I have looked at the table from the bottom up since the start of the season. If you have been a West Ham fan long enough that is your routine. And gradually that exercise has taken less and less time. Today’s game is a match we really must win.
QPR have new signing Remy but are not that good. Redknapp has started to turn things around but on 14 points from 22 they have just 16 games ( of which four are against big name clubs where they will secure nil points) to get to 40 and safety. In effect they have 12 games left to secure 26 points. Thus QPR have to win today. I really hope they do not. West Ham’s financial woes started with ‘arry’s ludicrous transfer wheeling and dealing which ultimately did not benefit the club. Who did benefit? Answers on a postcard to a luxury mansion in Dorset. ‘arry then went to the Scum. He is uncle to Fat Frank Lampard and that gives me three good reasons to hope that QPR join Reading in heading back to the Championship.
West Ham are on 26 points. So we have only another 14 points to bag to be (probably) safe and 17 to be safe beyond doubt. Wigan, Reading at home, Southampton and Villa away and …QPR at home are the games I am sort of banking on. But the fact is that our recent form (bar the home cup match vs Man United) has been piss poor. I hope Joe Cole plays and we might get a result. But I am getting increasingly nervous.
I shall comment on managerial change at Southampton later. But even the most blinkered Fat Sam Allardyce fan must now accept that this is not a season to be proud of. League cup disgrace, 3rd round FA Cup exit and – for all the money spent, not terribly attractive football will see us finish clearly in the bottom half of the table. When Sam’s contract is up in May he must go. We cannot afford, nor should we want, three more years of this.
The question for Gold & Sullivan is “Do you have ambition?” If so take a chance. Let’s get the Olympic stadium but then give a long term contract to the one man who a) adores our club and b) has the charisma to reach out to the vast natural West Ham heartlands and fill that stadium every week, ensure every box is booked out (even for the visit of Wigan) and that every kid in East London (from all its communities) wants to wear a West Ham replica shirt. And that would give West Ham the financial muscle to really grow this club.
There is only one man who can do that and we all know that is Paolo di Canio. We also know that with Paulo at the helm we would see exciting football. We would have Cup runs. And we might enjoy what all clubs need – a really long term managerial reign. That is what West Ham had when we were good. We need it again. Only Paulo will give us that loyalty.
I am sorry to bang on about this issue but for me this season is over. At best we will finish 12th. At worst we are narrowly relegated. I do not enjoy going to games any more. I really cannot be arsed to suffer travel nightmares, catch a cold and watch another dismal showing. Fat Sam was paid to do a job (get us back up). He has done it. Now let’s move on. If he stays I am not renewing my season ticket and – chatting to other fans – I am not alone in feeling that way.
I am not making a prediction on today’s game. A draw is not much of a result for either side. Anything could happen.