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West Ham boss can’t believe the boo-boys

West Ham's Sam Allardyce reacts during the Barclays Premier League match at Upton Park, London. West Ham's Sam Allardyce reacts during the Barclays Premier League match at Upton Park, London.

Thursday, March 27, 2014
1:30 PM

Was Hammers manager Sam Allardyce right to cup his hand to his ear in front of the booing West Ham fans?

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West Ham United's Nigel Reo-Coker celebrates scoring with team Matthew EtheringtonWest Ham United's Nigel Reo-Coker celebrates scoring with team Matthew Etherington

When former West Ham captain Nigel Reo-Coker cupped his hand to his ear to the fans after scoring the winner against Manchester United in 2006, you knew that his days as an Upton Park hero were numbered.

How the career path of manager Sam Allardyce goes after his hand-cupping following the narrow 2-1 win over Hull City on Wednesday night remains to be seen, but the booing at the end of the match was something he wasn’t expecting.

“I’ve experienced booing when we’re losing and booing when we’re not playing well and not winning – but I’ve never experience winning a game and being booed.

“I couldn’t quite believe it, but there you go, I’ve seen something there I’ve not seen before – nothing surprises me, I suppose.”

West Ham United v HullWest Ham United v Hull

So was the booing justified? Certainly this was not a vintage West Ham performance. They looked nervous, their passing was poor and too much of the play was negative, turning back to pass it among the back four when there were chances to unleash some attacks and put Hull’s 10 men under pressure.

For much of the second half, Hull looked the better team and it seemed like they had the extra man as they piled on the pressure.

But for all that, West Ham’s defence held firm, they got their noses in front and held on and it was three points, a vital three points.

“It was about getting the three points at the end and the lads have gone about it the right way.

“They’ve come off the field and whether they’ve played brilliantly, average or indifferent, they’ve got the three points – that’s what matters.”

The fans pay their money – a huge amount for a midweek game against Hull City – and they are entitled to vent their frustrations, though booing a team that has just won a game is usually confined to England games!

“I can’t understand it,” said the boss. “We’re in a difficult situation and I suppose it is frustration.

“We wanted to play better against 10 men, we wanted to score more goals against 10 men, everybody expect you to.

“But nothing can be taken for granted in this game, just because you are playing against 10 men, doesn’t mean you are going to win three or four nil. Look at us against Cardiff and Swansea this season, we have won them both with 10 men.”

He is right. West Ham didn’t play well, Hull probably deserved something out of the game, but Allardyce’s boys took the points.

Surely that is the moment for relieved cheering, rather than booing.

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