Sam Allardyce: Unacceptable West Ham display made it easy for Tottenham
Sam Allardyce said he was "shocked" by his team's wan performance at White Hart Lane yesterday, describing it as "very poor". West Ham's next two matches are away to Manchester United on Wednesday and at home to Chelsea on Saturday and Allardyce said without much belief that he hoped they would "bounce back".
"We've bounced back after every previous defeat this season, it will be a big ask to do it at Old Trafford but we have got to try at least to show much more what we are about. We were very poor defensively for all three goals, we were not good enough in possession. When you keep giving away the ball against a team with the players they have you will eventually make mistakes and concede. There's not a lot I can do to defend the players. I don't accept the way we have played today."
Allardyce was particularly disappointed at his team's display as he felt Tottenham were vulnerable. "They are not in the best of form and they played Thursday. It is hard to get a result when you've come back from Europe but we made it easy for Tottenham."
The only consolation for Allardyce was Andy Carroll's first West Ham goal. "It didn't affect the game but it showed our players the service we have got to try and give him. If we put the ball in the right area Andy will score."
Andre Villas-Boas, his Tottenham counterpart, was understandably very pleased. "We were very good, a solid 90 minutes performance," he said. "It was extremely important to get back to winning ways. We have narrowed the gap by two points to [fourth-placed] Chelsea.
He picked out two-goal Jermain Defoe and Clint Dempsey for praise. "Jermain is enjoying his football. Strikers of this nature, their hunger for goals is what you need." Talking of Defoe's first goal, Villas-Boas added: "He can turn away from a defender with his pace, he is immense one-on-one. The goal was decisive as it unlocked the game, coming just before half-time it had a big impact. Dempsey was outstanding too. He linked the game extremely well."
Both managers welcomed back Mark Clattenburg, who was fourth official, his first appointment since being cleared by the Football Association of racially abusing John Obi Mikel. "I'm glad he's back where he should be," said Allardyce. "There's a shortage of quality refs in our country and we can't afford to lose him."
"It is good to see him back, He is a great referee and has been through a difficult time," said Villas-Boas.
They were less prepared to discuss the chants of away fans. "I don't want to mar [distract attention from] the players' performance," said Villas-Boas. "It is a great rivalry between these clubs as long as there is not stupidity." "I can't condemn what I didn't hear," said Allardyce, "but they shouldn't be doing things like that. I'll listen to it then comment. At the moment it is the least of my worries."
Back in black: Clattenburg's day
All cameras were focused on Mark Clattenburg, returning to duty for the first time since the Chelsea-Manchester United match last month. Jermain Defoe ran to the touchline to shake hands with him, and he was also greeted by the Spurs coach Luis Martins and the West Ham physio Andy Rolls.
Has a quiet word with West Ham manager Sam Allardyce, who had marched to the touchline to shout instructions to his players.
The West Ham assistant Neil McDonald and the Spurs fitness coach Jose Mario Rocha clash after Mark Noble is booked for a foul on Aaron Lennon. Clattenburg steps in to quell the tension.
Called into action again when West Ham make an early substitution, sending on Matt Jarvis for the disappointing Modibo Maiga.
Long discussion with Allardyce about referee Andre Marriner's interpretation of fouls. Friendly in tone, Allardyce puts his arm around the official.
Brief and friendly word with Andre Villas-Boas as the clock ticks down.
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