Allardyce suffering from a touch of the Pulises?

Posted by Vinny Ryan

Robbie BradyGettyImagesRobbie Brady nets from the spot for Hull as they beat West Ham.

As West Ham look back on Saturday's game against Hull City they will no doubt feel aggrieved by the performance of referee Kevin Friend with his decision to award Hull a penalty, which can be described, at best, as 'soft', and then his failure to spot what seemed a blatant handball in the area.

Despite the poor decisions from the referee, the fact remains that West Ham continue to search for their first win since the opening day of the season and with Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City to come over the next two games this loss at the KC Stadium seems even worse.

There is a fine line between what is considered a good or bad performance in football today. Do we look back and consider the performance from West Ham any worse than when they went away to Newcastle United or Southampton with both games ending all square?

- Brady keeps Hull ahead of schedule
- Allardyce rounds on Brady

If West Ham had beaten Hull words such as 'professional' and 'solid' would have been attached to the performance. The same would go for those games against Newcastle and Southampton. Similarly, if those games had been lost by the odd goal you would then see fans bemoaning the lack of attacking prowess.

The fact is that football fans want to see their club win matches and whilst West Ham fans will talk about the style of play (or lack of) when the team is winning this never seems as important.

Look at Tony Pulis at Stoke City. The fans were all aware that the style of football they were being subjected to could not be described as 'pretty', but it was effective and the job of staying in the Premier League was done.

But once the results began to start producing more defeats than victories the fans soon turned because the ammunition required was already on hand with regards to the style of football being played.

This is, arguably, what is happening at West Ham and whilst the display against Hull may have been better with regards to the lack of long-balls forward the fact remains it's the result that every West Ham fan will be thinking about over the coming week.

Sam Allardyce made much noise about the myth of the 'West Ham way' and that he is here to 'win football matches'. These statements are bold, but even at the time he made them, when he was appointed, you couldn't help think he was setting himself up for a fall in the future.

Is the future now? I'm not so sure. Allardyce has proven over the years that he has the ability to keep clubs in the top division, but when fans are unhappy with the way the team is playing and losing games this often a recipe for disaster.

Obviously, even implying that Allardyce may be dismissed seems a little premature, but let's not forget that owners David Gold and David Sullivan failed to act the last time the club were in relegation trouble and they have admitted on more than one occasion that they should have sacked then manager Avram Grant much sooner than they did.

Similarly to suggesting that Manchester United are finished or Arsenal are going to run away with the league, it is all far too early to make too many radical conclusions with regards to the season's prospects.

The most popular topic of discussion amongst West Ham fans at Hull was the problem with the forward line, particularly Modibo Maiga, who is clearly struggling to make any impact whatsoever.

The failure to bring in another striker, whilst banking on Andy Carroll to remain fit, seemed an odd decision at the time and presently seems like utter madness.

It is almost mind boggling to think that the owners and the manager thought this was the best course of action and the lack of goals being scored surely cannot come as a surprise to those in charge.

Many said that without a goal scorer West Ham would struggle and I was quietly hoping that Maiga, or someone else, would step up and deliver while Carroll was out injured, but at the moment this is just not happening.

The pre-season positivity has all but drained away and the West Ham fans are becoming increasingly concerned about the form of the team. I cannot hide that I too am struggling to see where the next result is coming from.

Hopefully it will be next week away at White Hart Lane, but you would be hard pressed to find anyone who would be making a bet on that.


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