West Ham boss defends his team to the style council after chants of ridicule

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce accepts he will never lose the long-ball tag

It was the away fans who were supposed to be the golden ones for West Ham, the supporters who never criticise, but it seems even they are not immune from a little Sam Allardyce baiting.

During a first half based on grit rather than glamour, the chants of ‘we play it on the floor’ and ‘we play for a draw’ and even calling out the name of Paolo Di Canio rang out at London Road.

It was clear who it was directed at and despite his denials, it was also clear that it hurt the West Ham manager.

“I’m sick of all that rubbish,” he said after Tuesday’s 2-0 win.

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“I look at the facts and they are that we have outpassed and outplayed all the six teams we have drawn against, except for Southampton when we had 10 men.

“The facts speak for themselves, but the perception of people who think anything other than that are deluded unfortunately.”

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Certainly in the last two games West Ham have played some stylish football and as they stroked the ball around in the last 20 minutes against Peterborough, the chants became ironic rather than critical.

“The fans get frustrated because we don’t win and they want to sing something,” explained Allardyce.

“Let’s face it, it has followed me around for a long time.

“I can’t do anything about it, it’s there, but I have just got to carry on.”

After a vital win at London Road, it was probably the last thing he wanted to face in the post-match press conference.

But after so long in management, it is something he has got used to, despite his air of irritation with the questions.

“It started off from other managers many years ago because they got jealous because I kept beating them,” said the manager, with tongue in cheek.

“I can’t get away from the tag and there you go, that’s life.

“I personally don’t let it affect me, I just know what is good for the players at West Ham and what is good for the football club and I know how to win matches.”

A bit of witty banter or something more derisive? One thing is for sure, if West Ham win promotion this season, then Allardyce will be one of the heroes.

That is until the new season begins!

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