No, it’s not that “Big Sam” is sending me an eMail every week. His predecessor used to do that, too. But other than Avram Grant, Sam Allardyce is able to hail the Hammers’ performance almost week in week out. Six wins out of seven – I hardly can believe that this is West Ham. And last night’s 2-0 win at Middlesbrough was a big statement. After that win the Hammers remain safely in an automatic promotion spot and 6 points clear of Cardiff which is sitting in third place in the league table.
And that’s what “Big Sam” wrote to me this week:
Carlton Cole and Mark Noble celebrating at Boro's Riverside Stadium
“There is a lot of confidence in the squad and we are playing to our full potential.
We won very comfortably against a team that hadn’t lost a game at home all season (Middlesbrough]. We have six wins and a draw in the last seven games and importantly we have opened up a gap to third place.
It was as close as it can get I think to the perfect away performance. We were on the front foot, we wanted to impose our own football on them and we did just that.
Freddie Piquionne’s goal came from an excellent cross by Matt Taylor that showed what we have been missing since he was injured.
We were glad to see him score because he had three good chances on Saturday and missed them. That got us off to a fantastic start.
We said to go out in the second half as we did in the first half. Shut them down first, stop them playing how they wanted to play and then go and attack them with our ability and skill.
Really it should have been all over before Carlton Cole scored at the death. Kevin Nolan missed a very good chance and Mark Noble felt he was brought down for a penalty, but in the end it didn’t make any difference.
Robert Green hardly had to make a save in the second half against a Middlesbrough side that hasn’t been defeated at home for a long time. It is a great win and 2-0 was deserved.
Guy Demel’s debut was outstanding for us and he gives us another option. The squad is being used to its full potential, especially as we were without Winston Reid, Henri Lansbury, Sam Baldock and John Carew, who all had to stay behind in London.
It really was a great performance and a great victory.
It is all about the distance we have put between ourselves and Cardiff and Middlesbrough. That is now considerable, that takes the pressure off the lads.
It is a long haul yet but it we are playing some fantastic stuff and winning games of football.
We are all happy. I look at the 1,500 fans who have travelled on a Tuesday night. They are sat out there in the freezing cold but they will be happy to have seen a victory and it will have made the journey home that much better.
We go on to Burnley on Saturday in great spirits and believing we can make it a nine-point week which would be a tremendous achievement. The spirit is fantastic and the lads want to keep rolling on. ”
Come on you Irons!