Thursday, March 27

Daily WHUFC News - 27th March 2014

Big Sam hails vital Hull victory
West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce was content with a scrappy but
important 2-1 home win over Hull City

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce hailed a vital 2-1 home Barclays
Premier League victory over Hull City. The Hammers won a strange match to
climb above the Tigers in the table, taking advantage of a first-half
penalty from Mark Noble which also saw Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor
sent-off, as well as James Chester's own-goal eight minutes after the break.
Moments before Chester's unfortunate strike, the ten men of Hull had
levelled in equally bizarre fashion when Tom Huddlestone's free-kick flew in
off the shoulder of Nikica Jelavic. "I think that we have had a very unusual
night. For the first time this season, we have had to play against ten men.
Where normally we've had to play with ten men this year and won, tonight the
opposition have gone down to ten men and not won, and I think everyone
should really remember that. "Remember how well we did here against Swansea
and away at Cardiff with ten men. Well, this time Hull have gone down to ten
men and they haven't won and that's the most important thing. "The three
defeats on the trot made us a bit tentative out there, but we got what we
needed and that's a big three points against one of our rivals in the table.
We've gone above them now and they're behind us and that was the critical
point of what this game was all about. "It wasn't about anything else other
than winning the game and if we could have won with a lot more flair and
ability, that would have been fine, but sometimes you have to win ugly. When
we all get up tomorrow, we'll know we are that much closer to surviving in
this great league for another year and trying to build on what we've done
over the last two years. "We've got a bit to go still and we've got to focus
and concentrate, but that was a massive three points for us."

The opening goal arrived on 26 minutes - a full five minutes after Mike Dean
had awarded a penalty for McGregor's foul on Mohamed Diame. The spot-kick
came after Noble's pass had hit two Hull defenders and bounced off Diame's
hand into his path, but Big Sam was not complaining! "McGregor has
definitely just rugby-tackled him and there is no question over whether it
was a penalty or not. I suppose the best thing Maynor Figueroa could have
done [instead of clearing off the line] was to let the ball go into the back
of the net, because if he had Mike Dean might have allowed the goal to stand
and Hull would have still kept eleven men on the field. As it was, it was a
definite penalty and sending-off. "Then we had the deflected goal for them
and it made life a little difficult, but I was pleased we came back right
away. While [the own-goal] was a little bit fortunate, it was the quality of
the ball that put the defender under that much pressure that he put it in
his own net."

After going ahead for a second time, West Ham spent much of the remaining 35
minutes keeping Hull at arm's length. The ten men passed the ball well, but
rarely tested Adrian in the Hammers goal. In front of him, James Tomkins and
Roger Johnson - on as an early replacement for the injured James Collins -
did a solid job. "Roger did well. Jelavic and Long are why Hull have made
good progress since January and are two big strikers they bought in the
window. They could have made the difference for Hull, but in the end our
defenders mastered them."

Next Monday evening West Ham travel to Sunderland, who lost 2-1 at Liverpool
on Wednesday evening. The gap between the eleventh-placed Hammers and
18th-placed Sunderland is now nine points, so anything other than a defeat
at the Stadium of Light would be most welcome. "The big one is that we have
played 31 games and got 34 points and the distance between games played and
points is critical. If we stay three points ahead between now and the end of
the season, we know we're going to be safe. "We obviously want to do better
than that if we can. We don't want to do anything other than get results
wherever we go, starting with Sunderland on Monday night, then back here
after that. "This is certainly a big relief after we lost three games on the
trot for the first time in the Premier League. There was more pressure on us
than we wanted and we haven't succumbed to that pressure in the end and
we've got a very important three points."

Hammers see off ten-man Hull
Mark Noble's penalty and a James Chester own goal fire the Hammers to a
first win in four

West Ham United 2-1 Hull City
Barclays Premier League

West Ham United returned to winning ways in the Barclays Premier League on
Wednesday evening, as Mark Noble's first-half spot-kick and a James Chester
own goal secured a 2-1 win over ten-man Hull City at the Boleyn Ground.

The game's pivotal moment arrived just 20 minutes into proceedings, as
visiting 'keeper Allan McGregor saw red for denying Mohamed Diame an almost
certain goal.

Spot-kick specialist Mark Noble did the rest and though Tom Huddlestone's
deflected 48th minute free-kick briefly restored parity, Chester's
misdirected hack sealed the Hammers' first win in four. Victory sees West
Ham climb back up to eleventh ahead of Monday night's trip to the Stadium of

Sam Allardyce's side had started brightly enough, with no shortage of alarm
for McGregor in the visitors' goal. Stewart Downing chanced his arm early
on, cutting in off the right before seeing a near-post drive tipped around
the post.

Guy Demel made inroads down the right too, with his cross sitting up
invitingly for Andy Carroll, whose header was cleared off the line. The
rebound fell kindly for Matt Taylor, but his strike was deflected over the
bar. The hosts' charge was briefly halted by an enforced switch, as the
injured James Collins was replaced by Roger Johnson.

And so to the Hammers' opener after 25 minutes, one that began and ended at
the feet of Noble. The Hammers' No16 burst through the middle and looked to
feed Diame. His through ball, though initially cut out, then ricocheted into
the path of the Senegalese midfielder, who promptly clipped it over McGregor
before being upended by the Scottish 'keeper.

With Diame favourite to tap into the now vacant net, the Tigers' custodian,
once back to his feet following lengthy treatment, received his marching
orders. The ever-reliable Noble made no mistake from the spot, sending
substitute stopper Steve Harper the wrong way to slot his third of the

After James Tomkins had headed a Downing corner over the top, Hull produced
arguably their best moment of the half. Ahmed Elmohamady stormed down the
right and picked out Huddlestone, whose half-volley narrowly cleared the

At the other end, George McCartney delivered from the left, with Carroll's
downward header crashing into the turf and then bouncing over the bar.
Meanwhile, it would take until the fourth minute of stoppage time for Adrian
to make his first stop of note, as he dove to his right to claw away Maynor
Figueroa's long-range hit.

But the Hammers were stunned within just three second-half minutes, as
Huddlestone's free-kick careered into the back of Nikica Jelavic and beyond
a wrong-footed Adrian.

Fortunately, West Ham were back in front little more than five minutes
later, when Demel's left-footed centre was inadvertently, if needlessly
diverted past Harper via the boot of Chester.

The hosts might have made it three on the hour, but Downing, having been
teed up by skipper Kevin Nolan, saw his strike balloon into the Bobby Moore
Stand. Nolan himself then went close late on, as his firmly-struck drive
forced Harper into a smart stop.

But ten-man Hull were not yet finished, with Adrian reacting smartly to tip
Huddlestone's fizzing effort over the bar. And though the visitors continued
to press as the clock ticked down, West Ham held on for three pivotal and
hard-earned points.

West Ham United: Adrian; Demel, Collins (Johnson 9), Tomkins, McCartney;
Nolan, Noble, Taylor, Diame (J Cole 69), Carroll, Downing
Subs not used: Jaaskelainen, Armero, Vaz Te, C Cole, Nocerino

Goals: Noble 26, Chester 54 (og)
Hull City: McGregor, Figueroa (Rosenior 59), Bruce (Harper 25), Chester,
Davies, Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore, Jelavic (Sagbo 82), Long, Elmohamady
Subs not used: Koren, Fryatt, Aluko, Quinn
Booked: Livermore
Sent off: McGregor

Goal: Huddlestone 48
Referee: Mike Dean
Attendance: 31, 033

Sam Allardyce confused as West Ham are booed off after beating Hull City
Last Updated: 27/03/14 12:16am

Sam Allardyce cupped his ear in disbelief as West Ham were booed off the
pitch at Upton Park, despite ending a three-match losing streak at home to
The home fans were audibly frustrated by the Hammers' ineffective display in
east London, where the controversial sending off of Allan McGregor arguably
proved the difference. The officials missed Mohamed Diame's handball before
being taken down by the Hull goalkeeper, allowing Mark Noble to send home
the resulting penalty. The visitors managed to pull level early in the
second half when Nikica Jelavic deflected home a Tom Huddlestone free-kick,
only for a James Chester own goal to put West Ham back in front soon after.
Hull continued to press but were unable to stop West Ham running out
unconvincing 2-1 victors - a performance that led to boos at the final
whistle and Allardyce to react by cupping his ear. "I've not experienced
that before in the time I've been in the game," Allardyce told reporters.
"Obviously, for us, today was all about coming off with three points,
whether we played brilliantly, indifferently or not so good. It was about
getting the three points. "I was hearing booing, I couldn't quite believe
it. I'd seen something I've never seen before. Nothing surprises me, I
"The lads have gone about it and, when they've come off the field, they've
got the three points and that is what matters."


Despite having the personnel advantage following McGregor's red card,
Allardyce offered a reminder of their successes with 10 men. "I have to
remind everybody about the situation of playing against 10 men and the two
examples of how difficult it is to beat 10 men," he added. "We were
brilliant playing with 10 men when we beat Cardiff 2-0 and we played here
against Swansea City for 65 minutes with 10 men and they didn't score and we
won the game.
"Hull City played with 10 men, kept the ball well and we beat them. That's
what you've got to do. The examples prove just how good we are. We beat
them, that's the most important thing." Asked about cupping his ear after
the final whistle, Allardyce said: "I did it because I was hearing booing, I
couldn't quite believe it. "I'd seen something I've never seen before.
Nothing surprises me, I suppose. "I can't understand it, to be honest. We've
got a difficult situation and it must be frustration."

West Ham United edge past Hull City with 2-1 win at Upton Park
Last Updated: 26/03/14 11:38pm

An own goal from James Chester proved to be the difference as West Ham
United secured a 2-1 win over 10-man Hull City at Upton Park. The Hammers
had the better chances of the early stages, but they took the lead in
contentious circumstances as Mark Noble calmly converted from the penalty
spot past Steve Harper after 26 minutes. Hull's second-choice goalkeeper had
replaced Alex Bruce after Allan McGregor saw red for bringing down Mohamed
Diame inside the area, although replays suggested that the midfielder had
handled the ball in the build-up.

Best of the Match:

Man of the Match: West Ham offered little going forward, despite their
one-man advantage, but James Tomkins was at his best at the heart of defence
for the home side and deserves plenty of the plaudits.
Goal of the Match: One own goal, one huge deflection, and a penalty. But it
was a very coolly-taken spot-kick from Mark Noble, especially after such a
long delay due to McGregor's injury.
Save of the Match: Adrian didn't have a great deal to concern him in the
first period but he reacted smartly to Maynor Figueroa's long-range strike
just before the break, confidently parrying the fierce shot behind.
Talking point: The issue of deliberate, or not, handball continues to crop
up and although it was clearly accidental, Mohamed Diame looked to handle it
prior to being brought down for the penalty.

Despite their numerical deficit, the visitors were level almost immediately
after the break as Tom Huddlestone drove a free-kick off the unassuming
Nikica Jelavic and Adrian was left helpless as the ball rolled past him.
However, Sam Allardyce's side found themselves back in front just six
minutes later, with Chester making a hash of his attempted clearance,
slicing Guy Demel's inswinging cross over the head of Harper. The majority
of home fans inside of Upton Park were restless throughout the night as
their side toiled against a side reduced in numbers for over an hour, with a
small number jeering the players as they left the pitch at both half time
and at the end of the game. After an uneventful opening spell, with only a
low shot from Hammers' winger Stewart Downing testing either goalkeeper, the
game burst into life on 20 minutes. West Ham, who had seen James Collins
forced off with injury early on, were awarded a penalty as McGregor bundled
into Diame after good work from Noble had freed his midfield partner in the

Hull boss Steve Bruce is disappointed with the Allan McGregor's red for
bringing down Mohamed Diame. The ball hit Diame on the arm before McGregor
made contact but referee Mike Dean pointed to the spot after the Senegal
international 's goal-bound effort was hacked off the line by Maynor
Figueroa. McGregor required treatment following the collision but was shown
a red card once he had recovered, becoming the first goalkeeper in almost a
decade to be sent off twice in a Premier League season. Bruce replaced son
Alex with substitute goalkeeper Harper, who could do nothing to prevent
Noble putting the home side ahead from 12 yards. Hull had a good chance to
draw level on a rare foray forward as Ahmed Elmohamady broke down the right
flank before crossing to Huddlestone, who could not keep his volleyed effort
down. Andy Carroll saw a header bounce up and over the bar as West Ham
continued to struggle to make their numerical advantage tell. West Ham
captain Mark Noble is delighted with a win against Hull but not in the
performance of the team. The Tigers were enjoying some success with Chester
heading a Huddlestone free-kick well over the bar in stoppage time before
Figueroa finally drew a save out of West Ham goalkeeper Adrian with a fierce
long-range effort. The depleted visitors started well after the interval and
drew level in fortuitous circumstances as Huddlestone's driven free-kick
deflected off Jelavic and flew past the wrong-footed Adrian.

If Hull's goal had a hint of luck, they had used their quota for the evening
as Demel's cross hit Chester's knee and looped over his own goalkeeper to
put West Ham back in front just six minutes after Jelavic's leveller. The
own goal did not give Allardyce's side the impetus to go on and put the game
to bed, though, with Downing firing high and wide when well-placed. Kevin
Nolan forced Harper into a sprawling stop with a little under 10 minutes
remaining as the resistance offered by the 10 men of Hull started to wane.
Huddlestone was once again afforded enough space to arrow a shot towards
goal, with Adrian opting for the safety-first approach of pushing the ball
away. The search for a deserved equaliser ultimately proved fruitless for
the Tigers, who slipped to their first away league defeat in almost two
months. The win takes West Ham above Hull and up to 11th in the table with
nine points now separating them from 18th-placed Sunderland, who they face
at the Stadium of Light on Monday.

Sam Allardyce refuses to blame Adrian for Wayne Rooney goal
Last Updated: 26/03/14 10:00am

Sam Allardyce has assured West Ham United goalkeeper Adrian that he was not
at fault for Wayne Rooney's wonder goal. The Hammers' Spanish shot-stopper
could only watch on in horror at Upton Park on Saturday as he was beaten by
a looping volley from close to halfway. With Manchester United striker
Rooney having spotted him off his line, Adrian lost his bearings while
back-peddling and tumbled to the turf as the ball hit the back of the net.
That effort set the visiting Red Devils on their way to a 2-0 success and
left West Ham just six points above the relegation zone. Allardyce, though,
will not be pointing the finger of blame at his shot-stopper, with Adrian
having impressed on the whole during his debut season in England. He said in
the Daily Mirror: "I don't think he was at fault for the goal at all - it's
a one in a million, a perfect strike. "I said, 'Don't blame yourself for it,
son. Get on with it. Don't let that affect you'. "When you let one go right
through your hands from eight or nine yards out and it's more like a
back-pass than a shot, that would be more of a concern than a wonderful
strike from Wayne Rooney. "He's been outstanding for us. Over a season, good
keepers earn you anything between nine and 12 points. He has been
consistently good." Defeat in their last outing has West Ham stuck on 31
points, and Allardyce admits they have work to do in order to preserve their
Premier League status - starting against Hull City on Wednesday. He added:
"This is such a big game. It is a big six-pointer followed by another big
game at Sunderland. "We are either going to be very, very nervous by next
Tuesday or we will feel a little bit safer."

West Ham boss shocked by boos after Hull win

Manager Sam Allardyce has criticised West Ham supporters for booing his side
after their 2-1 Premier League win over Hull City on Wednesday. The Hammers
played against 10 men for more than an hour - but failed to dominate,
frustrating some home fans. "I've never been in a place where I've won and
got booed," said Allardyce, 59. "Fans affect players. "We don't need them on
players' backs when we are coming off three defeats. They have to stay and
help them win."
He added: "At half-time, the players were talking more about fans booing
them than the game. I had to make sure they kept focused on the field. "I
started playing at 16, got in a first team at 18 and am 59 now, but I've
never been in place where I won and got booed."

"There are a lot of arguments about the way Sam Allardyce plays his
football. West Ham need to realise where they are and what they are. "I
think West Ham have become one-dimensional because of the nervousness that
is spilling on to the pitch." West Ham, who won the game through James
Chester's own goal in the second half, had a man advantage after Hull
goalkeeper Allan McGregor brought down Mohamed Diame in the box. Referee
Mike Dean appeared to allow play to continue, but after taking instruction
from his assistant Scott Ledger, he awarded a penalty and sent off the
keeper, before Mark Noble scored from the spot. I want the players to play
better and take advantage more - but you don't at this level," added
Allardyce, whose side are nine points clear of the relegation zone. "People
are organised, wait for an opportunity to suck you in and expose you, even
with 10 men. It's a huge, huge three points for us."

Prior to their win over Hull, West Ham had lost three successive top-flight
games for the first time under Sam Allardyce. Allardyce joined West Ham in
June 2011 and guided them to promotion from the Championship before securing
a 10th-place finish in the Premier League in the 2012-13 season. His side
have won four of their last five home matches but are four points short of
the 38 he believes will secure Premier League survival this season. West Ham
captain Kevin Nolan said: "Sam has taken a lot of flak here. It is very
surprising - but people have their opinions and you have to take it on the
chin. "He keeps teams up. When you give him the chance, he builds a strong
team. He doesn't get the credit he deserves. He doesn't just keep teams up -
he builds good squads."

Sam Allardyce slams West Ham fans who booed him off following WIN over Hull
Mar 26, 2014 23:24 By Darren Lewis
The Mirror

Angry Sam Allardyce slammed West Ham's fans for booing the team off - even
after they had won. A Mark Noble penalty and an own-goal from James Chester
lifted the Hammers to within touching distance of Premier League safety. But
unimpressed fans vented their feelings at half-time and full-time. After
defiantly cupping his ear on the touchline, Big Sam fumed: "At half-time
players were talking more about fans booing them than the game. "Fans affect
players. We don't need them on the players' backs when we are coming off
three defeats. They have to stay and help them win. "I started at 16, got
into the first team at 18 and I'm 59 now and I have never been in place
where we have won and got booed. "We got a little nervous because our fans
decided they weren't going to get behind us which really surprised me. We
were winning at half-time and one or two weren't happy. "The players are
frustrated. I get frustrated. I want the players to play better and take
advantage more of the 10 men, but you don't at this level. "When we look at
the table tomorrow when we get up, tonight's performance hardly really
matters. It's just about the three points and the victory." Hull boss Steve
Bruce slammed referee Mike Dean for awarding the spot-kick from which Noble
opened the scoring. Dean then sent off keeper Allan McGregor for bringing
down Mo Diame for the penalty, even though the midfielder appeared to handle
beforehand. Bruce, whose side drop a place to 13th, said: "If the referee
had given the penalty straight away, I could understand. He didn't. We have
video evidence of that. "I asked him if he gave the penalty, and he said he
did. But it must have been two or three minutes before he did. "We had
someone on the line to clear the ball, so someone was in line, so it's not
really denying a goalscoring opportunity." McGregor was quickly on his way
to hospital after his collision with Diame. Bruce added: "McGregor is in a
bad way - kidney damage. A specialist is on his way to see him, a contusion
on his kidney. We're hoping it's not ruptured. He's gone to hospital and
he'll be staying overnight."


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