The beginning of the new season comes with fresh doubt over Sam Allardyce’s managerial capability, especially on the subject of the promised “Exciting attacking style of play”. It’s fair to say that the current transfer window filled me with fresh hope that maybe we were about to see a turning point in the boring, slow football that has plagued The Boleyn Ground since Big Sam’s appointment three years ago. Exciting signings such as Mauro Zarate and Ecuador’s World Cup star Enner Valencia along with the departures of Matty Taylor and Alou Diarra brought new confidence and anticipation throughout the club that we were about to see Sam ditch his favoured tactics for a fresh new approach. However after sitting through the 0-1 defeat to Spurs I was left bitterly disappointed and angry with our manager.
From the moment our lacklustre stadium announcer confirmed our biggest fears of a strike partnership of Carlton Cole and Kevin Nolan along with the inclusion of a player who is nothing more than a showpony Championship player ,Ricardo Vaz Te, my excitement began to fall away. Never have I seen a partnership so devoid of pace and determination as that of Cole and Nolan. Neither seemed either willing to press the opposition in to a mistake or perhaps more significantly they didn’t seem like they would be able to if they tried. How on Earth Sam thinks we can seriously harm the opposition with such a strike force baffles me. It’s a pure embarrassment when Emmanuel Adebayor, a player known for his lack of determination seems to be putting in more effort than both Carlton and Kevin combined.
It sincerely worries me that a manager with over 40 years of experience in the game cannot see that his beloved captain is nowhere near possessing of the quality required to play at the top level and is merely a passenger in nearly every game he plays unless Andy Carroll is there to hand him chances on a plate. Nolan adds absolutely nothing to the side, in fact we would be better off playing with ten men. You have to question whether Sam is simply too stubborn to drop Nolan and would prefer to hamper the team than seem to have been defeated to the fan’s demands; either that or he has lost the plot. It pains me that Sam sees him as a more appropriate starter than Mauro Zarate, the top scorer in the Argentinian top league. Sam has already stated that Zarate is best fitted to playing off of a big striker, so why not play him? He can’t use the excuse that he doesn’t fit with the system because the role that Sam said he is most suited to is the exact one that Kevin Nolan is asked to perform week in week out, regardless of his abysmal performances .
On the subject of Zarate, you have to question Sam’s level of man management. On Saturday I watched as Zarate was sent on a half hour intense warm up on the sideline, only for Enner Valencia to warm up for a few minutes and be brought on straight away meaning that all the substitutions had been used up leaving Zarate to stroll back to the bench without getting a kick! If Zarate is anything like most people he must have been fuming and left wondering if he was about to regret his decision to join in the first place.
If our strike force away to Palace on Saturday is anything other than Mauro Zarate playing off of Enner Valencia, who did more in five minutes than Cole did in 80, then it is confirmed that Sam is completely clueless and must go!