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Thursday, 02 January 2014

West Ham: Is it time for Big Sam to be axed?


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West Ham United are in trouble, deep trouble. Yesterday's defeat at Fulham was their 11th of the season, leaving the Irons firmly in the relegation picture.

Manager Sam Allardyce is facing calls for his head, but with the two Davids facing a bill of £6 million in compensation if they pull the trigger, should The Hammers stick with Big Sam or go for someone new?

Big samAllardyce was never the fans' choice to replace Avram Grant following their fall into the Championship, but David Gold and David Sullivan felt the former Bolton and Newcastle boss was the right man to get them back into the top flight. And he was. He needed the play-offs to achieve that goal, but he got the Hammers back to the Premier League.

The football may not have been easy on the eye, but Allarydce was getting results on the pitch. Last season was a comfortable return to the Premier League for West Ham. They finished 10th and everything looked good. In the summer the club splashed the cash on Andy Carroll for a club record transfer fee and he was joined by former Liverpool team-mate Stewart Downing.

However, putting all of his faith and money into an injury-prone striker may be Big Sam's downfall. Carroll hasn't kicked a ball in anger and their lack of attacking threat has been a major issue all season.

Carroll is due to make his return to action soon, but with 18 games left to go West Ham cannot rely on Carroll being their saviour. They need 25 points from those games to hit the magical 40-point mark and the way they are playing right now you just can't see that happening. 

Time is running out for Big Sam.

His style of play has had fans nodding off and his tactics have been forcing them to tear out their hair. But there are some people who still think that Allardyce is the right man to get the club out of this mess, that the club should not panic just yet. He has a wealth of experience in this position following his time at Bolton and has never been relegated during his career.

His supporters would also rather use the £6 million in compensation in the transfer window to try and turn things around.

His critics have reservations as to whether Allardyce can be trusted to spend that money wisely though.

Allardyce can also rest easy knowing that the two Davids have never sacked a manager that they have appointed. A fact that some West Ham fans would love to see change.

The Hammers, who have dropped 1r points from winning positions this season, weren't helped on New Year's Day by captain Kevin Nolan getting sent off. At a time when you need everyone to pull together, Nolan let everyone down. Like Allardyce, Nolan has had his knockers this season and many fans don't want to see him pull on the shirt again for his act of petulance.

Sunderland, Fulham, Palace, Cardiff and West Brom have all changed managers this season. Only Sunderland are preventing the Hammers from propping up the table, so should Big Sam be the first manager to be axed in 2014?

Whatever your views we'd love to hear from you.

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Antony Melvin

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