The West Ham winger has faith in his manager, as Back of the Net's Paul Watson reports...
Stewart Downing insists that despite recent toils and hardships, the majority of the West Ham squad still believe in Sam Allardyce.
It has been a miserable campaign for West Ham, with the East London outfit locked in a relegation dogfight and emphatically dumped out of the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest. But in spite of recent events, Downing insists that most West Ham players are as fervently unwavering as ever in their belief in Allardyce.
“These trials are sent to test us and our faith in Allardyce,” Downing told FourFourTwo. “But I think I speak for most of the dressing room when I say that recent events have just made me more certain that there is an Allardyce watching over us all.”
One of the enduring images of the Hammers’ 5-0 humbling at Nottingham Forest was a prostrate Matt Jarvis pounding the ground in tears yelling: "Allardyce, why hast thou forsaken me?", but Downing insists that emotion was replaced by a sense of elation at the awesome power of Big Sam’s greater design.
“Of course there are moments of doubt when you see a lamentably weakened side ripped to pieces by Championship opposition removing the one possible respite from a bleak dogfight and compounding the growing sense of desolation, but Allardyce works in mysterious ways.
“Us players are still devout believers – Allardyce appeared to Ravel [Morrison] in a vision, pacing along the sideline vigorously chewing gum. Ravel even says he heard the word of Allardyce and it gave him a series of largely contradictory, generalised instructions.”
Despite Downing’s protestations, recent surveys have shown a stark decrease in the number of West Ham fans who actively worship Allardyce, a statistic that may have been affected by Richard Dawkins’ latest work The Allardyce Delusion, a bestseller which argues that an omniscient Allardyce is a fabrication born of the innate human desire for functional northern tacticians.
West Ham’s owners David Gold and David Sullivan have stressed their complete support for Allardyce, insisting that "he has our absolute faith" before pointing out that "Allardyce is love and dwells in those who love him.”