Tuesday, 24 April 2012
Might Allardyce's cowardice at Leicester cost us and help Southampton in the final reckoning?
We needed goals. We needed a winning margin of at least two goals and three ideally. We needed to ratchet up the pressure on Southampton, to make the Saints start to sweat. Instead, Allardyce said, "Keep what we've got". Why?
The Allardyce Apostates will cite the chances we created regardless, and I have to give ground there. Nolan did push further forward, we sucked Leicester onto us and then hit well on the break. But what might have been achieved had Baldock been sent on rather than Collins, with Nolan sitting deeper? Let's face it, Leicester offered next to nothing as an attacking force, so why did we need another centre back? Surely a fresh, fast forward would have been a better call in the circumstances?
However, I'm not about to condemn Allardyce here. I think he got that wrong. But I thought he had got it wrong when he left out Lansbury in favour of O'Neil, and in fact O'Neil fully justified his inclusion - as did Collison of course! And in a strange way, the goal difference buffer may help us. Let's imagine for a moment that after 80 mins we are a goal to the good against Hull and Southampton are drawing 1-1 against Coventry. Psychologically, Southampton will want to keep what they have got, hanging on for the draw. And then, maybe, the sucker punch could come, with Coventry stealing a winner. In fact, psychologically, if they take the lead, Southampton may decide to keep what they have, bringing Coventry needlessly into the game.
The Saints are still clear favourites, of course, but pressure does funny things to footballers and Coventry have now shed all their cares and so may find a new, relaxed gear. The Sky Blues aren't as bad a team as their league position suggests and some pride could be restored by a victory at St Mary's. Maybe, just maybe, Allardyce could yet collect on his deal with the Devil!
Posted by Hammersfan at 16:59