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Sour grapes, Alex?

Filed: Monday, 21st May 2012
By: Staff Writer

Blackpool defender Alex Baptiste has launched an astonishing tirade against West Ham United after his team were beaten by Sam Allardyce's team at Wembley.

The defender - who went close to scoring himself in the second half only to see his effort cleared off the line by Matt Taylor - told BBC Radio Lancashire after the game that Blackpool's defeat was "embarrassing" - whilst insisting that the Hammers played long-ball football throughout (clearly ignoring the fact that the Seasiders' only goal of the game came from a direct aerial punt forward).

"I'm devastated," he said. "You've seen that game, we were the better said. It was embarrassing at times. They just hoof it long at times hoping for the best.

"It's a foul on me for the second goal, definitely. The ref's done us no favours but i suppose everyone got what they wanted, because everyone wanted West Ham to win, a team from London and that.

"Congratulations to them, they won the game but I know who I'd rather play for. I wouldn't survive in that team, I'm not tall enough. It's embarrassing, all of them are eight foot [tall].

"I think this is worse [than being relegated last season] because we don't deserve that. We've battered them on the day and we were miles better, by far the better side.

"We're going to drown our sorrows tonight because the better team lost today."

Baptiste's display of sour grapes was in stark contrast to the response from Tangerines manager Ian Holloway, who was graceful in defeat - as always. Wishing West Ham well for next season, the former Bristol City boss said: "Well done to West Ham. It looked like it was going to extra time and I was very pleased with our performance.

"We'll be rueing the day that we missed a couple of chances but that's life. So good luck to them. We've got some fantastic players and I'd have loved for them to ply their trade in the top flight but unfortunately West Ham pipped us to it.

"All you can say is 'well done' to them. That's 2-1 instead of 4-0 and 4-1 [like earlier in the season] so we've improved again - but not quite enough."

West Ham's "eight foot giants"

Carlton Cole 6'3"
Guy Demel 6'3"
Robert Green 6'3"
James Tomkins 6'3"
Winston Reid 6'3"
Ricardo Vaz Te 6'2"

And then there's...

Jack Collison 6'0"
Julien Faubert 5'11"
George McCartney 6'0"
Mark Noble 5'11"
Kevin Nolan 6'0"
Gary O'Neil 5'10"
Matthew Taylor 5'10"

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by ammer
03:52PM 30th May 2012
''Look at the second goal, there wasn't one West Ham player near him! So how was it a foul? Muppet...''

by Marc
05:37AM 26th May 2012
''I had a soft spot for Blackpool till the Youtube videos of some poor Hammer (1) getting bashed by 30-odd Blackpool after Cole scored.''

by No 32
11:43PM 25th May 2012
''There is no doubt we did hoof it, I was absolutely shocked to see the tactics we started off with, we thrashed them twice by playing football but in this game Sam decided to make us tough to score against which imho was the wrong option.

Demel and Taylor were all at sea up until Sam put McCartney at left back then Demel's injury which forced Faubert on who played well, I will be sad to see him go even if many others won't.

Blackpool were for 75% of the match the better team. They missed numerous brilliant chances though and had they won, they would have deserved it for that performance, the question though is for their whole season against our whole season who deserved to go up, I am biased but I think we were the third best team in the Championship and we got what we deserved even if a bit fortuitously.

I do wish them all the best next season, they are a great club, with great chairman, great manager, very good players and brilliant supporters good luck Blackpool and COYI in the Premier League next season!''

by westhamerica
05:32PM 22nd May 2012
''If Rob Green is 6'3" than I'm Karren Brady.''

by Hornchurch Spence
01:18PM 22nd May 2012
''In the list of other 8ft giants, can someone please confirm: Is Mark Noble really 5' 11" tall?''

by Hibs hammer
12:28PM 22nd May 2012
''Bit quiet about the 4-0 and 4-1 tonkings early on in the season then Baptiste? Don't think we would want him in the side, best defence in the league. No doubt we weren't on best form but at the end of the day, WHU are PL and Blackpool aren't. Good luck to them next year, have a soft spot for them and Ollie. COYI.''

by notmyid
02:06AM 22nd May 2012
''Clearly an article written by someone with West Ham-tinted glasses.

To the neutral watching on TV, West Ham did hoof ball throughout the match. Alex Baptiste is clearly just stating the obvious. The irony is that when Blackpool tried a 'West Ham' they went and scored.''

by Steve Good
08:05PM 21st May 2012
''Sour grapes? No this bloke's the whole vineyard. So considering you've had two stuffings and given your not-quite-so best at Wembley and you still cannot beat us? Says it all, really.''

by 50pence
07:32PM 21st May 2012
''Lol. Baptiste talk about sour grapes.. so I guess Blackpool's hopeful 'hoof' up-field to Ince resulting in your goal was Barcelona genius? our goals were actually very good play (and mostly on the floor!)

Give my regards to Charlton and Millwall... COYI.''

by Maccy
05:57PM 21st May 2012
''Sour grapes? Off milk? Curdled cream? He has lost the plot here, if you listen to the actual interview you can basically taste it all through his tractor accent...''

by Brian Rafis
05:31PM 21st May 2012
''As long as he's cleared that up then, so embarrassing for a pro footballer, it doesn't matter if you hit the woodwork 100 times, Green has a stormer, ref makes bad decisions. Football matches have only ever been decided on goals scored. Admittedly they could have been three-up before we scored but I'm sure Vaz Te hit the side netting, rolled one past the post and Nolan had a volley that was rather close.

So Mr. Baptiste, bore off, there is a good reason you won't play for West Ham and it's not 'cos you don't suit our style it's 'cos we don't want you. Would love us to offer him a contract to prove everyone has their price, I just bet he would accept it!''

by mike
04:30PM 21st May 2012
''Sorry Alex. 12 points clear. 8-1 aggregated score home and away. Who's the better side?

Yeah, no sh*t Sherlock. Lock your buzz down.''

by Calvin
03:48PM 21st May 2012
''Sour grapes. We were miles ahead of them in the league and beat them every time. The stats say we were the best team and the stats don't lie.''

by Colm47
03:14PM 21st May 2012
''A very sore loser indeed!''

by KB
02:36PM 21st May 2012
''To be quite honest, who cares! Sam choses the players and the system. I suspect he will change it next year. I was there in '81, '80 and '75 and love attacking football but do I want to watch West Ham every week on Foxtel in Oz? You bet!

Well done to the team, manager and owners. It was a great outcome and we NEVER win in the last three minutes!''

by Roy
02:19PM 21st May 2012
''What planet is this bloke on? West Ham beat them 4-1 at their ground with 10 men and Lansbury in goal. We beat them 4-0 at Upton Park in what was a stroll for us. They played ok on Saturday but could not convrt their chances; it should have been 2-0 at half time if Vaz Te had not missed a sitter.

Baptiste could not get in West Ham's team, even our third choice in Faye is a better defender than him. He had a chance to make a name for himself but bottled out when Green rushed him. Grow up and think of us when you play Blackburn away next season...''

by bobby mills
01:34PM 21st May 2012
''Alex Baptiste you have got that right. You wouldn’t get in the team and if it wasn’t for daddy long legs Cole he wouldn’t have stretched for the ball for one of our small men to score the winner!''

by J-Mo
01:27PM 21st May 2012
''We were the long-ball merchants? Blackpool played some good football but perhaps Baptiste needs to see the ball played into Ince for their equalisier before he comments on another teams style of play. An agenda to get us promoted just because of our location? Eight foot giants? Think his comments were the beer talking.''

by dan
01:15PM 21st May 2012
''Totally agree, sour grapes makes him look the sore loser he is. BUT, I have to correct your post in that Ian Holloway was the BRISTOL ROVERS boss in the past and not Bristol City. The mistake seems trivial, but try telling Ian that as there is great rivalry between the two Bristol teams and Ian Holloway follows the blue side of Bristol. Good post aaprt from that small, but important, detail. We got what we deserved over the season. ''

by Jimmy
01:06PM 21st May 2012
''...Not to mention the 10-2 aggregate victory over 3 games. Or the 11 points in the league. Clearly the better team lost. :P''

by Steve Moore
12:58PM 21st May 2012
''Some facts need putting right here. Firstly, our goal was not from an 'aerial punt', but from a defence splitting pass. Secondly, Baptiste was fouled in the build up to your second goal, which Howard Webb not for the first time bottled out (having said that, he had quite a good game played in an exceptional fair spirit). Lastly Ollie was Bristol ROVERS manager! Bit similar to saying Millwall is your second team.

Anyway all the best for the forthcoming campaign.''

by Mark Goodman
12:46PM 21st May 2012
''Sour grapes? Sounds like a whole sour vineyard from Baptiste.

Fair play to Ian Holloway for his comments. Perhaps Baptiste needs reminding of the season's total, er that would be 10-2 to The Hammers over three consecutive victories. Oh well, I am sure by the time we raise the curtian on next season's first Premier League encounter, Baptiste and his comments will be long forgotten.''

by CranhamHammer
12:41PM 21st May 2012
''Sorry, their goal was set up by a neat pass back by Cole to 'anyone in an orange shirt'. It completely wrong footed our defence.''

by JMan43
12:37PM 21st May 2012
''That's right Alex, let's just forget the fact that we battered you home and away playing anything but long ball football. Let's also forget that we finished 11 points ahead of you.

Blackpool had nothing to lose and it showed in the way they played. We had everything to lose and it showed in how we played, but no-one will remember anything other than the result and we are back where we belong. I would love to see Blackpool there too as they play a good brand of football and have an excellent manager in Ian Holloway, so good luck to them for next season... Just sell us Tom Ince, would you!''

by Rue Hammer
12:34PM 21st May 2012
''Even though most Hammers fans have acknowledged that we didn't play well, I think over the course of the season, we deserved to go up.

I cant remember playing the long ball system when we demolished them 4-0 and 1-4 respectively. In fact, although they often play good football, they use the direct "long" ball often as they have quick wingers. It is a bit hypicritical when then adopt the same tactics. I feel the Blackpool players, pre and post match have actually shown their true colours amounting to spitting their dummies out. The only person who still has respect is Ian Holloway, a true gent of a man.

Anyway, moving on, Premier League here we come. #COYI.''

by Gary
12:33PM 21st May 2012
''Brilliant piece, at least Ollie was gracious as always.

Not only was their goal from a long ball, they played a lot of long balls throughout the whole game! They probably were just about the better side but if you don't take your chances, you won't win!''

by Ironsman
12:33PM 21st May 2012
''Haha love the inclusion of heights at the end. God look how big we are. Alex, you should try playing Stoke! Well done to the lads, perhaps we were second best to Blackpool's passing and not going anywhere football on Saturday, however we were clearly the better team over the season and throughly deserved. Looking forward to times ahead, congrats to Sam and the lads. COYI!''

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