Dear God, that was truly dire and illustrated perfectly the folly of the "all the eggs in one basket" transfer strategy over the summer. No Carroll, no hope. And it's not as if Carroll is a goal machine when fit!
Sunderland could have won 5-0 today and should have won by two or three clear goals. Thank Christ their strikers are as inept as ours and that Poyet doesn't know Fletcher's scoring record at Upton Park. Had the Scot started with Johnson, who also has a decent record record against us, I fancy Blunderland would be heading home with three points tonight. As it was, we had Jussi and the crossbar to thank for a clean sheet.
Going back, we were stretched time and time again, and poor Collins, Tomkins and Jussi must have wondered if they had taken to the field on their own. Poyet's formation meant that we were always outnumbered in the crucial area between the half way line and our back four, and Allardyce seemed to have no idea how to address it. The answer was bloody obvious to me, pull Diame back to assist Noble, and play through the middle via Cole and Morrison, rather than trying to keep the game stretched wide. But, weirdly, Diame spent the whole of the first half ahead of Morrison, and Ravel was completely out of the game.
Second half, nothing really changed. Jarvis came out for the second 45 despite being absolutely inept for 45 minutes, and Mogadon Maiga was spared an early substitution by an injury to Demel, though quite why he was left on when Carlton was introduced was completely beyond me. Joe Cole on the shoulder of Carlton Cole has to be a better option than the footballing vacuum that is Mogadon. But Sam thought differently.
Was there anything positive about our performance, Jussi, Collins and Tomkins apart? Nope. Diame faded. Noble turned circles looking for team mates in space and found nobody. McCartney had our best effort on goal with a miss hit cross. Ravel dribbled up blind alleys. Demel's crossing was terrible. Joe Cole was largely invisible. Carlton looked like Carlton at his worst. And so on and so on.
And Jussi? He made one brilliant save and two very good ones to spare us from humiliation. If Sullivan thinks one signing in January will save us, he is dreaming. And questions must now be asked of Allardyce. This team looks utterly clueless and he has no idea how to change things. Remember, it took a fluke of a goal from Diame to get us started against Fulham and it is difficult to see how this team will score enough goals to survive.
Player ratings: Jussi 9 (it would have been ten but his kicking was awful); Demel 5, Tomkins 6 Collins 7, McCartney 5; Noble 5; Diame 6, Morrison 5, Joe Cole 4, Jarvis 0; Maiga 2 Subs Collison 5, O'Brien 5, Carlton 3