Big Sam seems remarkably thin-skinned for someone who claimed to have "the skin of a rhino" when he joined the club. The Daily Mirror reports his comments: "You get opinions about our results like, 'James Tomkins shouldn't be playing in midfield because he is a centre-half.' You get that b***ocks that goes round. What happens is I look at the performance of every player and say to everyone who says that, 'You're talking b***ocks.' He played in that holding role for three games with ten men, so that is how short memories people have. That is how much b***ocks is talked about in football. I don't listen to that drivel because what bothers me is that James Tomkins plays well."
No-one disputes that Tomkins did well when we had ten men, but that was because he was often augmenting a back five. Against a really swift passing team such as Reading he looked out of position and not mobile enough in midfield: far better to have a specialist in there when you're chasing a game and not defending a lead. That's a fair footballing analysis and not bollocks. Patronising the fans is really not going to help anyone.