Sam Allardyce Must Deliver In Debut Season With West Hamby Mick Bates / 04 August 2011, 09:35Tweet
The new West Ham manager, Sam Allardyce, will need to orchestrate an instant return to the Premier League if he is to have any chance of holding onto his job. A bright start is crucial for the former Bolton boss's future prospects with the club as anything less than a realistic push for promotion will simply be unacceptable. West Ham have blitzed through five managers in just five years and Allardyce has already been criticised by a section of the West Ham faithful for the style of football he employs. The 56-year-old currently has odds of 12/1 to become the Next Championship Manager To Be Sacked.
Despite being installed as the 9/2 favourites with Betfred to win the Championship and having odds of 6/4 to get promoted, West Ham will struggle to get themselves out of the league and into England's top flight if they fail to perform as a cohesive unit. The Championship looks to be an extremely competitive league this upcoming season with a number of high quality teams. Sven-Göran Eriksson's Leicester City have been spending freely to mould together a very capable squad consisting of a strong blend of experience and youth. On his return to English football Steve McLaren has joined Nottingham Forest, who agonisingly lost in the play-offs last campaign, as did Reading who will be looking to go one step better following the heartache of their play-off final defeat to Swansea. The league also features the likes of Cardiff City, Leeds, Birmingham City, Brighton and Southampton, who are all capable of challenging for the top two automatic promotion spots.
Since Allardyce arrived West Ham have sold Jonathan Spector and released both Matthew Upson and Luis Boa Morte but, there are fears that they could still lose a number of their best players. It is inevitable that Scott Parker leaves at some point during the transfer window but the futures of Robert Green and Carlton Cole are still open to debate. Allardyce has made a few very good signings in Kevin Nolan, Matt Taylor and Abdoulaye Faye, all of whom have made the step down from the Premier League. So at the moment things look quite promising at Upton Park. Watch this space.
West Ham and Sam Allardyce start life in the Championship with a tough game against Cardiff City this Sunday, which is live on BBC 1 at 1pm. Betfred have The Hammers as the 8/11 favourites to win the match, while Cardiff have been priced at 10/3, with a draw available at 9/4.