Sam muses Palace options

Sam Allardyce has admitted there could be changes for tomorrow evening’s match against Palace at Selhurst Park.

He explained at his morning press conference there are no fresh injury worries but said: “We have only a few niggles from Saturday’s game.

“We don’t consider they will cause us any difficulties in terms of the selection process, but having three games in a week, it may be about asking other squad players to step in and do a job on Tuesday or on Saturday.

“I have to do almost a team-and-a-half’s thinking. How well have the lads recovered from Saturday? Will some of the squad lads do a better job on Tuesday because they are so much fresher and ready to go? That’s the debate we have to have as a staff and see where we go from there.

“I’ll pick a team following those discussions and see how we go from there.”

Big Sam ‘loves Carlton to bits’

ImageBoss Sam Allardyce is smiling as Carlton Cole continues to play the dressing room joker.

Despite leaving the striker on the bench against Fulham until nine minutes from the end Big Sam declared that he loves the big man to bits.

And the smile grew even bigger when the Irons loyalist scored the second goal after being cheered to the rafters by the Upton Park faithful.

And afterwards boss Allardyce said: “I love Carlton to bits, man. He makes me laugh. He’s not got a dull bone in his body.

“Carlton is a lovely lad, he loves playing football. The lads are glad to have him back because he makes them laugh and gets them in a good mood.

“That goal will help him immensely, it helps the team, and helped finish off a very good performance.”

Cole wants a starting berth but said:  “Listen, I’m not going to mess around with the harmony of the camp. I’ve always been a good influence around the club.

“Anyone who knows me knows I’m not going to knock on the manager’s door, saying, ‘I’ve got to start’.

“Obviously I do want to — he knows that. I can only convince him by my actions.

“Once you score, you feel you can get in a rhythm and score more. Hopefully they will be important goals. I want to keep the momentum going.”

IRONS PAY £4.1m IN AGENTS FEES

West Ham United paid a total of  £4,169,134 to agents which put them in ninth place behind Chelsea, Manchester City, Spurs, Liverpool, Newcastle, Arsenal, Sunderland and Manchester United.

Indeed the irons paid out only £148,556 less in fees than last season Premier League Champions 

Here’s the full list for payments made between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013:

Arsenal: £5,485,961

Aston Villa: £3,358,628

Cardiff: £2,225,582

Chelsea: £13,721,721

Crystal Palace: £869,531

Everton: £3,225,159

Fulham: £3,790,115

Hull City: £1,825,718

Liverpool: £9,400,973

Manchester City: £11,179,817

Manchester United: £4,317,690

Newcastle: £7,294,018

Norwich: £2,308,987

Southampton: £2,184,412

Stoke: £3,191,808

Sunderland: £4,640,227

Swansea: £1,484,878

Tottenham: £9,787,676

West Brom: £2,211,054

West Ham: £4,169,134

JOEY PLEASE FOR MAIGA

TImageJoey Cole has given Modibo Maiga and much needed and well deserved pat on the back after his performance against Fulham.

West Ham’s favourite son of course scored a goal to bounce back from his Chelsea woes but was keener to give Maiga a lift.

He was also delighted that Carlton Cole had got on the score sheet saying: “I was pleased for Carlton too because I’ve seen how hard he’s worked. He had a difficult summer so scoring a goal was a real lift for him and you want your centre forwards to be scoring, because that’s the focal point of the game.

Turning to Maiga he said:”He deserves a special mention because I thought he was brilliant. He ran them ragged, won a number of flick-ons and gave a good centre-forward’s performance. I hope he gets his goal soon because he’s back and he’s on it.

“The runs they (Cole and Maiga) were making gave Stewie Downing, Jarvis, myself and Kevin Nolan the space to play in behind them.

 

“It was real front-foot football from us. The manager really emphasised that we wanted to get on the front foot – we didn’t turn up last week against a very good Chelsea side, so this was a good response.”

 

MO: “WE NEED THREE POINTS AT PALACE”

Mohamed Diame admits starting the last thee games ensured he showed  manager Sam Allardyce he is “important to this team.”

Making his first start since the Swansea match he demonstrated he’s ready to do all he can to remain in the starting XI.   

He said: “It was an important game for me  because I’ve started the last three games on the bench. It was important for me to show the gaffer that I’m important to this team. And I will keep going, keep working to make sure I keep my place.”

After today’s 3-0 win over Fulham he said: “I really enjoyed it, I think all the team enjoyed it. We’re back again to working hard together, defending and attack as a unit. This is pay-back, when you work hard as a team like this, you have to win.

“I had a lot of chances to score a goal, but [recently] I’ve been missing those chances. On Saturday, I had that little bit of luck, so I’m happy about that.

“I work hard to chase the ball and I put the pressure on the midfield, so I won the ball back and just ran. I saw Modibo [Maiga] on the left but I took my chance and I had the good fortune that a Fulham player touched the ball and the ‘keeper didn’t see it. We’ll just keep going and work hard for the next game.” 

He added: “When you’ve lost at home, like here against Chelsea 3-0 and you go straight back to win 3-0, always you have the confidence to play the next game. We have just three days until we play against Crystal Palace and we need to make sure we take the three points there.

“I hope it can [kick-start the season]. We need to improve and keep working like this until the end of the season. Fulham and Crystal Palace are both towards the bottom like us, so we need to take the three points on Tuesday too.” 

Sam: “A very healthy situation for us.

Relieved Sam Allardyce was grateful for a win which lifted the team into fifteenth place.

He said: “It was a big win for us. The pressure is always on when you don’t get results and slide towards the bottom three.

When you come up against your nearest rivals in the table, with both sides on 10 points, it is a six-pointer so putting three points between us and Fulham is obviously a very healthy situation for us.

“I always believed if we created chances we would score goals and we did that today.”