Last year West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce held make-or-break talks with the clubs hierarchy in an attempt to save his job.
The deal that the two parties struck was that Allardyce would keep his job if he could get the team producing more attractive football this season.
The veteran boss was backed by the clubs owners in the transfer market and brought in the likes of Mauro Zarate, Enner Valencia, Aaron Cresswell and Diafra Sakho.
For nearly half of the campaign West Ham hung around the top six positions in the Premier League, daring to dream that they could achieve a top six, or top four finish this season. The football was definitely more exciting and less humdrum than in previous campaigns.
The Hammers suffered a dip in form after they suffered a defeat against London rivals Chelsea on Boxing Day. Their previous good form never returned and they have now picked-up just 12 points from their last 16 Premier League games.
That poor run of form has led to West Ham’s rather hopeful season turning into a current tenth place position in the Premier League. West Ham fan’s dared to dream, but as they say it is the hope that kills you.
The Hammers could drop as low as 12th in the Premier League table this weekend if results go against them. They may have played better football in the first half of the campaign, but currently they are struggling to pick-up points and that could spell danger for Allardyce.
Sam Allardyce is famous for his survival ability in the Premier League, almost the Bear Grylls of the English top-flight. However, he seems to struggle to get beyond the point of survival.
The only club he has helped to really prosper in the top-flight was Bolton, before he departed for an ill-fated spell at Newcastle. When West Ham appointed Allardyce they knew exactly what they were getting, a good solid manager, who would help them survive in the Premier League.
However, sometimes surviving is not enough and fans expect teams to move forward. Unfortunately this season West Ham have taken two steps forward and then fell on their backside.
Sam Allardyce has done the job that was expected of him. He helped the Irons to promotion and he has kept them in the Premier League.
Despite the fact the veteran boss helped the club to promotion and survival in the top-flight Allardyce seems to be unpopular with a number of the West Ham fans.
The West Ham fans want their team to play attractive, expansive football and rightly or wrongly expect their team to play a certain way. It seems that Hammers owners David Gold and David Sullivan agree on that.
Allardyce managed to produce decent football at Bolton, but since then his ideology seems to have been for his teams to keep it solid and not concede. That ideology led to the Irons scoring just 38 goals last season in the Premier League.
Even most Hammers fans would agree that they were probably one of the least attractive teams in the Premier League to watch. This lead to last year’s ultimatum from the owners, whether Allardyce has fulfilled his promise is arguable.
The doubts over the future of Allardyce have led to some strange stories. Like the story linking highly-rated Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp with the Hammers hot seat, this has been rubbished by the club themselves.
The German has been linked with a number of other jobs, including Real Madrid and Manchester City, so I think he may just have slightly bigger options than he Hammers when he leaves the German giants this summer.
The Hammers are also being linked with a move for former-Manchester united and Everton boss David Moyes, who is now boss at Spanish club Real Sociedad.
West Ham are very much building for the future, with a move from the Boleyn Ground to the Olympic Stadium set to happen for the start of the 2016/17 season. The West Ham hierarchy will want a team befitting of their surroundings and it seems Sam Allardyce will not be able to provide that.
I have to admit I was surprised when Sam Allardyce stayed at West Ham for this season. It seemed like his time was up with the Hammers. It would not be a major surprise if the former-Bolton boss left at the end of the campaign.
Will Sam Allardyce leave West Ham at the end of the season?
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