Jury still out on Allardyce



Top ClaretandHugh blogger Nigel Kahn has been one of Sam Allardyce’s fiercest critics since he first arrived at Upton Park.

Here he looks at the new style on show against Hull City and wonders how the manager would prefer to play!

How good was that game on Monday night?

I don’t believe there could be a single West Ham fan who,  when the final whistle blew, felt disappointed to come away with just a point.

We dominated the game, played with pace and passion, and showed great resolve to come back twice from going behind.

Sam it seems has taken to heart the owners request/demand for a more style and a blend of entertaining football.

His choice and use of the new players worked well as he set up with twogenuine forward players behind the one up front, and that wasn’t Diafra Sakho who I would have thought was more a Sam-type of forward than Valencia.

The Ecuadorian’s  goal has to be a contender for goal of the month and what made it so outstanding was the fact it came out of seemingly nothing.

To get that much pace from so little back lift with the defender not far off of him, especially when it seemed the chance to shoot had gone, probably made it the best first  goal scored by a new boy Since Tevez’s free kick against Spurs seven years ago.

However, after the game, via social networks, there seemed still to be a divide between the pro and anti Sam camps.

It  was as if we couldn’t just enjoy the game for what it was.  As a paid up member of the ‘Sam out’ brigade even I was surprised to be tweeted that this game didn’t bode well for my agenda.

Well actually that game reinforced what many have been saying for a long time – that the team was capable of doing it different, there was no need for the dross we have been served.

In my opinions  too many west Ham fans readily accepted Sam’s “respect the point,” try not to lose negative anti football instead of going for the win and I won’t apologise for not accepting it.

The performance against Hull should be rightly lauded but I need to see more of this in the coming weeks to be convinced he has changed.

I picked up the London Evening Standard on the way home and inside the headline had Sam saying, “Attractive football and not winning is no good to me, no good to the owners and no good to the supporters.”

He has a point but to come out and say that after or perhaps even before one of the the best performances from a team of his  seems strange to me.

I point everyone in the direction of our 2-1 win over Hull last season. The victory that was so poor, no dreadful, I even sent an email to DS imploring him to get Sam out at the end of the season for the good of the club as it quite literally pitted fans against fans.

That win against 10 men led to him and his team being booed off the pitch, something I don’t think has ever happened to any team after winning a game.

I may be alone in this but first and foremost I want to see a good game, with West Ham playing well, because when they that happens, win or lose,  you accept the result far more easily that when they stink the place out.

It does make me wonder what Hull game Sam would actually prefer, last season’s 2-1 win or this seasons 2-2 draw, because when he comes out with comments like those above I actually believe he would have preferred a repeat of the March game.

Of course managers are judged on results but that is not the be all and end all to football. If it was merely about results then the fans would be better not turning up.

Instead, they could  just stay at home watching the results come in on Final Score or Soccer Saturday. It would be a damned sight cheaper. My mantra for Sam is: “Attractive football please and  if you play it the results will come”

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon


  • StratfordBound says:

    Everything about Mondays game surely means we, I mean the SAM OUT brigade, need to wind our collective necks in for a while. Sakho not playing up top was a surprise, not least to Steve Bruce I’ll wager. But Downing through the middle was no less of a surprise – though he will surely go back wide to accommodate Song.
    In short I liked everything about Mondays game bar the result and Diame scoring. It was a cracking game. With Song still to come into the side and the other new signings bound to improve with time I hope we can look forward to variations in shape and style with the accent always on the positive,
    The next two games will be big tests, but set us up well for the two following where 6 points is completely achievable. 7 from the next 4 games would be a good return.

  • bubs says:

    I agree let’s keep playing good football and the results will come,also players will want to come and play for us and the youngsters won’t want to leave, we are just going to a new ground where we are going to need 20 thousand more regular surpporters does BS think they will want to watch last years performances I don’t think so .

  • firefigterx says:

    great post… Can’t disagree with anything you said.. Iv’e always said i can take loosing if we come of the field having left everything out there. Give me Mondays 2-2 over last year any day. Its when we play like we did against SouthHampton that i loose the the plot.
    I think BS hasn’t changed just the circumstances forcing his hand. But more performances like Mondays and even i will willing to see where he takes us.

  • philtheiron says:

    Although I agree with much of what you are saying mate I think what BS was lauding to was that there is little point in playing all the attacking football in the world if you are going to give it all away at the other end, just like what nearly happened at hull.

    Attractive football is all very well but at the end of the day you have to take the points with it!

    As well as we played on Monday night I for one was disappointed that we didn’t win. After all we played well against spuds, created all the chances and yet still lost. Not many fans were very happy that day despite the performance.

    BS IMO hasn’t changed, he just now has the tools to do the job. However now that he has the players to produce the football we so rightly expect/demand it remains to be seen if he can produce it.

    I believe the pressure is now really on BS more than at any time in his tenure. But if hull is anything to go by the future looks bright! COYI!

  • rugbyirons says:

    Two points dropped against a bottom half club changes nothing for me.the players played for themselves and Sam got lucky. I’ll judge in two games time hut for now SAM OUT

  • Michael Miller says:

    This jury member has decided that I stand by my BFS Out verdict!

    A leopard doesn’t change his spots – BFS is holding West Ham back, time for him to go!

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