Two away games, two away victories, and Sam is already growing on the purists. If he can keep this up, he will be up there with Greenwood and Lyall before you know it. But a defeat at home to Leeds will see him instantly ranked with Grant, Macari and Roeder! Such is the fickle nature of the West Ham fan.
Even experienced fans with some knowledge of the game are going overboard, asking questions like, "When was the last time we won back to back away games?" forgetting that it is much easier to achieve in the Championship, especially when the games are against injury ravaged Doncaster and rookie managed Watford - both now featuring in the bottom 4 despite two games out of three at home. There is a conviction in some quarters that Avram would not have achieved these two results but, of course, Avram's record against teams from the Championship was pretty good. In fact, Sam has a 66% win ratio, whereas Grant's was 100% for games against teams in this tier: Barnsley 2-0, Notts Forest 3-2 and Burnley 5-1. That would put us top of the division, not third!
Sam has spoken about "earning the right to play" before you can introduce the swagger but, to be fair, we have looked like a West Ham team so far - passing rather than lumping. Yes we will be more direct but there's nothing wrong with that in my book providing the ball is moved forward with purpose rather than lumped. Let's face it, Zola was meant to be a purist but produced a team that, after the departure of Di Michelle, couldn't string three forward passes together. If three passes get us into the box, ball to feet, that has to be better to five that leave us in our own half before an aimless lump forward!
The big worry remains the lack of cover for certain key positions. Allardyce accepts that we need a goal scorer but they don't fall from trees. Well actually they do, but we allowed Phillips to join Blackpool! The biggest worry is the back four, especially with Tomkins suffering a hamstring injury. Yes we have Linda, but the loan deal for Spence is still puzzling - albeit the City of Bristol are currently shipping more goals than they did slaves in the C18th.
Hopefully, a deal will be put together for Parker and that will release some money. My preference would be for N'gog on loan, Barton and Anton. If we can add those three for the loss of Parker, we will have a squad fit to storm the division!