Today is the day. The big, end of season meeting at Sullivan Towers will today decide Sam Allardyce’s fate. Allardyce has come under intense pressure recently from fans who demand an end to the boring, anti-football that the manager favours to get results. But it looks like Allardyce could be saved by the power of the players, as one by one the senior pros have come out in support of their manager.
Yesterday it was skipper Kevin Nolan who said: “Hopefully Sam’s going to keep his job and be able to do what he’s done and recruit in the summer and bring people in to go on.
“Sometimes it’s a mistake to change. If you do get rid, who do you bring in?
“His pride is definitely hurt and anyone who knows him should know that. At the end of the day he deserves more respect than what he’s got and I’m disappointed there is all this talk.
“But that’s the life of a football manager. He’s got a thick skin and he’s got a meeting with the chairman this week to discuss where we are going to go in the future and all the lads are hoping it is only paper talk.
“It’s crazy, but that’s the world of football these days. The pressure on people is enormous and that’s something what the gaffer’s got to put up with.
“I’ll be very disappointed if he lost the job and all those boys in the dressing room will be very disappointed.
“Before he came we were in the Championship, and it was in a real bad state – not just on the outside, but inside and that’s what he does, he builds from the foundations up and he’s starting to build something here.
“He’s got the vision and he’s got to make us believe his vision. If we all get behind him, the chairman, myself, the players, the fans, if we all get behind him, together we will be in for a successful future for this club”.
Now, fan power is one thing, and Sullivan and Gold run the risk of performances being affected by critical fans next season if Allardyce stays. But player power is also a big factor in all this. If Allardyce does get the heave-ho and the players are not as comfortable with his replacement, then performances could suffer even more. If the new manager has lost the dressing room before he even gets here, then the prospect of relegation becomes a real possibility.
So what will Sullivan and Gold do? My guess is that they will give him one more season and play it by ear. If the results pick up and West Ham start playing with a more attacking bent next season, then the fans will be happy. If the song remains the same then he could be gone by October/November.
It will certainly be a fascinating day.