West Ham back in relegation trouble after three defeats on the trot
10:45 24 March 2014
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce insisted he knew that they were never out of relegation danger
When the Hammers won four games on the trot following that heroic draw at Chelsea, most pundits and fans must have felt that West Ham were safe in the Premier League for next season.
Now, after three back-to-back defeats the alarm bells are beginning to ring again and it was time for manager Sam Allardyce to tell everyone ‘I told you so’.
Saturday’s defeat against a weakened Manchester United side that had Michael Carrick as a makeshift centre half was hugely disappointing, especially the lack of ideas that West Ham had going forward in the second half.
The ball was either pumped up to Andy Carroll, who was invariably beaten in the air by Marouane Fellaini, or Stewart Downing and Matt Jarvis in particular would deliver aimless crosses that never transpired to anything.
With the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Spurs still to play, Allardyce knows that the next two games against Hull City tonight and Sunderland next Monday could be the difference between a comfortable end to the season and panic stations.
It is certainly a possibility that we could go down,” admitted Allardyce. “It has been a possibility for a long, long time, even when we won four games on the trot, despite everyone saying we would be all right now.
“I said we are not all right because we have 31 points and that won’t be enough to keep us up. We need at least 38 as quickly as we can because I think that will probably be enough this year.”
It was the ease that Manchester United held on to their 2-0 half-time lead that must have been worrying for Allardyce.
After a first-half full of mistakes by West Ham in their passing and two freakish goals, Hammers fans might have expected a huge assault on the United goal after the break.
They got it – for about 10 minutes – as West Ham put on some pressure with plenty of corners, but not once did they force a save from David De Gea.
The rest of the time, United passed the ball among themselves, carved out some good chances and should really have added to their tally.
Allardyce, though, did not seem too worried by that second-half display.
“We couldn’t have done much more in the second half because we had more possession that them, put more crosses in the box than them, created more chances,” he said.
“Unfortunately, we didn’t create any clear-cut chances, so our cutting edge wasn’t quite good enough.”
If that is really what the second-half stats say, then it just shows what a waste of time statistics are.
And if Allardyce really believes that then West Ham may have more problems than we thought.
“We’ve put ourselves in a little danger again, there is no dolubt about that,” said the boss.
“With the two games we have got coming up we have to make sure that we perform as we did when we hit out good spell.
“I think we have got enough if we play our best football, but we have got to do it over the next couple of games.”
They have and at least Hull City and Sunderland haven’t got anyone quite like Wayne Rooney.