West Ham: A Long-Term Plan...

The old cliché about taking each game as it comes is not true given the long-term plans that West Ham have, ending with the move to the Olympic Stadium in 2016...

Last Updated: 09/08/13 at 12:04 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Football People On TV: Garth Crooks

25 comments

Famous, not to say legendarily well-known, notorious and generally celebrated for posing interview questions that take the form of long sentences with...

Football365's Final Day Quiz - Questions

Post comment

As the Premier League season reaches its denouement, we bring you 20 questions regarding the final day...

All Articles

LAST SEASON

Premier League 10th FA Cup third round League Cup third round

Manager Sam Allardyce (since June 2011) Odds on being first out of his job 33-1 (11th=)

Players in Andy Carroll (Liverpool, £15m, from loan), Daniel Whitehead (Stockport, undisc), Razvan Rat (Shakhtar Donetsk, free), Adrian (Real Betis, free)

Players out Carlton Cole, Gary O'Neil (released)

Club turnover in 2011-12 N/A

Handicap betting to win Premier League +36 points (10th=)

Despite the cliché, football is rarely about taking each game as it comes, or even each season. Sam Allardyce, more than most, is looking beyond this campaign at responsibilities that encompass what is supposed to be a momentous 2016.

London's East End will never be its most glamorous part: the lingering popular associations are crime, whether Jack the Ripper or the Krays, and grime, or at least Albert Square. Still, West Ham have long benefited from the capital's general allure, plus a pull on a swathe of highly populated Essex. Their fans are less well-heeled than those of Chelsea but within these shores more numerous; yet the capital's third club trail behind their western rivals and seemed destined to do so permanently thanks to Roman Abramovich's splurge and Stamford Bridge's proximity to some of London's most sought-after postcodes.

At times in their past, when sides full of talent got themselves relegated or struggled to win promotion, West Ham have been their own worst enemies. But David Gold, David Sullivan and Karren Brady are hoping that they can seize a unique opportunity in the club and their city's history, with the scheduled move into the Olympic Stadium in 2016.

It remains a controversial plan, not least because of its effect on Leyton Orient, who have the most vocal of spokesmen in Barry Hearn. Still, the Hammers website now has a video of how it should look, backed by Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters and Bobby Moore's daughter, Roberta. The dream portrayed is Premier League football at a once drab, now dazzling location and Allardyce is the man entrusted with ensuring that this is made real.

If it works out, if the revamped 54,000-capacity stadium draws in the requisite crowds, then the Hammers increase hugely in stature. Allardyce always wanted to manager a big club and got no closer than Newcastle; now he has the chance to make a big club, or at least a much more powerful one. Yet as well as Hearn's opposition there is disquiet among fans, worried about leaving Upton Park on grounds of tradition but also for fear that the club may be biting off more than it can chew.

Watch Allardyce chomping away on gum during a game, though, and you see a man who knows that he can chew with the best of them. His style of play may not match the misty-eyed reminiscences of those who remember Trevor Brooking and Alan Devonshire but his sides do mix skilful endeavour in with solidity. So at home do the Hammers look that it is easy to forget that last season was the first since promotion, and he has Joe Cole to set those Cockney hearts aflutter.

Aside from making Andy Carroll's move a permanent one, Allardyce has added the Romania left-back Razvan Rat and the Spanish goalkeeper Adrian, in a relatively quiet summer so far. Interest in Loic Remy came to nothing; it's Stewart Downing's turn to be mentioned in headlines. Allardyce is one of those managers happy to work right up to the window closing.

By then his team will have hosted Cardiff and Stoke, either side of a visit to Newcastle. With Southampton, Everton and Hull in September, Allardyce has six matches in which he can establish the club in the right part of the table before successive games against Spurs and Manchester City. It is the back end of the season that may cause disquiet - Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City are among the final eight opponents - but Allardyce will be confident he can keep building towards 2016.

Philip Cornwall

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

think Finnegans Wake would have been a better reference point than Ulysses. Far more rambling and incomprehensible.

debra2927
Football People On TV: Garth Crooks

I

f I recall correctly, Degsy predicted a 100/1 shot correctly the week after his 150/1 Blackpool 4 - 3 Bolton call. I stuck a fiver on it as an idle bet. Paid for a stag do in Munich. Heady days...

baldini
Backing Hull To Beat United 2-1...

R

odgers prefers Joe Allen to Lucas? If this is true then I'm setting aside a fortnight to finally learn the rules of American Football and I'll give up on real football.

godzilla
The Jammy Gossip

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Steve Bruce at a loss to explain Hull City's dreadful season

Hull City boss Steve Bruce had no idea his side would be in a relegation fight after building what he saw as a strong squad last summer.

Liverpool boss says Raheem Sterling is being led by his agent in seeking a move

Brendan Rodgers says Raheem Sterling "is being led by his representative" and deserves the support of the Liverpool fans at Stoke on Sunday.

Bojan Krkic rehab going well says Stoke boss Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes is hopeful injured Stoke striker Bojan Krkic will be available by the start of next season.

Mail Box

Only One Real Manager Of The Year

Winning the Premier League with the best squad in the Premier League is only par; Ronald Koeman did a whole lot better. Plus, the last word on Raheem and...

Don't Slate Sterling For Ambition...

Raheem Sterling deserves credit for his desire to quit Liverpool, according to one mailboxer. Also: why football should not be compared to business and Degsy's latest spot of bother...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company