With the team sitting pretty in 11th ahead of this weekend’s clash with Southampton I am beginning to feel very confident about our chances for survival. With only one more game before the return of Andy Carroll and the team playing in great form I find myself thinking more and more about what the future holds. However, as the stories surrounding Ravel Morrison came out this week I found myself on the opposite side of most West Ham fans.
I have long been a defender of Big Sam; although I have advocated at times for his removal. Now I am calling for him to be let go at the end of the season, but not because of his management style or the form of the team. I am, sadly, reaching the conclusion that his business practices are dishonest and bad for the long-term health of the team.
I started to have questions about this early in the transfer window after players refused moves to West Ham amid rumors that Big Sam was demanding a cut of their wages. I don’t know, maybe this is a common practice, but it seems incredibly fishy to me. My feelings on this have only been strengthened when the story about the alleged strong arming of Morrison to change agents have come out; he may deny the charge but with so many players tied to this agent, Mark Curtis, that also represents Sam Allardyce it is pretty clear that this is a situation where the existence of smoke is likely because there is in fact fire.
Maybe these practices can work at clubs that are fighting relegation or even stranded forever in the mid-table. But for a club with greater ambitions this is simply untenable. Players like Ravel Morrison are once in a generation talents but the issue goes beyond this one player. The reality is that we need a manager who will be a good influence on his players and whose prime goal is the improvement of the squad, the growth of his players, and, ultimately, to compete for silverware.
A manager who is doing business on the side with his agent and players cannot help but have a conflict of interest when it comes to these things…and this conflict may forever cost West Ham United a great player in Ravel Morrison. This is the reason it is time for Big Sam to go. We need a manager who doesn’t just have the talent and the knowledge to run the club but also the focus and right ethics.
Also, from a more practical level, it is possible that the only way we get Morrison to stay is to send Big Sam on his way. To me that is an easy choice. With the team we have in place we should be able to secure a manager with vision and ambition…as to the players with ties to Big Sam, they will either thrive under a new boss or move out in favor of players who will. Either way, it is clear that the path to greater glory for West Ham is not one that we can travel with our current manager.