Like many West Ham supporters this year, I’ve been disillusioned with the football on show at Upton Park. The football has been underwhelming, unoriginal and generally uninteresting. The club may want to consider themselves fortunate there were 7 teams worse than them this year and there are major problems that need to be seriously addressed in the coming months.
Firstly, West Ham have become a one-dimensional team that, while many opposing defences may struggle to handle the likes of Andy Carroll, can easily predict and prepare to dual with. When Plan A doesn’t seem to work the team look bereft of ideas. As far as I can see, Big Sam’s Plan B is an extension of Plan A, with Andy Carroll often simply being replaced by Carlton Cole.
The team look to be set up not to concede, rather than set up to score. A very negative mentality. Wouldn’t it be nice to see an injection of skill, flair and creativity? Had he stayed and continued to flourish, Morrison could easily have won Hammer of the Year award. He is exactly the type of player that club needs.
While many including the likes of Mr Shearer ridicule West Ham supporters for wanting to see attractive, flowing football and wanting to survive in the Premiership – I fail to see the logic in that argument. Did Liverpool and Manchester City not just play attacking attractive football and not only survive in the Premier League but contest 1st and 2nd places? Likewise, Southampton, a club of similar stature to West Ham showed they were able to combine attractive football with progress. Why should West Ham be exempt from this ability?
Despite these things, I wasn’t one of the 77.9% of fans in favour in seeing Big Sam removed. While I’m far from happy with the quality and general direction (mostly up in the air) of the football, I think we lose Sam at our peril. He does bring a lot of good qualities and I feel confident the club will continue to survive (although who only wants to survive, rather than flourish and aim higher?) under his guidance. However, I feel some form of evolution is a necessity. While we need to be hard to beat, we need to progressing tactically and through the introduction of young players. Had Big Sam introduced some younger players to the fray while also producing some abhorrent football, it would have been more forgivable. The only young promising player we had, he managed to scare away to QPR.
In my opinion, Big Sam should be allowed more time, but required to evolve the playing style. Its essential West Ham remain a Premier League club when they move to the Olympic Stadium.
Andrew is cycling to all 40 SPFL stadiums in Scotland to raise money for the Bobby Moore Fund and Africa on the Ball. Check out his blog and donate at spflbikeride.com