Saturday, 31 December 2011

It's the midfield, stupid!

He just doesn't get it, does he? How many forwards did we have on the pitch at the end of the game? Cole, Nouble, Hall and Baldock. And what has Allardyce prioritised in the transfer window? A bloody forward.

Look at the bench for today's game.  The outfield players were Cole, Carew, Baldock and Hall. What the fcuk? I know we had injuries and suspensions but surely, surely, we could have found a young midfielder to sit on the bench? What about Lee? Could he really be any worse than Sears? Or Montenegro?

I'd love to know how Doctor Evil was persuaded to start Nouble. I bet it was on the basis that the lad is black and built like a brick shit house. Never mind the quality, feel the width!

Well, I will be accused of saying I told you so, but I told you so. Whilst winning and playing poorly, I kept warning that our luck would run out. You can only pinch so many results over a season: sooner of later Lady Luck is going to get bored with being spit roasted and will insert a red hot poker up her tormentor's rectum. The Allardyce Acolytes kept arguing that winning whilst playing badly was a sign of a good team, and I kept warning that good teams win most games by playing well and win the occasional game when playing badly. We were playing badly full stop!

Now the excuses will be trotted out. It was the injuries. It was the suspensions. Cobblers.

Unless Allardyce injects creativity and pace into this team, we will continue to struggle. A fit again Baldock may help, but we need to sort out the midfield as an absolute priority - with pacey, talented wide players who can score goals.

Can we accommodate them? Difficult with Nolan, Diop and Noble cluttering up the midfield. Again I have hammered away about the need for the right blend in midfield for years now. It isn't rocket engineering. You need somebody with pace and a left foot on the left, somebody with pace and a right foot on the right, somebody with the ability to break into the box and score in the middle, and somebody who can hold and pass paired alongside him. Basic skills, basic attributes, fused together to make a midfield UNIT.

But we have never built that unit. We paired Parker with Behrami - no goals and no goals. We paired Parker and Noble - no goals and no goals. We paired Noble and Nolan - no pace and no pace. We've tripled up with Diop, Noble and Nolan - no pace, no pace, and no pace. We play Faubert, who can't beat a full back, can't cross and can't score. We play Lansbury out of position. We use Piquionne wide on the left - we might as well dump rubbish on the touchline. We play Sears wide on the left - what a joke! We've used Behrami and Noble wide on the left - surreal! We've played Boa on the left and down the middle - no pace, no skill and no brain!  We've played Diamanti on the left - but asked him to defend! We even played Ba on the left, the best striker the club has had since Tony Cottee! Go on son, forget scoring, track back and tackle!

True we bought Taylor, but who was going to replace him if he was injured? Talk about no Plan B!

It is all so frustrating. This division is poor. Basic organisation will get you into the top six - look at Cardiff! To win the division, you need round pegs in round holes, solid defenders, pace, the right blend and goal scorers.  We have solid defenders - for the most part, and nothing else.

One win in five games says it all, as do the bookings at Birmingham. Allardyce isn't bossing this squad, he is floundering, just like Grant and Zola! And the four forward finish confirmed everything - just hoof the ball into the box and hope!


Sav said...

Totally right HF! As I commented in your previous article, Sam is the inventor of the "no midfield school". He perfected that at Bolton and continued with it at Newcastle and Blackburn.

It is a useful formula and has good chance to help you stay in the Premier League when it is not possible to compete with a proper squad. But, as bad as the Championship is, in order to get automatic promotion, you need to win most of your games. I maintain that it is not possible to do that without getting a team together that can play football through the midfield.

I just wonder whether Sam is the guy who can do that for us. As you rightly point out, he is looking to buy more forwards. No need for creative midfielders at all. Indeed, if he can't recognise what is wrong with this team, then how can he fix it?

We need to be able to play with flair and pace through the midfield and dominate possession. When was the last time we had more of the ball than the opposition?

It is back to the drawing board I am afraid. I hope the Davids recognise this and act quickly this time. Even if it means changing Sam.

Hammersfan said...

Hang on Sav, we can't totally agree! I'll have to reintroduce the subject of Greece and the Euro!

Essexhammer said...

Spot on HF,you see it,I see it ,and most other fans see it,WTF can't ALLARDYCE? Because he's a one trick pony,thats why,who hasn't got a bloody clue about playing decent football.He is another GRAHAM TAYLOR ,the original long ball champion,who had no any idea about how the game should be played.He fills a team with big lumps with no pace ,no skill and expects results playing the percentage game .Reasoning that the long ball is the most effective means of scoring a goal,based on statistics.ALLARDYCE is on thin ice ,if he expects the fans to believe in his cause ,when we are on the slide.He may get lucky in the transfer window,but I just do not think he will bring the type of football we want to watch.

Sav said...

I am also rather embarassed to be totally agreeing with you HF. But the good of the team is above all of us.

Essexhammer is also agreeing with us. I rather like the point he makes about West Ham fans. We want to be back to the Premiership but we prefer not to lose our soul in achieving that. After all, if it was just about winning, we would not choose to become West Ham fans in the first place.

Anonymous said...

"It's the midfield" - I think BFS knows that. Reports in the last week suggest Whittingham (Cardiff) and Kebe (Reading) are targets.

Another striker is also needed to replace Piquionne and Carew. Their days may be numbered at Upton Park.

We will see.

Anyway Happy New Year HF. Hope you are more cheerful in 2012.

Anonymous said...

We looked clueless today!
But my biggest worry trying to escape the traffic chaos near Pride Park was Thompkins.
He was head and shoulders our best player today,as he has been most games this season.
But stripping off his shirt and walking slowly to our end before tossing it into the crowd looked like farewell gesture to me. No other players gave us anything like the acknowlegement of our unbelievable support this season.
I hope I am wrong.......

tommy said...

I'm so fed up with this mate, so much so that I'm considering giving the footy a break because it just gets me into a bad mood.

Anonymous said...

19:58 blood hell! that's the most important post of the year and totally unanswered again by hf.

Beelzebub said...

I agree 100%

There is a reason why bfs is a mid table manager !!

IF they sell Tompkins I tell you now, no amount of headline signings will stop total and utter fan revolt.

Hammersfan said...

Hi Beelzebub, happy new year!

Hammersfan said...

0723, funnily enough, I was a bit busy last night! I sincerely hope that the throwing of Tomkins shirt was not significant but I wouldn't be at all surprised, sadly.