and Henry), a hHard working midfield (Noble, Koyaute, possibly Obiang from Sampdoria) with flair, goals and pace up front (Sakho, Valencia, Downing).
Add a couple and itís a strong 11 with benched options to maintain a style.
Excitement will sell season tickets and attract new fans, not a fluctuating league position. Itís the hope that blows the bubbles and itís hope we live on. Finishing between 10th and 13th is achievable, but ultimately football is supposed to be entertaining and watching West Ham for many seasons has been dull and predictable.
Go for Bielsa and strap in for a crazy ride of goals and drama or appoint Bilic and bring in Rio for coaching experience. Either way Moyes or McLaren will not tempt me into shelling out nearly £1,000 to watch West Ham finish mid table.
COYI, There is a bright future ahead of us!
Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.
12:14PM 28th Jul 2009
''Nice to read a bit of positivity instead of all the doom and gloom merchants, well done!
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