West Ham blog: When did Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard become the Goldilocks of football?
08:45 09 April 2014
Liverpool skipper uses that same old Sam Allardyce narrative against West Ham.
There’s a narrative which flows throughout the media and its one on which the likes of Steven Gerrard can exploit when West Ham make their team look a bit silly…’it was all long ball’ ‘they’re too physical’ ‘the coach had to park half a mile away’ ‘the dressing room was too hot’ by the way when did Steven Gerrard become the Goldilocks of football?
The narrative to which I refer is the stereotype of Big Sam: Long ball, physical, archaic football devoid of any guile, grace or style. Whilst I cannot say that these stereotypes are 100 per cent wrong what I can say is that these stereotypes have become a crutch for the opposition, if a Sam Allardyce team bests them or gives them a really difficult game.
It’s a get out of jail free card: Sam didn’t mastermind a victory, he didn’t get his tactics spot on, he didn’t do anything other than instruct his players to boot the ball into the box and his players leave stud marks all up and down the opposition’s legs.
Anyone who watched the game between West Ham and Liverpool last Sunday will have seen that West Ham competed with Liverpool, snapped into tackles, pressed them, played good football at times and the incredibly direct tactics which we witnessed in the fixtures against Manchester United and Hull City were simply not employed.
Yet Steven Gerrard the captain of England instead of giving credit where its due would rather lurch on to that crutch, that narrative of Sam Allardyce ‘the caveman’ and his band of neanderthals played every dirty trick in the book to disturb saintly Liverpool and make them look a bit ordinary.
It’s not only Gerrard; other managers/players have said the same thing; Alan Pardew for example when we drew 0-0 against Newcastle at St James’ Park blamed the Toon’s shortcomings on a direct West Ham performance despite Sam’s side playing the better football that day.
It must be wonderful for the likes of Gerrard and Pardew to fall upon the narrative of Sam Allardyce which is so familiar in the press/media safe in the knowledge that gullible journalists/pundits/fans will eat it up as the gospel truth.
Ever wonder why so many managers/opposition players slag off Big Sam? It’s because on occasion his teams give them a hard game, make them look a bit average and dare to even take points off them and rather give credit where its due, they’ll harp on back to the well known stereotype to cover-up their own shortcomings.
It’s pathetic, but it works, so well done Gerrard and everyone at Liverpool football club, it was the coach parking so far away, it was the dressing room being too hot, it was West Ham’s players being too physical. It had nothing to do with the tactics of an incredibly experienced manager being carried out to the letter by his players which made Liverpool look so average and so lucky to win.
The narrative strikes again.