Tuesday, March 27

Sam's doors of perception

Good news is that Vaz Te and Faubert should be fit for tonight's game at Peterborough, where I'll be in attendance. Meanwhile Big Sam has gone on a PR offensive in his Evening Standard column and an interview in Saturday' Independent. He complains about being tarred with the "long ball shit" stereotype in the Indie and in the Standard has more views on The Doors of Perception than Aldous Huxley. 

He wrote in the Standard: "I have always been honest. At Bolton we achieved great results because we were clever enough to prepare the team tactically to beat bigger opposition. But the problem then was that opposition managers, either out of embarrassment and as an excuse, would sometimes criticise how we played. That was picked up by the media and no matter what I did or said after that, eventually it became fact. Against Middlesbrough the other night, we were accused of lumping the ball up. We didn’t, we comfortably out-passed them but once again, the long ball thing was brought up. It annoys me but I can’t let it get me down. As I’m often saying, I don’t live in the world of perception, I inhabit the world of reality. For example, the perception on Tuesday night was that we didn’t play well — in reality, we did. We did everything other than finish with a scoreline better than ­Middlesbrough’s."

Does he protest too much? I've some sympathy for the argument that it's a great 40-yard pass if played by Paul Scholes but a long ball if played by an Allardyce team. But although we passed a lot against Boro, we lacked penetration and we certainly appeared to be playing in too many crosses from deep aimed at Cole's head, or worse Baldock or Maynard's head. A good team has to mix up both styles. Grant and Zola played good football with rubbish results thanks to our defensive frailty. What we want is a passing game with defensive solidity. And an ability to score and defend set-pieces, which Allardyce has certainly improved. 

BFS also has a go at those who criticise him for playing one striker when he claims to be playing three, and dismisses two strikers in the box as "antiquated nonsense". Though that's not really the issue - we may have three up front but the fans object to playing Maynard and Baldock far too wide.

Still, what is the world of reality, what is the world of perception? Are we really here? Just hope that Peterborough perceive their net to be bulging later tonight.


Phil Nichols said...

I think he's losing the plot Pete. How does he possibly justify his assertion that we did not play the long ball? I sat there for 90 long, tedious minutes & I can say without equivaction that is exactly what we did. It was all we did. He does indeed protest too much & if is trying to win the hearts & minds of the supporters, he has failed on both counts with this one.

Pete May said...

Yes, I'd like to sit down and watch a video of the game and put his theory to the test. It might help us if he told us exactly what he tells the players - does he tell them to play it long or not? Or are they just lumping it out of desperation or because they're not good enough?