• Premier League

Allardyce: Calls for sack are nonsense

ESPN staff
May 1, 2014
Sam Allardyce: 'No one wants to be criticised' © PA Photos

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has dismissed criticism from supporters calling for him to be sacked as "nonsense".

Some of the away fans at the Hawthorns during last weekend's 1-0 defeat to West Brom made their feelings known by unfurling a banner asking for owners David Gold and David Sullivan to replace Allardyce.

The 59-year-old was also given little backing in an online poll conducted across independent fans' sites, with more than three quarters of respondents wanting to see Allardyce's three-year tenure at Upton Park brought to an end.

Many have cited negative tactics as the reason for their unrest - claiming a 0-0 draw at Chelsea on January 29, which saw Jose Mourinho's side have 39 shots to West Ham's one, was celebrated as a triumph despite Mourinho describing it as "19th Century football" - but Allardyce believes a recent barren run of results has seen some fans turn on him.

"It is a nonsense," Allardyce said of the fans' criticisms at a news conference. "Their perception is because we haven't won [in four games].

"When we went to Chelsea they were all very, very happy that was based purely on a well-structured defensive ploy with little or no football at all. But it was still hailed as a great performance.

"You can't expand and open up against Chelsea because you lose five or six-nil. We play to win when we play a game and if we don't play to win we play not to lose. Our biggest problem is that we haven't drawn enough in between the wins."

Tottenham head to Upton Park for Saturday's early kick-off, with West Ham looking to record a third win this season over their London rivals.

Following a 3-0 Premier League win at White Hart Lane on October 6, Allardyce's side repeated the trick when they came from behind to secure a 2-1 victory in the League Cup quarter-final a week before Christmas.

Spurs head coach Tim Sherwood also faces an uncertain summer, with reports continuing to appear that the club are lining up a replacement for the man who took over from Andre Villas-Boas in December.

Allardyce accepts that constant speculation and pressure on managers is part and parcel of the modern game as he tried to shake it off and focus on improving West Ham's poor form.

"No one wants to see things like that [the banner at West Brom] and wants to be criticised," he added. "It is what it is at the moment. It is part of the job today and altogether people keep telling me how to play and the performances we need to give.

"In our last four games our performances have been good, but without a result comes the criticism. It is about results, not what you have done for the 90 minutes, it is what has come out of the end of it.

"Of course it [criticism] bothers you but you don't let it affect your clear thinking. You concentrate on the players and make sure they continue to strive to get better and better.

"This year, while the league has been extremely entertaining, we have had ups and downs. It has been a pretty hectic season, a pretty demanding season for us all, and I think that is shown in the fact that 10 managers have changed in one season."

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