West Ham fringe men should be good enough to beat Blades
PUBLISHED: 11:20 27 August 2014 | UPDATED: 11:20 27 August 2014
Our West Ham blogger looks back at last night's Capital One Cup exit
No league cup run this season...but surely no-one can lay the blame at Big Sam’s door.
Last night against Sheffield United, Sam Allardyce named a team more than capable of seeing off a side currently sitting 12th in League One.
The fans have been baying for Sakho, Valencia and Morrison to start and Sam duly obliged starting all three.
When we were dumped out the FA cup last season 5-0 at Nottingham Forest; yes you could blame that disastrous day on Sam for fielding a side that had virtually no chance of winning; however despite making nine changes from the side that triumphed at Selhurst Park the team put out last night looked strong, certainly strong enough to go through against a poor Sheffield United.
You could be forgiven for thinking that Enner Valencia, Ravel Morrison, Mohamed Diame and Diego Poyet were going to cut a mid-table league one outfit to ribbons with quick incisive passing, an unrelenting tempo and a clinical edge, the kind of performance we witnessed against Crystal Palace...however the reality was a performance lacking any kind of tempo, urgency or quality in the final third.
The atmosphere inside Upton Park last night reflected the performance of the home side, flat. Only in the first half of regular time and the 2nd half of extra time did the Hammers put the Blades under any kind of consistent pressure; the other intervening periods were a non-event.
Perhaps with hindsight there was too much of an emphasis on getting ‘revenge’ for the whole Tevez saga as opposed to just focusing on beating a lower league side and progressing to the next round of the cup.
There were a couple positives to come out of last night’s humbling though; firstly Diafra Sakho got his first goal of hopefully many, Reece Burke and Diego Poyet acquitted themselves well and Enner Valencia got some much needed minutes under his belt.
The worn out cliché of ‘now we can focus on the league’ doesn’t really apply to West Ham as the squad was strong enough to have a proper crack this season.
However the blame for going out shouldn’t be laid at Sam’s door; instead the finger should be pointed at the talent on show ,who simply should’ve had enough about them to beat a league one side over 120 minutes.