Sunday, March 2

Daily WHUFC News - 2nd March 2014

Lukaku strikes late to end Hammers run
Romelu Lukaku's 81st minute goal was enough to defeat West Ham United on

Everton 1-0 West Ham United
Barclays Premier League

Romelu Lukaku came off the bench at Goodison Park on Saturday to turn a game
against West Ham United for the second time this season. The Everton
striker, on loan from Chelsea, notched twice at the Boleyn Ground in
September to overturn a 2-1 deficit in his team's favour, and this time he
stopped the contest from drifting to a 0-0 draw with his 81st minute goal.
West Ham defended solidly to restrict Everton's chances as much as they
could, given that the Toffees dominated possession, but they were eventually
undone inside the final ten minutes as their four-game winning streak came
to an end. The Hammers named an unchanged side for the fourth game in a row,
meaning Andy Carroll had to settle for a place on the bench following his
return from a three-match ban. The game started quietly in the Merseyside
sunshine as the Hammers set their stall out to be typically hard to break
down. The home side saw much of the ball as a result, but without the
presence of a regular striker until the hour, they could not make the most
of it at that stage. Adrian only had one save to make in the opening period,
and that was a comfortable one as he blocked off the near post to prevent
Steven Naismith's 22nd minute shot from finding a route to goal. Gerard
Deulofeu looked to be the home player most likely to possess the key to
unlock the Hammers' defence, and he weaved his way into the box on 39
minutes before placing a left-footed shot just wide of the mark. At the
other end the Hammers' chances were limited before the break and Carroll did
not have to wait long for his introduction, replacing Carlton Cole with 28
minutes played.

Everton began the second period at a quicker tempo and were desperately
close to opening the scoring in the first minute after the restart. Steven
Pienaar exchanged passes with Leighton Baines in the left hand channel and
shot for goal first time. The South African's effort looked goalbound, but
Adrian stretched out a hand to flick the ball onto the upright, before
getting up to stop Deulofeu's rebound. The same player went close five
minutes later when Baines got in down the left and crossed low, but Pienaar
lifted his shot over the top. Toffees keeper TIm Howard was called into
action on 55 minutes when Andy Carroll's venomous 30-yard shap shot needed a
tip over. 60 seconds later Kevin Nolan's curler was deflected behind as the
Hammers build some pressure for the first time, but Everton withstood it and
then signalled their intentions to press for the three points by bringing
Lukaku off the bench. When the breakthrough did arrive nine minutes from
time, it came as little surprise that the Chelsea loan player provided it.
Baines was the goal-maker, seizing his opportunity to burst clear inside the
box and cut back for Lukaku to apply the finish from ten yards. It was a
late blow that the Hammers could not recover from as their five-match
unbeaten run ground to a halt.

Everton: Howard; Coleman, Stones, Distin, Baines; McCarthy, Barry; Deulofeu
(McGeady 73), Osman (Lukaku 59) Pienaar; Naismith (Barkley 85)
Subs: Robles, Hibbert, Mirallas, Browning
Goal: Lukaku 81
Booked: Baines

West Ham United: Adrian; Demel (Reid 80), Collins, Tomkins, McCartney;
Nolan, Noble, Taylor; Jarvis (Diame 66), C.Cole (Carroll 28), Downing
Subs: Jaaskelainen, Armero, J.Cole, Nocerino
Booked: Tomkins

Referee: Jonathan Moss

Adrian takes Player of the Month
Hammers No13 takes fan vote for the second month in a row

Adrian has won the fan vote to be named as West Ham United Player
of the Month for the second month in succession. Having topped the January
poll by a landslide margin, the 27-year-old goalkeeper faced much sterner
opposition this month after the Hammers' enjoyed a stunning February. Four
wins in four meant there were plenty of candidates for the top honour, but
Adrian's three clean sheets gave him the nod, just ahead of skipper Kevin
Nolan. The Spaniard polled 38.8% of the vote, a slim 0.6% ahead of Nolan,
who scored five goals in February. Adrian conceded just once in 360 minutes
of play as the Hammers climbed out of the bottom three and up to tenth in
the Barclays Premier League table. Mark Noble was third after scooping 14%
of the vote. Players of the Month winners 2013/14

August James Collins
September Ravel Morrison
October Ravel Morrison
November Stewart Downing
December Carlton Cole
January Adrian
February Adrian

Taylor frustrated by late blow
Matt Taylor felt the Hammers deserved to keep a clean sheet at Everton on

West Ham United suffered a frustrating end to their four-match winning
streak when Romelu Lukaku struck late to send them to defeat at Everton on
The Hammers spent much of the contest focused on keeping the Toffees out,
and their defensive work looked set to be rewarded with a point and another
clean sheet. But home danger man Lukaku came off the bench to settle the
contest and leave Matt Taylor disappointed that his side had not gone home
with something to show for their efforts. He said: "It was very
disappointing to come away with nothing. We know they are a top team and
they were going to have a lot of possession, but we defended relatively well
so it was disappointing to lose the game. "I thought we could maybe have
done better when we had our chances, and it was just unfortunate to lose
that goal late in the game. "Lukaku scored the goal so he made the
difference. He's a big player for them and it's disappointing we didn't get
a result, but we're still in a positive frame of mind. "We've got a weekend
off next week and we've now got to make sure that we're right to go to
Stoke, because they got a great result against Arsenal on Saturday."

Taylor is sure the Hammers possess the mental strength to bounce back and
perform at their best when they make that trip to the Britannia Stadium in
two weeks time. He continued: "It is a little frustrating that we haven't
got a game to bounce back in next week, but that's the FA Cup, you can't do
anything about it. "But what it does do is give the players who go away on
international duty extra time to come back and get themselves ready for
what's going to be a difficult game away at Stoke. "In possession we weren't
as good as we have been, but out of possession I thought we were. We didn't
look like conceding and then they've nicked a goal at the end. "We'll pick
ourselves up and move on. There are ten games left in the season and we have
to get as many good results as we can to try and stay in the top half."

Taylor made his ninth straight Barclays Premier League start on Saturday and
he is relishing the chance to show what he can do. He added: "I'm enjoying
my football, enjoying the opportunity to play because the older you get the
more you appreciate playing football. "If I can continue to contribute to
the team I'll be happy with that."

Ladies head for Colchester Town
West Ham United Ladies take on Colchester Town in the Essex FA County Cup on

West Ham United Ladies take on Colchester Town in the Essex FA County Cup
quarter-finals on Sunday. The Hammers travel to the Boxted Sports Ground
eager to return to winning ways in the knockout competitions, having
suffered a 5-1 home defeat by Super League 2 club Watford in the FA Women's
Cup third round last weekend. Having recorded just four victories in 17
matches in all competitions in 2013/14, the County Cup represents West Ham's
final chance of winning silverware this term. Colchester Town have had a
similarly disappointing season, winning just two of their 15 Eastern Region
Women's Football League fixtures and going out of the FA Women's Cup at the
second qualifying round stage. Kick-off at the Boxted Sports Ground on
Sunday will be at 1.30pm.

Howes features in England draw
West Ham United goalkeeper Sam Howes started for England U17s in their 2-2
draw with Portugal on Friday

West Ham United goalkeeper Sam Howes started for England U17s in their 2-2
draw with Portugal at the Algarve Tournament on Friday. The schoolboy
stopper, who has already played Development Squad football for the Hammers
this term, completed the full game at the Estadio Algarve - a stadium built
specially for the 2004 UEFA European Football Championship finals. Two goals
from Middlesbrough's Callum Cooke earned England a 2-2 draw but, having
twice led, the Young Lions were left frustrated by having to settle for a
share of the spoils as Portugal equalised with just two minutes remaining.
Cooke put England in front from the penalty spot on 33 minutes before the
host nation equalised three minutes after half-time through Diogo Goncalves.
Howes, 16, was then called into action again on 63 minutes, when he produced
a fine save to stop Renato Sanches putting Portugal in front. Cooke put
England back in front on 77 minutes, only for Goncalves to set up Anthony
Oliveira for a late leveller. England, who opened the tournament with a 2-0
win over Netherlands on Wednesday, will complete their Algarve Tournament
with a winner-takes-all clash with Germany on Sunday in Lagos - the same
stadium where West Ham's first-team squad trained during their pre-season
trip to Portugal in August. Howes will hope to keep his place ahead of
Newcastle United goalkeeper Freddie Woodman.

Big Sam laments final-third failures
Sam Allardyce admitted West Ham United did not create enough clear-cut
chances in their 1-0 defeat at Everton

Sam Allardyce admitted West Ham United's failure to create clear-cut chances
in the final third had cost them dear in Saturday's 1-0 Barclays Premier
League defeat at Everton. The Hammers maintained their run of resilient,
organised and disciplined defensive displays at Goodison Park, only to be
undone by substitute Romelu Lukaku's crisp 81st-minute finish from Leighton
Baines' low cross. However, it was West Ham's inability to open Everton up
in the hosts' own penalty area - added to referee Jon Moss' decision not to
punish Gareth Barry for an alleged professional foul on Kevin Nolan - that
left Big Sam feeling frustrated. "That was the difference - the gilt-edged
chance that fell to Lukaku, he put away," said the manager. "When we were in
that position, on the counter-attack, we didn't find the type of ball that
Baines found to get a get a clear shot at goal and put it in the back of the
net. "We had several opportunities, particularly the second half, but we
couldn't produce a lot more effective deliveries to score a goal. "Whereas
our technique in the last four games has been absolutely spot-on, and we've
scored lots of goals, this time it wasn't as good as it has been. Because of
that, we lost the game. "Even right at the death, we had the last free-kick
of the game but the quality on the delivery wasn't there. Last game, we saw
Everton very unluckily lose at Chelsea on the last free-kick of the game.
"Our quality was missing when Frank Lampard's quality wasn't, which is why
they lost that game 1-0, even if it was unluckily so on the way they played.
"What we needed to do was produce that quality and we'd have got a 1-1. It
wasn't there when it had been over the previous four games. It's my
responsibility to get the lads producing that quality in the final-third,
like they had been in those games, when we got four very big wins."

While Everton's winner was not disputed, Big Sam was left apoplectic by the
referee's decision not to penalise Barry for appearing to tug back Nolan as
he went through on goal midway through the first half. "I was up and down
like a lunatic because I saw it, but unfortunately the referee said he
didn't, which is beyond me because I was in the same position [angle-wise]
as the referee, but 50 yards behind him. "I could see Gareth Barry putting
his arms around Kevin Nolan and pulling him down. I have no doubt he was
going to score, because he's scored five goals in four games and is through
one-on-one with the 'keeper."

After an opening half-hour dominated by the home side, aside from the Nolan
incident, Big Sam did make a big decision to replace Carlton Cole with Andy
Carroll after half-an-hour. The No9 worked hard on his return after a
three-match suspension, troubling the Everton back four and flashing two
well-struck 25-yard shots over Tim Howard's crossbar in the second half.
"Our hold-up play needed to be better because we did not counter-attack
enough, bar the odd occasion, which was a very good breakout from a header
from James Collins. Stewart Downing collected and, like I said, in the
previous four games he'd have produced a ball and if had then, Matt Taylor
was one-on-one with the goalie. "Other than that, we were stuck in our own
half, so I needed to get better hold-up play. I didn't think it was quite
happening for Carlton, so Andy came on and we got more into the game."

The manager now has two weeks to prepare for the trip to Stoke City on 15
March, where he hopes his side will embark on another unbeaten run.
"We can do that, but we've got to wait a couple of weeks before we play the
next game, which is a shame. "We'd have all liked to have had a game next
weekend and gone again, but Hull City being in the last 16 of the FA Cup
means that game is called-off now."

Everton 1 West Ham 0
1 March 2014
Last updated at 20:23
By Aimee Lewis
BBC Sport

Romelu Lukaku came off the bench to score a late winner for Everton against
a West Ham side that frustrated the hosts for the majority of the match.
Lukaku, making his first appearance following a month-long absence with an
ankle injury, side-footed home Leighton Baines's cross in the last 10
minutes. The hosts had monopolised possession, with Steven Naismith going
close and Steven Pienaar hitting the woodwork. But stubborn West Ham
defending kept the hosts at bay until Lukaku struck. In a tale of two
returning strikers it was Lukaku, rather than West Ham's Andy Carroll, who
stole the show and kept alive his side's hopes of qualifying for Europe next
season. Carroll, available again after serving a three-game suspension, was
on the pitch for longer, replacing Carlton Cole in the 28th minute, but it
was the 20-year-old Belgian who made his presence felt after coming on in
the 59th minute. His strike, only his second league goal in 11 games, not
only reduced the gap between Everton and fifth-placed Tottenham to two
points but also ended West Ham's five-match unbeaten run in the league. For
possession and territory there was only one team in the match, but for all
their dominance and neat passing the hosts were unable to break a West Ham
defence that has kept 13 clean sheets this season, the most in the Premier
League. Everton's best chances in the first half fell to Naismith. Seven of
Romelu Lukaku's 10 Premier League goals for Everton have come in the closing
quarter of the game. Leighton Baines has assisted his first Premier League
goal of the season. The striker was unable to keep two headers on target
early on but, midway through the half, forced West Ham goalkeeper Adrian
into a reflex save at the near post. That, however, proved to be the home
team's only shot on target in the opening 45 minutes. Gerard Deulofeu also
went close, weaving between a number of West Ham defenders before going
inches wide with a low shot from the edge of the box. West Ham occasionally
threatened on the counter-attack, and Deulofeu was called into action at the
other end of the field to prevent Matt Taylor running through on goal. But
even after the introduction of Carroll, the visitors were unable to muster a
shot on target. If the first half was a damp squib then at least Pienaar
ensured the second half started with a bang, hitting the woodwork with a low
shot across goal. The follow-up fell kindly for Deulofeu, but Adrian easily
gathered the Spaniard's mis-hit half-volley. Although this match would
suggest otherwise, scoring has not been a problem for West Ham of late, with
the Hammers hitting the net at least twice in each of their past four league
matches. A palm-stinging save from Tim Howard kept out Carroll's ferocious
first-time strike and, moments later, Kevin Nolan was inches wide with a
cleverly-worked curling effort - but that was as good as it got for Sam
Allardyce's side. It was no surprise that Roberto Martinez turned to Lukaku
for inspiration, and the club's top scorer made the most of his opportunity.
The Belgian, on loan from Chelsea, could have added a second, but shot high
with a first-time strike on the turn.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez: "Romelu is someone we have missed for a
long time and it was a clinical touch. "He had a bit of a chest infection
and I knew he would be more effective finishing the game rather than
starting. "West Ham had an accumulation of bodies behind the ball, but the
last few minutes become harder to defend with Rom with his freshness and
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce: "Unfortunately, it wasn't quite good enough in
the end. "Our chances in the final third we should have done a lot better
with and those wasted moments could have been the turning point for us. "We
never caused Everton too many problems because of our final ball and our
final pass - they didn't put enough fear into their defenders."

Everton 1-0 West Ham United
Filed: Saturday, 1st March 2014
By: Staff Writer

West Ham's unbeaten run finally came to an end at Goodison Park this

Romelu Lukaku's 81st-minute striker was all that separated the two teams,
but enough to condemn Sam Allardyce's side to their first Premier League
defeat since the 3-1 home defeat against Newcastle on January 18.

The game was listing towards a 14th clean sheet of the season for West Ham
before the on-loan striker - making his return from a month-long spell on
the sidelines - sidefooted Leighton Baines' low cross home from close range,
much to the frustration of the Hammers who had once again defended as if
their lives depended upon it.

Once again Allardyce's charges looked set to frustrate their opponents with
little more than dogged determination - Everton enjoyed 69 per cent of
possession from which they created 22 shots to West Ham's six - but for only
the second time in his last six games, Spanish goalkeeper Adrian was beaten
(by a player whose decision to join Everton rather than West Ham on transfer
deadline day last September indirectly led to a calamitous opening half of
the campaign at the Boleyn Ground).

Having fallen behind so late on, West Ham had little to offer in reply as
the final few minutes ebbed away with Allardyce devoid of options having
utilised his full quota of substitutes moments before the goal was scored
(Winston Reid for Guy Demel).

That was partly due to the removal of Carlton Cole (for Andy Carroll) after
just 28 minutes - a situation that evoked memories of Alan Pardew replacing
(a furious) Marlon Harewood at Reading several years before - for what
appeared to be tactical reasons, with the striker showing no obvious sign of

Whatever the reason, Carroll fared little better than his bemused team mate
for the remaining 62 minutes (plus added time), with his only reward for a
frustrating day being a badly-broken finger - see Andy's Instagram feed for
the grisly close-up, should you be of a curious (and non-squeamish) nature.

That too could be said of Everton in the opening half, from which the hosts
fashioned just a single shot on target - the in-form Adrian producing a
smart save from Naismith at his near post. The Spaniard was alert again to
deny the home side a second time less than two minutes after the restart,
when he pushed Pienaar's goal-bound strike against the post before saving
the rebound from Deulofeu.

West Ham's best chances of the game arrived a few minutes later; Carroll's
goal-bound 25-yard drive was tipped over by Tim Howard before a deflected
Kevin Nolan effort fizzed inches wide of the target. However there was
little else to cheer for a vocal travelling contingent of fans who, it has
to be said, have been unusually spoilt on their travels of late.

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce bemused by refereeing decision
Last Updated: 01/03/14 7:22pm

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce was left bemused by referee Jonathan Moss'
decision not to send off Gareth Barry in the first half of his side's 1-0
defeat at Everton. Midway through the opening 45 minutes, Kevin Nolan went
down under the challenge of Barry, who was the last man just outside the
area, but Moss waved play on despite the Hammers' protestations. Moss kept
his cards pocketed and the hosts eventually went on to claim the three
points thanks to second-half substitute Romelu Lukaku's late strike.
Allardyce was mystified by the decision and says that he had the same view
as the referee at the time. "I saw it at the time and I saw it from behind
where John was positioned so I was in exactly the same position as John
Moss, 40 yards behind him so I could see it," he told Sky Sports.
"Apparently he said to Kevin (Nolan) that he couldn't, so it's beyond me to
say he can't see it when I can and he can't. "Gareth Barry knows he's got to
pull Kevin down because he's got behind him. He then knows that Leighton
Baines is not going to catch him up and that's why he pulls him down. But
not only was it not a free-kick, he didn't give anything." "It's clear that
Gareth Barry has got both arms around Kevin Nolan, that's why I was jumping
up and down like a lunatic at the time, moaning at the fourth official
saying 'why the hell has he not given us a free-kick?'. "Then having a look
at it, it's Kevin Nolan through on goal and Leighton Baines was well behind
Gareth Barry. "Gareth Barry knows he's got to pull Kevin down because he's
got behind him. He then knows that Leighton Baines is not going to catch him
up and that's why he pulls him down. But not only was it not a free-kick, he
didn't give anything. "I suppose he's going to say and hide behind the fact
that he's said he couldn't see it but it's a bit much when I can see it when
I'm in the same position as he is - no obstructed view, clear view of the
incident. "Like I said, I was directly behind him and I could see it from
the distance I was at and those are big turning points in game but they're
out of our hands. We can't affect what the referee does on the field, we can
only affect our own performance."

Despite the controversy, Allardyce was proud of the showing from his side
and admits that a draw would have suited him. "It looked like it was
probably going to pan out to a 0-0 draw which would've obviously been very
good for us, picking up another point and another clean sheet," he said.
"But unfortunately, in the end, that wasn't to be so we're disappointed but
we've got to bounce back from this. "We make life extremely difficult for
opposition players and then of course when we were in possession, I thought
we got a lot of good possession, particularly in the second half in the
final third. "Today we didn't do enough with it as we've shown in the last
five or six games. That's why we've scored goals and won by two-goal
margins. "Today we didn't find the final third play we've been finding and
hence we've ended up losing that 1-0."

Allardyce also cleared up his thinking behind swapping Carlton Cole for Andy
Carroll during the first half, stating tactical reasons for making the
change. He said: "I was going to bring him on at half-time but I just felt
that Carlton wasn't holding the ball up enough for us and that's why we
couldn't get out of our half in those first minutes of the first half. "I
needed better hold up play and I think that playing into Andy, he gave us
that and that's why we got going forward that little bit more."

West Ham's Matt Taylor takes positives from Everton setback
Last Updated: 01/03/14 9:20pm

Matt Taylor remains positive about West Ham's future despite them going down
to a late 1-0 defeat at European hopefuls Everton. Romelu Lukaku denied the
Hammers a point with a goal nine minutes from time at Goodison Park and
ended their fine run of winning form in the Premier League. But Taylor says
they have to continue looking up at the teams ahead of them in the table,
rather than down at the relegation places as it was just over a month ago.
He said: "We conceded a lot of pressure and space, in the main we defended
well. We just didn't do enough, particularly in front of goal. Everton are
hard to come to, and had we got a point we would have deserved it. "You have
to take the positives. We would have loved to get a win with the run we've
been on. "We are tough to break down but when we have possession we need to
use it more in final third. If chances keep coming for them they'll take one
- that's the Premier League, the most unforgiving in the world. "Losing
hurts, we haven't had that feeling for a few weeks. It's international week
and some of us will have a bit of time of so we have more time to prepare
for Stoke and we want to go on another run like the one we just had.
"Everything is a work in progress, there aren't many teams in the position
they want to be but we're looking better than we were a few weeks back.
There's the games to go, we're in the top half, we want to cement our
position there." Defender Guy Demel added: "Of course we are disappointed
after defending so well, a draw would have been fair. "Next week we have a
game at home and we have to stay happy and work hard. "Of course there is
still work to be done, every Premier League game is hard. No-one gives you
points for free, that's why everyone wants to be in the Premier League. "We
knew when our heads were down, we could get ourselves out of the situation -
we did that and we have to make sure we stay there."

Romelu Lukaku earns Everton 1-0 win over West Ham at Goodison Park
Last Updated: 01/03/14 6:36pm

A late strike from second-half substitute Romelu Lukaku earned Everton a 1-0
win over West Ham in a closely-fought encounter at Goodison Park. The hosts
enjoyed the better of play in the opening stages but first-half chances were
few-and-far between for both sides with West Ham happy to sit deep and look
to counter.

Best of the Match:

Man of the Match: Leighton Baines was a constant thorn in the West Ham side
with his attacks down the left and he expertly picked out Lukaku for the
Controversial moment: Kevin Nolan went down under the challenge of Gareth
Barry, who was the last man, just outside of the box but nothing was given.
A first-half sending-off for the hosts could have changed everything.
Change of the Match: Introducing Romelu Lukaku proved to be an inspired
substitution from Roberto Martinez as the striker marked his return by
slotting home the winner.
Effort of the Match: Early in the second half, the lively Gerard Deulofeu
was inches away from finding the net after skipping past a number of
defenders with ease.

Steven Naismith forced Adrian into a smart near-post stop, before Tim Howard
bravely smothered Kevin Nolan for the visitors who introduced Andy Carroll
in the first half. At the other end, the lively Gerard Deulofeu jinked past
three defenders before firing wide as it remained deadlocked at the break.
Everton almost found themselves ahead immediately after the restart as
Steven Pienaar clipped the post following Leighton Baines' cut-back and
Deulofeu was unable to capitalise on the rebound. The Toffees eventually
took the lead as Lukaku stepped off the bench to guide Baines' 81st-minute
cross past a helpless Adrian, much to the relief of the home crowd. It was
perhaps fitting a striker should decide what was, in the majority, a rather
turgid affair on the 34th anniversary of the death of Goodison's greatest
goalscorer Dixie Dean.
With his loan spell due to end in three months, and no prospect of a
permanent stay so far, Lukaku will never match Dean's record of 383 goals in
433 appearances, but this strike was an important one as the Toffees had
failed to score in three of their last four league matches and had won just
twice since the turn of the year. That run has seen them drop well off the
pace for Champions League contention but this result will give them a
much-needed lift. Up to the goal being scored, the major talking point was
referee Jon Moss' assessment that Gareth Barry had not fouled Nolan just as
the West Ham captain looked to be clean through on goal in the first half. A
red card at that point may have changed the outcome, especially with West
Ham having won their last four and with four clean sheets in their last five
games, and manager Sam Allardyce was visibly aggrieved at the decision.

Roberto Martinez is very happy to have a fit-again Romelu Lukaku at his
disposal after the Belgian scored the winner against West Ham.
Everton, who have lost once in 21 league games at home, struggled to trouble
Adrian, with only Naismith's angled strike and Deulofeu's weaving run
through the Hammers' massed ranks to shoot narrowly wide genuinely

With the hosts coming up against a barrier - both physical and mental - in
the final third, it seemed both sides were happier counter-attacking.

But when Carlton Cole flicked on a ball to Nolan, exploiting a space between
the centre-back pair of Sylvain Distin and John Stones, deputising for the
injured Phil Jagielka, Barry appeared to have both arms around the Hammers
captain's midriff before he went to ground on the edge of the area, although
Moss waved play on.

The introduction of Carroll, on for a frustrated Carlton Cole, saw West Ham
raise their game as they started to dominate the physical battle.

Sam Allardyce was left disappointed that a late Romelu Lukaku goal ended his
side's recent good run.
Pienaar came closest to scoring less than two minutes into the second half
when Baines teed him up for a low shot from the left of the penalty area,
but Adrian did enough to tip it on to the post and then recover to claim
Deulofeu's rebounded effort.

Pienaar did not do so well with Baines' next pass, looping a shot over the
crossbar, while Carroll forced Howard to tip over a rasping left-foot effort
from distance after Stones' poor touch and drilled over another powerful

Lukaku finally made his return on the hour and Aiden McGeady arrived 10
minutes later, but they struggled to add any life to Everton up front.

That was, however, until eight minutes from time, when Baines' cut-back
picked out Lukaku on the penalty spot and he rammed home left-footed through
a crowded box.

Energised, the Belgian was then narrowly over with a volley on the turn but
he had already done enough and his strike saw the Toffees overtake
Manchester United to move into sixth place.

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce reflects on the crazy world of the Premier
League manager
Mar 02, 2014 03:01 By Steve Bates
The Mirror

Taking a walk near his apartment in Canary Wharf in London's East End, Sam
Allardyce can't help but chuckle at the ­crazy world of a Premier League
manager, writes Steve Bates in the Sunday People. West Ham well-wishers want
pictures and ­autographs and can't wait to shake his hand. But a few weeks
ago the knives were out for Big Sam. Today's back-slappers were yesterday's
­dissenters and many would cheerfully have wrung his neck. They reckon the
only certainty in management is one day you'll get the sack but here's
another – after four straight wins Allardyce is surely odds-on to scoop the
Barclays manager of the month award for February. From zero to hero in a
month is an irony not lost on the Hammers boss. But Allardyce admits he
wouldn't have been ­surprised if West Ham's owners had hit the panic button
and sacked him after heavy cup defeats at Manchester City and Nottingham
Forest. And he praised the courage of David Sullivan and David Gold for
holding their nerve when others were screaming for his head. "I've not been
manager of the month since December 2006 when I was at Bolton," said Big
Sam. "In the middle of our crisis back in December and January, being a
­contender for something like that wasn't even on my radar. "Thankfully the
owners stuck by me – but I'd be lying if I said I didn't ­wonder how much
longer they could withstand the pressure. "I wouldn't have been surprised if
they'd sacked me but it would have been unlike them. "And I don't think I
would have ­deserved it given my experience in these situations and the
problems we were having. "When they were at Birmingham they were not owners
who would quickly sack managers.
"But with the move to the Olympic Stadium in the background, it means the
stakes are high. "The Premier League is worth about £70million a season.
When you go down to the Championship it's about £10m plus parachute money so
the gulf ­between the two divisions is like the Grand Canyon. "The
devastation caused by ­relegation is huge and affects a club for years, so I
don't mind admitting January was probably my most difficult time in Premier
League management. "It was the toughest I've ever known. We had poor
results, defensive ­problems, Andy Carroll injured and then Kevin Nolan
getting sent off on New Year's Day for the second time in a month. "We
weren't far away from getting the results but the turning point was going to
Cardiff. "Andy was back on the bench and that gave everyone a boost but we
had James Tomkins sent off when we were winning 1-0 with 25 minutes left. I
just sat there thinking what else could possibly go wrong this season, but
Andy came on and made the second goal for Nolan. "To win in that manner
boosted belief, and to climb away from trouble with the results we've had in
February is massive credit to the players and staff. "I include the owners
in that too ­because the whole industry applies ­pressure to club owners
these days. "David Gold replies to almost every message he gets on Twitter
and I'm certain there were a lot calling for me to be sacked. Then the media
are on the case and suddenly TV cameras start appearing at your training
ground trying to get footage of an adverse reaction or a fight between the
players. "All that puts pressure on the owners as well as me and we all know
that many owners have ­succumbed to that and pressed the panic button. "But
in the January window they backed me by getting four players in – Marco
Borriello from Roma, Antonio Nocerino from AC Milan, Pablo Armero from
Napoli and Roger Johnson from Wolves. The irony of that is now those players
can't get a game. I've said to them all "Sorry, what can I do? The team is
winning every week." "If we weren't, they would be ­playing. They were
brought in to help us out but we haven't needed them. "But their arrival was
vital ­because it gave the other players a boost and showed what our
intentions are. That lifted everyone."

Allardyce and his stars had a break in Dubai after three of their February
wins and came back to add a fourth with a 3-1 victory over Southampton. "The
players loved the break and the new boys who came from Italy in January were
blown away by the camaraderie in the camp," Allardyce said. "But I've made
it clear we aren't out of the woods yet and need to reach a safety level of
at least 38 points before we push on. "To get four successive wins in a
­calendar month is a great achievement at any time for West Ham – but
­particularly at this time of the season because February is usually a month
when a top team chasing the big prizes strings a run of wins together. "We
are coming out of a very difficult period but we have nailed it."


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