May 18 2013 Latest news:
Tony Cottee, Recorder West Ham Columnist
Thursday, March 14, 2013
West Ham legend Tony Cottee discusses Chelsea and Sam Allardyce’s future in his exclusive column
Thoughts of a trip to Chelsea always take my mind back to 1986 when we went there and thumped them 4-0.
Chelsea were not a bad side that day and like us were also going for the title, but they were nothing compared to the club that we see at Stamford Bridge these days.
The home game against them was possibly our best performance of the season, while the unexpected win at Stoke will give us a boost, but this is a much tougher assignment.
We haven’t played for a couple of weeks and I often found it difficult to stay sharp when there was no game on a Saturday, whereas Chelsea have had big games in Europe and the FA Cup.
I think West Ham still need a couple of wins this season, but I am not sure one of them will come on Sunday – I would take a 0-0 draw right now.
Two wins may sound easy when you say it quick, but unlike the Italian or the Spanish leagues, no game is easy. The top team can still lose to the bottom club in England and that is why it is the best league in the world.
I will be there on Sunday and as I have said before, I haven’t seen us win this season!
Here’s hoping for a change in luck!
The future of Sam Allardyce has come up again and as I have said before this really needs to be sorted out and quickly because there is nothing worse than indecisiveness in football.
There is talk about him wanting to know what his budget will be and whether he can keep strikers like Andy Carroll and Carlton Cole for next season.
You can appreciate his thinking, but though I don’t know what the mood is at the training ground, I can’t imagine him walking away from the club over something like that.
I would love to keep Carroll, but at £17 million that is a huge outlay, while I am also a fan of Carlton Cole.
We should be keeping the nucleus of our side together and then adding some more quality to it, but if we are not careful we could have hardly any strikers left in the summer.
The sooner West Ham get the two wins they need to guarantee safety the better, then they can sit down and sort out Sam’s contract.
Another Premier League manager has been axed this week in Brian McDermott and it continues a worrying trend in top flight football these days.
There are more and more foreign owners and as with Nigel Adkins at Southampton, they seem to be ruthless about sacking English managers and replacing them with foreign coaches.
If you couple that with the fact that only about a third of the players are English, then it is easy to see why the national team have been so badly underperforming of late.