Stewart Downing has spoken about the poor form suffered by West Ham in the second half of last season.
This was largely responsible for the exit of Sam Allardyce, which became apparent for several weeks. The manager was not sacked, but he rather let his contract expire and left the club on a mutual consent. Allardyce had been at the club for the last four years and was responsible for getting them back from the Championship into a position of stability in the top flight. He was also the manager who brought Downing to Upton Park and gave him a new lease of life.
After struggling for form and confidence during his disastrous spell with Liverpool, Downing has once again become one of the top England players in the league. It would not be surprising to see him start featuring for the England national team once again. The season looked very promising after good results against the likes of Liverpool early on in the campaign. Much of this form was based upon new players like Valencia and Sakho. Downing says that the presence of too many players new to the league could have been one of the reasons behind the form dipping considerably in the latter stages when players were either tired or injured.
“Obviously we were free-flowing and scoring goals, so losing Sakho was massive for us. He was on really good form and didn’t really have a dip, he just kept going and going.Enner Valencia came in and settled well, too, but we had a lot of new players to the Premier League and they – and us – are going to have dips in form and it might have caught up with them a little bit,” said Downing. West Ham won only one out of the last five games and finished 12th.