A bright future awaits West Ham

Image for A bright future awaits West Ham

Guy Demel LiverpoolSo it seems that the uplifting and exciting brand of football first witnessed last week up at Hull City wasn’t just a flash in the pan, and there may be real hope that the dark, dreary, desperate, defensive dinosaur displays will be consigned to the bin marked “bad old days”.

Just as we witnessed at the KC Stadium, the display against one of our bogey sides Liverpool was full of purpose, running, pace and skill, and only us long suffering Hammers fans can really understand the joy and relief seeing US pegging teams back and causing defensive panic by sheer endeavour and attacking weight of numbers.
Several things appear to have combined to cause this “perfect storm” of a claret and blue hew. First and foremost, and lets be fair and give huge credit where it is due, every new signing has hit the ground running in a league known world-wide to be more physical, more powerful and more intense than any other in the global game. We may have hoped to see two, three or possibly four of the new boys get up to speed in the first few weeks, but to see each and every recruit step up and produce, is both a rarity and a welcome relief.

The Premier League graveyard is littered with the long forgotten skeletons of those who came, tried and failed, and whilst we must be accepting of the fact that some of the imported guys may well fade at some stage, to see so many showing such huge commitment to the cause can only be great for the future of the club. The type of player we now see performing so well is an ingredient that has been so lacking for so long, and this previous deficiency of pace, trickery, attack minded intent and energy has been a huge factor in the Hammers troubled and uninspiring recent history. Sam Allardyce’s preferred player template favoured height over skill, power over speed, and safety over risk. By accident or design, he now has the tools to fashion an exciting offensive thinking side, and for me, there is absolutely no going back to the dark old days of Carlton Cole, Kevin Nolan, Joey O’Brien, Ricardo Vaz Te and balls that spent so much time in the air, they regularly featured on aircraft flight control systems….

Why the sudden change in tack? I have no doubt whatsoever that fan discontent played a huge and necessary part in the sudden style change of both play and player. The shrewd business sense of David Sullivan and the West Ham home boy David Gold realised long ago that the natives were not just restless; they were dying of boredom and disinterest. Fans loyal beyond reason (after 50 odd years, I share both your pain and elation) were actually questioning their support, and for those of us truly steeped in Mooro, Bonzo and  pie and mash, this was just downright painful. The board knew the extent of the problem and acted. Hopefully Sam played his part in choosing the new breed, and maybe Teddy Sheringham weighed in with his thoughts, who knows?! Whatever the truth, thank you for the collective will to put things right and listen to the paying fan.

The Liverpool performance was the best I have seen for so, so long. It showed that indeed, the old adage that attack is the best form of defence was right on the money. Watching us press high up the field with the luxury of two strikers and a support man at the head of the diamond, chase, and force errors and backwards passing from Liverpool was almost hard to digest. As an old Dads Army fan, the classic phrase “they don’t like it up ’em” just about summed it all up. No player likes to be denied space and time on the ball, and as we saw with Steven Gerrard, so superbly marshalled by Stewart Downing, he was never in the game and had no influence whatsoever on proceedings. For once we looked solid, organised and confident of what we were doing.

I don’t especially care who rang the changes at West Ham. All I know is we now have a distinct team style, a great work ethic, and a system that looks capable of giving even the best sides and defences something to think about. To have commentators, journalists and even Match of the Day pundits singing our praises at long last and mentioning the word “entertainment” in the same sentence as West Ham is long overdue.

The big dilemma for Mr Allardyce now is the impending return to fitness and availability of both Andy Carroll and his golden boy Kevin Nolan. However, that’s for another day. Lets just enjoy the here and now. It has been a long and painful journey, but let’s just hope the startling change we have all witnessed is non-reversible and ushers in a new era of “the West Ham way”.

Share this article

Plaistow born Spencer is a lifelong Hammer and having spent half-a century plus, enduring this lifelong obsession, along with every other West Ham supporter, knows exactly what it takes and what it means to wrap that Claret & Blue scarf round your neck every other Saturday and head off for the Boleyn !

A Chartered Surveyor by profession, Spencer, now 58, has played, coached and managed at semi-pro level within Essex for a number of clubs, and, simply unable to give up playing, currently turns out for the Iron Maiden Over 35’s side when he is not watching the Hammers, playing guitar in his Classic Rock covers band Gunrunner, or more probably, injured yet again!


  • ian says:

    Nolan is finished as a premier league player,Carroll would be a good impact sub,but hes not mobile,fast or skilful enough to dislodge Valencia,sakho or zarate,hes a different option though to change a match

    • Spence55 says:

      Couldn’t agree more Ian. The changes have been well and truly rung and he can have no further part on the pitch. As a motivational coach, great !

  • The Cat says:

    It seems hard and almost begrudging to give Big Sam any credit for anything that approaches football, Most NEGLECT the minor fact that this is the FIRST transfer budget that Big Sam has had or any manager post Eggy.

    Big Sam take a bow, because for those of us who are able to work out whats what, know that you have assembled a side with a Plan A, B & C and this season you HAVEN’T had to cut your cloth accordingly.

    Credit also goes to the chairmen who have managed to turn this club from the brink of financial ruin to a club a season away from moving into a 54k seat stadium.

    Maybe some supporters were under the illusion that magic wands exist, but as for me, I always knew it would be a slow build (even thought it would be a bit slower than this and this seasons transfer budget was a nice surprise) before this club rose again.

    Get behind your club 100% and without division and we will do even Better!

  • The Cat says:

    I’m not worried by the dilemma of Nolan etc etc as it is called Evolution and EVERY manager has to deal with it. What many supporters don’t understand or see is the loyalty between player and manager & the respectful release of players over time. If a player is doing the business he WON’T be dropped and he will remain the owner of the shirt. ALL players accept this fact and IF they want regular football, they seek a move elsewhere.

  • Johnn Mac says:

    Just a tip for Sam, keep Nolan and Carroll out of the team. The team plays totally different and predictably with those 2 in & there is no way we would have beaten Liverpool with them in. The owners have made their mark and have made Sam & West Ham take on these great new additions to our squad. All of the teams have the Kevin & AC combination worked out. These new lads with roots of African background are on fire. Constructive criticism is great, so let Sam know that we now have the team that are giving us what we want & there is now no going back now & no need to return to the dirge of a system that we had no choice to play under before, due to lack of staff. Valencia, Song, Sakho, Kouyaté, Morrison & Amalfitano. These lads can rip anyone apart. Keep them in Sam and they’ll keep the goals coming. Finally I can now look forward to games v Liverpool, Man Utd. In fact any of them COYI!

Comments are closed.