Don’t lose all those plaudits Mr Allardyce


Kahn1Nigel Kahn carries the undisputed title of ‘Mr Controversy’ and we always welcome his pieces at Claret andHugh.

Here Nige examines the Newcastle victory and warns that there may be some unsettling signs looming.

Welcome back Nige!

The win against Newcastle was welcome!

The players worked hard, and ‘Lady Luck’ smiled on them via the goal.

Whilst not being worried when seeing the team sheet I did feel Allardyce’s tactics in playing one up front was a step back towards last season

Big Sam has received many plaudits for the way we have played since this season, and key to that is he has played with two up .

I was surprised that against Everton, where he  had the perfect opportunity to revert to his bad old ways, with the injury list as it was, and an away game where a point would have been a good result … but he didn’t. Fair play to him I thought, perhaps he’s was becoming a changing man.

Yet with a home game and remembering  the great impact Zarate made when arriving as a Goodison sub, surely the Newcastle game was one for him  and Zarate to combine.

Time after time attacking moves broke down or slowed down due to Carroll dropping deep to win headers yet with no one to flick it on to, I just don’t get why Sam sent that team out in that way!

Let’s not kid ourselves about the victory. The goal was as fortunate as they come and we didn’t create much else until the last minutes when the Geordies were pressing for an equaliser in a match where both sides looked fairly even.

Sam has the fans backing at the moment and with another run of games against teams that are there for the taking let’s hope he doesn’t repeat the Newcastle selection errors or an excellent scenario may erode – starting at the Hawthorns.

Carroll’s return hasn’t seen us start launching it so far but you can see it creeping back in to our play and we know how fruitless that is as there is no one to capitalise on the flick ons.

Neither Downing, Jarvis, nor Amalfitano are clinical finishers so how they all got to start beats me, particularly as Zarate knows exactly where the goal is. Our play changed at a stroke when he arrived.

I hope it was just an experiment and It won’t reappear, but if he continues with just Carroll then Allardyce may just lose some of the fans he regained.

The views expressed in this article are not neccesarily shared by ClaretandHugh

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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


  • Michael Miller says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with Nigel – everyone was saying the same thing about Carroll playing up on his own being pointless. My brother was bending my ear all the way through about bringing Zarate on and when he appeared the difference was almost instant.

    Also, I don’t think BFS is doing Carroll any favours – he’s encouraging him to charge about like an idiot and we all know what that leads to – playing him with a partner would allow a more controlled in his play and increase his goal threat.

    • Nigel’s piece was used because he has a long record of activism against Sam Allardyce when required but has sufficient nous to now show the perspective and balance of which the odd or two seem entirely incapable. He was described as Mr Controversy because he has earned the title over many years.

  • Roman says:

    Spot on.Nigel and Michael and many others can see BFS’s failings.In being fair I think although repetitious Rugby has been vindicated.There is nothing wrong in my view with passion for one’s club.

  • WhuG says:

    Well, disappointingly “Mr Controversy” isn’t very controversial today since I normally don’t agree with him however I do with most of that.

    I like Zarate a lot and I would’ve started him over Jarvis but I can only assume Sam thought Jarvis would track back and defend first half whereas Zarate tends not to. Hence he comes on after 60 mins and runs a tired Toon ragged. You can’t argue with that logic as it worked.

    WBA are a much weaker side low on confidence. Perhaps he will start Tuesday.

    “Carroll’s return hasn’t seen us start launching it so far but you can see it creeping back in” – now that needs challenging! It’s called mixing it up Nigel. Too many assumption are made of Sam and many are being dispelled this season. You say yourself we haven’t seen the ball launched so let’s not assume we will.

    For you Nigel that is quite a mild critical post. Hopefully Sam can win you round, unlike some posters, I do believe you can see good when it is in front of you albeit I accept Sam and the club still has a long way to go.

    More posts here please.

  • WhuG says:

    How is Rugbyirons vindicated Roman? There is nothing wrong with having a view tho I’m not sure how his views are vindicated in any way?

    • Roman says:

      Simply put Nigel is saying what Rugby has said all along albeit in a subdued manner.From what I have read here Sam has made some questionable decisions in regard to team selection.In my humble opinion his decisions have cost us points.

      • WhuG says:

        But that doesn’t vindicate what Steve says. I actually think us fans anylisis these things too much and often with the benefit of hindsight. Who is to say had Zarate started instead of Jarvis that we wouldn’t have been 2 goals down at half time? As it was we won 1-0 so it’s hard to say Sam got it wrong.

        And Everton? We were unlucky to lose 2-1 who’s to say with a different line up the score would’ve been different?

  • Those who loathe allardyce may find the fact that Nige isn’t giving him the big one very controversial Whug. You have to be able to see where you sit personally before making a less than neutral assessment of it 😉

  • conkerpot says:

    You can’t really knock sams tactics when we won the game can you? Newcastle had just won six games on the spin and were full of confidence. Fact is when you have two strikers out injured and a busy Xmas period on the way. You might want to protect a striker or two. Whose more effective playing the lone striker role. Carrol or zarate? So you leave zarate on the bench. Impact sub coming on with fesh legs up against tired defenders who have been battered up a bit by carroll. Seems like a good game plan to me. And it worked. 3 points in the bag. Like I say. 2 strikers injured and andy Carroll … Well we all know his injury record. some might say leaving zarate who has had injury niggles himself this season, on the bench, was the sensible thing to do. We have a lot of games coming up a busy Xmas and zarate will get his game time. As for the newcastle game who would you rather have coming off the bench to try and change things, zarate or jarvis? Maybe you’d go Cole or Vaz te?

  • rugbyirons says:

    Conkerpot ,good points BUT is it more important to protect a striker or get three points? This is even more so at home.

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