Why can't managers come clean and admit, "I fcuked up"? Just once in a while it would be refreshing to hear and we would end up respecting them just a little bit more. The fact is, we lost last night because Allardyce got a whole host of decisions wrong.
Firstly, the change to 4-5-1 / 4-3-3; I warned that a shift away from 4-4-2 would constitute a surrender before the first ball had been kicked. Worse still, he picked the wrong personnel for the formation. I heard the team and thought, "Great 4-4-2" but that was not how we set up. Square pegs in round holes don't work! We should know that by now!
Worse still, when given a chance to correct the mistakes by the injury to Taylor, he sent on Piquionne instead of OBrien, Collison or Noble, all of whom were more logical replacements. The substitution was so perverse that I was convinced Grant and Zola had returned as a management team!
Worse still he gambled incorrectly on Taylor's fitness. The guy obviously has a problem and buggering around playing him when not fit isn't going to do him or the team any favours whatsoever. There are some talking about Taylor as our "most creative player". What an indictment that is of the others! Taylor is a hustler with a wicked set piece delivery, but he aint a Glenn Hoddle or a Gazza is he? Yes he is a useful player but he shouldn't be critical to a side's chances of beating a team who were in the old Third Division last season! Anyway, watching him retire from the action inside 20 minutes reminded me of Dyer. If he has an injury, Doctor Evil has to rest him. And Allardyce is to blame for not having a natural replacement - some of us would like to see Montano back where he belongs!
God knows why Collison wasn't used. Is he carrying an injury? In which case, why did we start one player with an injury and have a replacement on the bench also injured? If he wasn't injured, why the bloody hell wasn't he brought on? When Taylor was struggling, I expected Collison - I was disappointed he hadn't started. Instead, we had the Grantesque decision to use Freddie the Fly Tipper. Dear God, Piquionne even took a corner! What the fcuk was that about?
Had we gone in 4-4-2, we might have won. We gave Southampton a psychological boost from the off and paid them far too much respect for most of the match. If Allardyce aint careful, the crowd will turn. We hit long hopeful balls far too often last night and looked devoid of creative ideas until Noble belatedly entered the fray. Allardyce got decision after decision wrong last night and we gave Southampton a promotion leg up as a result. Player for player, we are a stronger side, but Allardyce imbued fear into the team; and he needs to fess up and say he is sorry to the fans.