Substance Over Style At West Ham?


The old cliché states that ‘football is a results business’ and if your team are winning games then everything is hunky-dory, isn’t it? Well I’m not so sure that is the case for all football fans. Some fans would much rather see their team entertaining them with flamboyance and exciting goal filled encounters which could result in the odd loss rather than watching their team grind out dull 1-0 wins. I suppose it comes down to which is more important, the result or the entertainment value?

That’s a question West Ham fans will have to ask themselves as they prepare for a season in the Championship under the guidance of Sam Allardyce. Big Sam’s appointment has been met with disillusionment from certain sections of the West Ham support and there is a consensus that Allardyce’s unattractive style of football will be deployed at Upton Park next season. If he gets the results required to get the Hammers back into the Premiership does it really matter how the team play?

West Ham have had a turbulent season and are now in need of some stability to get the club back to where it belongs. Allardyce’s gritty and direct style of play could be just the formula West Ham need to adopt as they set about planning for life in a notoriously hard league to get out of. In contrast, maybe that style of play is far from the ideal approach to take into the Championship, as the three promoted teams this season all played a brand of flowing, passing and expansive football. Either way West Ham need a shake up and the fans should give Allardyce a chance to implement his tactics and methods into the team. He has largely got the best out of his previous teams regardless of his style not being so easy on the eye, but the West Ham fans should only care about one thing at the present and that is promotion.

Whatever the fans think about Allardyce’s appointment, the fact of the matter is they’re stuck with him and the best way to help their team is to get behind the manager and see what he brings to the table. If ten games into the season the team are not at the desired level then it will be a more appropriate time to judge Allardyce and cast assertions. Let’s remember Avram Grant didn’t exactly play a style of football that was exciting to watch and although Gianfranco Zola brought in some flair, players such as Alessandro Diamanti and Luis Jimenez the club still stuttered around the foot of the table. It should also be remembered that in his time at Bolton, Big Sam brought in such players as Jay Jay Okocha, Youri Djorkaeff and Fernando Hierro who certainly don’t fall under the category of unattractive or direct footballers.

I personally am not a fan of the way Allardyce plays but if I was a West Ham fan I would be quite content with a manager coming in who has a proven Premiership track record and has put together promotion campaigns in the past. The football probably won’t be the dynamic and exciting brand I would want to watch my team play, but sometimes you have to go with what’s necessary to get the job done. I believe Allardyce is the right man for the job and will get West Ham back up at the first time of asking, it just won’t be with an entertaining style football fans crave.

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