West Ham: Our finishing let us down, says Allardyce

By Rob Virtue on August 17, 2014 12:15 AM |


West Ham's season started badly as the Hammers conceded a last minute goal from debutant Eric Dier to ensure Mauricio Pochettino's men claimed maximum points at Upton Park.

In a crucial season where goals and fluent football are essential, the Hammers started where they left off last year, having 18 shots on goal without reward.

Manager, Sam Allardyce was disappointed with his side's lack of clinical finishing but pleased of the football that was being played.

"No matter at what stage the game was at - 11 v 11, 11 v 10 or 10 v 10 - we had enough chances to put the ball in the back of the net, and didn't take the chances when we created them, and resulted in us paying the ultimate price.

"This is what this league is all about, it will punish you. I can't complain about the performance, I can't complain about the football being played, but I can complain that we didn't finish well enough and we were very naive allowing ourselves to go to 10 men."

Mark Noble unusually missed from the penalty spot after Kyle Naughton handled in the box from Kevin Nolan's shot which resulted in the full back being sent off. Both Stewart Downing and Ricardo Vaz Te also had chances, but Hugo Lloris was on hand to keep them out.

Big Sam added that both of the dismissals of Collins and Naughton were harsh, but deflected the blame from Chris Foy, saying it was more his team's fault for the Collins' sending off.

"I think it's harsh, but I think that what (the referees) are instructed to do. I don't think he's got any choice because of the ticking off from his bosses.

"It's what they have to do because it's what their told to do, so in that case I can't complain about it. I say with the lads if you didn't risk getting sent off, don't let the player get past you. We've been doing that all season, and it's more our fault than the referee's today."

On a lighter note, Allardyce was heaping praise on two debutants for the Hammers, as both Cheikhou Kouyate and Aaron Cresswell made their first start in the Premier league at the Boleyn Ground.

"Kouyate was man of the match in my eyes and is only going to get better and Aaron's feeling himself in the top flight after coming from the Championship," he said.

"But I thought it was a fantastic performance from the players today. I listened to Dier, saying we play direct football, so he must have been at a different match. We outplayed and out-created Tottenham who are predicted to finish in the top four."

On the back of this derby defeat, the Hammers have another London derby, when they take on a managerless Crystal Palace side, before returning on home soil to face Southampton.