More to Allardyce's West Ham than just words

Iain Dowie did it with bouncebackability and this season Sam Allardyce has invented a new word - outtactic-ed.

West Ham United Manager Sam Allardyce

It might not make it to the English dictionary, but 'Big Sam' will not, in his own words, "give a s****" so long as his West Ham side stay up.

A month ago Allardyce looked under immense pressure as his men sank deeper into relegation trouble. His rhetoric was always the same, though, saying how his side's defending was good but they were paying for profligacy in attack.

Their back line was incredible against Chelsea, which prompted Allardyce to say he had 'outtactic-ed' Jose Mourinho, and since then, the Hammers have won three Premier League games in a row - all by a 2-0 scoreline - and now sit 10th.

Perhaps Allardyce, or Allardicii as he has on his office door, has more about him than just making up words, as Press Association Sport's MatchStory can illustrate.

WEST HAM ARE INCREDIBLY RESILIENT

The Hammers have had plenty of stuff thrown at them this season, with the 17.7 shots they face every game the second-highest in the league. Only struggling Cardiff and Fulham (both 18.5) are worse off.

It is a case of huffing and puffing for the opposition, though, as it takes 14 of those shots to get a goal, with only Chelsea (18 shots) being harder to break down.

BODIES ON THE LINE

It takes a certain type of defender to put everything in front of a ball and it appears that West Ham have them in abundance. Only two sides - Liverpool and West Brom - guard their six-yard box better than United.

Just one in 22 shots they face is from within six yards, with the Premier League average being one in 15. Fulham, the worst in the league, take that down, with one in every 11 being from close range.

LONG SHOTS DO NOT WORK EITHER

Not just adept at keeping attacks out of their box, the Hammers have built impressive barriers when it comes to shots from further up the field too.

Helped by the excellent form of breakthrough keeper Adrian, they are the fifth-best in the league at repelling distance efforts. It takes 32 shots to score against them from range, with again, Chelsea (59) the best and Fulham (14) the worst.

HAS THE ATTACK SUFFERED?

In a word, yes. Only four sides have managed fewer that West Ham's average of 11.4 shots a game. Added to that, 56 per cent of their time on the pitch is spent with the game in a draw state.

AND WAS ALLARDYCE CORRECT ABOUT CARROLL?

Again, yes. Although their last two wins have come without him, they have missed his aerial power. They have scored one goal from headers all season, from a total of 65 attempts.

That said, why they were attempting so many without one of the division's best aerial players suggests that Allardyce has not got everything spot on.

Brendan Rodgers has been banging the drum for his England-eligible Liverpool players, and looking at their recent performances, it is hard to argue with him.

With so many botched attempts at cracking the code of international tournaments over recent years, the Three Lions will certainly need a different approach in Brazil.

Steven Gerrard is a certainty to start as the captain, but will Roy Hodgson partner him with team-mate Jordan Henderson in the middle? Also, will Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge be able to maintain their levels of form to earn starting spots?

As things stand, do England have better options? It would appear not.



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