Sam Allardyce’s comments about West Ham have been well documented the past couple of days and it’s easy to understand why.
The former Hammers boss has a new book to sell and he mentions the West Ham fans, painting them in quite a negative light:
“I felt the West Ham way was about wearing your heart on your sleeve and showing passion for the club and winning.
“But the fans were being brainwashed into thinking that, historically, the club had a particular style of play which was akin to Barcelona, which was potty.
“I once called the supporters deluded and I stand by that. I don’t know who invented the ‘West Ham way’ phrase, but it’s a millstone around the club’s neck.
“I’ve talked to my predecessors Alan Curbishley, Alan Pardew and Harry Redknapp and they got it in the neck from the crowd as much as I did.”
On the whole, Big Sam’s reign at West Ham was efficient. The club are now a secure Premier League side with high ambitions for the future. However, to call the fans deluded for a second time seems harsh. Also, Hammers fans don’t expect Barcelona-esque football; they just want to be entertained.
There were times last season when the fans were right to voice their opinion as the football being played was tedious, especially in the latter half of the season.
Allardyce mentioned how Bilic has a big challenge on his hands:
“The fans won’t turn up if West Ham are playing fantasy football and losing 5-3 every week. Slaven Bilic is the new man in the hotseat and good luck to him. He will need it.”
The thing is, if West Ham lose a game of football 5-3, chances are it’ll be entertaining. The Bournemouth game this season was a bit of a disaster and it certainly wasn’t boring. If a West Ham team wants to entertain and please the crowd, that is all most Hammers fans ask for.
So, Mr Allardyce, the West Ham Way is not some delusional fantasy, it’s a plea for a bit of footballing entertainment. In all fairness, Slaven Bilic is delivering that in abundance right now.