West Ham: 10 Reasons Sam Allardyce Can Take Hammers Back to the EPL
First things first: Avram Grant is not ultimately an all around terrible manager, but he was a bad fit for West Ham.
We can’t really blame Grant for that, but we can certainly blame Davids Gold and Sullivan, along with the other maniacal powers at Upton Park, for appointing and refusing to fire him.
Luckily for the West Ham faithful, these evil powers have attempted to rectify their poor choices with the recent appointment of former Bolton and Blackburn gaffer Sam Allardyce.
Optimism abounds in Hammers land these days. There’s a strong belief amongst supporters that Big Sam has what it takes to guide the Irons back to the EPL in 2012. Here are 10 reasons why he’s the man to do it.
He's Got Anger
While we can’t say for sure, it’s quite probable one of the reasons West Ham failed to perform this season is Avram Grant’s unflappable demeanor.
When the team dropped a two point lead against Manchester United, Grant stood around looking just the same as he did when the Hammers walloped Liverpool.
Big Sam won’t abide failures in the way that Grant did. He’ll make a ruckus on the touchline and an even bigger one in the dressing room. His anger will keep the dressing room in line and motivate his players by inspiring both fear and righteous indignation.
He’s Got Passion
West Ham displayed more or less no passion during the 2010-11 season. Their dispiriting performances were especially disappointing given the history of passion at Upton Park.
Part of the problem was of course the team’s lack of a strong, passionate leader figure. Scott Parker gave some inspirational speeches here and there and drove the team forward with his play on the pitch, but it wasn’t enough.
Sam has what it takes to bring the passion back to Upton Park, and that passion is required if the team is to make it back to the EPL in 2012.
Query to audience: Is there a difference between anger and passion in Sam's case?
He’s Got a Plan
West Ham has tinkered with formations and ideas over the past few years without any clear sense of direction, particularly under the leadership of Avram Grant.
Grant played a 4-3-2-1, a 4-4-2 and, for a criminally brief period, a relatively exciting 4-3-3, but he employed these formations with neither creativity nor ingenuity.
For most of the 2010-11 season, West Ham played like a team that had been given a loose idea of a formation and told to do its best.
Big Sam will bring a plan to the team. He will set up a solid formation, bring a clear vision of football to the club and have a definite plan for how the team should play on the day, week in and week out.
This is essential to bringing West Ham back to top-flight football.
He’s Got the Minerals
Big Sam has a set of stones the size of a house.
West Ham must rid itself of all sense of apprehension, timidity and self-doubt if the Hammers are to regain the Premiership in 2012.
As the manager of West Ham, Allardyce will inject the team with a much-needed aggression. Under Sam’s charge, the Hammers will take the pitch each week like a pack of honey badgers, not a bunch of timid, darting deer.
Sam has already announced his intentions to bring an edge to the squad and emphasize a strong, physical style of play.
This edge will help West Ham regain the EPL in 2012.
He Commands Respect
As a manger, Allardyce commands the respect of his players, the opposition and other managers.
At this point in time, given the past two seasons and current predicament of relegation, the Hammers need this kind of gaffer.
Sam will earn the respect of the players and fans while garnering enough respect from the owners that they’ll let him alone to run the team as he sees fit.
The respect Sam commands may be enough to convince some players to stay with West Ham. Obviously, big names like Scott Parker, Robert Green and Demba Ba will be out the door in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.
But West Ham needs players like James Tomkins, Freddy Piquionne and Thomas Hitzlsperger to stay on, and the chance of playing under Big Sam may convince them to hang around, particularly Tomkins, a former West Ham Academy player.
Respect commanded by Sam will also help attract players of high quality to West Ham, players who under different leadership would think twice before joining the Hammers.
He Doesn’t Suffer Fools
There’s a lot of foolery these days at Upton Park, be it from the ownership that doesn't seem to want results or the players who don’t seem to think that decent football is a thing worth playing.
Unfortunately for this lot, Allardyce doesn’t suffer fools. Big Sam will whip the dilly dalliers into shape post haste and slap the meddling hands of the West Ham’s ownership away from the pitch and players with gusto.
This type of ferocious, bullheaded management might not work at all clubs, but it’s exactly the kind of stewardship that West Ham needs right now.
If the Hammers are to regain the top flight in 2012, it will be on account of Big Sam’s no b.s. approach to the beautiful game.
He Gets Results
When Allardyce was appointed manager of West Ham, some minor grumblings amongst supporters cropped up, most based on Big Sam’s love of the long ball game.
Apparently, it’s just not pretty enough for the Hammers. But Allardyce has a prove track record, and while his version of the beautiful game might not always be beautiful, he gets results time and again.
During its 2010-11 campaign, West Ham played ugly football and failed to get results. Now at least the team will be winning games. Regardless of how pretty it looks, Sam will get the Hammers enough points to find its way back to the EPL.
What’s more, Sam has spoken of his desire to continue the traditions of West Ham by adapting his style of managing to meet the club’s style of play.
He’ll Take Advantage of the Academy
Big Sam has stated his intentions to make optimum use of English players while managing West Ham.
This is sweet music to the ears of West Ham fans, as the organization is known to have one of the great Academies in English football. Promising youngsters like Blair Turgott and Robert Hall represent the future of West Ham.
Under Sam, they’ll have the chance to develop their talent and confidence while giving the Hammers the results they need to make it back to the EPL.
This emphasis on English players also means development for young defensive star James Tomkins and Jordan Spence, both integral in the future of West Ham’s back line.
He’s Too Good for the Championship
So this must sound kind of stupid, but ultimately, it’s true.
Big Sam Allardyce is just too good a manager to coach a Championship side. If for no other reason than personal pride, he’ll take West Ham back to the EPL in 2012.
If his coaching performances with Bolton and Blackburn serve as any indication, Sam will also keep the Hammers in the EPL for as long as he holds the management reigns.
He’s Getting Paid to
Let’s be pragmatic about this: Sam Allardyce is a professional.
The Sun reports that Allardyce's two-year deal is worth £3 million, and he’ll get a seven-figure bonus if he takes the side back to the EPL.
Any professional manager worth his salt who stands to make more than £4 million by getting a decent squad from the Championship to the EPL will do so, regardless of the obstacles he faces.
Expect Sam to live up to the challenge.