I know the fella’s down at Liverpool like nothing more than to trot out an excuse after a shoddy performance or undesirable result; ‘hot dressing rooms’ ‘long grass’ ‘the coach having to park half a mile away’ are the tired old excuses we’re used to hearing; however at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday night they were comprehensively outplayed by the vastly superior team on the night, and not even Steven Gerrard himself could put a different spin on that.
The old cliché about how ‘a manager is only as good as his players’ has a lot of truth in it; this West Ham squad has grown incredibly stronger thanks to an amazing summer orchestrated by David Sullivan and the result is with the likes of Diafra Sakho, Cheikou Kouyate, Mauro Zarate and Enner Valencia the style has evolved. No longer do we simply have to lump the ball up to Andy Carroll and feed off the scraps; this new Hammers team is filled with verve, creativity, dynamism and perhaps most importantly pace.
The added quality in turn has allowed Sam to be bolder and braver with his tactics; in my opinion he was never a negative manager out of choice but out of necessity. Even when the teams were announced yesterday I think West Ham fans collectively looked at our side, looked at the opposition and felt that a win was not only possible but probable.
It was fantastic performance but I do feel the need to pick out a couple of star performers; firstly Alex Song: he won the ball back from Liverpool’s midfield on so many occasions and with ridiculous ease, kept it simple and kept us ticking over very nicely indeed, a definite upgrade on his predecessor Matty Taylor. I also have to mention Stewart Downing; he caused his former employers problems for the entirety of the contest with his pace, direct running and clever passes, his through ball for Morgan Amalfitano’s goal was just sumptuous.
The entire performance was full of dynamism, pace and good football and in all honesty the men from Merseyside simply couldn’t live with us.
We can now travel to Old Trafford with genuine optimism that we can get something from the game, and even if we come away with a defeat we can now see that this side is well enough equipped to do what we did to Liverpool to the majority of the league.
Allardyce in? I think so.