Thursday, March 27, 2014

Are West Ham fans right to boo their own team?



Sam Allardyce was confused that West Ham fans booed despite a 2-1 win over Hull City that should mean the Hammers stay in the Premier League another year, but should he be that surprised that the fans vented their anger?

No. (That's the simple answer).

And here's why...

Yes, fans pay a lot of money to see the game and want to be entertained. No one really wants to be entertained if their team still loses, but we're willing to accept this every now and then. But ultimately they want to see passion, effort and progress.

West Ham fans have seen none of that this year. Allardyce blamed injuries and suspensions at the start of the season, and to some extent he was proved right when he won Manager of the Month for February after 4 straight wins. But even in those 4 wins, West Ham have played some terrible football all season and really look like they have no idea how to break a team down.

Banging long balls to Andy Carroll or Carlton Cole and hoping Kevin Nolan gets the scraps isn't what West Ham fans want to see - and no it's nothing to do with the Academy, Bobby Moore and winning the World Cup - it's not what any fan wants to see. A full back smashing the ball upfield to a target man is an option if you're trying to mix it up, but it shouldn't be the first option.

West Ham have wingers who can't beat a man and get to the byline, which means they just lump balls into the box when they get a chance hoping for a second chance opportunity. James Collins, James Tomkins and Winston Reid can defend, they just have no idea what to do with the ball when they get it, hence more long straight balls.

And this is why fans boo the team, and especially Allardyce. He recruits players that can only really play this way. He hasn't improved the team he set up to get back into the Premier League. When Ravel Morrison looked like he may provide some spark of creativity, he was shipped off to QPR. Youth team players have no chance under Allardyce as he seems to just bothered about staying up, not improving.

And I think that's why he gets booed. No one wants to just stay up playing the way Allardyce wants West Ham (and Bolton and Newcastle before that) to play.

They want to see exciting players, good football and passion. None of these were evident last night (or any night for the last few seasons) as they struggled to beat 10-man Hull, who frankly deserved all 3 points.

Yes, West Ham should be in the Premier League next year, but unless Big Sam can convince the owners he is making progress they may have a new manager.