Why Sam Allardyce Is Treading On Thin Ice

After Fulham’s 2-1 home loss to Swansea on Saturday Fulham manager, Martin Jol cut a dejected figure in his post match interview, almost as if he knew the end was nigh and that Jonjo Shelvey’s late winner was the final nail in his coffin.

Whilst Jol’s departure is almost inevitable, West Ham‘s Sam Allardyce is a less obvious contender in the ‘Next Manager To Go’ stakes, but the Hammers’ poor form has brought his job security into question. His insistence on deploying a 4-6-0 formation may have worked against Spurs in their remarkable 3-0 win at White Hart Lane last month, but not having a striker in your starting XI is a dangerous option and results since have not gone Allardyce’s way.

The former Blackburn manager moved heaven and earth to acquire the services of Andy Carroll in the summer having seen enough during the striker’s loan spell last season to convince him that he was the man to build his team around; a strong, powerful number nine who would dictate play and allow Allardyce’s team to outmuscle their opponents.

Allardyce convinced the West Ham board to splash the cash for Carroll and they paid Liverpool £15m to bring the man who once cost £35m to Upton Park. However, Carroll hasn’t been seen for the whole season and no-one, not even Allardyce, has a clue when he might be coming back from his injury. Some say he has joined a religious cult in Vietnam whilst others claim he is coming to the end of a three-month long bender in Thailand stating that he simply needed to ‘find himself’.

It is rotten luck for West Ham; everybody seemed in agreement that bringing in Carroll was the right thing to do but his mysterious long-term injury has put a spanner in the works. Strangely, Allardyce re-signed Carlton Cole but is unwilling to use him as a striker, opting instead for no strikers.

West Ham were abject in a 3-0 loss to Chelsea yesterday as they were unable to muster anything in an attacking sense. The no striker option isn’t working and unless Allardyce switches to a system that favours attacking just a little bit more than he will find himself out of a job before long.