West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is on precariously thin ice after suffering three defeats already this season and he is now the front-runner in the Premier League sack race.
Allardyce’s job safety has been under increased scrutiny over the last nine months with fans and critics calling for his sacking.
The board decided to keep him on after saving them from the drop last campaign, however he has been set the unenviable task of changing the side’s style to a more entertaining and attacking one, while achieving a top ten finish in the process.
An ambitious target and one which it would seem the board are not too confident of him achieving. It is understood that they have allowed him six games to prove himself and at four games into that period they have lost two and been eliminated from the Capital One cup.
The sense at this stage is that the club owners are simply waiting for an excuse to axe the manager and relieve them of any guilt that may occur over ridding of a man that restored their Premier League status.
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David Gold and David Sullivan, along with the majority of Hammers fans, seemed to want a change in the summer but couldn’t justify it after the results Alladyce’s side produced last term in order to climb out of the relegation scrap.
While it would have been harsh to sack him then, it seems even harsher to ask him to now do a job that they know he won’t be able to complete in order to get their way.
Allardyce has built a career on winning ugly and now the board have insisted on him changing the way he has done his job for decades, something which he seems reluctant to do.
Therefore the moment the winning ugly routine stops winning, the board will wield the almighty axe and Big Sam’s reign will come to an abrupt end.
Little too late
In my view it would have been a much better idea to part ways with Allardyce at the end of last season, get a new manager in and sign the players that he wants.
Now they have spent a vast amount on signings that were primarily Allardyce’s, so if he is to be sacked sooner rather than later it could cause some conflict.
The acquisitions made by West Ham this summer have been impressive but a new manager generally wants to bring in his own players.
More of the same
West Ham made a good start to the season performance wise, out-playing Tottenham despite losing the game 1-0, and they looked superb in their 3-1 away win against Crystal Palace.
However the recent 3-1 defeat at home to Southampton was up there with some of the worst of last season and revealed that there has not been any significant changes or improvements to the style.
The Hammers travel to Hull next before facing Liverpool and Manchester United, if they fail to pick up any points from those matches, which is no easy feat, then Allardyce could well find himself out of work as soon as October.