Well, it certainly isn’t Big Sam.
In a poll conducted by 16 West Ham related fan sites more than 12,392 people took part, and 77.95% of them have expressed the view that Sam Allardyce should not be retained as West Ham manager next season. 22.05% voted for him to continue in his job. The survey ran from Thursday and closed at 7pm on Sunday 27 April. It is thought to be the largest ‘opinion poll’ ever undertaken of a club’s supporters.
The 16 sites taking part were Blowing Bubbles, Claret & Blues, Claret & Hugh, Ex-Hammers Magazine, Forever West Ham, Hammers in the Heart, Iron Views, KUMB, Moore Than Just a Club, Very West Ham, West Ham Fan (that’s us folks!), West Ham Online, West Ham Till I Die, West Ham World, WHU Stuff and WHUFCTV.com.
Of those who voted, 27% are season ticket holders, with a further 48% attending home matches. A quarter of the respondents never go to a game, but watch them on TV.
28% of those who voted live in London, 26% in the South East, and 12% in East Anglia. 14% who voted are overseas supporters.
Of those who voted, a massive 4,850 people left comments. The points made in the comments which seem to be the most repeated are these…
* We should thank Sam for what he has done but he is not the man for the future of the club.
* Nobody wants a witch hunt but it is time for him to go
* Be careful what we wish for – he should not be sacked without a clear idea of who is to replace him
* Many people are threatening not to renew their season tickets
* Sam’s style of football is too one-dimensional. There is no plan B.
The conclusions of the poll have been sent to David Sullivan.
Soooo……..what now? My guess is the Davids will wait till the summer’s end of season debriefing and see what Big Sam has got to say. They need to balance the fact that Allardyce has actually delivered (barring a miracle) what they asked him to do, but they need to heed the fans too. A new season with the fans continually barracking the manager and players is not a recipe for success on the pitch. The fans need to be behind both the manager and the team and, if Allardyce is still here, that probably will not happen, unless Johnny leopard changes his spots. I think the Davids like the fact that Big Sam delivers survival on a regular basis. With the move to the Olympic stadium round the corner, that is the number priority in the next couple of seasons. Bringing in a new man with more panache and flair brings its own risks, and it will be a brave decision to give Sam the heave ho. But the die is cast and the might of the West Ham blog readers have spoken. The poll turnout was (I think) higher than the poll for the Olympic Stadium move conducted by West Ham, so the result of this new poll cannot be taken lightly. Disgruntled fans means less income and unhealthy atmosphere for the players. If a new is deemed to be the best solution, they need to act fast. They need to hit the ground running next season, and, if they can afford to, new players have to be bought, though who would actually want to come to West Ham is another matter. A lot would depend on who they choose as manager.
It’s going to be an interesting next few months!