Tottenham gifted three points due to West Ham manager’s flaws


If Sam Allardyce had been in the Army, his efforts, or lack of them, during Saturday’s Spurs defeat would have seen him on a charge of dereliction of duty, cowardice, and conduct unbecoming. It’s hard to think of a poorer managerial effort, and that’s saying something given what we had to endure last season, after witnessing what happened at Upton Park last Saturday.

The second he saw the red card produced to reduce Spurs to 10 men was the moment any enlightened and positive manager would get an additional front man on to both help the struggling Carlton Cole (how much can one lone striker do for gods sake? Let alone an average grafter like Carlton) and secondly to pin a decidedly average Tottenham Hotspur on the back foot and make West Ham’s attacking intentions clear. Any team reduced to ten has to deal with the psychological blow that has just been dealt. To then watch the numerically advantaged side pile on the pressure by pushing both attack and midfield further up the pitch in order to pressurise and out-pass a nervy opposition is all part of the plan; but Sam Allardyce has no plan. He never has any plan other than the one he starts the game with…and invariably finishes the game with.

His inaction and total lack of any counter-tactical appreciation is so obvious and stark that people really need to wake up and see the man for what he is; an imposter who talks the talk but has no idea how to walk the walk. His smoke and mirrors illusions make David Blaine look like Tommy Cooper on a bad day. Allardyce will rabbit on all day about sports science, kilometres run, tackles made and all other manner of statistical buffoonery, but come the moment when the simple decision to stick two up front and push the midfield higher on to a struggling Spurs needs to be made, we get…..nothing. It is now beyond puzzling; we almost need to be peddling conspiracy theories!

What were the other coaches saying or thinking? Are they on the bench for any reason? Do they interact with Allardyce, voice opinions, make suggestions? Was Teddy Sheringham, seated a few rows behind the manager consulted at any stage? This, by the way, is a clever, wily, thoughtful and attack minded individual, and a man employed solely to boost and coach the attacking phase of West Hams play.

Let’s be clear. West Ham played better on Saturday than perhaps we have seen for some time. Stewart Downing was excellent, Mark Noble was his usual imperious self, running the show from deep, and the impressive workhorse Cheikhou Kouyate looked strong and willing. Add in the impressive home debut from Aaron Cresswell and we had the basis of a performance. How Cole, the awful Ricardo Vaz Te and the invisible man (AKA Nolan) could make their starting line-up, however, just defied belief, and here lies another worry; what the hell can Allardyce see in Nolan and Vaz Te and Cole that the rest of us can’t? These players are now Championship level at best, so to start a match three players down is a managerial fail, yet despite the handicap, we gave as good as we got and were unlucky not to take a lead by one or two goals. The unusual penalty miss by Mark Noble shouldn’t have counted in the final analysis, and had we spent most of the game in the Tottenham third/half laying siege to their goal, the James Collins second yellow would probably never happened. You reap what you sow as the old saying goes.

However, once the numbers were in our favour, the Tottenham jugular was exposed, vulnerable, and there to be grabbed like a rabid wolf on a deer, and shaken until the final whistle; it wasn’t because our manager had neither the will nor the guile to make any changes. Oh, sorry, I forgot the excellent tactical masterpiece and game changer: Demel for O’Brien. Full back for …eerr…full back.

Allardyce ALLOWED  Tottenham and their disbelieving fans to leave E13 on Saturday night all clutching their “Get out of Jail FREE” cards and laughing well into the night…and beyond. He let us down badly because he cannot comprehend that at times, attack is the best form of defence. He clearly has no faith in West Ham as a solid and cohesive attacking force, despite spending decent money on some proven goal scorers, and until things change in terms of personnel, and principles of play, we will be saying the same things for the foreseeable future.

It’s one game in and early days, but I cant help but feel three points were not so much lost as handed in a gift wrapped, ribboned box and labelled  “To Spurs. Love West Ham.” That hurts.

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Plaistow born Spencer is a lifelong Hammer and having spent half-a century plus, enduring this lifelong obsession, along with every other West Ham supporter, knows exactly what it takes and what it means to wrap that Claret & Blue scarf round your neck every other Saturday and head off for the Boleyn !

A Chartered Surveyor by profession, Spencer, now 58, has played, coached and managed at semi-pro level within Essex for a number of clubs, and, simply unable to give up playing, currently turns out for the Iron Maiden Over 35’s side when he is not watching the Hammers, playing guitar in his Classic Rock covers band Gunrunner, or more probably, injured yet again!

  • spurgatso says:

    Well it sure wasnt due to our managers brilliance.

  • Dave says:

    Good article.

  • Sig says:

    Manager? I think the players were not good enough to take advantage of the extra guy they had. The Tottenham players were obviously better equipped.

  • siamak says:

    poor big SAM, i loved the end of your article, WITH LOVE TO SPURS,,

  • Dan says:

    Spot on, send this to Mr Sullivan or to make something happen his son.
    We have the basis of a good team, need a centre half to partner Reid and another forward but the new players look good. One big problem, the tactical expertise of Sam ‘defensive coach’ Allerdyce.
    Pay him off move on and bring in a proper manager.

  • John says:

    My comment has got to be what goes around comes around, last season West Ham had very much the rub of the green in the three games West Ham won. I feel Sam realised this, plus he was very let down by the Collins sending off. All the flack given to Sam is very undeserved in my option, he is a good manager his record at Bolton was excellent, I believe West Ham would jump out of frying pan into the fire, should they sack him.

    • notanyoldiron says:

      John, the only fire is what Sully should do to the big man. Or WHam will be firefighting all bloody season.

  • brian says:

    As a Tottenham fan,thought your comments(well up to the Half time)were spot on.The Spammers did not make the best of there opprtunity.Come the 2nd half,we looked better with ten men,then your lot did with 11.So if you thought Tottenham were average.Then the spammers were bloody rubbish.You really need to look beyond the bais glasse’s you had on.And look at the overall picture.That saidds your commentss re re:Allaradyce are spot on.

    • The swindon hammer says:

      Make the most of it as the saying goes every dog has its day the only reasonu lot fluked and it was fluked a win was down to that moron fat sam your season is over before its started u will finish 7th or 8th at best so enjoy it while u can u clown!

  • roger holcombe says:

    What the F888 was Fatso thinking
    that was embarrassing from a tactical point of view.
    We have how many new players ?????????????
    and yet again FS The Un bloody moveable
    Fields a Troupe of Carthorses and ignores
    the opportunity to do something

  • Dr barkus says:

    Under gold,sullivan,Allaradyce-west ham will fade and die.The football served up is so dire that i struggle to stay awake.No wonder so many hammers keep looking back and thinking about the times when we had the odd bit of excitement at upton park.If things dont change-i dont expect any-then i can see us in the OS with more away fans turning up.

  • james says:

    Article is spot on apart from one thing!

    I actually feel for Carlton Cole, in fact i feel for any lone striker who plays in a Fat Sam formation with Kevin Nolan as the so called attacking midfielder. No matter if he can flick the ball on or if he brings it down, they will have no one within 20-30 yards to help them. So yes, they are going to look poor and will get the blame as much as most players.

    Apart from that, the article is correct, Sam had the chance to take us onto the front foot and could of done that by replacing either Vaz Te or Nolan… How these 2 are still part of the team i will never know. Valencia looked like a live wire when he came onto the field and Zarate scores goals, something we have dearly missed.

    Crystal Palace next week is already a must win game. Spurs never deserved to win on saturday but handled the pressure, or lack of it, we threw at them and held on.

    I can’t bring myself to back Sam, didn’t want him from day 1 and my mind hasn’t been changed 1 little bit. Saying that, i will not go against the team, i’m sure by the end of the season we will be safe and all will be forgiven for another season.

    • Simon says:

      I agree with the article – but it all stems from one fundamental aspect – the squad – i think we have added some good quality to the squad this summer and got rid of some that had to go – but CCole, Vaz Te and Demel should not be here this season – all should have been offloaded and replaced – CCole unfortunately isnt good enough for the PL, i contest anyone who thinks CCole has the ability to be relied upon to see us break into the top ten, he doesnt have the ability or foresight to read the game, his control is borderline criminal for a PL player and his finishing, if he he ever gets in a position for a chance, is terrible – i cringe if he ever gets picked for any game, we need better depth, same with Vaz Te who imo is out of his depth in the PL, he was good enough to help us get promoted, but the only way to improve the squad is to add better quality than he has, Demel last season he showed some frailties, this season he will be a liability, @33yo he is playing on borrowed time especially in the PL – im one the bench when it comes to Nolan, there are times i wish Sam would open his eyes and get real, and others (generally when Caroll is playing) that youre glad he picked him, but no doubt the time isnt that far away when Nolan will simply have to be moved along – Sam has left himself in an unfortunate position with these guys still in the squad as it makes them available for selection, imo i cant believe he even selected Vaz Te over Diame to start, CCole did very little to endear himself as any form of cover for Valencia or Caroll, and the Demel substitution for Obrien against Spurs left me dumbfounded when that was the first substitution Sam made, considering CCole and Vaz Te were completely ineffective – west ham will only improve their standing when deadwood is removed from the squad, how Sam came to the conclusion for some of his first team selections is one thing, baffling to say the least, but the decisions, or lack of, he made thereafter just compounded the issues – he cant control penalty misses, he cant control the stupidity of Collins either, but he left himself in a pretty pickle when it went pear shaped because he failed to deliver to the team the decisions that could have put the result in our favour before Collins took a walk – i am actually a fan of Sam, i dont buy into the sack Sam brigade, i want the big picture, this clubs stability, well and truly cemented in the PL, to come to fruition and i believe Sam WILL deliver that, from that point we can then be selective on how we achieve our results – but looking at the squad this season does give me hope, although there are still issues with key selections and a reliance on players we know from experience dont deliver what is expected that will continue to drag us back – i still think we played pretty well on saturday, but the frailties were obvious in the first half, Zarate must be amazed he never got onto the pitch at some point, i know i was, Obrien must be wondering WTF when he and Downing were tearing it up down the right, again i know i was – Sam can please himself with our attempts on goal, fact is had they fallen to better quality players we might have taken one, and lets not forget we were playing 10 men for a good while – Sams destiny is in his own hands, but i will be honest, if he genuinely believes squad options like CCole, Vaz Te and Demel will achieve for the club this season then he is sorely mistaken, and as first choice selections i dare say deluded – i think most fans are on the same page when it comes to certain issues, we may differ on a couple of things here and there but by and large i think safety this season isnt really an issue, or shouldnt be anyway, but Sam will need to deliver something more than the disappointment gleaned from saturday to survive as the manager – that we lost isnt really the issue, its football, it hurt many as it was Spurs, but the manner in how it was achieved smacks of a manager who refuses to acknowledge glaring realities over his own blinkered ideologies – using a squad to great effect is the key for any manager, but when you still rely on some that have a track record of detrimental effect to overall performance, and thus outcome, then you can well expect criticism when you dont deliver. As a lifelong hammers fan i continue to live in hope and with the faith at some point it will all come together – christ, law of averages it will have to at some point, wont it????? COYI

      • Brian McFlipper says:

        Very good points in the article and some of the replies. We are all baffled as to what he is doing, and angered by his lack of a plan B. I really think he has no idea what to do to try and win/change a game. Worrying !!

  • Mac says:

    I thought it was quite an easy game for spurs with 10 men, sam said they had 20 shots on goal but only 4 on target same as spurs, who were hardly huffing and puffing after the game, the sending off ruined the game for me as it made west ham look a decent team but the reality was with spurs and there patient display should be praised other then a couple silly mistakes by kaboul we looked solid not only solid but composed and confident something you dont see with spurs, seeing are RB so far up the pitch at the death of the game speaks for it’s self.
    I think any team playing a 4 1 4 1 formation agaist west ham will beat em because there too direct and predictable.
    COYCP ; )

  • Adam Otto says:

    Here bloody here.

  • Adam Otto says:

    The story not the comment above.

  • ian says:

    Great article spot on.Im absolutely fuming about allardyce,im actually starting to think hes a pisstaker and trying to get himself sacked.No one can really be as dumb as he was on Saturday could they?

  • christopher keen says:

    are you joking!? im not an allardyce supporter, but for you to jump on his back after one game, as the better team i might add, is a joke.who are you trying to impress? get your own opinion, you sound like every other un-educated fool at upton park

    • Cranham Hammer says:

      CK – opinions make football – facts tell results.

      Carlton Cole was a free agent – no team from any division took him ?

      Vaz Te couldn’t get in the team last season. We now have 6 more quality players to improve the team – Vaz Te is now better than 4 of these ?

      Valencia is not 100% fit – the fit forward (with a good scoring record) is Zarate. He didn’t get a start.

      Even though you should beat 10 men – when it is 0 – 0, and you get to extra time, you shut the game and take one point. You don’t send you defenders up field and expose your goalkeeper like we did.

      There are more but I’m now late for work

    • notanyoldiron says:

      Chris, if you are right, then there are 30,000 uneducated supporters of West Ham right now. You are in a very small minority.

    • Brian McFlipper says:

      On your own son !! Read some football coaching manuals then you might see what the rest of us fans can. Its muppets like you who are happy to put up with sub-standard quality that keep the awful Allardyce in a job. The artice is spot on and well balanced.

  • Dave says:

    We have had Allardyce as our leader now for three seasons, just starting season four. He will play Kevin Nolan come what may, examples, when overweight, when not fit, when poor form and when bad discipline. New players don’t get a look in as Nolan can only play off a monster number nine causing chaos. Spurs game shows this ideology WILL NOT CHANGE until Allardyce is replaced.

  • w4hammer says:

    You called it perfectly. Im still unsure what them demel /JOB swap was about-someone said it was to counter the lack of height after collins went off.

    Couple of points- against a squad that had £100 M spent on it last season alone, we didnt look too bad- however here;s the rub- we are still four players of where we should be. STarting the season with cole/vaz te/collins/JOB is another example of unforgiveable mismanagement by BFS & the board. These players were end of contract freebies good few years back. Honest pro’s and useful as back up but even allowing for a few injuries its crazy they are in the first team squad and we expect anything different. Now we are scrabbling around trying to find a CB- and will end up paying over the top for some french has-been or end up with dogshit like relegation roger – why!? we all know that we need another centre back- we were horribly exposed middle of last season – and yet we blow £4M on a french div two player who will probably end up another Maiga.

    Dumb, short term, decisions – again, I ask the question £70M in TV money this year- spent on what exactly; highest ticket prices this side of a first class shuttle trip to the moon and Ive got to watch carlton trying to remember where the ball is, vaz te running through treacle and ginger looking like a pissed up sunday pub player. Its a fucking joke/!

  • Shaz says:

    Totally agree with the writer of this post. Everyone where I sit was saying the same thing any manager would go two up top against 10 men! Like you say what the hell is Vaz Te in the starting line up for when he never got a look in last season. My only thought is that Allardyce didn’t want to sign the new strikers that were available on Saturday and that is why the pig headed numpty didn’t pick them to play. Zarate is the only striker to have scored in pre-season and yet he doesn’t get a chance – I absolutely detest the man!!!!

  • Luke pain says:

    Great article this is not an opinion it is fact. Nolan is finished as a player and I don’t think he would get in the championship teams.Why buy zarate to have Nolan limping around the pitch. Carlton cole seems to play bad only because his service consists of neck high balls and no support from donkey Nolan . We have morrison,zarate Valencia at the club but will never play together unless Sam goes .Even a retard would not play diame left wing or to play a defensive formation against Tottenham .Anyone who disagrees with the above article does not know anything about football .Football is an entertainment business we want to be entertained this doesn’t mean we will get relegated if Sam goes , we have the players to compete high up the table but not the manager

  • Alan says:

    Excellent 100% spot on article, aside from not also assigning O’Brien and Collins the ‘championship level at best’ tag. The latter is a permanent accident waiting to happen.

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