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You don't know what you're doing

Filed: Tuesday, 27th March 2012
By: Staff Writer

Sam Allardyce's factious relationship with the club's fan base hit a new low tonight after he called opponents of his footballing philosophy 'deluded'.

Allardyce led his team to a 2-0 win over Peterborough United at London Road tonight, yet faced criticism from travelling supporters disappointed with his team's playing style during the first half of the match.

The large contingent of West Ham fans sang "we're West Ham United, we play on the floor" in response to a disappointing first half performance from which United were lucky to escape on level terms after Posh hit the crossbar and had another shot cleared off the line.

But Allardyce, speaking after the game hit back at his detractors - accusing them of being both 'deluded' and inconsistent.

"The perception of some people is deluded as [are] the facts about my teams," he said. "It is a tag that has followed me around for a long time and one I'm never going to be able to shift.

"I can't do anything about that, but I can win football matches.

"We've had to overcome home teams playing with a lot of energy in front of full houses throughout this season. We did it again here and once we got the goals, we out-passed and out-played Peterborough.

"It was a good performance, although not as good as at Burnley on Saturday. We only drew that game though so everyone was miserable, whereas they will be happy tonight."

Allardyce was once again forced to endure chants of "Paolo Di Canio" in the opening 45 minutes from the several thousand-strong travelling contingent, who also sang songs about fellow former players Christian Dailly and Ludo Miklosko.

Meanwhile some boos were heard as the opening half ended - although the majority of those are thought to have come from Posh supporters angry at referee Christopher Sarginson's failure to award a penalty.

However the mood in the away stand was one of jubilation by the end of the match after West Ham completely dominated the second half having produced some of their best football of the season.

Tonight's victory was West Ham's 11th away win of the current campaign, thereby equalling a record first set in the 1922/23 season some 80 years ago.

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by Haim Baram
05:51PM 29th Mar 2012
''Promotion means being saddled with Big Sam for yet another dreary season; Missing promotion is a disaster. Being a Hammer for more than four decades I humbly admit that I want to be in the Premier League whatever the consequences. Enough said.''

by Chris
11:53AM 29th Mar 2012
''@peter: Totally agree with every point.''

by Brian Rafis
07:06PM 28th Mar 2012
''Whatever is being produced West Han fans have always been capable of making a difference with their great support. If we all get behind the team that everybody is claiming to be Premier League class(?) that could well be the extra to get us one of the top two places.

All this PDC and The West Ham way, whether right or wrong, is so counter-productive. We have no divine right to be in the top two following the ridiculous decision to keep Avram as long as we did and we must count ourselves extremely lucky Sam is with a Championship club as I'm sure every other club in this awful division would have him. He can keep clubs in the Premier League as he has proved, who would prefer Warnock, Holloway, Brown which is what realistically we could attract?

So GET BEHIND THEM, and be very careful what you wish for.''

by Spence
06:08PM 28th Mar 2012
''Anyone possessing even a basic knowledge of the game must see that if a certain tactic, i.e. belting a long high ball up to a lone striker being marked by several defenders and failing, often understandably given the poor odds, to gain control of the ball, and, as a result fail to bring supporting midfielders into play, is not working, then just perhaps an alternative ploy is the answer.

Any coach will espouse the importance of creating width by keeping men wide, and, if aided by decent pace and crossing ability, supplying balls into the danger area (thats the penalty box Sam, marked in white lines mate) for forwards (two is better then just the lone guy Sam as it doubles your chances of a finish!) to attack, with backing from the midfield.

Rocket science? Not really. Dogma is the enemy here. It's Big Sam's team and he does it his way, just as it was at Bolton, Blackburn, and very briefly, Newcastle. West Ham possess the squad and the individuals to play passing football, fact. We have quick forwards who are box finishers and who thrive on clever little balls slipped past defenders into the danger areas. This is what Baldock and Maynard do best.

For this to be effective, and indeed possible, the play has to be in and around the opposition box, and West Ham need numbers to supply the ammo. The tired and easily-countered tactic of firing passes to Cole and waiting for support means the opposition defence have so much time to position themselves and get goal side...no wonder we are always passing the ball in front of the opponents defence...they usually have eight men, such is the slow, obvious style we have adopted for so much of the season.

The fact is that West Ham have blown a real golden opportunity to be sitting on top of the league with at least a 15 point safety margin. Dont go over the previous games calculating where we dropped or gave away points, it will make you sick! Yes we are still in with a shout, but God knows how. It's only because the expected challenge from some of the fancied teams hasn't materialised that weve got away with it. If all the facts are considered, it's been a very disappointing campaign and there is no doubt that the safety-first tactics have played a huge part in this scenario.''

by Dave from Ottawa
02:36PM 28th Mar 2012
''I think Sam started by doing the right thing for the first half of the season in making a "team that is hard to beat". He should have made a transition to a "team that is hard not to lose against" once we were firm in the top two. I think we have the best and largest squad in the division, and should be doing better.

From the games I've seen on TV, I haven't been impressed with the overused 4-5-1 formation. Midfield too crowded and no-one really wide to pass to. I've been very disappointed with Nolan recently. He might be vocal and a good leader, but he is too slow now and doesn't have the mobility. I'd much rather see O'Neil or Morrison (wow, speed). Tinkering with the forward line every match hasn't helped either. Big mistake using Carew and Piquionne at beginning of season instead of Cole supported by Baldock. A regular 4-4-2 would be much better for our players.

All being said, I still believe in supporting Allardyce and the team. Don't moan at them during the season, just tell them they can do better. Leave the big complaints until after the season.''

by taffyhammer
01:33PM 28th Mar 2012
''We all yearn for the football we remember our team playing under Avram, Glenn and Alan Curbs. It is unfair to expect Big Sam to be able to replicate those halcyon days of footballing genius. He can only make the best of what he has got. Let's get behind him and when we are where we can afford to be, we can begin to dream of winning the cup treble again.''

by Ironsman
11:52AM 28th Mar 2012
''hear hear!''

by peter
11:44AM 28th Mar 2012
''Some of the fans hit a new low last night, I'm afraid. Baiting the manager, when we are fighting to get promotion, is little short of moronic. Sam is right: No matter what the evidence, he will always be stuck with the "long ball" tag. Yet this is the man who introduced Jay Jay Okocha and Youri Djorkaeff to English football.

Just to remind a few people:

1) We were relegated last season, and should have been the previous season, because we were (to use a technical term) rubbish. It wasn't long ball or short ball, it was no balls, footballing or otherwise.

2) In spite of a massive turnover in players, Allardyce has got us within spitting distance of an immediate return to the Premier League - some might think that a pretty good achievement after the mediocrity of recent seasons.

3) We have now equalled our best ever away wins total in a season - we've won more aways games this season than we did in our previous five!

4) The players are understandably nervous and edgy at home, and tend to lump the ball forward rather than risk a shorter pass and getting the crowd on their backs - but that is mainly down to the oppressive negativity emanating from the stands. It gets me down - God knows what it does to the players.

5) The previous commenter sums it up really. Has he not noticed that in a football match, there are two teams on the pitch. At Peterborough last night, they started brightly and forced us to defend early on, but we eventually overcame them by outpassing them - yes, outpassing them!

6) We might not play the silky football of days gone by (though I seem to remember lots of dross being served up in the '70s and '80s as well), but equally, too many of our supporters do not seem to actually support the team, but just seem to want to get their hang ups and frustrations out of their system on a Saturday afternoon. Can I suggest that they decamp to White Hart Lane, where they will find themselves amongst kindred souls?''

by Chris Giles
10:29AM 28th Mar 2012
''Whilst big Sam is the manager - back him. Do you think anyone else would have been in this position with the endemic problems we have had for the last three years?

As for those chanting PDC, get real the bloke was a wonderful player but mad as a brush.

by g portugal
09:52AM 28th Mar 2012
''Allardyce is not helping himself. In fact,he's making it increasingly likely that he will not be here in July, whether we get promoted or not. He's unable to admit his mistakes and like Curbishley, he's getting sucked into arguing the toss with supporters.

Yes, we have a good away record. But we are not scoring goals and that is largely due to the way in which we are playing, being overly dependent on long balls. We start every game poorly, almost without exception. We play with very little width. Forget about boring - I could accept that if it was effective. But it isn't. Our boring is ineffective, as draws against Watford,Doncaster and Burnley all prove. We commit dumb fouls and give away cheap free kicks and get stupid bookings. We defend set pieces in a dubious fashion at best. Unless we have both Faubert and Vaz Te on the pitch in wide positions at the same time,we have no tempo to our play at all. All of this reflects badly on the manager.

Yes,we may get promoted and possibly automatically. But Allardyce is making it much harder than it needs to be. This is a squad that consists of many players who could compete in the PL, some of whom would start in teams in bottom half of PL. There is no excuse for Allardyce making such hard work of this given the squad at his disposal. None whatsoever. And Allardyce needs to confront that reality.''

by Tell it how it is Charlie!
09:27AM 28th Mar 2012
''Football fans of any club are very fickle, a win against Reading, all will be forgotten. Allardyce is no worse than the mindnumbing performances under, Pardew. The trouble is with this "pass it on the floor stuff", have West Ham a midfield capable of doing this?

If West Ham were top of the league or one point behind Southampton, there would be no complaints. I think much is just borne out of frustration. If he can get the team scoring again, where the problems are I think automatic promotion is a real possibility but West Ham probably have the toughest of run ins, Reading, Brighton, Leicester.''

by hibs hammer
08:14AM 28th Mar 2012
''@Peter: I absolutely agree.

For the faithful travelling fans to start complaining, it must have been bad. And how quickly BFS turns when he is criticised. There is a reason that tag follows you around Sam... if the cap fits...''

12:14AM 28th Mar 2012
''I've got a good idea, Sam. Let's play our good passing football from the beginning of the match instead of sitting back inviting teams to attack us, then they can worry about conceding goals and we would more than likely win more games than we draw.

I think most fans would like to see us on the attack rather than defending deep, looking scared to come out of defence. That win tonight was worth three of the last five draws we have just had. Instead of playing not to lose, lets play to WIN!''

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