Saturday’s win at Selhurst Park was certainly a welcome change to the usual West Ham performance, with great finishing, good passing and lots of movement. Sam Allardyce was certainly pleased and said that they “got everything right” on the day. For the fans, it was good to watch, and it was nice to celebrate a win with a bit of style. It has been a while.
One wonders though, what might have happened if fate hadn’t lend a helping hand to Allardyce’s team selection? For starters, if Nolan had been fit, he would have started, and that would have meant the bench for Zarate. In the game Zarate was a revelation, finding lots of gaps with some great movement, and showing great skill, not only for the goal. Nolan has been very average for quite a while, and I personally think his days should be numbered.
Secondly, if Collins had not been banned he would have started ahead of Tomkins. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think Ginge has been a great servant to the club, and he has been the rock of our defence in many games. But time is catching up with him in my opinion. He has had a poor pre-season and shows an alarming lack of pace these days, and is often prone to making a basic error leading to a goal. But, for me, the most important thing is his ability on the ball going forward. If anyone is guilty of playing “hoof ball” it is Ginge. I don’t think he has the skills to play it around on the deck like Tomkins, and I think that youth should have its day.
So, you could say that Saturday’s win was fortuitous. If fate hadn’t lent a hand it probably would have been another boring no score draw. But Allardyce was shown the way, how to play like it should it should be played, and what to do to make it happen. The question is, will he learn? Will he recognise what everyone else can see, or simply go back to his “favourites” once they are available for selection again? Time will tell, although fate might have just lent another helping hand with the news that Nolan will out for possibly twelve weeks! What’s the betting West Ham go on a bit of a run now?