I just don't know what it is about Upton Park but for a good few years we haven't seemed comfortable playing there. If we're not in the lead within the first 15 mins then, yes, the crowd can get on the players' backs but I really can’t see how this has such a negative impact. These are professional sportsman & before everyone goes "Yes but they're still human" they've lived with pressure all their lives, they've lived with being the best kid at school, the one that everyone wants to kick lumps out of because they're the best, they've lived with YTS schemes and scholarships where there’s 30 kids & maybe only 1 or 2 will make it professional, they've lived with playing reserve team football & shining above others to get themselves into the first team. Pressure, pressure, pressure is what they've been bought up on, yet a few irate fans can seemingly turn them to jelly? I just don’t get it.
I was intrigued by Sam’s post match comments: last week against Palace the players got booed off after a 0-0 draw, Sam comes out & says the players aren't happy & they don’t deserve that; last night the players got booed off after a 1-1 draw with Watford yet he comes out after this game saying the players have a duty to step up to the mark & they didn’t do so. Please tell me the difference between the 2 games? It all smacks of a little bit of desperation to me.
Too many players simply didn’t perform last night; you see it, I see it, yet the manager can't. Faubert was truly awful yet he stayed on the pitch for 90 minutes. Why? Why was Taylor the one to make way? Taylor may not have done much last night but he sure performed better than Faubert & knowing the amount of injury time to be added was around the 10 minute mark, why would you not keep the man who is the best set piece taker in the club on the pitch? There are two wide players there, one having a nightmare & one not playing particularly badly but not really involved too much. I can’t even see the quandary for Allardyce if it were just those facts, but considering one of those players is capable of scoring, or at least assisting with any set piece, yet he's the player who's taken off is absolutely farcical. I'm disillusioned by the whole thing.
Nolan and Noble cannot play together in a two man midfield, it’s been blindingly obvious all season yet still we persist, same tactics & same long ball crap. The ball was repeatedly pumped long all night. I could understand it if you had a 5 man midfield with 3 central players to feed off the scraps, drop downs & second balls yet Noble was almost playing as a defender & Nolan as a striker, consequently Watford won the second ball every time. I could see that after 10 mins of football but does anything change? Does it hell! Maynard looks a totally crap: poor movement, poor link up play, poor first touch, poor decision making; Baldock comes on & looks exactly the same, he’d only been on the field for a couple of mins when he was sent away down field one on one with the defender who he can clearly skin for pace but he pulls up, tries to lay the ball off & loses possession - it's rank poor decision making & it's costing us dear.
Surely someone in the management team can see the players weaknesses and should be on the training ground all day long with them if necessary to try and fix it. Faubert has never been able to cross a ball properly in the whole time he’s been here, and the crossing of O’Brien, McCartney and Taylor was abysmal too; so why aren’t the players out on the training pitch all day and all night if need be throughout the week to get the ball right? It’s not good enough and every single season ticket holder has been well and truly short changed yet again this season.
I don’t know what the answer is but ultimately any issue will never be solved without admitting there’s a problem, and therein lies the truth. No one with any power or control at the club has the balls to admit it……and isn’t that just West Ham all over!!!!!!!