At some point, whispers about Sam Allardyce’s job will become full-fledged speculation. Until then, we’ll have to read between the lines of those linking West Ham’s drop to 17th with four losses in five to Allardyce’s management of the club. Right now most seem willing to give him a pass until Andy Carroll returns to help, with the Hammers currently stuck starting Carlton Cole up top. When the England international returns, Allardyce’s results should see greater scrutiny.
The situation sits in stark contrast to what’s going on at another struggling London club, with Tony Pulis’s Crystal Palace having pulled even with West Ham at 13 points. Three games into his time with the Eagles, Pulis has vaulted the South London club out of the cellar, having breathed new life into strikers Marouane Chamakh and Cameron Jerome.
This weekend, NBC Sports analysts Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe examined the diverging paths of the two clubs. As Earle notes, West Ham’s problems are starting to manifest in other areas of its play, while Mustoe describes the back-to-basics approach Pulis has brought to Selhurst Park.