Well I have not written since the opening day of the Premier League season where I must admit I slightly threw my toys out the pram when we lost to Tottenham Hotspur in a game we should have won or worst case scenario got a point. At the time all I could see was a hangover from last season, same system, negative tactics from Allardyce and I feared the worst for the season ahead.
Now looking back and seeing the bigger picture there were signs of improvement and a change in playing style, however, we simply did not have the players or players fit to implement the change on the opening day. The change in the last couple of months (other than Southampton) has really been a joy to behold. Fair play to Sam Allardyce who I believe I fairly criticised last season, he seems to have taken the chains off and we are simply a different team and I think we can all say that we are enjoying watching our team again so long may this continue.
All the signings have settled in and we have the most exciting forward line since the days of Paolo Di Canio. I must admit I had doubts about Diafra Sakho, looked like another Modibo Maiga type signing, however, he has been a revelation, he has pace, strong, can hold ball up and yes, he scores goals, goals for crying out loud, it is a revelation! Long may it continue, he looks the business. Enner Valencia, while the goals have not flowed, looks a great addition to the squad and he will only get better.
In midfield we have two beasts in Cheikhou Kouyate and Alex Song. We now have energy and running in the middle of the park which has given a new lease of life to Stewart Downing while Mark Noble continues to do what he does best while being criminally ignored by England. I loved the signing of Song, what a player he is and I just hope we can sort out a long-term deal.
However, arguably my favourite new addition has been Aaron Cresswell, this lad impressed on his debut in the Spurs game. He is full of running, bit of skill and defensively looks good so far. Considering what Manchester United paid for Luke Shaw we have got a nice little bargain here.
So things are defiantly looking brighter following the depression of last season. However, as fans we had every right to voice out frustrations and displeasure last season and I stand by all of my criticism of Allardyce, it was justified at the time and, if he keeps doing what he is doing now, then I will have no reason to throw my toys out the pram again. Credit to David Gold and David Sullivan too and it will be interesting to see what happens post-Christmas as the Allardyce contract situation will raise its head again, however, we may have gone on a shocking run by then and calling for the head of Allardyce again. Yes, football fans are fickle, I wish pundits would get that and not dig fans out for having passion for their club, we spend enough money and are entitled to opinions.
My one West Ham negative this season has been the treatment of the club captain Kevin Nolan. The jeering at the QPR game was uncalled for and while I agree at this moment in time that Nolan does not justify a spot in the starting 11 he still has something to offer and I hope his detractors do ease off. Nolan was vital in the Championship and the first season we came up. As a player his limitations were clear to see is the Championship, so what do some fans expect from him? It looks like we are moving forward and Nolan my be left behind, but let’s remember what he has done for us, yeah? I don’t like the way fans always need a scapegoat, things are looking good at the moment so why create unnecessary negativity?
A few more thoughts non-West Ham related from the season. Chelsea look very good and only Manchester City will compete, however, something don’t look quite right about City, they look vulnerable at the back and is it is just me or is Vincent Kompany slightly overrated?!
Spurs and Arsenal are having standard seasons, which will finish in the standard format! Southampton have shut up all the pundits and our home defeat looks less grim on paper now.
At the bottom the Newcastle United soap opera is always entertaining, nice that it is not us for once. I do feel for their fans, however, never understand why their fans get praised by the media for showing their displeasure while us West Ham fans get stick for having an opinion? Together with Burnley and QPR it looks like relegation places are arguably already determined. QPR are their normal car crash and Harry Redknapp is busy blaming everyone else rather than looking at his self, standard Harry form that!
So there we go, almost three months in and we are top four with a top of the table clash this Saturday . Think we would have all taken that in the summer following the uninspiring pre-season?!