Performances as important as points for West Ham
Aug. 11, 2014
NEWCASTLE, England (AP) — For West Ham manager Sam Allardyce, preserving the team's Premier League status won't be enough to keep him in a job this season.
He must also entertain the fans.
West Ham has always regarded style as important as substance — despite playing the so-called "West Ham Way" often being to the detriment of results — but both are now demanded from co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan as Allardyce begins his fourth season in charge of the London club.
It will not be easy or comfortable for Allardyce, a coach who likes his defenders to defend and isn't averse to the direct, long-ball game, but he is clearly trying to make it work.
His two main signings in the offseason were strikers, Argentine Mauro Zarate from Velez Sarsfield and Ecuadorian World Cup player Enner Valencia, while former England forward Teddy Sheringham was recruited as attacking coach at the start of the summer.
West Ham placed 13th last season and a similar finish is likely, which will inch the club closer to guaranteeing its big target — starting the 2016-17 season in its new home, the Olympic Stadium, in the lucrative Premier League.
In: Enner Valencia (Pachuca), Mauro Zarate (Velez Sarsfield), Cheikhou Kouyate (Anderlecht), Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal on loan).
Out: Joe Cole (Aston Villa), Matt Taylor (Burnley), Jack Collison, Alou Diarra, George McCartney (all released).