One of the depressing things about Allardyce is his reluctance to trust the kids. I can't remember what his record was like at Bolton and Blackburn when it came to blooding youngsters, but I seem to remember Bolton being packed with a collection of old lags.
Whilst we are stuttering, lacking pace and creativity, two of our kids seem to be creating quite an impression. I know that they are playing in the bottom tier of league football, but both Robert Hall and Montano seem to be pulling up a few trees and putting down a few markers. Some of us got excited when Montano was called back from his loan at Notts County, only for him to be sent straight out on loan to Swindon. Meanwhile, just up the road in Oxford, Hall is banging in the goals at a rate of knots!
Hall currently has a return of 6 goals from 9 starts and I don't care what division he is in, that is impressive for a kid. Personally, I can't see the point of slugging your way into the Prem with a team not equipped to stay there, when you could be grooming young talent whilst in the Championship and evolving a vibrant young team that might just surprise a few people in the top division.
Part of the problem was the stupid decision to reduce the number of subs from seven to five this season. It was obvious to anybody with half a brain that this would restrict the opportunities of young players who might otherwise occupy the bench and come on for the last 15 minutes with a game all but won. Just imagine Montano and Hall coming off the bench when we were 4-0 up at home to Blackpool for example.
Hall has been talked about for some time now, playing above his age band for England. In days gone by, West Ham managers would have been giving bright young talent a chance. But instead Allardyce is looking at Diouf and starting old lags like Carew and Piquionne. We could be missing a trick here!