Big Sam: Tale of Home and Away Part II


When Sam Allardyce took the reigns leading into last season’s push for promotion, he said of his tactics that “It will be a tale of home and away”, so is that going to be the case for West Ham next season? While it’s difficult to argue with the results, it could be said that there were plenty of times his line-ups were a bit conservative, even by his standards. Will it be even harder on the eye this next season, where the competition will be tougher, faster and even less forgiving?

One thing to keep in mind throughout this season is that a good coach will make the most of the players and situation he is in. There’s no doubt in my mind that Big Sam is a great coach, but given the group of players currently at Upton Park, is he just resigned to play cagey long-ball, parking the bus week after week? There’s no shame in grinding out results away at Old Trafford, the Emirates and Stamford Bridge, but there are plenty of teams we can and should beat, it’s just all about finding the right system for the players we have (or may have come August). Running a 4-5-1 isn’t as terrible and boring as sounds, and can actually be quite attacking-oriented. Look at most international teams these days and you’ll see two holding midfielders behind three attacking midfielders and one striker to finish off the moves. Greece employs a 4-3-3 formation where the wingers track back and they become a 4-5-1 when they don’t have the ball. While Greece were dreadful to watch in the Euros, they were functional and successful.


I just don’t think we need to despair just yet about negative tactics, as even Big Sam knows that with our current back line he doesn’t have the speed and flexibility to regularly keep clean sheets for 90 minutes in the most competitive league in the world. We will have to score goals to be successful at this level, and Big Sam is nothing if not successful.

Share this article