Filed: Sunday, 7th August 2011
By: Staff Writer
Sam Allardyce's reign as manager of West Ham couldn't have got off to a worse start - but he still saw plenty of positives from today's performance...
Sam: was that a harsh result?
Well, we are gutted because of our performance in terms of not converting the chances we created today. Thatís the biggest problem we saw; not burying a team when you are in the ascendancy and not finishing them off. Professional football kicks you right where it hurts sometimes and today was exactly that.
We didnít get the clean sheet that we were looking for and we didnít get the win that we wanted and we should have at least come away with a point and said 'ok, we have created a lot of chances, we have made a lot of opportunities, we havenít converted them into three points which is what we wanted but weíve started from a good solid defensive base today'.
Unfortunately we get the slip at the end and we get punished heavily for that. We are all very disappointed that there is zero points from the first game of the season when we know we should have had three. If not three, then we say to the players 'if you canít win a game of football, make sure you donít lose it. Tot the points up as they go along and you get enough at the end of the season to get yourself promoted'. It is a big loss the point, never mind that we all know we should have had three.
Were the players fit enough?
Yeah, because we created 14 opportunities at their goal and I think they created three. If you look at your stats, you will know we have dominated most of the dayís play by creating the opportunities that weíve had. If you get 14 attempts at goal in any game of football - whether it is the first game, the middle of the season or the end - then it shows the players are [ready]. Ok, they are not totally 100 per cent fit - but no one at this stage of the season is because we have a marathon to deal with. One or two players may have not had quite enough games because of niggling injuries, but if you speak to Malky he would have had exactly the same situation.
You went with one up front. Did you think about leaving Freddie on when you brought on Carlton?
We played 433. No, because we have created 14 chances like I said. Cardiff played two up front and created three [chances] so the equation is telling you that our system is better, from an attacking point of view, than theirs.
Is there a hangover from last year?
Everyone will think so now, wonít they? Because they will think 'same old story'. I have got to eradicate that and make sure that we donít make those slips again as quickly as possible. Overall the new players are getting to know each other and the players who are already here, and we have done everything we possibly could today apart from doing the clinical end. That has let us down. When we do the slip it shouldnít have mattered. We should have been two or three up but when that happens, we are disappointed.
Pleased to get Carew in for that reason?
Goalscoring at the end of the day is the cutting edge of what you do and create and today we were lacking in that department because we havenít scored on those chances created. We have had a bit of bad luck on the Freddie Piquionne finish that hit the post and on the header from James Tomkins that looked in all the way but got cleared off the line. The rest of the opportunities we had, today we werenít clinical enough to put one in the back of the net. That just makes life so much easier for us going into the back end of the game. What has happened is we are all trying to go and get the winner. We know we wanted it and we know weíve deserved it, but instead of saying 'whoa, just a minute, donít leave the back door open', we went and did. Like I say, weíve paid the ultimate price.
How close are you to getting the team to play in your style, in terms of your ideas?
Apart from winning today, it was fine because we have played the three best creative players we have in midfield. We were very creative down the left-hand side with Matt Taylor. Defensively, apart from the slip we were extremely solid, which was the big problem last year. We are getting there; you know it takes a while for it all to come together - and of course to stop putting pressure on yourself like weíve just done, you donít do what youíve done today.
A split second makes peopleís opinions different from the reality. But thatís what you have to live with. If you lose a game, everyone is going to look at it and say you aren't as good as you should be. You are going to say you should have done better. Really, overall we were very good and created much more than Cardiff. We were playing at home so I expected us to, but what I wanted us to do was win and, if we couldnít, make sure we donít lose. We didnít do either, so there is no one more miserable than me.
Does Carewís arrival make it more likely Carlton Cole will be sold?
No, I donít think so because that means we have only got three strikers again. They have got four, Cardiff. They have got Earnshaw, Miller, Parkin and Gestede. We have got Freddie Piquionne, Carlton Cole and now we have added John [Carew]. We have got a couple of young lads - we have Zavon Hines and Frank Nouble but they aren't proven players at this level just yet. We are light on the top end.
If there is another one available and the Chairman is good enough to do it I would ask him, but certainly we all know from the very start it is an area that is most difficult to fill. We have not been able to quite pull it off just yet.
What is the contract situation with Carew?
Carew is a year with an option for another year. He wonít be able to play the next game, he has just come into the club. We have just done from 1 July to 8 August preparing for this first game and John Carew has just joined us having done no pre-season. So we will have to shorten that time, of course, but it will have to be a mini pre-season where he doesnít get involved in any of the games - but he certainly gets involved in double and triple training sessions to try to get him up to speed as soon as we can.
How badly have you taken this?
I wonít be sleeping tonight and I will probably be watching the game when I get back, putting myself in a position to work out and learn as quickly as I can from the defeat, talk to the players about not slipping up and also to recreate the positives of the game because it is a marathon season - and we are all disappointed. On Monday it is about a learning curve. We will start from there and we all have to forget about it. Me more than anyone else. So on Monday, no one picks me up - but I will pick myself up, I will get on with the job and then pick the players up because there is not a lot wrong. Believe me, I donít think there is a lot wrong. We have got to go out and prove that against Doncaster away next week.
Scott Parkerís performance?
Scottís performance was as good as everyone else's. I was very pleased.
Difficult for him?
Not with the crowd behind him and the way they cheer him and appreciate him for what he does. He is like everyone else. If a set of fans appreciate you that is what you do it for, that is what makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck and [makes you] play.
Like I said, we have not got what we wanted - but we are building towards it.
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Allardyce promises experienced team for Spurs [10th Dec 2013]
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Stewart Downing in hospital [7th Dec 2013]
I saw West Ham win at Anfield [6th Dec 2013]
Allardyce: linesman 'got it horribly wrong' [4th Dec 2013]
Crystal Palace 1-0 West Ham Utd [3rd Dec 2013]
Allardyce on... Fulham [2nd Dec 2013]
by keith cockayne
04:48PM 8th Aug 2011
''Here we go again! Same old story, different storyteller. Who's going to be West Ham's next manager?''
by Tell how it is Charlie!
06:46AM 8th Aug 2011
''Some old story from last season. Dodgy defenders, inept strikers.''
01:21AM 8th Aug 2011
''I watched the second half from the pub in Australia. GUTTED to see us go down by one at the end of the game, but West Ham definitely should have taken the three points. Of course, I have the feeling of 'Oh no, not again', but that's West Ham.''
by Joey Mahoney
12:10AM 8th Aug 2011
''BBC stats: 15 shots to 13 - not quite so one-sided. Possession 55%/45% to the home team. Welcome to the most competitive league in the world!''
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