Almost a third of the way into the season and West Ham have gone from flirting with relegation from the safety of mid-table to sitting in the Champions League spots, with more wins under their belt than Manchester United, Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton. The Hammers have beaten Liverpool and Man City at home this season and are currently on a five game unbeaten run.
It’s about time we all stood back, and hailed Big Sam.
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A nod to the genius of Andrew McQuillan in PP Design for this Big Sam masterpiece
- Will the Hammers continue their good form this weekend? Get stuck into the latest odds: Desktop | Mobile
Allardyce, or Allardici as he should be known, was at loggerheads with the West Ham board during pre-season after they demanded the Hammers play some more expansive footballing – paving the way for the skillfully sublime Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho, rather than the lumbering frame of Andy Carroll. And Big Sam has made it work, like he does at pretty much every club he manages.
We’ve crunched the numbers and looked at Big Sam’s points per game in the league at each club he’s managed, compared to the respective number of games before he arrived. And the numbers speak for themselves – Big Sam will never take your club backwards, and if you’re lucky he will improve them.
His most successful club according to the stats was his two-year spell at Blackpool between 1994 and 1996. In 92 league games Big Sam got Blackpool’s average up from 1.13 points per game to 1.59, which over a 46 game season, equates to an extra 21 points. They came within one point of promotion to the First Division, and Big Sam still has the highest league win percentage of any Blackpool manager. He’s a hero on the promenade.
- Big Sam in the Champions League next year? The latest odds for Everton v West Ham are here: Desktop | Mobile
The naysayers will point to his negative impact at Preston, Bolton and Blackburn, but let’s take those stats with a pinch of salt. His first stint at Preston was his first ever managerial position and he only lasted 10 games at the helm. Despite being thrown to the lions, Big Sam picked up plenty of valuable points and was just one point off the tally before him. At Bolton he gained promotion to the Premier League, and not only kept them up for six seasons, but got them into Europe! Playing at a higher level it is remarkable that he almost picked up as many points in his 309 games with the Trotters as they did before he arrived.
At Blackburn, Big Sam could have been building a dynasty before Venky’s replaced him with Steve Keane. Now Big Sam sits in a Champions League spot while Rovers are scrapping for promotion in the Championship.
But at West Ham, Big Sam is working at a rate of 0.38 points per game better than what the Hammers were at before he rolled into town. Over a 38-game Premier League season that’s a difference of almost 15 points. And punters have been cashing in this season as well.
- West Ham are second in our Profitability Premier League. You’d be up £64 if you bet £10 on West Ham each week giving you a 58 per cent profit. Stoke are the only side in the top flight with a better return. #PPValue
This weekend Allardyce takes West Ham to face Everton at Goodison Park and are priced at a tempting 7/2 with the boss. The Hammers have lost just one of five games on the road this season (at Old Trafford) and have scored, and conceded, in each of those five matches. West Ham to win and both teams to score might just wet your appetite at 6/1.
Whatever happens this weekend, it is about time we started hailing Big Sam. Forget Messrs Guardiola, Mourinho and Klopp. Give me Allardici any day of the week.
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