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Sam Allardyce bemoans ‘fluke’ goal

By Matt Cotton, Reporter Filed: Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 07:40 UK Last Updated: Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 07:40 UK
West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce believes that his side deserved a point from their defeat to Manchester United. Robin van Persie struck the game’s only goal after just 33 seconds to give United a 1-0 win at Old Trafford on Wednesday night. However, Allardyce is adamant that his side’s performance did not warrant a loss and is happy with the way the Hammers played. We come to Old Trafford and in 30 seconds they score,” said Allardyce. “It was a fluke goal, to say the least. “We couldn’t help the fluke goal fortunately for Man United. You never know what could have happened if that had not gone in. It is disappointing that after all that we did not get anything from the game. West Ham host Chelsea on Saturday.
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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


Hammers linked to striker

Despite Villa manager Paul Lambert claiming there is no problem between him and the striker, the former Spurs and Sunderland hitman has spent most of the season on the bench. With question marks arising over the Upton Park future of on loan striker Carroll, Hammers boss Sam Allardyce is looking at alternatives with Bent an obvious candidate. Carroll has managed just one goal since joining the Londoners on loan and the club’s powers-that-be are concerned that at an all in £34 million price in transfer fees and wages over four years, the Geordie may be an expensive luxury for the club. A Hammers source told us: “We’ve learned a lot about the boy since he arrived here and although he’s happy enough, he remains a Geordie at heart. “We believe that were Newcastle to come in for him that’s where he’d want to be and although we have a £17 million option to buy at the end of the season, where’s the mileage in having an unhappy player on our hands.” Twenty eight year old Bent has a great goals to game ratio apart from an unhappy spell at Spurs and could emerge as a realistc Hammers target at around £10 million.

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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


Sam: Players must bounce back

Sam Allardyce has challenged his team to bounce back from the disappointing defeat at Spurs by claiming the prize scalp of Manchester United.


Sam Allardyce: Looking for his players to bounce backSam Allardyce: Looking for his players to bounce back


The Hammers put in arguably their worst performance of the season at the weekend when they were outclassed by Spurs, who ran out 3-1 winners at White Hart Lane.

Tonight West Ham face an even harder test when they travel to Old Trafford – where they have won three of their last 21 visits – in the second of a difficult run of fixtures.

But Allardyce was encouraged by recent performances when his team were underdogs and he hopes his men can pull off a shock result in his home county of Lancashire this evening.

“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,” Allardyce 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.”

Allardyce has developed a close friendship with Red Devils manager Sir Alex Ferguson over the years, and he fully expects to be invited in to the Scot’s office after the match for his customary glass of red wine.

Whether Allardyce will be toasting a Hammers win will depend a lot on luck, the 58-year-old admits.

“Historically you’ve got to be one of the lucky ones when you go to Old Trafford and win,” Allardyce said.

“If you look at their track record at home they only lose once or twice all season. If you’re going to win at Old Trafford – if it’s your time and your turn – it has to be a moment where your team plays in every position to its best and takes advantage of a below-par Manchester United.”

Unfortunately for Allardyce he will tonight be without key midfielder Mark Noble, who is suspended after accumulating five yellow cards this term.

Left-back George McCartney will today have a fitness test to see if he has overcome the ankle injury he sustained in the defeat at White Hart Lane

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Posted by on November 28, 2012 in Uncategorized


Manchester United v West Ham: I would never have paid £35 million for Andy Carroll, says Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he would never have paid £35 million for Andy Carroll.

Manchester United v West Ham: I would never have paid £35 million for Andy Carroll, says Sir Alex Ferguson

Not cheap: Andy Carroll is England’s most expensive player Photo: AFP

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The much-maligned England forward heads to Manchester United with West Ham tonight fresh from scoring the first goal of his loan stint at Upton Park.

For a team who have made a habit of conceding the first goal this season, Carroll is an obvious threat.

Yet Carroll continues to struggle to live up to his billing as England’s most expensive player thanks to that extraordinary move from Newcastle to Liverpool in Jan 2011.

“He has only played something like a dozen games for Newcastle and then he had to deal with a £35 million transfer to a club like Liverpool. That’s quite a big jump,” Ferguson told

“I’d certainly not sign that kind of player for that kind of money.

“We’ve gambled on young players in the past, maybe a couple of million or whatever, but when you get that level you really have to do a bit more homework and see how he is in his second season maybe.

“He’s still not had a lot of games but he is a big lad, aggressive and a great header of the ball. He’ll be a handful for our defenders.”

After working alongside the 23 year-old at close quarters during Euro 2012, Wayne Rooney knows the reality of Carroll’s performances is nowhere near the perception many have of him.

He said: “That type of player doesn’t always get all the goals but they can cause trouble up front and create problems.

“I am sure that is what Sam Allardyce wants him to do.”

Rather like Rooney, Carroll demands attention. It seems he cannot have a quiet game, when he blends into the background.

He has to either be brilliant or awful, with the brutal assessment often falling on the latter.

Rooney knows from personal experience such situations are never quite so black and white.

However, he accepts they come with the territory.

“It is something you get used to,” he said. “In the Premier League, you are there to be judged, whether that is good or bad.

“You just have to deal with it.”

With Paul Scholes suspended, Ferguson has already confirmed Anderson will start for only the second time in the Premier League this season.

It is also possible either Phil Jones or Chris Smalling will replace Rafael at right-back, whilst David de Gea might also come in for Anders Lindegaard.

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Posted by on November 28, 2012 in Uncategorized


West Ham hit by suspension

West Ham will be without the suspended Mark Noble for tonight’s clash at Manchester United after he picked up a one -game suspension.

The influential midfielder has accumulated five yellow cards this season so he has to sit out the clash at Old Trafford and his absence will be a big blow to boss Sam Allardyce. The Hammers will give a late test to defender George McCartney, who has picked up an ankle knock which threatens to keep him out. On-loan midfielder Yossi Benayoun is still not available as he looks to overcome a thigh problem. Midfielder Jack Collison (knee) and forward Ricardo Vaz Te (shoulder) are out with long term injuries.

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Posted by on November 28, 2012 in Uncategorized


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 (

“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


Tactical View: Swansea v West Ham

Nathan Dyer’s dribbling will give George McCartney problems

Two sides won 5-0 on the opening day of the Premier League season – and West Ham are facing both in the next two weekends. A home game against Fulham awaits, but first Sam Allardyce must travel to the Liberty Stadium, where Swansea only lost four times last season.

In basic terms, this is short passing football versus long ball football. But the situation is slightly more complex than that, and it’s important to note that Swansea seem to have evolved from the way Brendan Rodgers had them playing last season. It may have only been one game, but in the 5-0 win over QPR last weekend, Michael Laudrup had Swansea playing more quickly and purposefully in possession – it was still need and tidy, but only Newcastle attempted more long balls last weekend.

Though Swansea have lost some key men, the signing of Michu has already proven one of the shrewdest moves of the summer transfer window. He was prolific from an advanced midfield position with Rayo Vallecano last season, and he plays an intriguing role. He often seems like a forward played out of position – he likes working with his back to goal, and he takes every opportunity to storm into the box. He won’t score a brace every week, but last weekend’s goals are a taste of things to come.

His goalscoring potential has been recognised already – the odds reflect his threat – but he can also be in danger of picking up bookings. Last season he collected nine yellows and one red card, a high number for an attacking player, and last weekend at Loftus Road he conceded five fouls, more than any other player. Against a physical West Ham side, I think he’ll get stuck in – perhaps going against the stereotype for a Spanish Premier League newcomer, and quite fancy his chances to be shown a card at 5.04/1.

It’s worth noting that Laudrup’s side  scored four of their five goals after the ball was played from deep, central positions towards the ‘D’ on the edge of the box – West Ham will be much stronger in that zone than QPR, who were very open with Park Ji-Sung in a central midfield role. Swansea may have to look wider.

Allardyce’s side is as you’d expect – they’re direct, they hit long balls towards Carlton Cole, and they get midfield runners into the penalty box. Mark Noble has improved his goalscoring ability, while Kevin Nolan has hit double figures in the past three seasons (admittedly, twice in the Championship). With Matt Taylor on the left and Ricardo Vaz Te on the right, West Ham have an unspectacular attacking department, but they’re solid, consistent, and all played together last season. Matt Taylor against Angel Rangel should be an interesting battle, while Leon Britton must watch Nolan’s runs.

I always worry about George McCartney playing left-back against a quick winger, having seen him torn apart by the sheer pace of Theo Walcott a few years ago at the Emirates. Here, he’ll be up against Nathan Dyer, a very tricky customer, and I think he might struggle. McCartney committed three fouls against Aston Villa last weekend, while Dyer won five fouls against QPR, getting Fabio da Silva booked in the process. Back McCartney to be booked at around 4.03/1.

I wouldn’t usually back two separate players to be cautioned in the same game. However,  this match will be refereed by Martin Atkinson, who produced more bookings per game than any other Premier League official last season, and started his campaign with four soft ones at St James’ Park last weekend. The stats indicate cards, and Michu and McCartney seem good candidates.

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Posted by on August 24, 2012 in Uncategorized


West Ham Focus – Nolan the man to beat the drop



Kevin Nolan was once on the brink of an England call-up, and while at the age of 30 that chance has come and gone, he still possesses all of the qualities that turned heads all those years ago and is putting them to use for West Ham.


He played most of his career at Bolton Wanderers under Sam Allardyce, and although they went their separate ways for a while they soon found themselves back together recreating the good times in the claret and blue of West Ham. Nolan spent 10 years at Bolton in a successful team that qualified for the UEFA Cup twice, both times reaching the knockout phase. After the departure of Jay-Jay Okocha in 2006 he was appointed captain by Allardyce and excelled as Bolton cemented themselves as a Premier League side.

In January 2009 he signed for Newcastle for a £4m fee but due to the unrest at the club, they were relegated in May. Nolan however played an integral part of the Newcastle side that bounced straight back to the Premier League in style, winning the championship with ease. He was voted Championship player of the season and appointed Newcastle captain soon after.

Back in the Premier League under Allardyce once more, but now at West Ham, Nolan is again club captain and an integral part of the team. If the Hammers are to survive this season he will need to produce match-winning performances week in and week out, whether that includes scoring goals or getting involved in the midfield scraps to protect a lead.

After the victory over Aston Villa on Saturday Allardyce likened Nolan’s ability to ghost into the box to former England captain David Platt. This ability in a footballer is rare – it cannot be coached or moulded and it is hard for the opposition to stop.  It is an attribute that many players long to acquire and while having natural ability and technique is all well and good, finding the time and space on the pitch to use those skills is the challenge all footballers face during a match.

Yet Nolan’s qualities do not solely lie with his attacking attributes. He has the desire and passion to get stuck in with the best and come out on top. His work rate is second to none and it is for these reasons he has become such a favourite with the fans. His experience of playing in Premier League dog fights will be a huge boost for the Hammers over the course of the season. He will guide the younger players as well as the new signings through the tougher months and his knowledge will be invaluable to his team mates.  

Nolan is a special talent and although he never did get that England cap he arguably deserved, his efforts at club level will continue to be cherished by those he played for. And should he manage to keep West Ham up, he will surely be remembered as one of the club’s Premier League greats.

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Posted by on August 24, 2012 in Uncategorized