Tuesday, June 16

Do West Ham fans turn on all gaffers?

Not sure about Sam Allardyce's claim in last week's Sun that West Ham fans have turned on all the club's managers when results have not been good. He claimed: "It wasn't just a Sam Allardyce thing. It's a natural thing that West Ham fans do. I know that having spoken to Alan Curbishley, Alan Pardew and Harry Redknapp."

It's true to some extent, and like all clubs we do have our share of moaners, but what was interesting about Alan Pardew was that he immediately made an effort to understand the culture of the club. If I can blow my own claret and blue trumpet here, to my great surprise, Pardew wrote in his first programme notes: "During my sabbatical one of the books I read was Pete May's West Ham: Irons in the Soul. Without doubt it is a true fan's view of recent events at the club. I'd like to thank Pete for writing the book because it's given me an honest insight into West Ham and if results go extremely well I might even try a pre-match breakfast in Ken's Cafe."

It was impressive that Pards was reading books by fans and shows his dedicated approach to the job (and thanks for the royalty, Pards). The fans did turn on Pardew at times during the two seasons in the Championship, but after the glory of the play-off win and FA Cup Final of 2006 he won them over and when Eggert the Eggman was about to sack him in late 2006, there were continual chants of "Alan Pardew's claret and blue army!" from the home fans throughout the home game against Sheffield United.

Big Sam achieved a lot results-wise during his four years at the Hammers and we should be grateful for that, but saying on his arrival that he didn't know what the West Ham way was a terrible way to start and he tended to lapse into confrontation rather than try to win over the fans with some positive PR. Had he studied the DNA of the club in the way that Pardew did and whenever possible praised the club's supporters and attacking traditions he might still have been in a job.


mj said...

I still get a chill when I remember " Curbs only keeps us mid table, next step blah blah" the next step was relegation. Can we just get to the new stadium in the premier league? By the way, when do the seats turn claret and blue?

Anonymous said...

No it wasn't.

The next step was Zola, who if memory serves took us through 2 years of not being relegated. The step after was Grant, underinvestment and relegation.

So lets wait and see how the Summer goes before the doom and gloom, oh for the days of awful football but the occasional lacklustre point, starts.