West Ham: We need Song's leadership qualities, says Allardyce

By Rob Virtue on August 30, 2014 11:20 PM |

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Manager Sam Allardyce was bitterly disappointed with his West Ham team's performance on Saturday as they were humiliated by Southampton.

Despite two decent performances in their last two league games against Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace, the Hammers were defeated 3-1 at the hands Ronald Koeman's Saints, who completely outplayed the hosts.

Allardyce said the effort his players produced was below par, and there were communication issues between them on the pitch.

"After what we've seen in the last two games, we just saw an under performance across the board today," said the manager.

"It's a massive blow to us, and a massive disappointment to everybody, particularly at home. Two home games, two defeats. It can't happen; the lads have got to take responsibility.

"We should have beaten Tottenham but didn't even come away with a point, and we could have scrapped a point today. As good as Southampton were, which there's no denying they was, up to the second, there was no shots or openings created."

The former Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle chief added defending from set-pieces also let the side down.

"It wasn't good enough," he said. "And to let them score all three of their goals from them is unacceptable. There wasn't anything from today I could be pleased about. It was a reality check from some of the players.

"Certainly the new players have now seen the ups and downs of what the Premier League could do to you if you're not 100%."

Away from the performance, Allardyce praised the owners for pulling off a transfer coup with the confirmation of Alex Song signing from Spanish giants FC Barcelona on a season long loan.

Allardyce said he was hopeful the former Arsenal man could bring some leadership to the team, which was what was lacking in the defeat to Southampton.

"I hope he can bring that as well as his quality play because certainly out on the pitch the lads are not opening their mouth enough," he said.

"They all talk about what they should do before the game, all talk in training; all talk in the dressing room, but when they go out on the pitch they all stop talking.

"Clearly the communication is zero. Somebody has got to get a grip and open their eyes and mouth. With (Song's) experience and qualities, having spoken to him, he looks like a bit of a leader to me, and he'll go out their and kick a few backsides on the field."

Despite Southampton dominating possession throughout, West Ham took the lead through a Mark Noble shot, with the aid of a deflection from Maya Yoshida, beating Fraser Forster.

However, it all went downhill from there thanks to an inspired performance by Morgan Schneiderlin. The Frenchman bagged the equaliser with a sweet left footed effort just before half time, before putting his side in front after an hour. Recent arrival, Graziano Pelle bagged his first Premier League goal which rounded off a comfortable 3-1 for the visitors.

After this derisory performance by the Boleyn Ground outfit, the Hammers will look to use the international break to improve on the training ground.

An away game against Hull City will be Allardyce next game, before returning to home soil to face last year's Premier League runners up Liverpool visit Upton Park.