Sakho and Valencia HAS to be way forward

SakhoinactionI have never believed that Sam Allardyce – or come to that, any other manager – picks teams to annoy the fans.

Nor do I believe that captain Kevin Nolan is useless and that fans should demand a season ticket rebate every time his name appears on the team sheet.

I mention this only because many on the often very petty and silly Twitter seem to believe the manager’s sole intention is to annoy them personally by doing the first and including the second along the way!

I will never apologise for disliking a brand of football which depends on getting it from back to front as quickly as possible whether it’s promoted by the West Ham manager or – as was the case today – Louis van Gaal.

And looking at the forums tonight shows that the United fans are as cheesed off with the Dutchman as many Irons fans have been with our manager when he chooses to play that way.

ValenciaactionTonight in his press conference Sam said these words: “Our strength was in playing the ball into our front men from the midfielders not by going from back to front.”

That of course can only happen when Diafra and Enner play together and the Ecuadorian was a revelation today as he returned “at a stroke” to the early season form which had us all drooling.

It was no accident  that today’s was the most enjoyable game at the Boleyn for the many weeks stretching back to Andy Carroll’s injury days.

Diafra and Enner are a front pairing made in heaven and it seems – from his remarks – that even our often stubborn manager has to accept that our better football is played when they are in harness.

So just what happens when Carroll returns? Do we return to a brand of football which I believe has seen us slip down the table and is nothing like as exciting as most of us want to see?

Or do we give the deadly duo a fair crack of the whip with AC being used as an impact sub not unlike Fellaini was for United today.

Sam’s admission that our strength is in getting the ball into the front pair’s feet out of midfield surely only applies to today’s front two.

He has a decision to make and to be entirely frank it really isn’t very difficult – stick with today’s pairing Mr Allardyce. It really is the way forward as you have implied yourself.


About Hugh5outhon1895

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

13 comments on “Sakho and Valencia HAS to be way forward

  1. I haven’t seen the game as yet but will later.Excellent article.The ball is certainly in the manager’s corner.

    • Of course it has nothing to do with the manager picking a team to annoy the fans but it has everything to do with a couple of words you use at the end….stubborn manager…
      He didn’t have a single logical reason for handing Carroll the automatic starting spot upfront. In fact, looking at those early successes, he had every reason not to.
      But he ‘hung his hat’ on proving he was right over signing Carroll and DS was wrong and I don’t see Sam giving up that easily.
      I have written constantly about this ever since he split the partnership up.
      Looking down the road I see another 21 points on the table for us, providing west out sides to win and not just to avoid losing.
      58 points will look great against the past but there won’t be any real glory unless we win the cup for the likelihood of us finishing higher are extremely remote.

    • Just a note on Nolan, yes he tried hard yesterday
      And only looked ok because he was so poor
      In his last three starts, Kev your time is up


  2. Hugh, I totally agree with your article. Even a child would understand that Valencia and Sakho must play together every match since the first minute, but I’m not sure BFS will understand this evidence: the leopard can not change its spots… Leaving Carroll on the bench it would mean that this player is not so great as Allardyce always declares so highlighting his mistakes; knowing his big ego I’m afraid it will not happen. Even if he’ll use Sakho and Valencia I will always believe that BFS doesn’t represent our future: for his background (he has never won anything), for his mentality (will never completely change) and because he’s not ambitious. So anyway he must leave West Ham at the end of the season.

  3. We’ve got three games this week. There’s no way BFS will leave today’s partnership unchanged for all three. We’ll need fresh legs.

  4. Well, I think that Nolan is useless. 🙂

  5. I’m tired of this argument. I don’t see why carroll can’t play with valencia to his left and sakho to his right in a 433 which in my opinion would scare the living @@@@ out of defenders. I like valencia sakho as a pair. They stretch and scare defences with their pace. They would be my strike partnership of choice but however in a game like today against Man U when we had so many set pieces it was crying out for andy Carroll to be on the end of something. Compromise is to play all of them. A front three with Downing in behind. It means sacrificing one of the midfielders however so kevin nolan would unfortunately have to drop to the bench. And I thought nolan played well today to be fair.

    • Yes Crackpot I agree with some of that, Nolan played far better than I expected but I cant see BFS playing all 3 of the forwards at the same time… anyway playing 433 would mean losing the diamond and Downing would struggle to make a 3 man midfield when you factor in Nolan starting for sure in 1 of the 3 spots, that leaves a whole bunch of quality players fighting for just 2 positions. I think we had the best shape earlier in the season (& last night), it suits our squad and its working so lets stick with that and return to the exciting and winning football again


    • I was thinking that yesterday Conkerpot, take Nolan out of a starting position and play 4 3 3 especially if you really need goals but rarely lump the long ball onto Carroll’s head and instead hit it into the channels as we did yesterday. With the shortage of CB’s I don’t see why we can’t make AC a temporary centre back either a la Dion Dublin/Chris Sutton he is certainly a brilliant defender of set pieces.

  6. While it is abundantly clear that Sakho and Valencia are bloody striking dynamite I also believed that AC has played very well since his return from injury.

    While there can be little or no excuse for starting nolan ahead of such players as Kauyate, amilfitano and poyet. Nor for taking Downing’s place at the tip of the diamond, there is due to his fine form, a case for rotating carroll with the deadly duo.

    The only problem is enner’s lack of form when playing with AC and an annoying tendacy of hitting long aimless balls when under pressure when carroll plays.
    These long aimless balls are very frustrating as they are lazy and a cop out from thinking and playing the ball to feet when times get tough.
    It can’t be much fun for the big man either, if used properly he has proven to be a class striker and so much more than someone to head balls with snow on them.

    I believe that these points are relevant with the games coming fast and furious it us important to have quality strikers that can be rotated to prevent injuries and maximise effectiveness. COYI!

  7. I agree philtheiron. Carroll was playing well In that period when he scored five goals in eight games. A fit andy Carroll should probably still be the striker of choice against certain teams with certain styles of play. He has scored some good goals in that period with both his head and his feet. If we want to be a top team we shouldn’t be thinking in terms of this strike partnership is better than that one. We should be looking at creating a team where rotation is possible and anyone coming in can do a job. Systems and teams can be played dependant on the opposition. I believe van gaal bringing on Fellaini and switching to a long ball game today was a direct result of sam criticising van gaal for only knowing how to play one way and not changing his tactics to suit the opposition. Unfortunately for us though it actually worked for them. SIDS law. We move on.

  8. No one ever said AC was not playing well and giving 100% but it does not fit for the rest of the team,the same can be said about KN we know he is trying to give 100% every game but it’s not there any more his race is run,
    Valencia can’t play along side AC because he has to run onto a ball put through on the ground to use his speed not have to bring it down first and turn s it will normally arrive from knock ins by AC also Sakho has much more movement than AC,there have been partnerships through the history of football that just work later ke Cottee and McAvennie and others that don’t.
    If BFS stop being stubborn this could be his future and he should offer his captain a player coach role now with him be coming a sub now and use AC when we need him not a automatic choice,

  9. I don’t understand after this match how is possible someone still believes Carroll should play with Valencia and Sakho, or both together (are they wings???)… Unbelievable… Against Liverpool (home), Manchester City and Manchester utd (yesterday) we played fantastic football creating a lot of score opportunities. Where was Carroll? OUT. Even a child could see this evidence.

Comments are closed.