West Ham were promoted back to the Premier League at their first attempt yesterday, when they beat Blackpool 2-1 in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.
Sam Allardyce at Wembley yesterday
But Blackpool were the better side, and played the class football, stroking the ball around the field. However, you cannot expect to win big games when you miss your chances as Blackpool did throughout the game.
And they missed at least three gilt edged opportunities in the first half alone.
And we’ll not even mention all the chances Bayern Munich missed last night in losing 4-3 on penalties to Chelsea, after the game ended 1-1 after extra time, and they included a missed penalty by former Blues player Arjen Robben.
But there’s no doubt that Sam Allardyce was under enormous pressure to get West Ham promoted this season, and in yesterdays’ game you could see the stress etched on big Sam’s face.
But Sam did it, and of course he was rightly over the moon after the game.
But Sam is sometimes his own worst enemy, by blowing his trumpet all the time, and he said that the Championship play-off final was a bigger game than the Champions League final – well at least bigger in the sense it changes people’s lives:
“The Champions League final is a glory game, this is about your livelihood and your status. The Champions League is a big tournament but this one is about changing people’s lives.”
But then Sam gets into telling everybody how good he was and still is, and that after he left Newcastle the Magpies were relegated.
But that had nothing to do with Sam being fired, and more to do with Kevin Keegan leaving in early September of 2008, after an altercation with Mike Ashley and Dennis Wise on transfers.
For the record, big Sam was sacked from Newcastle in January of 2008, mainly because the football Newcastle were playing was not matching what Mike Ashley and the Newcastle fans wanted to see.
This is what Sam said after the game at Wembley yesterday:
“I was considered to be at the top of my industry when I was at Bolton.” “They were fifth when I left and having suffered two sackings, which were harsh, to say the least, it damaged my reputation and people didn’t consider me to be as good as I was.”
“But I’m still achieving great things at a great football club.” ‘Bolton, Blackburn and Newcastle all went down after I left so that says I must have done all right when I was there.”
“The vast majority of West Ham fans have been behind the team all season,’ ‘At the end of the day, in 2012 we have lost one game, I think that’s out of 21 matches.”
“Now if you cannot celebrate that as a good season, I don’t know what you can celebrate. Overall, we have only lost eight in 49. It’s been a thrilling season, outstanding from the players.”
“My job is about thrilling fans and giving them what they want, entertaining them at a great venue with a great victory and a great end to the season.”
“Now we can look forward to playing at places like Chelsea, Arsenal Spurs and QPR in London as well as trips to Old Trafford and Anfield. This is a memory for life and it means an awful lot.”
We should point out that Newcastle lost only four of their 46 games in the Championship, when the great Chris Hughton brought Newcastle straight back up, and the Magpies won the Championship by 11 points from West Brom and 23 points ahead of 3rd placed Nottingham Forest, and finished up with a massive 102 points.
Now that’s something to boast about. 😀
And finally, what was that big Cup they were awarded at the end of the game – it was bigger than the European Cup – and they finished 3rd in England’s second division?
It was hardly appropriate.