As it currently stands, West Ham are the only team in the bottom 5 of the Premier League who have not made a managerial change. An alarming statistic for those who believe change is a good thing. However, it might also lead to you ask if there is any merit in the wisdom of our fellow relegation battlers decisions. After all…they are still all in the bottom 5.
Following the bore draw against Sunderland – themselves having made a managerial change earlier in the season – the majority of the post match talk was centred on the future of Sam Allardyce. In essence, should we stick or should we twist?
There are plausible arguments for each side of the debate. On one hand, 8 clean sheets are evidence of the fact that Allardyce has turned us into a fairly solid unit – the main issue being our lack of goals. There is a strong feeling that having put together a team consisting of Downing, Jarvis and Carroll he should be given the opportunity to turn things around once that line up is available again. However, Allardyce brings with him a certain style of play that the purists claim not to be “The West Ham Way” which at times can be difficult to watch. Similarly, he must at least be culpable for putting all his eggs into the Andy Carroll basket. Not only that, but having signed Maiga, that means he must have thought he was good enough for the Premier League. Worrying Judgement!
So should he go? Will it perform the turnaround in form everyone expects it to? Well, who knows? For every Mauricio Pochettino, there’s a Nigel Adkins. Statistically speaking, there is no evidence to suggest whether changing manager is a good thing or a bad thing. However, with the utter shambles of failing to replace Avram Grant still fresh in the memory, it’s understandable that with a record equally as bad as that fateful season, its understandable many fans are getting nervy.
But whilst relegation remains a possibility, it is not very likely. If you look at where we are now, and the players we have to return, things do take a slightly positive outlook. After all, we have Reid, Downing and Carroll returning in January – a trio that if any of the clubs in the bottom 6 were to sign, they’d surely pull away.
So whilst I remain confident that we will stay up, even with Allardyce in charge, should the board decide to make the change – who is available? And would they be a better fit?
Steve Clarke
One of the more surprising recent sackings, and a sign of the often kneejerk decisions made in modern day football. His reward for guiding West Brom to a recent high of 8th in the Premier League last year, winning at Old Trafford and notable performances against Chelsea and Man City was to be dismissed after 4 straight defeats. A manager
who looks to combine attractive football along with playing a target man (Lukaku) he could be the perfect solution for a club who have invested so much in Carroll. The only problem will be that having previously paid a large compensation for him to leave as part of the Zola sacking, the David’s are unlikely to want to loose face and re-hire him.
Glenn Hoddle
Dismissed from the England job for infamous non football related reasons, he was undoubtedly one of the most forward thinking coaches in recent generations. An advocate of the passing game, his appointment would see a return to the traditional style of football. However, his Spurs connections will be an issue for a few, as will his perceived failures with less talented players at Wolves and Southampton – however, just imagine what he could do with Ravel Morrison. An outside bet, but still a possibility.
Pepe Mel
A bit of an unknown on these shores, but Spanish press has been linking him with the job for several weeks. The 50 year old former striker was until recently manager of Real Betis, having led them to 7th place and Europa League qualification last season. However, after a humiliating 4-0 defeat to rivals Sevilla in December, he was sacked. Known for playing the ball on the floor, and a fan of the tika taka style of play, quite how he would utilise our prized asset is a mystery. Also an advocate of bringing through younger players (Just ask our current back up keeper Adrian) any concerns about his knowledge of the Premier League would surely be overlooked when considering the impact the likes of Laudrup and Pochettino have had in recent years.
Paolo Di Canio
A sentimental choice but not much else. Impressed at Swindon, but clearly not suited to the egotistical modern day Premier League footballer. Prone to shooting from the hip, his temper may get the better of him. The only thing that is certain is that he would instantly get the crowd on side with him, though quite how long that -or his current legend status – would last for is anyone’s guess! A disaster waiting to happen at the moment and his political views mean current chairmen are unlikely to employ him; it will however be worth seeing how he progresses in his next job.
Avram Grant
He is still available…