West Ham United 1 Bolton Wanderers 2

'Open all hours' policy ends 41-year drought
Click to follow
The Independent Football

On the team sheet for this game, which led to Wanderers' first win at Upton Park in 41 years, were five players in their first season with the club, including El-Hadji Diouf, now a permanent player after his year's loan on Liverpool. Those are a lot of changes for any team to absorb, but Allardyce, whose 24/7 reference was by way of contrast with the traditional 9am to 2pm regime of a football club, is adamant that is the way forward

Not for him the small, compact group that works together and barely changes from week to week. Instead, squad competition is key.

And in the case of Ivan Campo, it appears to be working. The 31-year-old midfielder played in Bolton's first game of the season, a 2-2 draw at Aston Villa, but not well enough to keep Allardyce happy.

So, out the Spaniard went, and Campo had to make do with coming off the bench. Satisfied with the way things were going, Allardyce maintained his stance for this game. After 40 minutes of influential play, Campo could be back in the first team.

The Bolton manager was happy to praise the former Real Madrid player for making such an impression but in his words were a warning to others. "Ivan hadn't been so good against Villa so I dropped him," he said. "Now, after this he could be back. The competition is stiff and the level of our performance is a challenge to the members of the squad. If you don't hit a certain level, you are dropped."

With Allardyce worried about his side's fatigue levels having played in midweek, where West Ham had not, and as the hosts were getting through to test Jussi Jaaskelainen with ease, he introduced Campo to shield the defence and give midfield added strength.

Within five minutes Campo had hit the crossbar and after Kevin Nolan's close-range effort opened the scoring, he played a one-two with Jay-Jay Okocha that beat the Hammers' offside trap and he showed the benefits of his Real Madrid heritage with a fine finish.

It gave the visitors the comfort they needed with Teddy Sheringham, who earlier also hit the crossbar, converting a penalty in the last minute. It also showed to Alan Pardew that when your main striker is not scoring others need to take responsibility.

In the West Ham manager's case, Marlon Harewood was the man misfiring, but he was not too harsh, insisting: "He can be a big player for us." Allardyce, with the generosity that comes easily in triumph, also believes the east London side can stay up. Going "24/7" may well be the answer.

Goals: Nolan (59) 0-1; Campo (85) 0-2; Sheringham (90, pen) 1-2.

West Ham United (4-4-2): Carroll; Repka, Ferdinand, Gabbidon (Ward, 82), Konchesky; Benayoun, Reo-Coker, Mullins, Etherington (Aliadière, 60); Harewood (Zamora, 65), Sheringham. Substitutes not used: Hislop (gk), Dailly.

Bolton Wanderers (4-5-1): Jaaskelainen; Hunt, Ben Haim, N'Gotty, Pedersen; Giannakopoulos, Nolan, Speed, Okocha (Borgetti, 86), Diouf (Campo, 52); Davies (Diagne-Faye, 82). Substitutes not used: Walker (gk), Nakata.

Booked: West Ham Repka; Bolton Giannakopoulos, Davies, Diouf.

Referee: P Dowd (Staffordshire).

Man of the match: Campo.

Attendance: 31,629.

Comments