West Ham fans can’t blame Big Sam for cup exit

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Sheffield UnitedNo Capital One Cup run this season…but surely no-one can lay the blame at Big Sam’s door?

Last night against Sheffield United Sam Allardyce named a team more than capable of seeing off a side currently sitting 12th in League One. The fans have been baying for Diafra Sakho, Enner Valencia and Ravel Morrison to start and Sam dually obliged starting all three.

When we were dumped out the FA Cup last season 5-0 at Nottingham Forest; yes you could blame that disastrous day on Sam for fielding a side that had virtually no chance of winning; however despite making nine changes from the side that triumphed at Selhurst Park the team put out last night looked strong, certainly strong enough to go through against a poor Sheffield United.

You could be forgiven for thinking that Enner Valencia, Ravel Morrison, Mohamed Diame and Diego Poyet were going to cut a mid-table league one outfit to ribbons with quick incisive passing, an unrelenting tempo and a clinical edge, the kind of performance we witnessed against Crystal Palace…however the reality was a performance lacking any kind of tempo, urgency or quality in the final third.

The atmosphere inside Upton Park last night reflected the performance of the home side, flat.  Only in the first half of regular time and the 2nd half of extra time did the Hammers put the Blades under any kind of consistent pressure; the other intervening periods were a non-event.

Perhaps with hindsight there was too much of an emphasis on getting ‘revenge’ for the whole Carlos Tevez saga as opposed to just focusing on beating a lower league side and progressing to the next round of the cup.

There were a couple positives to come out of last night’s humbling though; firstly Diafra Sakho got his first of hopefully many, Reece Burke and Diego Poyet acquitted themselves well and Enner Valencia got some much needed minutes under his belt.

The worn out cliché of ‘now we can focus on the league’ doesn’t really apply to West Ham as the squad was strong enough to have a proper crack this season.

However the blame for going out shouldn’t be laid at Sam’s door; instead the finger should be pointed at the talent on show who simply should’ve had enough about them to beat a League One side over 120 minutes.

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  • Dan Ellis says:

    Yet you completely ignore the fact that he told the team to sit on the 1-0 and sit back again which cost us again

  • Joshua webb says:

    They have no one but themselves to blame sakho and Diane did really well together Valencia did well but needs to get fitness up, it wasn’t valencia’s fault not very player can score penaltys consistently ravel was quiet poet is like a mini noble as soon as Zarathustra came on he was the only one running we’re as the rest we’re walking, it was all down to fitness and that wasn’t our strongest side and was full of semi-fit players NOT big SAMs fault game should have been done in first half

  • notanyoldiron says:

    I don’t blame Allardyce for the defeat. The majority of fans picked the same starting 11 pre match. With Vaz Te being the exception. The majority of players had never played together before. And boy did it show. Morrison has played a match since the end of last season, and only left hospital a few weeks ago following an operation. And why oh why was he played as a holding midfielder? Valencia was obviously far from match fit.
    These players needed game time. Best they did before being called on to play in the league.
    A bad result, but the right thing to do in my opinion. I’m not a fan of SA but I can’t blame him for yesterday’s result or performance.

    • Stuart says:

      I don’t think ravel was the holding midfielder. I think he was meant to be in the no 10 role that Zarate played against palace – but decided to go wAlkabout instead!!

  • John Tyler says:

    He told them to sit back and not fully compete for every ball, he is so afraid of injuries to his players that that is when they are more likely to get injured, if you don’t commit then you are more likely to get hurt, I know it sounds silly but I was a pro footballer once and was told these facts by our physio, if you don’t fully commit you are more likely to get hurt.
    Sam’s been a Manager for long enough to know this, so what is he playing at.
    If it happens on Saturday then I am afraid he must go, we have good back-up in most positions except Centre half so go for it and sign a Centre half before the window shuts.

    • Mike says:

      sorry…did I miss something….did BFS actually say “I told them to sit back and not fully compete for each ball” OR did you just decide he said that?

    • notanyoldiron says:

      John, I played some good level stuff, and know about pulling out of, or not committing to tackles. But how do you KNOW that SA told them to sit back. The players may have done that without instruction.

    • Northern Hammer says:

      Respect to your playing.. was not.. played for schools, scout,college.. but come on.. at 1:0 – even a cretin knows we need another… we did not sit back.. had 23 chances… I am first to agree that if BFS persists in playing favourites and player out of position, he should be shown the door..

      But everyone was happy with the starting 11..(except Vaz Te – who has stolen a livelihood since promotion)

      Get behind the team.. the football is 100% better than last year.. judge on the above.. not on one result..

  • Hammerchilly says:

    So in this article we are completely ignoring the obvious influence on tactics BFS had at half time where he clearly told them to stop passing it around and lump it forward????
    Straight from the kick off for the 2nd half it started and continued until they scored and Downing came on. Then they retreated into their shell with their prize and have to say defended very well. The damage was done in the 20 mins after half time where we kept lumping it and it kept coming back

  • philtheiron says:

    I think you are spot on mate!
    Everybody in claret and blue wants west ham to play attacking passing football and BS picked a team that was easily capable of that! Packed with attacking intent!

    However the simple fact of the matter despite creating enough chances to easily win any number of games the team failed to deliver.

    And for once BS was not to blame! Even his substitutions were positive last night!

    So what happened?
    Well IMO I think the pressure and the occasion got to us and subsequently we were sluggish and didn’t play at the kind of tempo that would have seen us tear them apart.

    I also don’t think we handled the hype very well. Before the game I stated if we played the team and not the history then we should win easily. We didn’t!

    But full credit to them. They had a game plan, defended well and took their penalties brilliantly.

    Onwards and upwards for the hammers and I am still very much looking forward to Saturday.

    For despite a few early setbacks and teething problems we are evolving quite nicely.

    We have now an abundance of attacking potential and are trying to play a more attacking expansive game.

    We are also trying to bed in some really good quality players and all of this takes a little time.

    We are trying to play some good football and BS deserves the backing he is getting.
    I for one will be there Saturday to witness this exciting journey! COYI!

    • The Cat says:

      Well said philtheiron, you’ve restored my faith in the fact that we do Still have supporters with an understanding of the game.
      Minutes under the belt for a few and I can’t fault the direction that we’re now going in. Once the players gain fitness and build an understanding, I’m confident that we’ll soon be doing the business football wise.
      Onwards and upwards COYI!
      ps The blades have proven that the dirty money that they received didn’t do them much good at all. But in the grand scheme of things it’s irrelevant now!

  • Southern Hammer says:

    I just wish Warnock was in charge last Saturday cos he was the biggest cry baby with the whole Sheffield Utd thing! Never mind. We have to get behind the lads. How many Man U fans will be calling for Van Gaal’s head already?!! We are bigger than that. We just need to strengthen at centre back and replace Cole as our go to guy. Get in a decent 10- 15 goal striker like Rhodes or maybe a double deal for Wellback and Zaha and we will be laughing. Hopefully Arsenal get Cavani- keep em away from Wellbeck!!

  • Kwame says:

    ‘He told them to sit back and not fully compete’ I’m sorry do you have a quote to back up this complete and utter balderdash?

  • ricardo says:

    distribution from the keeper and back four was to slow to many sideways or back ward passes with no real enthusiasm to get forward

  • Brian McFlipper says:

    Silly me thinking the idea of entering cup competitions was to actually go out and win it. So giving players “game time” in a knock out tournament against a hated lower league side who go on and beat us on our patch is Ok then?? After the Nottingham Forest cup farce of last year you might have though Allardyce would have learnt. Some chance. Whether you lay the blame at the feet of the players or the manager, last nights defeat was unacceptable. End of.

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