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Nice one, centurion

Filed: Monday, 23rd September 2013
By: Staff Writer

Sam Allardyce celebrates what will be his 100th game in charge of West Ham when his team faces Cardiff City tomorrow night.

The Welsh club return to the Boelyn Ground for the second time this season after they were beaten 2-0 on the opening day of the campaign - West Ham's only Premier League win so far.

For Allardyce, who succeeded Avram Grant in the summer of 2011, it will be the 100th occasion on which he leads his team out - and a spell which, all things considered, Allardyce considers to be a successful one.

"I'm very pleased with the record we had in the Premier League last year, the year before we were expected to do well in the Championship," he said. "We've done everything that we said we would do.

"We set out with the plan to get promoted in the first year, we did that. The second year we planned to stay up and in the end we surpassed expectations and finished tenth. Now we've got to bring a sustainable balance to the squad which is going to keep us in the Premier League for many, many years.

"It's probably unacceptable in today's football but we have to convince everybody that growing slowly is the right way. It sustains the ability to get better and better and when you do that you are then able to achieve more and you can start looking at bigger things."

Yet despit having reached the milestone, Allardyce maintains that his biggest fear remains getting the sack.

"I enjoy working in football and have enjoyed it for so many years now that it's the only thing I really know - but when you're in the job you're fearful of getting the sack," he revealed. It's a survival game no matter what anybody says, particularly for young managers.

"When you reach 100 games and people say well done, it worries me. If it's 300 or 400 games fine, but 100 games should be more commonplace than it is. The constant change of managers which we're now faced with has turned reaching 100 games into a bit of an achievement."

Sam's Five Finest

5. West Ham Utd 6-0 Brighton: Fellow promotion candicates Albion came to the Boleyn at the back end of the 2011/12 campaign and were blitzed by a six-goal drubbing; chief architect being Ricardo Vaz Te whose hat-trick included an overhead kick.

4. West Ham Utd 1-0 Aston Villa: The first game back in the Premir League is always a nervy occasion. Featuring new signings such as James Collins and Jussi Jaaskelainen, this was the perfect start as Allardyce got everything right tactically.

3. Blackpool 1-4 West Ham Utd: The demolition of a side who were, at the time, our promotion rivals. 2-1 up when Rob Green was (incorrectly) dismissed, Henri Lansbury took his place as the ten men added further goals through Gary O'Neil and Ricardo Vaz Te.

2. West Ham Utd 2-1 Blackpool: A nervy, less than convincing performance at Wembley - at last! - but still the best day out long-suffering Hammers fans have had in years. Ricardo Vaz Te is immortalised as Big Sam is spotted singing 'Bubbles' on the big screen.

1. West Ham Utd 3-1 Chelsea: A simply stunning second half performance from the Hammers as they recorded a first win over the Blues for a decade. We were that good, even Modibo Maiga got himself on the scoresheet.

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