First of all, I would like to congratulate the whole of West Ham United on gaining promotion. Although the season wasn’t perfect at times, Allardyce delivered exactly what he promised, to take us back to the Premiership at the first time of asking.
I also would like to say Allardyce, for me has made me change my opinion on him than when we first announced he was a manager, I was one hater of him, claiming he was too direct in his play, but I now see that isn’t the case. He is a manager who likes to concentrate on the simple things, a strong defensive platform, with players who are hard to beat and all work together, the style of play with the ball is sometimes direct, but it isn’t a constant, there have been times when the side have passed it around very nicely. He is a much better manager than I first thought, although he had a good record, I never truly saw his management style as something I could enjoy.
There have been some brilliant performances from our squad this season and I have been very impressed with Green, Tomkins, Reid, Noble and Vaz Te, we have also seen some strong performances from Cole and Collison recently, which you could argue have been vital in the play-offs.
I do hope the side enjoy their break and look forward to the new season coming up.
If we are to stay in our side then everyone knows, we need to strengthen and I’m sure no one knows that more than Allardyce. I personally think the positions we need strengthening are as follows. Possibly a Goalkeeper, but this all depends on whether Green signs a new contract or not, I’m personally hoping he will. In defence I would like to see a left back, which I wouldn’t be surprised if McCartney joins permanently, a centre back as I feel Faye will only be a bit part player next season and a right back, this is because it looks highly unlikely Faubert will be signing a new contract and Demel is rather injury prone. In midfield I would like to see an outright wide right player, as at the moment I feel we only have Vaz Te who is effective out there, Collison and O’Neil are mainly preferred to be in the centre, if the rumours are true about us being interested in Benayoun or Joe Cole then these could fit the bill, they can stay out wide and deliver a cross or they can cut inside to create chances for themselves or others and on top of that if we had Vaz Te and Taylor in the wide positions, they can be just as effective in the middle of midfield. I also feel we’d require another striker, Cole has proven his worth in recent games and if he keeps playing like that then I’d expect him to be involved, I think Maynard will be seen a bit, especially when we require goals as we can switch formations by bringing him on, but I personally can’t see Baldock getting in the squad as much, he isn’t big enough to play up top on his own and clearly doesn’t feel comfortable being pushed out wide, although I hope he doesn’t go as I do rate him highly.
I look forward to pre-season as much as ever and the new campaign ahead of us. I have faith we can stay up with the correct signings and hopefully the future will be claret and blue.