As you have all figured out by now I tend to be an optimist when it comes to West Ham United. It is pretty clear after this epic collapse in the second half today though that things need to change. The question is what do we do? Where do we go from here?
It seems that there are two key questions going forward: what do we do when the transfer window rolls around and what do we do about Big Sam?
The transfer window seems to be pretty straight forward. We need a real striker. Demba Ba and Jermaine Defoe would make great targets but I am sure there are other strikers to be considered. The key is this: we need to find a real solution. Even when Andy Carroll comes back we need another forward with class. But to go with this new striker we are going to need more options than crossing it in and hoping for the best. I was a big fan of Sam Allardyce’s move to a 4-6-0 in, and since, the Tottenham game. That being said, the results have not come since that game.
Should we keep Big Sam? He got us up and kept us up last year and has had the team showing flashes of brilliance at times this season. The consistency hasn’t been there though and it takes consistently to compete week in and week out in the Premier League. It is clear that we have a core to build around with Winston Reid, Mark Noble, Ravel Morrison, and Diame. It is also nice to see Collison back and as much as people have bemoaned the Downing purchase he is a good player who brings something to the team. The question is what do we do with that core and is Big Sam the man to build that team?
Sadly, I don’t think he is. The collapse at Norwich along with the lackluster games we have played since the win at White Hart Lane seem to suggest that he has trouble maintaining the team’s motivation and confidence. With the exception of Morrison and, dare I say it, Kevin Nolan the team seems to lack the killer instinct needed to get forward and find goals. I think the fault for that lies with Sam Allardyce more than with the players themselves. He can talk all he wants about keeping clean sheets, but we saw what happens today when the team doesn’t. They literally fall apart.
I don’t know who the answer is and part of me is hesitant to ask for a change in the middle of a season but we need someone who will coax greatness out of this squad; the talent is there. I still believe that this team is on the cusp of being a great team.
Our back 4 is consistently strong and we have two goalkeepers who, on most days, are more than capable. We have, if anything, a glut of talented midfielders. Diame, Morrison, Downing, Cole, Noble, Collison, and others are all talented and capable players. We clearly have needs up front but Carroll getting healthy and bringing in another real threat would make all of the difference there. I see the beginnings of a team that can really compete and I don’t want to see that opportunity squandered.
The question is, how do we get there from here?