The old Sam emerges as Valencia is blamed


New allardyceIt’s hard to discuss West Ham’s disappointing draw at Goodison Park last night without looking at Kevin Nolan in particular and the manager’s uncalled for criticism of Enner Valencia.

To concede in the 92nd minute is – as Allardyce claimed – deeply disappointing but frankly I can’t help feeling that to blame Valencia in particular is showing us more than a bit of the old Sam.

Did he level anything at Morgan Amalfitano when blasting over…has he ever criticised Andy Carroll for missed chances? Answers to both questions are a resounding No!

Allardyce has a track record of singling out individuals, officials or any other handy excuse as a reason for failure.

And it’s really not nice to see Valencia get such treatment given that he has had few games of any consequence since the return of AC.

He was excellent against Chelsea with some fine runs to take the pressure off an over-stressed defence before being immediately dropped for the next match.

Had Sam criticised his captain Kevin Nolan for perhaps his worst ever performance in a West Ham shirt it would have been a little more understandable although unacceptable.

Public criticism is poor in any circumstances but when used  as an excuse for failure it is totally unacceptable.

Having said all of that I arrive at my verdict on last night’s match. We drew only because the defence switched off when it mattered and because the manager adopted a safety first policy far too early!

Carlton Cole for Enner Valencia? REALLY! Defensive midfielder Diego Poyet for an offensive one – Matt Jarvis – a massive NO! And Joey O’Brien for Morgan Amalfatino – What?

And the 90 minute presence of Nolan who offered absolutely nothing at any stage – OH COME ON!

The absence of Andy Carroll saw us playing some of our best and most mobile football since earlier in the season and Mark Noble was excellent on his return.

But the substitutions  were obviously designed to help us hang on – well that didn’t work Sam did it? That – along with Nolan’s 90 minute presence – were the reasons this game was allowed to slip away.

It’s now four games without a win as we head for Swansea  and unless we quickly return to the free flowing game which thrilled us at the start of the season I believe we are heading for a very lean spell of results.

As for Nolan ? Sam Allardyce has some hard thinking to do now and a big decision – in his terms anyway – to make!

We should be contemplating a fourth round FA Cup tie this afternoon. It’s not Enner Valencia’s fault we aren’t. I think I know where the blame really lies.

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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


  • rads45 says:

    I expect come this weekend AC will be back up top on his own with Nolan behind him doing nothing in particular.Valencia sat on the bench because we will go there to ‘respect the point’ 😉

  • Michael Miller says:

    BFS putting Valencia up on his own and firing long balls at him was criminal as well as stupid – Valencia is not a target man he’s not that type of player. His game is about movement and pace, not high balls and heading duels.

    I feel the natives are growing restless – the big question is who do we want to replace BFS?

  • rads45 says:

    I think there is no coincidence that people are geting disilluisioned since AC has been back fit,apart from lastnight ofc & playing every match.Seems only one person on the planet thinks that playing him is the way forward.Clearly Sakho is injured,but the sooner he is paired with Valencia again the better.But this will probably not happen again this season.Unless Carroll gets injured.Guess it is mean spirited of me to hope he gets injured once Sakho is available again.

  • Bangkokbill says:

    I don’t think i have ever read a bad thing from sam about nolan, he was embarrasing against everton.

  • bubs says:

    We are safe in January now is the time to rebuild for the future,remove BFS now and spend the next 6 months putting place the right man for the job,there are a lot of good managers saying they are leaving there clubs at the end of this season,we can give the job to anyone at the club to finish the season,send Nolan, Vaz Te,O, Brien and Cole out on loan and bring in a couple of players in Jan and give some of the youngsters some experience for next season,do it now,do it quick and keep the supporters happy COY!

    • Roman says:

      Spot on with all comments.Just watch the slide and the excuses from BFS with Sahko injured as well.

  • tony says:

    I said to the wife – want to see how I would look playing for West Ham? – Just watch Kevin Nolan for a few minutes.
    He was a great signing when we needed him in our Championship year. He may be great around the players and the club. But on the pitch this season he is embarrassing himself and the team. He is stealing a living playing in the PL.

  • conkerpot says:

    Yeah forget team rotation. Let’s play our best players in every game until they are completely knackered. Forget about the fringe players until our best players are completely knackered and then they might get a game. Fact is we should have gone through. Had it not been for winstons headless chicken act in extra time … Pushing jenkinson further forward to play as a winger I thought was an interesting experiment. If only it wasn’t joey Obrien filling in behind him.

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