Big Sam on: Crystal Palace

Sam Allardyce faced the press on Thursday morning ahead of the weekend's meeting with Crystal Palace.

The Hammers are looking to get over the disappointment of seeing two points slip away late on at Tottenham Hotspur last week and the manager is sure they can.

Morning Sam, Mark Noble’s new contract is good news for him and good news for the Club, isn’t it?

Yes, he’s West Ham born and bred. Somebody who commits to one club like he’s done is pretty rare these days. I think its good news for everybody.

Is it good that the supporters can relate to the club better through players like Mark Noble, who have been at the club for a long time?

Yes I think so. Mark Noble is one of their own, there’s no doubt about that. We’ve got James Tomkins as well, another West Ham boy. They’ve both come through the Academy which is what we’re all striving for these days. It’s something that is becoming harder and harder to achieve. As Academy boys it’s great to see them still here and doing well.

Some clubs don’t seem to do that, they buy in whoever they want. Would you agree?

Well, I think we live in a world of less patience, especially football. It’s almost a week by week, month by month mentality. Long term policies don’t seem to be so attractive any more due to the need of instant success. On the basis of that, it’s harder to feed a youngster into the first team. You only have to look at when I played the youngsters in the FA Cup and got slaughtered for it. But, I think the system is broken. At the moment we have to get them in the first team on loan somewhere else, before we bring them into our first team.

Alan Pardew, back at West Ham this Saturday. He seems happier at Crystal Palace after a torrid time at Newcastle?

I’m not sure he had such a torrid time. I think overall he did well, there’s always going to be some tough times, that’s management. The Newcastle fans are very passionate and they don’t stay away when things go bad. But overall his reign at Newcastle was very good. Newcastle are a team who fit in and around the middle of the Premier League table, based on their spending, even though the fans expectations are higher than that.  

What sort of Crystal Palace side do you think Pardew will bring?

I think they will come and maybe play with probably counter attacking players. I think in wide areas they’ve got some exciting, talented players. Jason Puncheon, Wilfried Zaha and Yannick Bolasie are all very quick and dangerous. Yaya Sanogo and Dwight Gayle too. But our home form is good and our performances of late have been exceptional, even though we sit with three points rather than seven. So we’ll be looking to turn another good performance into a result this Saturday.

What are your thoughts on the winter World Cup in Qatar 2022?

I think it was always going to happen sooner or later. I’ve been to Doha at that time of year of before and the heat is unbelievable, you can’t leave the pool so I don’t know how they’re going to play football there. It would be impossible to play in 40 or 50c temperatures, dangerous even so I think it’s right to move it. We’ve got seven years to organise it and work round it, so that is certainly enough time. The players will have to be given adequate time to prepare beforehand and recover afterwards.

How important after the disappointing result last weekend to bounce back this Saturday against Palace?

It was hugely disappointing but more so is that fact that we’ve slipped out of the elite area of the Premier League. We could’ve had seven points from our last three games, those results were only a minute away, just a few seconds. We could be on 44 points, probably in the top six. I think that’s a great disappointment because we’ve had a consistent season, and our position doesn’t quite reflect that. 

Nene wasn’t quite fit last weekend, will he play this Saturday?

Yes, most likely on the bench, especially with the injury to Carlton Cole who touch wood is the only injury. He can play a big part for us and he needs to state a claim to play for us.

Sakho scored last weekend, were you happy to see him put in a good performance?

I was happy with everyone’s performance. But of course it was nice to see Sakho score, I think he’s been working hard it just hasn’t fallen for him. He deserved his goal because of his work rate and to get in that position from where he scored in the first place.

Any other injury news?

No, only Carlton and obviously Andy Carroll. We’ve had a good week in training and everyone is raring to go for Saturday, a London derby and an early kick off.

Are you surprised that Mark Noble has never been called up for England, is it because he plays for an unfashionable club?

I don’t think West Ham is an unfashionable club at all, it’s in London, it’s got a huge, dedicated fan base. I was told throughout my career if you want to be noticed as a player or a manager, go to London. I think you get watched more down here than further afield. Everyone knows what Mark can do, it’s just whether Roy thinks he can fit into his system.