Forgot Password
2013-10-07T14:00:00 Updated 2015-02-18T23:48:32

Big Sam's plan comes together

West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce masterminded a famous 3-0 Barclays Premier League win at White Hart Lane on Sunday, one that owed much to an inspired and perfectly-executed game plan.

By deploying the so-called false number nine, the Hammers invited midfield runners to break from deep, in the hope of exposing Tottenham Hotspur on the counter attack.

It worked, of course, to perfection, with the visitors bagging a treble against a Spurs outfit who had conceded just twice in their previous six league outings.

Overjoyed to see his plan come together, Big Sam later explained: "What I was hoping for was to continue our huge defensive stability. That was the basis of the tactics in terms of taking the 'No 9' out of the top and interchanging our runners from midfield. Our tactics paid off.

"It is my job to sit and think: 'What can I do for the players to give them a lift?' Having explained it to them and showed what Tottenham do, I told them, 'You have licence to play counter-attack football and, if you do that well, you will expose the spaces Tottenham leave because the more defensively sound we are the more frustrated the opposition will get'.

"It was a one of those big risks you take, but we practised if for three good days and the belief grew in the team." The Hammers' boss rightly earned accolades from all quarters on Sunday, not least the onlookers from the press box.

The Independent
"Unlikely things happen in derbies and yesterday afternoon West Ham United produced the greatest triumph of strikerless football since the final of Euro 2012.

"There will be few more surprising results all season, very few goals better than Ravel Morrison's "genius" third, and hardly any more comprehensive victories for one manager over another. This was one of the great days of Sam Allardyce's tenure at West Ham, and a dismal one for Andre Villas-Boas.

"Tottenham were utterly neutralised by West Ham's inventive system. This was not quite Vicente del Bosque's Spain, who beat Italy 4-0 with six midfielders last summer, or Luciano Spalletti's Roma, but it was the right approach to win the match, which is precisely what it did.

"West Ham started with a 4-6-0, shutting down Spurs in the middle and denying them space. They limited the home side to half-chances before scoring three times in 13 second-half minutes - once from a corner and twice on the break. Once 3-0 up, West Ham switched to 5-5-0 and shut down the game."

Daily Express
"The West Ham manager joked that if his surprise policy of playing without strikers had back-fired, at least he could use the excuse that he was only doing what Jose Mourinho did at Manchester United.

"When the Chelsea manager flirted with the 'false nine' so popular with Barcelona and world champions Spain, everybody assumed that the ploy was a 'Special One'."

Daily Telegraph
"There was good fortune about two of the goals but the third, after Ravel Morrison's slaloming run through the Tottenham defence, was the work of what Allardyce called "a genius".

"Some might also say the same about the manager's game-plan. Allardyce laughed in the post-match press conference when it was put to him that the absence of a conventional centre-forward was reminiscent of Barcelona or Spain but he took a justified pat on the back."

Daily Mail
"They were set up not to lose early on — and resolved the striker conundrum by operating without one — but all of the best creative players were in claret shirts.

"Morrison, the powerful Mohamed Diame, Stewart Downing on the flank, Mark Noble pulling the strings — Allardyce's team looked anything but toothless, no matter the formation, and turned in a tactical triumph."

The Times
"The plan was as simple as it was effective — six men strung across midfield with instructions to make late runs from deep — and the typically self-deprecating Allardyce acknowledged its inspiration owed more to Scotland than Spain."

Daily Mirror
"Big Sam proved himself to be a tactical genius to give Tottenham a painful lesson. Hammers boss Sam Allardyce set up his team with a "false nine" and by the end the only imposters were Tottenham as their title charge was derailed.

"The great shame was that White Hart Lane was half empty by the time Ravel Morrison scored West Ham's third. Sadly, it meant that some fans missed one of the truly great goals of the Premier League era."

Related News
Bilic - Nobody can say we didn't deserve to win
Bilic - Nobody can say we didn't deserve to win
Winston boosted by late winner
Winston boosted by late winner
Match Report
Reid scores dramatic late winner
Reid scores dramatic late winner
Club London
Join Club London for Chelsea!
Join Club London for Chelsea!
The Big Interview - Pedro Obiang
The Big Interview - Pedro Obiang
Ray - We are thrilled to be part of West Ham family
Ray - We are thrilled to be part of West Ham family
Spire Roding Hospital
Saturday 22 October 15:00London Stadium
1 - 0