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Posts Tagged ‘Sam Allardyce’

WHUFC vs Tottenham Hotspur EPL 2014/2015 16/08/2014

August 17, 2014 Leave a comment

3 mins until the start of the season

3 mins until the start of the season

The new seasons is upon us and Sam has promised a new look attacking West Ham. What we got was Carlton Cole up top on his own . 

The game started at a pretty frenetic pace as you would expect in a always competitive London derby. However both teams cancelled each other out, and chances were at a premium. However, after 27 mins a turned shot from Kevin Nolan was adjudged to be hand balled by Kyle Naughton and he was dismissed and Mark Noble stepped up to take the pen. I have never been the biggest fan of his penalties but he always seem to score them, so fair play. Anyway this one he pulled to the left of the goal and the game stayed drawn. As is usual Spurs started to get back into it, and they swapped to 3 at the back. This is where Sam made the mistake. As soon as Spurs went down the 10 men we should of gone two up top. Valencia and Zareto were on the bench, and Nolan was on the pitch, but no, Sam knows best and kept Carlton isolated up front.

By the second half you could tell the fans were getting frustrated, but we kept getting chances. Stewart Downing was unlucky after getting through 2 players to only drop short against a brilliant Lloris save. Valencia came on for the last 15 and looked lively although small. Collins was also dismissed after the hour mark for a second yellow, both of which were justified as basically he was trying to break up play with cynical fouls.

The interesting thing was that at 90 mins, no one was leaving the ground. I and I think everyone else knew that something was going to happen but didn’t know what. They didn’t have long to wait when Spurs new signing Dier broke through the dogged WHU defence and slotted home the winner around Adrian.

Bottom line is we played OK, just OK, but not poorly. Cresswell looked great and Kouyate was OK in the middle but needs to come out and forward more. Valencia’s cameo appearance was encouraging, but he is way too small to play on his own up there.

For me Cresswell was MOTM, with Noble closely behind. Nolan was shocking and Sam needs to take a good look at his best mate and his contribution to the team. And at least we are above Man U on the league. 

Looks like we already taking the existing ground down !

Looks like we already taking the existing ground down !

I also had some time before the game to check the progress on our new home in Stratford. Things seems to be coming along, but it still looks too big for us if I’m honest.

2 years to go....

2 years to go….

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West Ham United vs Hull City EPL 26/03/2014

March 27, 2014 Leave a comment

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My new addition to the WHU collection !

Tonight saw WHU probably secure their premier league safety as Sunderland went down fighting at Liverpool, but once again there was nothing to shout about but there was enough for Sam to have a pop at the paying punter.

First up, there was a nice touch from the WHU fans below me jin the lower tier just before kick off as they unveiled a banner with NO TO HULL TIGERS on it with crossed hammers at each end. So far so good.

WHU started well, but after 9 mins Collins came off injured and was replaced by Roger Johnson. I assume Winston Reid’s season is still not back on track. Anyway they continued dominating the game and both Diame and Downing looked lively on the wings. Just before the half hour mark, Mark Noble drove into the box , passed the ball and Diame was right in front of goal, but McGregor came out and just took him out below the knee as Diame was lifting the ball over him. The game carried on for about 10 seconds and then stopped (I assumed that as both the keeper and Diame were down and hurt the ref had stopped the game). The keeper was in a bad way and didn’t get up for a few mins. Then I noticed the Hull players surrounding the ref and Mark Noble holding the ball. The second the keeper got up, he was helped off the pitch by a physio and a red card. I am also assuming some use of the radio to the lino was used (although in post match, apparently the ref said it was all his own decision). On comes Harper as a replacement and Nobes comfortably puts it passed him to put the Hammers into the lead.From here in it should of been a walk in the park, and apart from the odd foray forward West ham progressively got worse and worse, still trying long balls, rather than run Hull around with possession.

The second half was when things got really bad, with another freak goal to go with Rooney’s from Sunday. After 3 mins of the half, Hull had a free kick , and Huddlestone’s drilled kick was going wide until it hit Jelavic on the back and diverted past Adrian.

To add to the oddness of the night a few minutes later a rare cross from Demel, was mis-kicked in for an own goal by James Chester. Thanks for that, you have saved our season, and unfortunately Sam’s job.

From then on Hull looked like they were the team with the extra man. But they didn’t threaten at all, and the game petered out into a WHU win. Sam did his usual winger for winger sub around the 65th min, taking of Diame (who played well) for Joe Cole. Matt Taylor was rubbish all night, and was left on !! and that was that.

The final whistle was met with boos all round, and Sam cupping his ear to the supporters. He really doesn’t get it. A win that is perpetuated by constant cheap loss of possession, and an all round bad display, is now affecting the previously silent majority. Everyone has had enough, its that simple Sam. Move on and all will be well. The amount if people who have told me they are not renewing is growing, and the dreams of filling the Olympic Stadium are fading and dying with him in charge (to quote a well known song of the East End).

To be fair, the fans were also booing the MOTM announcement before any player’s names were even mentioned !

I’ve just seen his post match interview on Sky and he really doesn’t understand. He has now had a pop at the fans on national telly. The next home game should be fun.

MOTM ( no boos) for me was James Tomkins. After the Rooney incident at the weekend, he did well, to come back and deliver a great consistent performance, especially after losing his usual partner after less then 10 minutes.

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The dodgy streets of the East End !

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Upton Park under lights

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Red Card and a physio guard of honour to lead him off.

West Ham United vs Manchester United EPL 22/03/2014

March 22, 2014 Leave a comment

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So no surprises here. the game was like the weather at Upton Park today. Started bright and became dull and boring. Big Sam will complain massively about both goals, for alleged infractions. Wrong. The press will say Utd have turned the corner. Wrong. They were average at best. The press will also say Wayne Rooney scores a wonder goal. I would challenge that as well, as it was an open goal due to poor positioning of the WHU keeper, which Rooney did well to steer in from distance. His second was more luck than judgement, but you gotta be in it to win it, so fair play to him.

Why am I so down ? I’ll tell you why. We witness once of worst Man U displays ever last week, and since then both Vidic and Ferdinand are not in the starting line up as well (for differing reasons). What does Sam do? Same old bollocks of starting AC on his own, and Diame down the wing. No dynamism, no change to catch out a weak opposition, just the same old nonsense. I have had enough, and once this season is finished (about next week, assuming we win our next 2 against Hull and Sunderland), Sam needs to be moved on. Also the players Sam put out there today could not be bothered in the slightest. That alone is a disgrace. So they are comfortable with Sam and him with them. Time for a shake up. So Sam leaves and he can take his mates with him.

Who next then? Last year i wanted Gus Poyet, and would still back that up. Why not Slaven Bilic as an option? Whoever it is, I don’t think I could put up with another season of the same old thing. But i don’t make the decision, and if we do win our next 2 (and I think we will), Sam will be home and hosed, and ready for next year.

No West Ham player had a good game today, so i’ll go with Wazza for the MOTM.

West Ham United vs Southampton EPL 22/02/2014

February 23, 2014 Leave a comment

Great team, great passing, great to watch, big away following, noisy away following, will upset a few big teams, too good to go down, not good enough for Europe. Once upon a time you could guarantee people would be taking about West Ham. These days its more likely that they are talking about Southampton.

Southampton came in good form, as they have held onto all season, but were running into a WHU team who themselves were on a good run. The game started (after the minutes applause for the passing of the legend that was Sir Tom Finney) with Southampton on fire and we were chasing shadows if I’m honest and it was no surprise when they took the lead after 8 minutes. The manner of conceding our first goal in over 4 games was more disappointing. There were 6 West Ham players in a row, marking space rather than players and this allowed Yoshida to ghost in unopposed to get his first goal of the season.

This seemed to wake the hammers up and our midfield in particular.  We started to see more of the ball and were closing down the effective play of the Saints a lot quicker which was starting to make them make mistakes. After 20 minutes, Kevin Nolan spotted a run from Matt Jarvis across their back line and lofted a beautiful ball into the danger zone, which Matty got onto, nuts the keeper and slots in the equalizer. To be fair if he had missed he was due a penalty as well, due to the keeper taking him out. There was a slight sniff of offside, but for once the luck was with us. 1-1

We didn’t have to wait long for the next goal, as the Hammers didn’t relent the pressure on the Saints. 3 minutes after the leveller, Carton Cole jumped out of the pack to bullet a header against the post, and the rebound came back to him (from Yoshida’s arm – another pen ?) and rifled in WHU’s second to make it 2-1 WHU after 23 mins. For the first time this season, football had broken out at Upton Park. Southampton continued their possessional play, and might of felt aggrieved not to be level at half time. Adrian did his part again and so did Guy Demel, making some key interventions and clearances.

The scoreline was interesting for me as Mrs MrBen had had her first ever football bet today. She picked WHU to win 2-1, so was hoping for a drab second half to ensure £100 quid into her pocket.

To be fair she looked good for it as the second half didn’t really live up to action of the first. WHU as usual, had  a period of play where they gave Southampton some opportunities to level, with both Adam Lallana and Gaston Ramirez wasting chances. However come the 71st minute, a lovely cross from Stewart Downing met the industrious Carlton Cole who nodded it down for Kevin Nolan to fire in an overhead kick from 5 yards out to bring another 3 points to Hammers. For once a comfortable win, to confirm their top half league aspirations, and extend their current form to 4 wins, one draw and only one goal conceded. And a game where the score was about right. If Diame’s speculative shot near the end hadn’t just hit the bar, but had gone in, the scoreline would of been unfair to Southampton. This game has probably won Sam the manager of the month award for Feb as well, without Andy Carroll for most of it. Things are looking good for the Hammers, and with Newcastle and Southampton slipping up more than expected currently, I don’t think we have finished our table climb. I was eyeing up Man U yesterday but their win against Palace probably makes them an unrealistic target now.

So some points of note. Sam has maintained then when the team is fit we can match anyone, and despite my reservations, he may be right. One other point is one I started last game. Adam Lallana on Sky commentary this morning, was being lauded as a cert for the plane to Brazil. Mark Noble played him off the park, and once again dominated a game with tackles, pick ups and directing play. He deserves a look in, if nothing else.

I have also decided to add a new feature to the blog, The Bloke Behind Me. Now this guy has been there some time, and comes out with the most inane nonsense,  week in week out .

So for the in inaugural TBBM, we have “James Collins has probably been our best player this season, but i wouldn’t have him in the team” Nice one mate. The only thing that will stop this feature is the 67 year old Angry John clumping him , so I have that in my influence sphere ! Nice to see Aussie John yesterday as well, coming back for a beer, even though he does live the far sticks of Essex these days.

MOTM for this week was once again Mark Noble. Another game dominated.

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The Italian Hammers contingent, gets even bigger

This man wears the no 1 jersey next season. Without a doubt.

This man wears the no 1 jersey next season. Without a doubt.

WHUFC vs Swansea City EPL 01/02/2014

February 2, 2014 Leave a comment

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The West Ham Italian Division, welcomes our new imports.

As well as managing football teams, it appears Mr Allardyce has added time travel to his skillset. Yesterday we moved from the 19th Century Football (TM J.Mourinho) to 21st Century defending according to Sam. Not that the defending should of been having to be used, but more of that later.

I arrived more in hope of a win rather than expecting one. Last years game, here was more what I expected, with Swansea on the attack and plucky old WHU getting away with it.

What i got was markedly different, with a positive WHU, attacking Swansea from the off and in reality, Swansea couldn’t cope. Our defence was containing the admittedly under par Swansea attack and Noble seemed to be everywhere. Carroll was dominating their defence in very impressive style, and you just felt it would be his day. More of that later as well.

The breakthrough came on the 27th minute with Noble picking up the ball in our box and spotting the run of McCartney on the left flank. George continued the run up the line and popped in a superb cross for Andy Carroll to rise high into the air and nod it down for Nolan, to get his first in a while, and his first of the game. Like the 58 outside on Green Street, we didn’t have to wait long for the next one (19 mins to be precise), when a Downing corner found Carroll on the far post, to nod it back in for his mate to double his tally for the day, and send the Hammers in 2-0 up at half time. That really doesn’t do justice to Carroll, as the height he got and the body twist to make the nod down accurate really has to be appreciated. However I cannot find any photos on line, so you will have to catch MOTD or sky or just believe me.

The second half seem to be going the same way, with WHU happy to let the The Jacks crack on in their own half and then use Carroll to involve everybody else in the play.  Then with half an hour to go everything changed. Carroll challenged Flores for the ball, and having seen that, my eyes has gone elsewhere (the incident was that much of nothing), only to catch Flores out of the corner of my eye, rolling around like a cheese in Gloucester. Game stops, Howard Webb comes over, straight red card to AC. What! Really ? I have tried to find content this morning to put up, but i’m struggling currently (edit, now have some). This was not a red card, yellow at a push. Mr Webb made a grave mistake, that (and lets be serious for a minute), could relegate us. I’m not too sure the FA will want their poster boy overturned on appeal, but it’s all in their hands now.

So WHU has to change formation for the last 30 mins, and did stoically. Special shouts out to Matt Taylor, James Collins and Mark Noble, who just threw everything out there to defend (in a 21st century fashion) our lead. So in the end, 3 points and another clean sheet (our 11th this season, why are we 3rd bottom ?) .

In fact everyone played their part yesterday, including Nocerino (Nosher, anyone), one of our new Italian imports,  who came on for the last 5 and looked lively going forward. James Tomkins made a tackle in the first half against Bony, that if it had of been made by Baresi, Beckenbauer, or (dare I say it) Moore, would of been lauded down the decades. If you see it, take into account the lad was on a yellow as well, and it was 0-0. Winston Reid made a welcome return to assist the late rearguard action. This probably signals then end of Tomkins’ run in the team, and is a shame, but we cannot accommodate everyone. It was also nice to see everyone in the correct positions, including Kevin Nolan, who put a shift in for the first time in a long time.

Anyway MOTM goes to big Kev for his contribution, but he was run close by Mark Noble, Andy Carroll and on the outside Matt Taylor.

Is this really a straight red , Mr Webb ?

Is this really a straight red , Mr Webb ?

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I think the look on his face says it all.

WHUFC vs Stoke City 31/08/2013 EPL

September 1, 2013 Leave a comment

Weather was nice, game was shit, just about sums up this one. Normally I wouldn’t be so blunt, but sometimes this has to happen.

Stoke under Pulis were sometimes castigated for spoiling the game, and being ultra long ball, etc. Under Mark Hughes this seemed to have stopped for now, with Stoke actually playing well and moving the ball around quickly and accurately.

WHU were rubbish. Let me qualify this. With 2 exceptions we actually played OK. Collins and O’Brien really stood out. Downing was exception no 1. He was soft and ineffective. However he looked like Messi compared to Maiga.

Why we kept this clown over Carlton Cole is beyond me. He has no challenge or presence, cannot hold the ball, can’t pass, and is usually out of position. All of the above can be done from the bench and do not need to be demonstrated on the pitch.

Fans frustrations are nothing new, and fans do have a habit of getting on players backs out of proportion with their performance. BUT, when you see the players getting on his case, and effectively playing around him to stop him having the ball, you have an issue. We beat Cardiff in spite of him, we might of well played with 10 men against Newcastle, and another draw with 10 men was on the cards yesterday, until Jermaine Pennant came of the bench to snatch victory for the potters.

So whats the answer? Not bringing on Elliot Lee too late against a team who have 4 defenders twice his size, thanks Sam. We now have less than 24 hours to get someone in to fill in for Carroll. Sitting on the bench of our visitors was Peter Crouch ? Season loan ? Why not !

Anything has to better than having the new Boogers up top.

MOTM : James Collins.

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Yes, we are booing you mate.

WHUFC vs Tottenham Hotspur EPL 25/02/2013

February 26, 2013 Leave a comment

Bit late for new year, but we invited the neighbours over for a party, and ensured they left with the favours. I say left, they were stolen by one man.

This game was billed as a tribute to the late great Bobby Moore, who passed away 20 years ago (seems I was at the gates of Upton Park yesterday), and as a spectacle more than lived up to it.

There was a one minute applause, followed by a fans mosaic celebrating the man. I was in the mosaic and I have one comment. Next time, show it on the screen at the other end, or we have no idea what we are showing ! Judging by the camera flashes (plenty from the Spurs section), it was impressive enough.

Noble was replaced by Gary O’Neill in the middle, and Guy Demel was brought in at right back. The game got underway with WHU on the attack for a change. At the six minute mark there was a another break out of “Bobby Moores’ claret and blue army”, and WHU continued piling on the pressure, with Jarvis getting in crosses, and Joe Cole looking lively.

On the rare Spurs attacks it was being pointed out by the WHU faithful that Gareth Bale looked a little like a chimp. He responded by taking a goal, that on the replay was well taken ,but in play looked too easy for him. Skipping along the edge of the box he then turned to pass the ball past Jussi for the opener. WHU seemed to fall apart, and thing didn’t look good.

10 minutes later, Scott Parker (who was getting booed all night, nice one WHU “fans”) took out Carroll to give WHU a pen. Up steps Carroll in place of Noble and smashes it home. By this time Nolan was already struggling and was replaced 10 minutes later by Taylor. With none of the usual midfield cautiousness, WHU seemed to push on and finished the half well ,with Jarvis going close with an acrobatic volley.

At half time, Becks said to me “what a shambles, bloody disgrace ,etc”. No idea what game he was watching. I’m no fan of Allardyce but I tend to remember what I’m watching !

The second half was pretty quite with Bale being especially quiet if I’m honest, but you know it wont last. When he doesn’t have the ball he is constantly moving, chopping and changing markers all the time. This confuses defenders (poor lambs), and mixes up formations.

Just over a quarter into the half (an eighth ?), up pops Joe Cole, to finish off a good move between Caroll and himself, to poke it past Lloris to put the Hammers 2-1 up. Jussi spends the next 20 minutes being the best keeper in the world, making some of the most outrageous saves, including a double from Adebayour that I’m sure he still doesn’t know what happened.

At this stage a point works, and 3 would be great. Enter Big Sam. Demel comes off for Pogatetz, and we lose a goal mouth scramble for a Spurs equalizer. Then, the main thorn in their side Diame is brought off for Collison, who for all his skills is not a hard hitting midfield general. Then Sam gets his get out jail card, with hardly anything left on the clock, Gareth Bale, scores a world class goal from miles out from nothing, no run up or big swing just pure class.

So did Sam throw it away ? Based on Jussi in the second half probably not, but he could of maybe helped the situation.

The league situation is looking very precarious now, but a win against Stoke this weekend could make all the difference.

 

MOTM Everyone else will give it to Bale. But for some world class keeping in the second half, and making sure we didn’t lose 6-2, i’ll give it to Jussi Jaaskelainen

 

Can you see me ?

Can you see me ?

Viva Bobby Moore !