BLOG: Sam’s chance to change everything!


Nocerino          By Hugh Southon

Sam Allardyce has a perfect chance to make a big and maybe critical change at Stamford Bridge tomorrow evening!

We cross London with nobody expecting anything from the clash so, with two very serious Italian players now at our disposal, there’s a huge opportunity to surprise Mourinho’s Blues and  OURSELVES!

We have been told that both Marco Borriello and Antonio Nocerino’s fitness levels need to be checked and that the striker in particular, having spent six weeks on Roma’s bench, may not be up to speed.

Nocerino meanwhile claimed  in his first interview that he is ready to play immediately so should he not be included the question: “Why not?” will be entirely valid.

However,  from where I’m sitting, the idea that a player such as Borriello will not be fit enough is ludicrous given that a player at the club remarked yesterday : “I’ve never seen two guys look fitter – they are in amazing shape.

And even were Borriello not to be 100 per cent, he is surely in advance of Andy C – who is playing a part despite being out for around nine months.

So given all that, here’s what I hope we see tomorrow night with our two new and entirely proper players available:

A back four of  Demel, Collins, Tomkins and possibly McCartney in front of a diamond formation midfield.

I’d like to see  Diame at it’s base in a semi holding role with Noble and Nocerino the two middle points with Morrison pushed up as the point behind  Borriello and Carroll or Cole.

Yes I know – there’s no Downing,  Jarvis and, Nolan ( sigh of relief) but from all I’m told the Italian midfielder is more than capable of playing balls into a front pair as is Rav- it could be devastating.

My view is simple:   We may still get beaten by Chelsea but in a match we aren’t expected to win anyway, let’s play a different way and with an eye on the future,  given we now have a couple of class operators.

Even if we are beaten but  create  chances against a mean defence,  it will mean we are likely to create  far more playing that way against the likes of Swansea, Villa, Norwich and Southampton in February.

Long balls up to, or crossed into Carroll or Cole, are hardly going to worry a Jose Mourinho side so let’s try to find another way.

I fear that if we continue to play the same way as we have been, with balls flying over the midfielders’ heads, Mr Nocerino will begin to wonder whether he has made the right move.

Give it a go Sam – this looks a way forward to me!

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon