West Ham Manager “Big” Sam Allardyce 5

West Ham defeat their London rivals QPR 2-1 in a win that lifts West Ham into 7th place with 11 points and leaves QPR at the bottom of the table with only 2 points.

But the story is not West Ham, but rather “Big” Sam. Allardyce. On Allardyce’s arrival at West Ham in the summer of 2011, after their relegation from the Premier league, big Sam promised to get the club back into the top league in one shot. Bold predictions for any relegated side, but for a club that had just lost 12 of their “top” players, and had only fleeting success in England’s, top division. The prediction came across as nothing more than an idle boast of the new manager coming in.

West Ham manager "Big" Sam Allardyce

West Ham manager “Big” Sam Allardyce

However, true to his word, Big Sam got West Ham up at the first time of asking, even though they had to take the playoff route to get there.

However, If you delve into Allardyce’s past with Blackburn and especially Bolton, you will see that he has a solid record of success and over achieving with the less than fashionable clubs. At Bolton, in his 8 years at the club, he transformed them from a perennial 2nd tier team, into a solid top 10 Premiership side.

In his playing days, Allardyce, was a rugged uncompromising defender and as a manager has set about establishing teams in his own image; big strong, cumbersome and extremely hard to beat.

His record would suggest that once he gets his system and players in place, the likelihood of him bringing (mid table) success to his teams is highly likely. His methods haven’t always been liked, with Allardyce often being accused of a playing an ugly brand of football, focusing on long balls and an overly aggressive style with a team comprised of big strong physical players, emphasizing getting the ball into the opponents penalty box as soon as possible. It isn’t always a pretty style of play, but amongst the hustle and bustle he has tended to always find ways to sprinkle flair players into the mix, the likes of Jay-Jay Okocha in the early Bolton days and Youri Djorkaeff in the later days as well as Real Madrid and Spain captain Fernando Hierro.

Big Sam seems to be on he way to putting his plan in place at West Ham and a top ten finish. Only time will tell.

Big Sam seems to be on he way to putting his plan in place at West Ham and a top ten finish. Only time will tell.

Typically these accusations came from the “big” teams higher up the table that supposedly played a more sophisticated brand of football, Arsene Wenger and Rafael Benitez at Liverpool, two teams that typically came undone at Bolton. For which Big Sam had no apologies, believing that the accusations of his physical and negative style of play was an exaggeration, instead choosing to call his style as pragmatic and practical.

But Big Sam is unapologetic and confident in his coaching model. He is a manager that knows his craft and is fully experienced and confident in his profession after 20 years of honing his kills at various levels. With man-management his greatest strength he maintains that he could win trophies at the very biggest clubs, such as Real Madrid and Internazionale, if he was given the opportunity.

In his own words, Allardyce feels that he could pretty much, “walk into any club, anywhere, any time and deliver” saying, It’s a bit like a CEO, isn’t it? You can take up a position in any industry and if you’re a good CEO, you can make that company profitable. You put me in a football environment anywhere in the world and I can deliver the module. I can modify the module for the particular culture and the way of playing.”

Big Sam seems to be on he way to putting his plan in place at West Ham and a top ten finish. Only time will tell.