Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Sweaty Sam Winning Fans Over - But Grant's record was better!

Sam Allardyce
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!


Rab said...

Lovely provocative post, that perfectly punctures the post-victory glow after Watford. You might take some stick for this but you are right to temper the obvious joy derived from our two recent results with a note of caution. Our opponents weren't the most formidable and we need a striker, very, very badly. And I share you're reservations about cover at the back. There are a lot of games ahead of us at this level, so we'd be fools to leave ourselves light of support in any area. Upon such things entire seasons can turn.

On the plus side, the victory against Watford was convincing, as it should have been, so that'll be a much needed confidence boost for a club that has been very low on moral for some time.

But, bloody hell, HF, isn't it good to be winning?

Anonymous said...

Watford were gash. Will only get remotely on board once he orchestrates wins over the other contenders for the championship.

Hammersfan said...

You bet Rab! The wife is relieved, because for the first time in over two years I'm not demanding conjugal rights as a way of alleviating the depression!

Anonymous said...

kevin in manchester writes

do such'rights' exist in this day and age? .. for the rest as the other correspondents write - beware injuries and stronger teams- but I'm feeling a little bit optimistic.

Even so i think we'll lose a couple, draw a couple and win five from the next nine to make an opening quarter tally of 26 points. if injuries are kind I think we'll kick on from there.

Hammersfan said...

They do in my house mate!

Sav said...

Don't you start again about Avram Grant and his record. His record is s**t, always was, and always will be. The guy dosn't know his left from his right. He is not only the worst manager for West Ham but the worst even to manage a Premier League team. He got two of them relegated in consecutive years for Christ Sake!

And please, speculate all you want about who we need to enhance our existing squad. I will tell you who we don't need. Anton (calamity) Ferdinand and Joey (thug) Barton.

I am not carried away with the two away wins. But I know Sam is no a no nonsense manager and there is comparison to AG in any way, shape or form.

MGIZZEL said...

Good read that. I agree Barton would be good for us. I know some of the other fans do not think he is a wise investment, but we have a history of nurturing rogues and nut-cases (especially those from NUFC!). The fact is that Barton make the most assists last season for a Newcastle side returning to strength. Man United were linked to him a few weeks ago, (even though that might have been a media rumour) not many were too surprised that they (Man U) would have a player of his quality on board.

I do hope we can retain the "passing rather than lumping" style of play that makes our football more attractive, but I fear, with Carew coming in we might revert to the lumping tactics Big Sam so dearly loves.

At the end of the day, I hope we continue to win matches over any other 'style' considerations, Big Sam is impressing enough thus far.

Hammersfan said...

Merely stating a fact Sav. The record is the record whether you like it or not!

Anonymous said...

Comparing managerial records premier league vs championship is a bit daft

Hammersfan said...

Which is why I compare three results against Championship teams for the two managers! Did you read the article?