David Sullivan has praised manager Sam Allardyce for restoring an entertaining style of football to West Ham United.
Allardyce has often been criticised for deploying a long-ball tactic in the past, something which certainly wouldn’t be accepted by the Upton Park faithful. Indeed, despite winning promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt and keeping them amongst the elite, a number of supporters remain unconvinced by the 59-year-old.
During the summer the Hammers boss was tasked with finding a more attractive brand of play this season, and he was given the transfer funds to sign the players capable of delivering such a style. The likes of Mauro Zarate, Enner Valencia, Diafra Sakho, Morgan Amalfitano and Alex Song have all been signed, and each are making an impression.
Although West Ham have lost three of their opening seven matches they have also won the same number, drawing once, which sees them sitting seventh in the standings. And Sullivan has praised Allardyce for this encouraging start, and also for reintroducing an entertaining style of football which has been brought about by a new diamond formation.
“There is a lot of optimism about the place now,” he told the Evening Standard. “I genuinely believe we have the best squad since we’ve been at the club. We’ve signed some high-energy, younger players and we have discovered the ‘West Ham way’. He, Allardyce, changed the style after that to a diamond formation. Sam made that decision so he deserves the accolades because, had it not worked, he would have been castigated.
“We have a policy – and it’s as much for Sam as us – that we sit down at the end of the season, maybe a bit earlier if we’re safe, and judge things over an entire season. We’ve always done it that way. Last year I was being asked at various times if Sam would be going but my answer was always that we’d look at it at the end of the campaign. We’re very loyal to our managers.
“We always talk on a Monday or the day after a midweek match and if he has a problem he calls me. We all want the same thing and that is the best for this club. Sam wants to be successful and he’s very flexible at looking at ways to achieve that. The change in formation was not my idea – he’s the one who made that bold decision to change the strategy.”
The Hammers resume their Premier League campaign after the international break with a trip to Premier League new-boys Burnley. The Lancashire side have yet to win since returning to the top-flight, having drawn four and losing three of their seven outings.
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