Hammers are proof that West Brom fans are entitled to a bit of blue sky thinking

West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis

The Tony Pulis debate is dominating West Bromwich Albion's season but West Ham United are proof fans are entitled to want better for their club.

West Bromwich Albion manager Tony PulisWest Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis

The Baggies have got off to a typically solid if unspectacular start to the new Premier League campaign with four points from their opening four games.

But it is the relationship between Pulis and the club's supporters which has stolen all the headlines so far.

A large section of fans at the Hawthorns have made it clear they are not happy with the style of play favoured by the no-nonsense Welshman.

But Pulis has defended his record at the club this week saying his remit was to keep the club in the Premier League and make a profit before adding 'It's been an interesting club to manage'.

Former Liverpool footballer Jamie Carragher before the fightPundit Jamie Carragher says West Brom fans should be careful what they wish for

West Brom fans have been mocked and sneered at by pundits and were told to be careful what they wish for by the likes of Jamie Carragher this week.

But the situation draws stark similarities to West Brom's opponents on Saturday, West Ham.

Pulis and West Ham's former manager and now England boss Sam Allardyce are cut from the same cloth.

Hardy, experienced football men who specialise in galvanising a team and getting the best out of their players.

Both play the percentages and despite Allardyce's insistence to the contrary, both would more often than not fill a side with Papa Bouba Diops over David Silvas.

Both always get the job done, both more or less guarantee Premier League safety. Both polarise opinion.

England manager Sam Allardyce during the press conferenceFomer Hammers boss, now England manager Sam Allardyce

Make no bones about it some West Ham fans just never took to Sam Allardyce.

The big, gruff northerner (he is actually from Dudley) was not a 'West Ham man' they argued, and they were right in fairness.

But Hammers fans are a knowledgable bunch and those worth their salt will admit Allardyce did a job.

After relegation to the Championship under the hapless Avram Grant he was the bitter medicine the club needed.

And he made them all better too.

But the relationship reached a natural conclusion and despite large sections of the media warning West Ham to 'be careful what you wish for' - sound familiar West Brom fans? - the Hammers waved goodbye to the former Bolton Wanderers boss after four years in charge.

The club and its fans were panned for daring to dream of more than mere survival in the top flight by playing the percentages.

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic celebrates after the match with their coaching staffBilic celebrates after signing off at Upton Park with that thrilling 3-2 win over Manchester United

The East Londoners went on to enjoy their best ever Premier League points tally, eclipsing the total achieved when they finished fifth under Harry Redknapp with the likes of Paolo Di Canio.

A goal difference of +17 also tells its own story given West Ham has not recorded a positive goal difference in a Premier League season.

In fact the club has not had one in the top-flight for 24 years, dating back to the infamous 1985/86 campaign where they should have won the title.

The Daily Mail's Martin Samuel, a Hammers fan himself, summed up the feeling towards Allardyce quite eloquently after he returned to Upton Park with his Sunderland side last season.

He said: "As everyone knows, West Ham had never won a football match until Sam Allardyce became manager, so it must have been very disappointing that they chose to win another one when he returned with his Sunderland team on Saturday."

West Bromwich Albion manager Tony PulisWhat does the future hold for Pulis?

And that about sums it up, just like Pulis' current predicament with Baggies supporters, Big Sam's unflinching self-belief and belligerence was slowly killing his relationship with West Ham fans.

Well look what a bit of blue sky thinking has done for the Hammers.The likes of Dimitri Payet, Manuel Lanzini, Simone Zaza and Michail Antonio light up their weekends while a respected manager like Slaven Bilic is at the helm.West Brom fans shouldn't be fooled into thinking they are wrong to yearn for more entertainment and the betterment of their football club.

Ask West Ham fans if they prefer like pre or post Allardyce. Sometimes the fans do know best.

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