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Reading vs West Ham – Match Report & Allardyce cannot stay after May

Tom Winnifrith
Sunday 30 December 2012

Vaz Te missed an absolute sitter late on. James Collins handed Reading an early goal with his speciality suicide back passes. It was an ill tempered and unattractive game with neither side showing any flair. Both teams looked like the sort of sides that deserve to get relegated. I am struggling to remember the last time I saw a football game this bad. The girlie’s soccer at the Olympics maybe?

Reading will not play many teams that gift them goals in the way Collins does far too often. And 9 out of 10 Premiership strikers would have snaffled Vaz Te’s chance. If this is the best this side can offer (and judging by the crowd’s unbridled delight, I sense that it is) then on 13 points, Reading are indeed “going down with the Rednapp.” Reading are just a crap and boring side and there is no doubt in my mind that they will not only go down but that ‘arry’s QPR will overtake them in the final furlong leaving the Royals bottom of the table. That would be a fair place for them.

But as for West Ham, we were awful. I stayed to the end but could not wait to get away. I cannot say that I took anything positive away from the game at all. No-one played well and some (Noble, Taylor and especially Collins had shockers). We are now on 23 points just six points above 3rd bottom Southampton and 5 ahead of Aston Villa who seem to be falling apart at the seams. I kind of wonder if Fat Sam picked me to play up front at Villa Park if I might have a chance of getting on the score sheet there these days.

But looking at the problems of other teams cannot detract from our own failings. Without Diame the midfield does not dominate. Our defence is suspect. And Carlton Cole looks devoid of support upfront. Tuesday at home to Norwich is a big game. That is one of the six or seven we now have to win to ensure safety.

I shall turn to that in a day or so. However, I also plan to write a longer piece about why Fat Sam really has to go in May and why Paulo di Canio is exactly the right man to take his place. I hope that we stay up. Frankly we are good enough to stay up. But after today’s unexciting, ill disciplined and low grade effort against a team where the entire squad is made up of men who are not even household names in their own household, I do not regard that as a given. And the case for renewing Allardyce’s contract in May looks very weak indeed.

I am not kicking Allardyce because he is down. My views on him and on di Canio have never changed. It is just, sadly, that I am being vindicated in a way I had hoped would not happen. Does anyone else who attended today want to sign up for another season of this?

Allardyce’s supporters said: “we might not get pretty football but we will get results.” Well I have just wasted yet another afternoon watching ugly, boring football and no points. Can the Fat Sam supporters club please explain the case for renewing his contract to me again. I think I must have missed something.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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