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Daily Archives: November 27, 2012

Manchester United v West Ham: defence is United’s weakness, claims Sam Allardyce

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce thinks Manchester United are not the impenetrable defensive unit they once were.

Manchester United v West Ham: defence is United's weakness, claims Sam Allardyce

Porous: Manchester United’s defence now regularly leaks goals Photo: EPA

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West Ham play their second game of a tough five-match sequence tomorrow night when they travel to face the Premier League leaders at Old Trafford.

Although Sir Alex Ferguson’s team have seamlessly climbed above Manchester City and Chelsea to reach the summit in recent weeks, the Scot has regularly bemoaned the standard of his team’s defending this season.

United have conceded just short of 29 goals per season over the last five years, but they have already conceded 19 this term after just 13 matches thanks to a mixture of injuries to key players and sloppy errors by those who have featured.

Allardyce, whose side lost 3-1 at Spurs on Sunday, admits West Ham will face a big task if they are to win tomorrow, but he takes comfort from the fact that the days of regular shut-outs at Old Trafford are now rare.

“Manchester United have leaked a few more goals than normal,” Allardyce said.

“Their defensive qualities haven’t been as good as they have been over the past few years.

“The problem is at the other end they never stop scoring goals, but if we can get our defensive unit on song and if we play as a team in and out of possession then you never know what will happen.”

The controversial chanting that came from West Ham supporters during the game at White Hart Lane drew attention away from what was arguably the worst league performance of the Hammers’ season.

Allardyce’s men had climbed to joint sixth in the table after making a surprisingly good start to the season, but they lacked pace, ideas and concentration against Spurs, who ripped them apart with ease.

With games against Chelsea, Liverpool and high-flying West Brom coming up, Allardyce knows his team are in danger of slipping into the bottom half of the table, but he thinks his players will bounce back with a better performance at United tomorrow night.

“The team did brilliantly when we drew against Manchester City and beat Newcastle so let’s see if they can do it against Manchester United, Chelsea, West Brom or Liverpool,” the 58 year-old said.

“There is no real pressure on the lads. It’s a match they will enjoy. It’s a game they will have dreamed about since they were kids.

“If we give a good account of ourselves then hopefully it will be good enough to get us something from the game.”

Another disappointing factor of Sunday’s defeat was that Mark Noble picked up his fifth booking of the season and is therefore suspended tomorrow.

In truth the only plus point from last weekend for Allardyce was that Andy Carroll ended his 1,062-minute Premier League goal-drought.

Allardyce hopes the £35 million striker, on loan from Liverpool until the end of the season, now starts scoring on a more regular basis.

“One of the things we have been really good at has been providing service and opportunities to lots of players to score,” Allardyce added.

“Our problem has been everyone, not just Andy, converting those chances. I hope he kicks on now.”

Allardyce also has doubts over left-back George McCartney, who suffered an ankle injury against Tottenham, while Yossi Benayoun’s persistent thigh problem means he will once again be missing tomorrow.

West Ham’s injuries mean Allardyce may be forced to enter the transfer market in January.

He has already expressed an interest in signing Nicolas Anelka from Shanghai Shenhua while another big-name star – David Beckham – has also been linked with a possible return to east London, where he was born.

Allardyce was coy on whether a move for Beckham would be possible today.

“I haven’t heard from him. I don’t know what David is thinking or doing at the moment,” the former Bolton boss said.

“We will wait to see what he’s doing and then we will see what happens.”

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Benayoun condemns Hammers fans

West Ham fans during Sunday’s 3-1 defeat by Tottenham at White Hart Lane.


Updated Nov 27, 2012 9:13 AM ET

Yossi Benayoun has condemned the West Ham fans who directed offensive abuse towards Tottenham supporters during Sunday’s Premier League clash.

 

The Israeli international admitted he felt disappointed and embarrassed by the actions of the Hammers fans at White Hart Lane.

The Football Association and the police are investigating alleged anti-Semitic abuse which resulted in the arrest of two West Ham fans, one of which has now been banned for life by the club.

The visiting supporters are also alleged to have mocked the knife attack on a Spurs fan before Tottenham’s game in Rome last week.

And Benayoun, currently in his second spell at Upton Park on loan from Chelsea, has lashed out at the Hammers fans’ behaviour.

“I have a great relationship with the West Ham United supporters, from my first spell at the club and again now I am back on loan here,” said Benayoun on Twitter.

“This why I was very disappointed to hear some of the songs and it was embarrassing.”

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Fergie highly rates ‘Big Sam’

2012-11-27 16:46
Sam Allardyce (AP)

Manchester – Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson believes West Ham United counterpart Sam Allardyce is “underrated” within soccer.

The two sides clash in the English Premier League at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

“Big Sam went to Upton Park a year and a bit ago and the cynics said he’s not a West Ham manager as he doesn’t play football,” Ferguson told the club’s website (www.manutd.com).

“What was his mandate? To get them up into the Premier League as quickly as possible and he got them up within a year. Tell me someone else who could’ve done that.”

Having had unhappy spells in charge of Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers after eight years at Bolton Wanderers, Allardyce took West Ham straight back up to the Premier League from the Championship (second division) last term.

“He’s also had to rebuild the team and get two or three players out because of their salaries,” Ferguson adde.

“He’s very underrated, it’s as simple as that.

“There’s a sort of impression about him being a certain type of manager. It’s not really fair and I’m pleased he’s back in the Premier League.”

Paul Scholes is suspended for Wednesday’s match while Ferguson has said fellow midfielder Anderson will start after an impressive cameo in the 3-1 win over Queens Park Rangers on Saturday.

Allardyce is hoping there will be no more controversial songs by West Ham fans at Old Trafford after condemning anti-Semitic chanting by supporters during Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur.

A season-ticket holder has already been banned and the club is working with Spurs, who have strong Jewish ties, to identify others involved.

After the match Allardyce said he had not heard the chanting but told a news conference on Tuesday he was disappointed by what had been done “by a small minority of fans”.

“Nobody condones that sort of behaviour and there is a zero tolerance attitude within the club,” he said.

“I am sure Tottenham and the authorities will deal with it accordingly.

“Now I know what has gone on like everybody else I do not condone it or wish to hear any of that kind of chanting in football especially in this country.”

West Ham’s Mark Noble is suspended for the game while George McCartney will have a late fitness test.

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2012 in Uncategorized