Safety is all but guaranteed
Around this time two years ago our beloved club was facing financial Armageddon due to the unsuccessful Icelandic regime. We were bottom of the league on thirty-three points with four more games left to play, and a man that resembles Danger Mouse's villain Baron Silas Greenback (Avram Grant) making all the incorrect calls.
April 22nd, 2013
Uncle Avram had the tendency to repeatedly do the same thing when we are losing with twenty minutes or so left to go. He would take off two or three defensive-minded players and replace them with strikers, which meant we had up to 4 strikers on the pitch at the same time. Obviously this ‘tactic’ left us vulnerable at the back and the opposition would usually take advantage by scoring another and sealing the game.
We had a fantastic striker amongst our ranks in Demba Ba, but the Baron opted to play him on the wing rather than up front. Our manager was clueless and had Sullivan/Gold got rid of him earlier, we would have most likely have stayed up. But would that have been a good thing?
Upon getting relegated, we managed to get a bunch of high earners off the wage bill and offload a lot of deadwood. No more do we have to watch the likes of Kovac, Upson, Piquionne, Gabbidon and so on.
In steps Sam Allardyce – the managerial beast. It would be a mammoth task for any manager to turn around a club that was left in tatters. We were in huge debt and the training ground had as much life as a zombie. Big Sam bought in his dependable sidekick Kevin Nolan to spice up the changing room and instill some solidity in the squad.
Quite a few West Ham fans were upset with him bringing in so many players that he worked with at Bolton such as Jussi, O’Brien, Vaz Te and so on. I think it is better to go with a player that you know will benefit the club. The three players mentioned have been integral to our two seasons under Big Sam’s watch. Vaz Te went on to score our play-off final winning goal, whilst Jussi has made some game-saving stops and O’Brien has been consistently good.
Had you told me before the championship season started that we would get promoted at the first time of asking and would be sitting comfortably in 10th place with 4 games to go in the subsequent season, I would have thought you were from the same planet as Lady Gaga!
Sam Allardyce has done an outstanding job for us since his arrival. I can’t imagine many managers being capable of changing our fortunes in the same manner that he has. I hope he signs a long-term contract, as I believe he is the right man to lead us into the Olympic Stadium. The future is bright; the future is claret and blue. COYI!