Football never sleeps. Just a few short weeks ago the Hammers were in the depths of relegation despair then four wins in a row following the heroic draw at Stamford Bridge put us right up the Premier League – things being as tight as they are. From fans calling for Big Sam’s head on a plate, it seems everything in the Upton Park garden is rosy all of a sudden – but what happens next?
That’s what fans always want to know because that’s the nature of football. We always want to “push on” and try and do that little bit better. But the truth is that West Ham can’t possibly compete with the really big guns in money terms and we’d have bitten the hand off anyone offering us mid table security a matter of a few weeks ago.
So perhaps we should be grateful for what we have – though it’s human nature to continually hope for something better.
When Sam Allardyce was at Bolton in what was, by far, his longest spell as a manager, he guided the Trotters into the UEFA Cup (now known as the Europa League) for the first time in the club’s history after finishing level on points with European Champions League winners Liverpool.
That was no mean feat for a small club that Sam had punching well above its weight for the best part of a decade. West Ham are a lot bigger than Bolton – and we have the potential to at least replicate what Sam achieved at Bolton – but we have to give the manager the time he needs to develop the club.
Where would Blackburn Rovers be now if the new owners there hadn’t acted hastily and given Sam the heave-ho? They’d very probably be a sold mid-table Premier League side enjoying the money the league brings in – instead of languishing in the Championship having been through three managers since Sam was pushed out.
If truth be told, Allardyce was probably one or two games away from the sack following the home defeat in January at home to Newcastle United – and in hindsight that would have been a terrible decision. But we all know the pressure the Premier League exerts on clubs today; the financial pressures to remain in the top flight of English football are enormous – which is why this season has seen no fewer than eight managers leave their posts already, with Fulham swapping their boss twice!
Looking forward, then, we can improve from here if everyone concerned is patient with the boss. The League Cup, FA Cup and, yes, maybe even Europa League qualification could be realistic aims – but we should keep our feet firmly planted on the ground and remember where we were a short time ago.
A few weeks ago, Sam Allardyce was favourite in the so-called “sack race”; the market for the next Premier League manager to leave his post for some reason. Now, he’s any price and Norwich City’s Chris Hughton is hot favourite. If you want a punt in this race, then join 32 Red and pick up the free bonus cash on offer at the casino – as the site also has a sports book.
Perhaps Cardiff City boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is an interesting proposition around the 12-1 mark. But it’s certainly not Sam Allardyce! Instead, how about a nice wager ion the Hammers lifting the FA Cup next year? Now that is a realistic target.