It’s very apparent that all is not well between Sam Allardyce and West Ham’s owners, and the combination of last season performance, the bizarre Ravel Morrison situation, and Allardyce’s childish reaction to being told to embrace a new style of football has clearly created some friction.
What it has not necessarily done, however, is put Allardyce in imminent danger of being sacked before the season starts.
Rob Shepherd uses his Football Grapevine column in The Mail to claim otherwise this morning and that’s reflective of his growing tendency to make educated guesses about future developments and present that as ‘inside information’.
Here are a couple of other prophetic nuggets from his recent output:
- Chelsea will be signing Paul Pogba (June).
- Liverpool be offering a contract to Ashley Cole (June).
- Manchester United are bidding for Edinson Cavani (April/July).
- Wayne Rooney is heading for Paris St Germain (June).
- Manchester City and Manchester United will pursue Dani Alves in the Summer (April).
- Mario Balotelli is desperately pursuing a move to Arsenal (June).
And so on and so on and so on.
Ir’s the same every week now: take a scenario with a degree of credibility, go big and bold with a prediction and then add some kind of ambiguity to act as a disclaimer. It’s really, really weak.
With regards Allardyce, of course there are some questions over his future - you don’t need to be anything more than a casual football watcher to know that - but there’s no suggestion that West Ham are actively working on removing him and to claim otherwise is just an example of a journalist trying to put himself in a position to retrospectively claim an ‘exclusive’.
If West Ham start badly then Allardyce is in a very difficult position, but having spent what they have over the Summer and having built their recruitment around his transfer targets, David Gold and David Sullivan are evidently committed to giving him some kind of grace period.
Allardyce doesn’t really warrant it and he’s becoming more trouble than he’s worth to West Ham, but this decision was made at the end of last season.