The Great Escape – version 2014

A month ago I thought Sam Allardyce needed to be sacked because he was sending West Ham towards doom. Now I think Sam Allardyce needs to be sacked because he’s leading us to safety.

The last month has had a fair few low moments. The 6-0 drubbing at Man City which followed a 5-0 shamble at Notts Forest were the low points of the month. Since then we have won away at Cardiff and beaten Swansea at home, two crucial results given their respective standings.

I’m not 100% certain that we are going to get out of this, but there is a Tevez-like feeling marking the return of England SamAllardyceThinkinginternational Andy Carroll . He set up Noble for the second at Cardiff, as well as setting up both goals at home on Saturday. From watching the replays of the goals it is easy to seeing that he is quickly returning to the form that he was in this time last year when a full-time move was first being discussed. The return of Nolan from suspension (for now) has aided this process as the two seem to play the same style of daring football, providing they are on the field at the same time.

So why sack Allardyce? Last week after the draw against Chelsea I was full of praise for the attitude he showed towards his counterpart when the tactics he used to get us what could be a vital point, were questioned. The problem with Allardyce is that he has a history of doing very little in the Premier League besides surviving, with the exception of one UEFA Cup appearance with Bolton he has never achieved anything more than the occasional mid-table finish.

I remember the first time in my life that we went down (2002-03) and thinking that Bolton wouldn’t be far behind us because of the style they played. Unfortunately it is all too common for teams that he manages to scrape by, and to be completely honest I don’t want to see us turn into a club who are happy to finish 17th every year, which lets face it, I’ll be ecstatic with this season.

Remember growing up when you were told about “The West Ham way”, the style of football that had us pushing for Europe and producing the next wave of English internationals? That’s what I want to see again. Bobby Moore didn’t sit in Cassetari’s moving salt and pepper shakers for us to be a club who accepted mediocre. Moore than a football club, isn’t a gimmick, it’s what we are.

We are the emotions of the 2006 FA Cup Final, the disbelief when we were two goals to the good, the running around my house at 1am as Paul Konchesky’s “shot” gave us the lead going into the final third of the game, we are that feeling you got when Stevie G scored one of the greatest goals of all-time and mostly, we are the tears that flowed when Anton Ferdinand missed his penalty.

We have a history to uphold. Eight managers between 1902 and 2001 is something that we are all proud of. That pride comes from knowing that no other club did anything like that in the same 100 year span.

Football in the East End is about the West Ham way, so let’s return to our roots, something Sam Allardyce can NEVER help us do.

Come On You Irons!

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No way, Jose

Oh goodie, West Ham had an away midweek fixture to Chelsea. Those always end well </sarcasm>.

Thank you West Ham for finally proving me wrong. We came away from Stamford Bridge (which after this morning I’m convinced must be the most boring place for players to play, as there is no atmosphere) with a 0-0 despite having one shot on goal as opposed to Chelsea’s total of 9 on target from their 39 shots in the fixture.

_72612540_465777887I could write about the comings and goings from the fixture, but the biggest story comes after the whistle goes signalling scenes of ecstasy from West Ham fans, and confusion from Chelsea fans, who as they’ve only known about the club since 2003, still struggle to comprehend what happens when the final whistle goes.

I make no bones about the fact that Sam Allardyce is neither the right man to take West Ham into the future, or the man I want doing it, but for once Allardyce showed something that has been lacking for most of his time in the hot seat – passion.

After the game, Jose Mourinho wasn’t about to mince his words when discussing what he thought of the effort from the Hammers.

“This is not the best league in the world, this is football from the 19th century,” said Mourinho.

“The only [other] thing I could bring was a Black and Decker [tool] to destroy the wall.”

“A football match is about two teams playing and this match was only one team playing and another team not playing.”

Big Fat Sam, often short of useful words of wisdom, who usually likes to focus on downplaying the problems we face, was happy to fire straight back at the man who is in his second stint at Chelsea and WAS widely hated by those who now forgive and forget (Proof of their forget element can be seen if you ask them about anything prior 2003, as I’ve mentioned above).

“He can’t take it, can he? He can’t take it because we’ve outwitted him – he just can’t cope,” said the Hammers boss.

“He can tell me all he wants, I don’t care.

“I love to see Chelsea players moaning at the referee, trying to intimidate him, Jose jumping up and down saying we play rubbish football.

“It’s brilliant when you get a result against him. Hard luck, Jose.”

Thank you Sam for finally standing by your club and backing up the decisions you make.

As Sam so rightly said, Jose has the right to say whatever pleases him. Should that include being in the face of the fourth official for the last 15 minutes and making sure his players do the same with the referee, then sure, do that. You won’t make friends in that league or any other league by doing it, and it gives people who aren’t blinded by the blinkers of your club another opportunity to see what you are really about.

If you’re a Chelsea fan reading this, say and think what you want. Oh you’ve won trophies? Money will do that, but money will never by you the passion you’ll find in the East End, and newsflash, as boring as Chelsea are, watching them isn’t a funeral and you are allowed to sing, maybe something to consider now that some of West Ham’s finest have shown you the way to do it?

Jose hasn’t changed in the slightest, but that’s why he fits at Chelsea. The god complex is funny, and made much funnier by the fact that the fans buy into it. You don’t have a right to win the league, you don’t have a right to get every decision, and the Premier League doesn’t need you to survive.

The money will run out one day, and when it Chelsea fans are going to run quicker than Defoe did when we went down in 2002-03, when we hadn’t been relegated for five minutes before he announced on an international broadcast that he wanted nothing further to do with the club.

The facts are simple – Chelsea weren’t good today and we were. We played to our plan and the one that they tried to play to didn’t work. They were given seven minutes of stoppage time when there were four signaled – AND THEY STILL COULDN’T SCORE!

What’s that Jose? We parked the bus? When you did it against Arsenal, you said this.

“I think boring is a team that plays at home and cannot score a goal, that’s boring.”

There we have it, by his standards his own team are boring and after today, I have to agree.