BOMAD’s End of season report – Sam Allardyce

(This is a guest post by BOMAD)

Grade: A

An A grade is awarded as he hit his target of promotion – but please see comments below.

I admit here I wanted Allardyce as our manager as I thought he would toughen up the club and bring stability to it, whist getting rid of the dead wood in it. But I also admit that I was completely wound up by some of his tactics during the season.

A year ago West Ham was a club in a downward spiral having been relegated with an alarming wage bill and players who didn’t seem to care about our great club.

A year on, the wage bill has been halved and we have players who want to play for West Ham and look as though they are happy to put their bodies on the line – I believe this is down to Big Sam.

Gone are the players who care about money more than who they are playing for – Dyer, Boa Morte and Upson to mention only three. The replacements – Nolan, Taylor and Vaz Te to mention only three again look as though they do care.

So the start of the season was always going to be tough – a brand new team with no real time to gel but had to get the ball rolling straight away and grind out results. This is where Big Sam told everyone that we cannot afford to lose more than 8 games this season!

OK some of it, especially at home has been ugly, but sometimes you need to cut the cloth accordingly and win ugly. We did win ugly on numerous occasions but in the past we would have lost these games – and we would also lose when playing great flowing football – but this season we needed to win and win games however well or badly we played.

You also need to take a look at the players we have at our disposal and I have to admit there were times this season where I really didn’t understand what Allardyce was thinking – but how many times have we said that about managers – not just ours but other clubs and country’s come to think of it.

However we started to gel as a team and were looking good in January – in fact looking so good we were top with a game in hand and winning away games nonchalantly.  Transfer deadline saw us purchase 3 players –Vaz Te, the bargain of the season, Maynard – who looks good and someone else – oh yes a top prospect from Man U – it would be nice to see Morrison play!!

But as always we cannot do things easily and our home form went to pot.  Draw after draw meant we lost so many points at home we had lost top place and were in danger of missing out on automatic promotion, especially as Reading were on a run.

Typical West Ham saw us get slaughtered during the season at Ipswich and atReading(both away games?!) but still our away form held firm – and to win an amazing 13 away games (in the proper season excluding play offs and Wembley) was superb, but the home form wasn’t. I should point out we did only lose 4 at home however we drew far far too many! It was this that cost us automatic promotion and where I can criticise Allardyce on some of his tactics and player choices.  You need a plan B and we didn’t seem to have one.

Just look at how we played against Birminghamin the second half at home and at home v Brighton – you can do it Sam by playing attractive, flowing football.

Come the end of the season – the automatic places were decided on the final day.  So we went into the play offs – and we all know what happened.  Brilliant v Cardiff, indifferent v Blackpool– similar to the season really.

Sam – you need to get some flair into the team and have a plan B when plan A isn’t working but overall you got your rewards for a decent season and the target of promotion at the first attempt. You took over a team in disarray and now have a team with spirit and a team that is very hard to beat.

Keep it going!!!! With the addition of a little more flair, as us ‘deluded’ fans would really like that.

To end with, just look where Blackburn and Bolton are now – and where we are – coincidence – I think not.

Well done Sam! Keep up the good work.

  • Headmaster

    Thanks for that, Bomad. 
    You make several good points, not least of all to do with the way in which Allardyce has stripped the club of some of the expensive and uncommitted dead wood. Nolan took a while to convince me, it has to be said. His performances over the last couple of months though have been charismatic and influential and far more deserving of the WHU captain’s armband. Jeepers, when you contrast his performances with the pathetic displays Matthew Upson put in under the hapless Grant, we have undeniably moved on. Even cynical old me will concede you that!

  • ClaretNBlues

    Bomad, thanks for the guest post.
    A good read and as HM says above, you make some very valid points, not least that the team are now…a team! They know how to gel and they know how to work together.
    But is that enough?

    Make no mistake mate, when Sam let the boys do their stuff we were very nice to watch but when his stubbornness took over and reverted to long ball hoofing, it was quite painful to sit through, especially when those tactics got us draw after draw after draw…….

    I have made no secret of the fact that I don’t like Allardyce but the fact is, he is here and I will happily give him a chance in the Prem to see if he can regain some of that flair we saw last season in those few games or at least if he can get us winning at home with the long ball rather than drawing!

    Nice post mate, look forward to more.

    Matt

  • Roshi

    Good post Bomad, and it has to be said accurate to the the thoughts of most sensible supporters.
    We will be bringing in new players over the summer, if reports are correct, and I envisage that these will be Sam type players, hard working quality professionals.
    If I read Sam right, I think our return season will be one of easing our way back in, not setting the World on fire and finishing mid to lower mid table, which I think most fans would be happy with. If we maintain our premiership position for the following season I think mid to upper mid table would be attainable. Sam is cut out for the Prem, I think he found the Championship to scrappy and to long, he also has a big point to make back in the Premiership and after seeing him sing Bubbles with such gusto after the final, I think he finally got it…….this is a special club!

  • Sailor Malan

    If there is one player who would bring a bit of steel to the Hammers next year, it is Joey Barton.
    Sure he is having problems at QPR and is likely to be suspended for a good few matches by the FA, but lets face it, he was provoked and was commited enough to the QPR cause by giving Aguero a much deserved dead leg to balance up the teams following his sending off.
    He would be worth his weight in gold to us and is likely to be offloaded by QPR (wimps) at a reasonable price.
     

    • Arron187

      Although he’s unquestionably a good player, he’s not the type of person i would want to see at the club i love. Provoked or not, if you are professional you should never do what he did on a football pitch, plus all the other acts of violence he’s been banned/convicted for. No thanks.

      • Sailor Malan

         I think he is misunderstood. I admit he does get over excited on the pitch which leads to him having a laugh and swear at the ref, sometimes he goes over the top (literally) and hurts someone badly, it happens in football, usually deserved. Surely that shows his commitment on so many levels to his sport, I think he is just the kind of enforcer we need, I’d sign him in a flash.

    • ClaretNBlues

      Roshi mate, you know I value your input and your opinion :) but this is a joke right? If there is one person I wouldn’t want within 50 miles of my beloved club it’s him. I’d rather have Diouf! And I mean that.
      I detest Barton with a passion and happen to think he’s no more than an average player at best.

      • Headmaster

        I agree with C&B and Arran on this one. Tonight, it was announced that the toe rag has been handed a 12 match ban – that’s basically a third of the season! To the West Ham hieracrchy I would say please, no. Unfortunately, he’s just  the sort of thug Allardyce is likely to sign! People tweeting about day dreams like Joe Cole and Yossi Benayoun need to wake up and smell the coffee. These boys are players and craftsmen. Allardyce prefers to sign muscle and that, ladies and jelly babies, is what we’re gonna get. All talk of other illustrious signings will be just that, talk. Talk designed to get us to dig deep and stump up for season tickets on the promise of untold flair and creativity. It ain’t gonna happen, peeps!

  • Roshi

    Got yer! Been a slow day at work as you can probably tell.

  • Bouncy Ball

    Does Ravel Morrison exist or is he a kind of hologram. No mention at all…ever!

  • Tom

    Quality scribble BOMAD, I too was for BFS, and i have too say he has tested my patience to a tee this season, for me he only gets a B. Some of his signing have simply not been good enough, Carew has been woeful, Demel and Diop injured and Faye to lazy at times although he has shone at others, all on steady wages. Nolan came good towrads the end of the season, however, for £70k a week over five years is he really worth it when Noble proved a more than capable leader. Matty Taylor is another that is on big wages yet couldn’t make the Bolton team due to his lack of pace and has look mediocre this season at best.

    We also spent too much time trying to fit Nolan into a functioning team, had we played him as a second striker then fine, however we lost and drew games late on because his trait is not to track back. We had Landsbury and Collison to play alongside Noble who in my view gave us a better work ethic.

    We failed to do the right business in January and that is what worries me this summer, we are desperate for wingers to add pace and width yet went all out for Jelavic. Vaz Te has really got BFS out of jail and is the only signing that has made an impact of real note.

    Tactically, BFS was shown by Reading and Southampton how to play and win games, only one statistic counts and that is the one who scored more goals … ala’ Chelski v Bayern or Barcelona … we had the players, we just needed to apply them and we would have secured automatic promtion ..

    That said, I do believe he keep us up next term, I think there will be more departures and only five or six new faces arriving plus the loanees we might get late in the day …