The days of West Ham being renowned across the country as a team that plays free-flowing and attractive football seem nothing but a distant memory. Nowadays, Allardyce has earned The Hammers the unwanted reputation as a one dimensional team playing nothing more than what can be described as ‘hoofball’.
After the fourth successive loss suffered on Saturday against a fairly average West Bromwich Albion, West Ham are still fairly safe as far as staying up is concerned. However, after years of experience, one thing that I am sure about is that West Ham will not make easy work of it.
Saturday saw more than just a fourth consecutive loss for Allardyce. There appeared to be a real contrast in the emotions shown by the supporters at The Hawthorns. Pepe Mel and his club appear to be on the up, albeit after eight attempts, he has finally picked up a home win. However, more importantly he has the backing of the fans, something hard to come by in this day and age, and something that Sam Allardyce can only dream of.
The 59-year-old was welcomed by the away fans to fairly regular chants such as ‘We want our West Ham back’ amongst others which are all too explicit to put into writing. This combined with a rather to the point banner which read ‘Fat Sam out – you’re killing WHU’.
The tension amongst the fans has been evident throughout the season, particularly in the last month or so. And it has finally reared its ugly head not only after a run of defeats, but to some, in particular the football purists, after they are now seeing an ugly, monotonous style of play. This style of play could be accounted for if it was providing the club with results; however it is neither here nor there. The results have been poor as have the performances.
The remaining two fixtures look bleak. The crowd favourite visit of Tottenham next Saturday should fill Upton Park with hostility towards the Spurs players, however if the atmosphere at The Hawthorns is anything to go by, then the home side will be the team under pressure. This penultimate fixture, in comparison with the final day of the season seems rather easy. An away trip to Manchester City awaits on May 11th. Who themselves have everything to play for now that they have one hand on the Premier League trophy following Liverpool’s home defeat to Chelsea.
The West Ham chairmen have a very difficult decision to think about this summer, or indeed in the next few days if they wish to terminate Big Sam’s’ contract at Upton Park. The prospect of moving into the Olympic Stadium looms over the club and with the move scheduled for the 2016-2017 season; the owners need to ensure that they will be playing in the Premier League. Something which Allardyce has proven he can do on a number of occasions.
It’s undoubtable that the club’s main concern is to be playing in the best league in the world. However, the fans expect more from their club and they have every reason to do so. I feel that the time has come for a change; the club needs to get the players and the fans back together, united as one.
The fans are experienced and wise enough to know that West Ham are not going to challenge for the title, but is something a bit more than recurring relegation battle really too much to ask?