West Ham musings by Pete May, author of Hammers in the Heart, West Ham:Irons in the Soul and Flying So High:West Ham's Cup Finals.
Wednesday, June 1
Play it again, Sam?
So it's Big Sam. Let's be honest, we're desperate. Relegated, debts of £80 million and an Olympic Stadium to fill. I'd take a season of ugly football to go back up - and remember Pardew's line-up that finished sixth struggled against big, physical Championship teams. And it has to be admitted Allardyce has the best CV of all the candidates.
But what happens beyond (hopefully) promotion? You'd trust Allardyce would realise that he has to merge set-piece football with the passing tradition of Greenwood and Lyall, or the crowd will turn on him. Allardyce is particularly vulnerable being a northerner too. You'd hope that his experience at Newcastle means he knows the importance of winning over the home crowd. In Sam's favour, Grant's defence was that we played good football (which we didn't) and look where that got us.
Yes, we'd settle for fifth place and the Europa League, which was the small miracle he achieved at Bolton, but not at any price.
So far Sullivan and Gold have got all the big decisions wrong: undermining Zola, appointing Grant, then undermining him with the botched O'Neill approach. Let's pray they've got this one right.
Maybe we can now win matches and lose friends, which would be a change. As will be wearing clogs in Ken's Cafe. But will Nigel cheer ugly goals? And can Fraser's dodgy neck take it? Over to you, Big Sam.