West Ham boss wants impact from youngster
By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @skygraemebailey. Last Updated: March
25, 2012 11:41am
West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce has warned Ravel Morrison that he needs
to start taking his chance at the club. The Hammers signed the 19-year-old
from Manchester United in January, after he refused a new deal with the
Premier League champions. The teenage midfielder has long been rated as one
of the best players of his generation, but he has gained more attention for
off-field incidents rather than anything he has produced on the pitch. And
Allardyce says he needs to heed advice otherwise his career will be over
before it starts, with Morrison still yet to make his first start for club
since joining. "If he refuses to accept the guidance, then the career will
never take off," Allardyce said in the People. "Once he gets a chance, he
will either take it or he won't. "He has to sink or swim. There is no record
of Ravel transferring his talent from youth or reserve football into a first
team. He's done well for England's youth teams but that's kids' football -
not men's football. "The talent is there - what is in his personality is the
key to delivering a career. We can guide him to succeed in his own career
but he's responsible for that. "Many players with great talent haven't
always delivered what they should. Okay, you can make a living but never
fulfil what that talent deserves. "The talent deserves the big stage, but
you have to have the capability psychologically to transform that ability.
"There's been more interest in him than probably any other player I have
had. We will try to improve Ravel in all areas. He's a great talent."
Vinny's Burnley Report
Vinny 9:34 Sun Mar 25
West Ham Online
Burnley 2 West Ham United 2
West Ham came from two goals down to gain a point at Burnley's Turf Moor but
with Southampton and Reading both winning this was firmly two points
This was our fifth consecutive draw and at a stage in the season where only
the bravest and most potent of sides march on we find ourselves being left
behind with the play offs looming.
Sam Allardyce claimed he was 'flabbergasted' by the result yet I look at his
starting eleven and find his comments ludicrous as it is the same problem we
have all been banging on about for weeks. It was only when we changed things
at half time, went to two up front, stopped playing the long ball and
actually tried to work the ball through Burnley that we succeeded.
Is the man so truly arrogant that he cannot see this? Does he really believe
that us going 2-0 down in the first half was the Gods being cruel and luck
again absent in our quest for promotion? How can the manager fail to take
any responsibility for the last five results?
You can claim I am anti Allardyce and talk about what he was brought in to
do etc etc, but can you really not place any of the blame on our manager and
his reluctance to change his tactics? This 4-5-1 persistence will (if it
hasn't already) cost us a Promotion place.
I left Turf Moor feeling that it was a defeat because at this stage of the
season a point is like a defeat – only all three will do. If we want to win
a league you have to grind out the results and play with a bit of freedom
just like Reading and Southampton have done.
Obviously if we are looking at positives then the side have again showed
their resilience in coming back from what looked like a perilous position
and getting the second goal so soon after the first was enjoyable for the
fans who were absolutely magnificent and I certainly thought to myself in
the first half that the side did not deserve such wonderful support.
The pressure we have put ourselves under for the next two games is far
greater than it needed to be and with us being four points off Reading in
second place the next two fixtures have to see us walk away with six points
or we will not be promoted automatically.
Two changes were made to the side who drew with Middlesbrough last Tuesday
with Abdoulaye Faye missing (I presume with injury) and Gary O'Neil coming
into the side. This saw James Tomkins start at centre half alongside Danny
The other change came with Nicky Maynard dropped to the bench with Jack
Collison replacing him. This would see O'Neil go to the right hand side with
Collison, Nolan and Noble in the middle and Taylor on the left.
Carlton Cole was yet again up front all on his own.
Ravel Morrison, a player many would have even started with was not even on
The game certainly had chances for both sides and was not what you would
call an unexciting game, but like against Ipswich we were so easy to break
down it seemed as though Burnley may score with every attack.
We were playing in our third kit which was White shirts, blue shorts and
blue socks as the West Ham fans were making all the noise on a warm sunny
day in Lancashire.
It was the away side who were doing all the early pressing as we moved
forward with the ball only for the final pass to often be wayward.
Our first chance of the game came on nine minutes as Nolan played a nice
pass through to Carlton Cole who took a touch past the goal keeper and
although the angle was a little tight he showed no composure and fluffed his
shot wide. This was a miss from a player who looks shot of any confidence
and has just score one goal this year.
O'Brien was getting forward well on the right and linking with O'Neil who
won our first corner on twelve minutes as our bright start to the game
It was down the right where our next chance was created when O'Brien
collected a pass from O'Neil and put a low cross into the area which was
behind most but fell to Cole who screwed his shot high over the bar and
despite him being a little off balance again I thought he should have been
Burnley won their first corner around half way through the half after
Tomkins mis-controlled a long punt forward but the corner was low and poor
and was easily dealt with.
The home side were starting to get a foothold on a game that up to then they
had not really been involved in and for us to have largely dominated the
game thus far to see them go a goal up on 25 minutes and with such a soft
goal was criminal.
It was a very simply goal with Marvin Bartley collecting the ball around
thirty yards out and he just danced through the weak challenges, got into
the area and finished past Robert Green to make it 1-0.
We thought we had equalised straight away and I hate celebrating a goal for
an extended period of time when it hasn't even been given and I don't know
if it was the alcohol in my system but it took me a few moments to try and
work out what had happened.
Collison put a good cross into the area for Kevin Nolan to power his header
past the keeper via the crossbar as the West Ham fans and players
celebrated. But in the midst of these celebrations the referee had spotted
an infringement which could have only been a push from Nolan on the defender
and the goal was ruled out.
But we would create another golden chance just minutes later when Mark Noble
played a free kick into the area which was flicked on by Collins and over
the Burnley keeper for Carlton Cole to somehow miss the ball from what
seemed like a yard out and it hit the post, bounced out for Nolan but his
shot was blocked on the line.
The West Ham fans were chanting 'We're gonna score in a minute' and whilst
they were correct about a goal being scored it would not be West Ham to get
It was another goal out of nothing and soft as you are likely to see.
Burnley's Mee received the ball on the left, crossed into the area for
Martin Paterson to get in front of the static Danny Collins and the striker
diverted the ball past Green with his knee to make it 2-0.
I continue to make comparisons to the Ipswich game but it really was very
similar. In that game we had not done terribly badly in possession and I
recall Cole hitting the post after a good move yet poor defending and lack
of concentration cost us multiple goals and this looked to be going the same
With five minutes of the half remaining Collison saw his fine effort from 30
yards out saved by the keeper who tipped it over the bar. This was odd to
see us taking a shot from outside the area and hitting the target as it is
not something we see often especially from a player such as Collison.
In first half stoppage time we were very fortunate not to have been three
goals down when Wallace cut in from the right and put in a left foot cross
which evaded everyone and bounced off the post and eventually scrambled
It was not looking good.
Two changes were made by Allardyce at half time and you could argue that
both these players had deserved to start but only if they were going to play
up front together.
Nicky Maynard and Sam Baldock both entered the field of play with Carlton
Cole and the anonymous Matthew Taylor being replaced.
This has seen us go to as 4-4-2 as we could possibly get with Collison
drifting to the left wing.
Our play had become a little more patient as we looked to get in behind the
Burnley defence and slip the ball through to either Baldock or Maynard.
Nolan won the ball and it came to Maynard who ignored the support and took a
shot which was deflected and away for a corner but the delivery was poor and
actually went out for a throw in on the other side.
McCartney burst forward much like he did against Cardiff and exchanged
passes with O'Neil before getting into the area and hitting a low right foot
effort at the keeper.
We were the team doing all the pressing but as time was ticking on it did
not look as though it was going to happen for us.
Out of nothing we did get a goal back and it came from the skipper who would
score his tenth goal of the season.
O'Neil lofted the ball over the top and although the Burnley defender looked
favourite the ball bounced, Kevin Nolan nipped in and chipped the onrushing
goal keeper to reduce the deficit and make it 2-1.
It was certainly game on now and the West Ham fans were pumped up by this
goal when it had looked as though we might never score.
Two minutes after getting a goal back we found ourselves in dreamland as we
George McCartney was fouled by Wallace on the left with Mark Noble stepping
up to play the ball into the area which Maynard flicked on and James Tomkins
side footed the ball past Grant in the Burnley goal to make it 2-2.
It was jubilation in the away end and some fantastic celebrations. I had
barley celebrated the Nolan goal but went a bit crazy at the equaliser as it
had all happened so quickly and out of nothing.
Twenty minutes remained and surely there was only one side that were going
to win this.
We piled forward, got men into the area but chances to supply were often
Maynard broke forward and all he had to do was slip in Nolan who was pointed
to exactly where he wanted the ball but the touch from Maynard was poor and
the chance had gone.
With eight minutes of normal time remaining Allardyce made his third and
final change with John Carew coming on for Jack Collison.
Carew was immediately involved when McCartney played the ball long to him
and he flicked the ball to Baldock who had a chance on goal but put his shot
way over the bar.
It would be Carew himself who would have a great chance with two minutes
remaining when Nolan put the ball into the area for Baldock to chest down
for the big man but his shot was 14 yards was week and he should have
But that wasn't going to be that final golden chance and a minute later we
would have another one and this should have been a goal.
Maynard turned superbly and slipped in Baldock who just had to beat the
keeper but his finish was saved by Grant and away for a corner.
Four minutes of stoppage time was awarded but we couldn't find the finish
and whilst we did well to fight back from two goals down if we really have
aspirations to be promoted we cannot draw five games in a row.
Will be wondering how he has conceded two goals as apart from picking the
ball from the back of the net I do not recall Green having to do much else.
I was pleased with his overall performance and thought he linked with O'Neil
well in the first half down that right hand side.
He was at fault for the second goal with some awful ball watching defending.
I'm unsure what he was looking at and why he let the striker get in front of
A weak weak attempted tackle cost us the first goal and I expect more from
Tomkins than that. From corners he was a nuisance and was a threat. Of
course his goal will be the lasting memory from this game as he finished
well to equalise.
As it has been obvious over the last few games, it is McCartney who is the
attacking left winger and his bombing forward has made Matthew Taylor
redundant. This was no different.
Did well for the majority of the game and I felt that he was effective on
the ball and not as wasteful as others. His assist for Nolan's goal was good
and he was always involved in the game.
His crosses into the area were inconsistent but were effective at times with
his cross into the area in the first half actually hitting off the post and
of course the ball into the area for the equaliser was often dangerous. But
he did play many poor passes throughout the game with a number of them
simply going off for a goal kick.
Played a great pass through to Cole early on in the game which he should
have scored, had a goal disallowed in the first half, had a shot cleared off
the line also and scored our first goal and his tenth of the season as he
became the first West Ham player this campaign to go into double figures.
Say what you like about Kevin Nolan but he was certainly involved.
Decent at times and linked with the midfield well on occasion but as with
most Collison performances this season he just doesn't do enough and is not
involved enough in the game.
Poor again and has been since his return from injury some time ago.
Should have scored twice in the first half and maybe should have at least
hit the target with another. Cole doesn't look as though he is going to
score goals at the moment and his return in 2012 has not been good enough.
It is time for Cole to be dropped and as we saw earlier in the season (at
Hull and Coventry) when coming on as a sub he can have an effect. At the
moment, starting him is hindering our promotion push.
Nicky Maynard (on for Taylor 45 mins)
I was impressed with him and this is the first time I have said this since
he joined the club. He was good on the ball and has an ability to burst away
from his marker. He was creative and a threat and up front as part of a
front two is what needs to happen with Maynard.
Sam Baldock (on for Cole 45 mins)
Whilst people can question his ability at a higher level the fact is we are
not at a higher level and that is something we can cross if the time comes
to it. Baldock is dangerous and he has a knack of getting chances as his
movement is better than any of our other strikers. He should have scored but
start him as part of a front two and I am confident that he will.
John Carew (on for Collison 82 mins)
A decent enough cameo from big John Carew though for such a tall and
powerful man I fail to see why he can get no power in a shot from 14 yards
like the one he had in the latter stages of the game.
Subs Not Used: Potts, Lansbury
Bookings: Collison, Taylor, Tomkins
Man Of The Match: Kevin Nolan
Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff, McCann, Wallace, Paterson, Ings, Marney,
Edgar, Bartley, Mee
Subs: Jensen, Stanislas, McQuoid, Austin, Hewitt
Attendance: 15, 246
We are now four points behind Reading although we have a game in hand and we
play Reading next Saturday so yes it is still in our hands but with our
current form the signs do not look good and no matter how hard I try I
cannot imagine coming out of Upton Park next week with a positive feeling.
I really hope that Allardyce can see that a change in tactics has to be
applied especially after how much better we played football in the second
The passing and the movement and the lack of long ball were pleasing and we
scored two goals.
If Allardyce can put his 'flabbergasting' arrogance to one side for the next
couple of months then Promotion is still a fantastic chance and we are
certainly not out of it yet.
Next Game – Peterborough (a) Tuesday, 27th March 7.45pm KO
This is the game in hand and one where we cannot afford any slip up. This is
the game which has prevented me from going into full scale depression
regarding our promotion campaign as this is the game we have in hand on the
top two and a win will see us back up there and ready to compete.
If we come back from 5-0 down to draw 5-5 it will still not be good enough.
"I'm absolutely totally and utterly flabbergasted that we didn't leave
Burnley with a victory under our belts. From the very start, we had chance
after chance after chance and then incredibly went 2-0 down. Even then, we
had a couple of chances before half-time that we couldn't put in the back of
"We slipped up defensively on a couple of occasions and they've scored two
goals completely against the run of play after playing so well.
"We changed the system a bit and went for it a little bit more. The comeback
was fantastic but it wasn't really a comeback because we were already there.
We increased the amount of opportunities we could score from, but
unfortunately we fell foul of not converting our opportunities into goals.
"We must have had four or five one-on-ones, we've hit the post and had a
goal disallowed. We had 20 attempts and eleven shots on target and Burnley's
total was five shots on target in the entire 90 minutes and they've scored
"Our first goal was a brilliant goal from Kevin Nolan from the hardest
chance we created - it wasn't even a chance - and James Tomkins converted
from a great free-kick.
"It's just incredible that we dominated possession for the whole 90 minutes
and created chance after chance and still ended up drawing 2-2.
We're all distraught after such a performance with such great quality, but
unfortunately even when did find the net, the referee decided we couldn't
have it and when we didn't the post decided to stop it!
"It continues to go on and on and we just cannot find that final way through
to the valuable three points we're after.
With such a top, top performance, the disappointing thing is the top line
'Burnley 2 West Ham 2'."
Season 2011/12 Scorers and Red Cards
Kevin Nolan - 10 (10 League)
Carlton Cole - 9 (9 League)
Mark Noble - 7 (7 League)
Sam Baldock - 5 (5 League)
Jack Collison - 3 (3 League)
James Tomkins - 3 (3 League)
Own Goal - 3 (3 League)
Ricardo Vaz Te - 2 (2 League)
Winston Reid - 2 (2 League)
John Carew - 2 (2 League)
Frederique Piquionne - 2 (2 League)
Papa Bouba Diop - 1 (1 League)
Joey O'Brien - 1 (1 League)
Matthew Taylor - 1 (1 League)
Henri Lansbury - 1 (1 League)
Julien Faubert - 1 (1 League)
Frank Nouble - 1 (1 League)
Nicky Maynard - 1 (1 League)
Gary O'Neil - 1 (1 League)
George McCartney - 1 (1 League)
Danny Collins - 1 (1 League)
Scott Parker - 1 (1 League)
Junior Stanislas - 1 (1 Cup)
Callum McNaughton - 1 (vs Aldershot home)
Frederique Piquionne - 1 (vs Portsmouth home)
Joey O'Brien - 1 (vs Reading away)
Jack Collison - 1 (vs Reading away)
Kevin Nolan - 1 (vs Millwall home)
Matthew Taylor - 1 (vs Southampton home)
Robert Green - 1 (vs Blackpool away)*
*rescinded by FA on appeal
BURNLEY 2 - WEST HAM 2: SAM ALLARDYCE CANNOT COUNT ON STRIKERS
Monday March 26,2012
By Daily Express reporter
WEST HAM are playing the blame game after the latest setback in their
assault on promotion – and their strikers are being branded as the guilty
men. Skipper Kevin Nolan, above, showed them how it should be done with
their first goal, after being 2-0 down at half-time through goals from
Marvin Bartley and Martin Paterson.
He said: "We started well and made chances. But when you are not putting
them away – and we had plenty today – you are going to get punished. "Yes,
we conceded two sloppy goals, but we should be banging them in at the other
end. We had 11 or 12 shots on target and they were not shots from far away.
They were very good chances." Carlton Cole failed to take three
opportunities before being replaced at half-time. Then substitutes Nicky
Maynard, Sam Baldock and John Carew, all sent on during the second half,
also fluffed their lines before James Tomkins rescued Hammers with an
equaliser. Manager Sam Allardyce is keeping count and isn't happy with the
statistics. He said: "It is not good when you have 20 attempts on goal and
none of your front men score. Our hardest chance was taken by Kevin Nolan –
it was a Premier League quality goal . "They have scored five of our 21
goals in our last 15 games and there's the problem. "Our hardest chance was
taken by Kevin Nolan – it was a Premier League quality goal. "I have been
pressing the owners to bring in a couple of players that do score goals. "We
knew it was a bit of a problem, but didn't think it would be as big as it is
Taxpayers face extra costs under new stadium plan
TOM PECK MONDAY 26 MARCH 2012
Taxpayers are facing another hefty bill if West Ham United win the bid to
move into the Olympic stadium, as officials hope.
The football club was one of four parties to register a formal bid for the
stadium by the deadline of lunchtime last Friday, making their presence
crucial to securing a viable future for the £500m stadium. Sixteen parties
initially registered an interest in using the stadium in January, but 12
stopped short of submitting a full bid.
The details of West Ham's bid remain confidential and commercially
sensitive, with negotiations between them and the Olympic Park Legacy
Company (OPLC) about to begin, but it is thought that the club's demands for
the transformation of the stadium will be more costly than those made in
their original winning bid, in which the club would have had to pay for the
upgrade work itself.
Then West Ham bid to buy the stadium outright, but the bid collapsed after
an architect involved in the very early stages of designing the stadium
complained to the EU that the £40m West Ham had been pledged by Newham
Council constituted illegal state aid. Under the new arrangements, the OPLC
would retain ownership of the stadium, with Newham Council again hoping to
secure a stake in the facility for a £40m investment.
The pitch will need to be ripped up and undersoil heating installed, in
accordance with Premier League rules, an eventuality that was not foreseen
when the stadium was first constructed.
The OPLC, whose job it is to transform the site and find long-term uses for
the various venues after the games, have a budget of £292m for the
renovation of what will become the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, including
the stadium. But the figure covers more than 12 separate building projects,
such as the installing of the South Plaza, a sprawling cultural and
recreational area designed by the same architects as the Manhattan's new
Among the three other bids for the stadium received on Friday was a
consortium led by the University of East London, whose plans are believed to
involve office space in the stadium's 700-plus rooms.
McDermott has no fear of West Ham after Blackpool win
By Jonny Fordham
March 25, 2012
Crowthorne & Sandhurst Times
Brian McDermott has no fears of playing West Ham United at Upton Park next
week in a possible promotion decider after brushing aside Blackpool 3-1 to
get back to winning ways. More than 20,000 fans watched Royals hit three
past Ian Holloway's promotion-chasing side to bridge the gap between
second-placed Royals and the Hammers to four points. Arsenal loanee Benik
Afobe made his debut in place of the injured Jason Roberts and goals from
Ian Harte, Alex Pearce and Mikele Leigertwood were crucial. Lomana Lua Lua
netted a stunning goal to pull proceedings back to 2-1, but his strike
proved little more than a consolation. And when asked about the task of
going to face Sam Allardyce's stuttering Hammers, McDermott declared that he
was relishing it. He said: "I'm genuinely looking forward to it, a full
house and it's what football is all about. "They have a fantastic manager,
Wally Downes is there too and we're looking forward to going there and
trying to put on a performance. "It's two teams up at the top end of the
League, and to be where we are, 10 or 11 games ago we would have snapped
your hand off. We're really enjoying it. "They're games to relish, Leeds,
Forest, Palace at home and Brighton, Southampton, West Ham and Birmingham
away - fantastic games. It's something every one of us will relish. "I don't
come off the pitch asking about other results, I just go and sit and have a
drink. We can't affect the other scores, we just look after ourselves."
Reading bounced back in style from last Tuesday night's 3-1 defeat at
Peterborough United and they will be hoping the Posh have saved enough in
the tank for the visit of West Ham this Tuesday. "It's a really good
reaction," continued McDermott. "We had a good meeting on Thursday to get
everyone together because we know the direction we want to go in. Everyone
stepped up to the mark, it was a fantastic performance. "I felt after
Tuesday that the lads couldn't wait to get out there. Sometimes you lose
games, but you just have to react right and the players did that, the
atmosphere in the crowd was really good as well. "We got a lot of things
right, Blackpool are a good side who pass the ball well. We defended well,
passed it well and attacked with tempo. "They scored a really good goal, a
fantastic strike, you have to hold your hands up to that when in flew in,
but we got a third goal and we're very happy, it's a very good win against a