May 24 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Kirk Blows writes each week for the Post about all things West Ham.
What with the recent preoccupation with a load of running, jumping and peddling, it’s been easy to overlook the fact that a new football season is now upon us.
Not that West Ham need reminding, given the club has spent the summer feverishly trying to bolster their squad ahead of their return to the Premier League.
At the time of writing, eight players have been signed on permanent deals – namely Jussi Jaaskelainen, George McCartney, James Collins, Mohamed Diame, Alou Diarra, Modibo Maiga, Stephen Henderson and Raphael Spiegel, while big bids have been made for Matt Jarvis.
With three of the new recruits being goalkeepers, the sceptics would suggest that West Ham might need to play all of them at once if they are to stand a chance of staying up this season.
Yet the transfer window remains open for a further fortnight and even the bookies think the Hammers will probably survive.
Manager Sam Allardyce should have enough strategic acumen to make sure that West Ham’s heads remain above the relegation waters.
He under-achieved with a third-place finish in the Championship last term, but the play-offs saw him secure his objective of gaining promotion and the fans got to enjoy a great day out at Wembley.
Indeed, so caught up in the euphoria of the moment, this column even suggested – in tongue-in-cheek fashion – that Allardyce should be rewarded with a knighthood.
West Ham fans took a pragmatic approach when Big Sam was appointed last year, believing the sacrifice of the club’s playing traditions was a price worth paying if they returned to the top flight.
Everybody could worry about the style of football once the team was back in the Premier League – and that moment has now arrived.
Allardyce is unlikely to dispense with the methods that have served him so well during his managerial career.
And he admitted after the Wembley success against Blackpool that he was in no rush to extend the remaining year of his contract – giving the impression he wanted to keep his options open.
With that in mind, some might wonder if the club should have been ruthless by thanking Sam for accomplishing his mission, bidding him farewell and doing everything possible to bring former boss Harry Redknapp back to Upton Park once Tottenham put him back on the market.
The critics would naturally be outraged – but would Hammers fans have a rather different point of view?