Sam’s body language appears to have changed


by Hugh Southon

sam-allardyceMaybe it’s just my imagination but there seems to have been a definite change in Sam Allardyce’s body language during pre-season.

I first noticed it during the New Zealand tour when despite some shocking performances against Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FA he flicked barely a muscle in the dug-out.

This is of course very un-Sam like. For we all know him to be an all-action, all-screaming all-chewing geezer who is on his  feet at the drop of a poor decision or performance.

But there was nothing, absolutely nothing from him as the team put in a couple of seriously shoddy performances.

Not much changed in Germany but I can’t speak for the Sampdoria match which wasn’t shown anywhere although ClaretandHugh’s reporter at the game didn’t notice a huge amount of dug-out anger or activity.

I’d forgotten most of this until I turned om Sky Sports this morning and saw football’s most notorious love/hate figure discussing West Ham this summer and onwards.

It was like listening to most of the usual cliches by rote…there just didn’t seem much heart in any of  it.

He spoke of the new signings, the new average age, the upcoming game this weekend, a possible Sakho deal and the football world at large.

But it wasn’t so much what he was saying that interested me as the way he was saying it – there was a resignation, a going-through-the motions and his voice inflections changed very little throughout.

It simply didn’t sound like the usual Allardyce. There’s been a change and whether this is my imagination,  the new fan friendly Sam or a bloke who knows whatever happens he just can’t win, is hard to tell.

Sometimes you have to trust your instincts! Mine are that Mr Allardyce is facing the toughest season of his managerial life and knows it.

The first half a dozen games are going to be fascinating for I can’t ever remember a manager being under this sort of pressure before a ball is kicked.

I just wonder if the strain is starting to show!

Take a look at the interview on Sky Sports and make your own minds up.

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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


  • spyinthesky says:

    You clearly have forgotten early times last season when he looked unresponsive and totally depressed. Its when I started to have second thoughts about him being the right man for the job in hand. Only truly started to get motivated Christmas time.

  • LL13 says:

    I’ve been reading the post and articles here for a while and never posted a comment to date, but this article really caught my attention as I had been thinking exactly the same thing. Sam does appear to be on a hiding to nothing this season and maybe it’s just got to the point where he needs to question a few things about his philosophies and his relationship with the chairmen and the fans …. I would never, ever have considered him to someone who didn’t know his own mind, but as you intimate, something is definitely not the same.

    Now, I’m not one to deal in gossip as a rule, but a very senior member of the institution I work for, happens to be an ex Dundee player and now lives and works in the US, but runs kids development football in his county with quite a few other Scottish ex pats and footballers from the State. They have been talking about how David Moyes is in the process of moving back to London to take up an offer.

    It’s a long shot I know, but what price the thought that he’s already been acquired for when Sam’s contract is up and Sam knows that?

    However, if you were Sam would you not try everything in your power to see West Ham playing good football and being successful this term so that come the end of his contract he can walk away and throw his hat back into the England manager ring?

    I may be reading too much into the whys and wherefores, but I’m not imagining the change in body language that you mention and am intrigued as you are.

  • New606 says:

    Moyes would be a good shout, pullis might appeal to the owners to

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