The ‘Allardyce out’ brigade relentlessly berate Sam’s ability to get a side playing good, cohesive football, but surely last night has proved that with the right players at his disposal Sam can produce the kind of football the fans wish to see. I personally can barely remember a long-ball from last night’s contest.
The second half of the thriller at the KC Stadium was a glimpse of what this new West Ham team is all about and if given that precious and rare commodity in football of time, the performances will surely only improve.
Enner Valencia’s wonder strike and the way in which it was struck with very little back-lift and devastating power; was reminiscent of a former Hammers striker…Jermain Defoe and arguably since Defoe’s departure we’ve lacked a striker with that kind of finishing ability, however it looks like in Valencia we’ve found a cutting edge often missed in previous campaigns.
Whilst from an attacking standpoint we do look a lot more threatening, defensively there does seem to be fragility; typified by the lackadaisical error, which lead to Mohamed Diame’s (inevitable) goal. Clearly the balance still isn’t quite right between our new open, expansive play and the solidity in our game which lead to 13 clean sheets last season. Our new style still requires some tweaking, but the early signs look good.
In order to fill the Olympic Stadium the club need to marry a more aesthetically pleasing style with a better quality of playing personnel, and one can only hope the sight of Alex Song replacing Mauro Zarate, is a clear indication of the direction in which we’re going.
With the exception of the defeat to Southampton I feel we’ve been the better side and played the better football in our fixtures thus far, we need to be patient with this squad of players as they need more time to gel, but if last night is anything to go by this will be a far more enjoyable campaign than the previous one.