Betting Spy: Don’t play it again Sam

Grant Prior 10 years ago

It’s said that history repeats itself first as tragedy, second as farce.

Now I’m not sure how often that famous Marxist quote is uttered in East London pubs. Or where Sam Allardyce’s reign sits on the tragedy/farce timeline.

But it’s a phrase which is ringing alarm bells for West Ham fans as the current running of the club takes on all the horrible hallmarks of the last days of Avram Grant.

Under-performing squad – check. Clueless tactics – check. Constant excuses after every defeat – check.

And most worrying of all we have owners who appear indecisive as the club hurtles towards a relegation which could prove fatal.

Back in 2011 dithering over the dismissal of Grant was a major factor in our drop into the Championship.

And the same fate seems to await in 2014 as Allardyce’s brand of anti-football no longer pays dividends in the modern game.

He has always been about results over style. But when the wins dry-up supporters will cast a very critical eye over how their team is playing.

It’s not a problem specific to the Hammers. Premier League cash has created a short-term mentality where staying in the top flight at all costs is all that matters to most teams.

Great sides like Barcelona create a team ethic where the club is more important than individuals.

But English sides will pander to any individual player or manager they think can keep their heads above the financial waterline created by Sky TV cash.

Cups are also now simply a distraction to the main prize of survival.

Allardyce brazenly revealed that West Ham’s league cup semi-final with Man City “doesn’t matter”.

Tell that to the fans who hours earlier had shelled out the best part of £50 for a ticket to the game.

We had an envied football academy once in East London where young players where schooled in a style of play that was easy on the eye and made you proud to be a West Ham fan.

Now we are a byword for long-ball football and mediocrity to the point where supporting the club is more of a chore than a pleasure.

We need a new direction. Let’s just hope the owners pick the right route.

And the bet to start the year? Let’s have a crack at a cup upset in light of the way Premier League teams now treat the competition.

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has made his feelings on the FA Cup clear so a Villa reserve side could be the victims of a giant killing at 6/1 when Sheffield United pay a visit on Saturday.


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Running Total for all bets this season to a £10 stake: £-38.00

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