By Hugh Southon
It is impossible for me to forget the moment back in the summer when I was told: “He’s given up on finding a striker and bought Stewart Downing with the last £5 million.”
Okay, don’t worry, I’m not going to dwell on it. I can’t because every time I do I feel like throwing up…it really was the most absurd moment I can recall in a near lifetime of writing about this game.
How can you as a ‘big man up front’ manager decide that instead of getting a Salomon Kalou, or someone like him you instead employa bloke who has nothing like the physical presence of him or Andy Carroll – the unfortunate Modibo Maiga.
Poor MM – he was asked to adopt a role which only one player in the club can play – and he’s injured. It’s wasn’t fair but demonstrated once again that we have a one dimensional manager who cannot adjust his thinking.
Even worse is that despite having only one way of playing he chose not to given himself a chance of doing so when spending what was left of his dough on a winger.
Maybe one of the Davids or both should have told him he was wrong and that they wouldn’t allow it.
That wouldn’t be my chosen route because the manager is paid to manage and has to be given the freedom to decide his own squad.
What I do know is that Sam Allardyce’s chosen way of playing is unlike that employed at any TOP club or indeed most others .
The £15 million spent of Carroll was paid out despite several players – and unlike Sam, I won’t name names – clearly not being up to the job as is now being shown.
The West Ham team of 2013/14 was built solely around Carroll. I recall being told: “We must get him in early so we have him in the whole build-up to the new season. We are building a side around him. He is the key man.”
And that is why we are where we are! The player is still not ready for action (how the hell DID that happen?) yet Sam is still telling us when he gets him and the others back, things will improve.
The system doesn’t wash, the excuses don’t wash and the explanation that returning players will turn it round doesn’t wash with so many of them so far away from fitness.
It’s time – at the very least – for Sam to put his hands in the air and admit: “All of this is down to me…I’ve failed!”
We then sort out the best possible replacement until the end of the season – Steve Clarke, maybe, and grab Malky Mackay the minute he becomes avaialable which won’t be long.
It’s been a disaster and for my money it’s down to the fact that we have a man at the helm who won’t change simply because he doesn’t know how to.