West Ham fan Billy Blagg argues Sam Allardyce is as good an option as any to help Hammers avoid relegation

Picture: Action Images

Picture: Action Images

First published in Sport

Last week, I was a rare and golden creature.

Like a Snow Leopard or a Slovenian Grebe, I was and endangered species, an animal rarely seen, particularly in captivity and certainly not within the confines of the Boleyn Ground.

For I was a throwback - something strangely unique and slightly odd - yes, I was a supporter of Sam Allardyce.

My enthusiasm for Big Sam’s managerial style wasn’t for altruistic reasons though.

My argument was that West Ham had tried everything over the years and nothing else seemed to work, so why not try an ex-Bolton defender known for his more robust approach and no-nonsense direct style? Perhaps a tight defence, boring football and a series of 1-0 away wins was the way forward.

The club been down the route of the former player, someone with claret and blue blood coursing through their veins who understood the club, its fans and unique history. Billy Bonds and Harry Redknapp didn't produce much.

The club had tried the type of quiet, contemplative manager who’d taken a previous team to a Champions League and a domestic final. Avram Grant's reign ended in tears.

The young foreign manager with a glorious playing career destined to become an equally good coach? Gianfranco Zola - been there, got the stylish Italian T-shirt.

The workmanlike English defenders with a coaching badge and a new career to build? Glenn Roeder - let’s not talk about that one, eh?

Even when the club had tried that perennial favourite that seemed to work so well for everyone else - the fiery Scot not afraid to make sure things were done his way - Lou Macari - everything had turned sour.

But now it all seems to have gone wrong for Allardyce too.

The decision to turn to the kids for an FA Cup match probably sounded good when it was presented to the board, but there was always a danger that even a Hammers side playing well was going to get a pummeling at the feet of Manchester City, so an embarrassing defeat to Nottingham Forest just compounded a bad situation.

So although one swallow hardly makes a summer or one win a season, the victory at Cardiff does give everyone a bit of respite in what seemed like unremitting gloom.

Because I can’t help but feel that if Allardyce can’t keep the Hammers in the Premier League then who can?

None of the names being bandied about feel me with much enthusiasm - it’s just going down a road we’ve already been down with someone different.

It seems to me then that only modern science can provide the answer.

Scientists at the University of East London are currently trying to build a manager with the DNA from John Lyall and Ron Greenwood. I’ll let you know when the results are in.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree