There might be quite a few people who take issue with Sam Allardyce over this.
Here are his thoughts on his side’s loss to to Aston Villa yesterday:
“I think anybody who watched that performance – apart from the Aston Villa fans – knew that we deserved something out of the game.
The sad thing is after dominating the match for so long – particularly in the second half – and not converting the chances into goals, we paid a heavy price for that. We gave a free-kick away and Charles N’Zogbia scored from it and we gave a penalty away and they scored from it.
Apart from Jussi Jaaskelainen spilling the early shot, Aston Villa, in terms of chances created, have contributed nothing. In terms of our chances we were really just waiting to see what Villa had to throw at us.
We knew they’d come out of the blocks in the first half. We contained that really well and in the second half we knew we were going to go and go at them.
We got at them and created chance after chance after chance and when you create that many chances and don’t put the ball in the back of the net you can pay a heavy price in this league. We dominated the second half and ended up losing 2-1. Even right at the very end their goalkeeper was the hero for them. He was the man that saved them and got them the win and we are bitterly disappointed that we haven’t got at least a point out of the game.”
It’s difficult to understand what Allardyce is upset about, because his side only really started to show any urgency after Charles N’Zogbia had put them two goals behind. Even then though, to claim that Villa were dominated by their opponents is not accurate at all – it was a tight, nervy game, won by the side who – excuse the cliche – wanted it more.
West Ham managed four shots on-target all game, two of which came in injury time, so as well as Brad Guzan played, he’s a little short of ‘hero’ status.
West Ham have picked up a habit this season of being apathetic in away games, and they play with nothing like the intensity they show at home. From a statistical perspective, a draw was probably a fairer result, but with the experience and quality that the visitors had offensively, they should have made life far harder for that fragile Villa defence than they did.
…and is that really Sam Allardyce complaining about losing a game because of set-pieces?
Villa were fortunate to hold on in the end, but to say that they ‘deserved nothing’ is a sour comment with little merit.