A couple of months back I wrote about My Beloved Hammers. Having just been relegated, it was a painful experience, especially with a squad that, on paper, looked like it could and should stay in the English Premier League.
There are so many places where the blame could lie for that 2010/2011 season – The owners, the manager, the players, the media… But that’s not helpful – All we can do is build for the present and the future.
Now, I did stick my neck out and say that Sam Allardyce *could* be the best manager we’ve had at West Ham. Statistically Avram grant could be the worst and Zola was green and tactically naive. But Big Sam’s been blamed for his long ball/route one approach but I’ve not seen much of that so far. He did mess about too much against Aldershot, but with the cheap lager cup out of the way we can focus on the most important issue – the league
This leads to the recent closure of the transfer deadline window. Sam has made some decent signings.
Nolan was quite a coup – a leader in the middle of the field with bigger balls than Matt Upson is a change for the best. Then Matty Taylor was lured in – he’s been promising so far. Abdulaye Faye is solid. Those were our first and early signings.
Joey O’Brien I know little about but he’s been handy and John Carew provides experience up front. It’s great to see George McCartney back in the squad too. He shouldn’t have left in the first place and his departure was at a bad time in the club’s history, making it worse, in my opinion. But he’s back and I’m happy about that.
This Sam Baldock from MK Dons has been in form of late, so let’s hope he can keep up the consistency.
OK, we’ve gone and finally lost Parker and to Spurs too! But, just like when Chelsea were interested in him as a Charlton player, you could see his heart wasn’t in it any more (Although not as bad as when he wanted to leave Charlton, he was *really* NFI.)
But it’s these last four signings on the last two days of the window that have been inspiring – Diop, “the wardrobe” could be very handy indeed – How many more clean sheets might we have with him in the back four? Bentley, if he gets back to form, will be an asset, although I never saw so much of him in his “glory days” to comment.
Then this Henri Lansbury sounds good and Guy Demel we’ve been linked with before, so it’s great that West Ham have got this alure again.
Well done to the board for keeping their mouths shut (so far) and well done to Big Sam for picking some interesting and inspiring players.
All I can say is that, despite having bemoaned him before, I do hope Carlton Cole stays despite the apparent interest from Galatasaray. He started to pick up again under Zola and then lost it again for a while until relegation inspired him to pick his game up here and there. He’s looking more consistent and up for it under Big Sam’s guidance, so I think we’re on to a winner here.
Oh, and on the statistics front – When we beat Watford 4-0, that was the first back-to-back win since December 2007 and who was our manager then? Yes, Alan Curbishley. Curbs wasn’t the most exciting manager but he got us results. Grant didn’t get two wins in a row but then obviously neither did Zola.
So, with Big Sam at the helm and an exciting combination of players, this could be a very promising season. I just hope we can enjoy seeing automatic promotion and not the scary playoffs that we had two years in a row rather than sitting in a Docklands pub like we did last time, completely sweating it!
Come on you Irons!