Saturday, December 31, 2005

Sour gripes?

"The one thing I hate about other managers is waffle that is nowhere near the truth. I would never conduct myself like that".

The words of West Ham manager Alan Pardew in the programme for Wednesday's clash with Wigan. The target of his comments? Our very own Graeme Souness, who Pardew claims referred to the Hammers' centre-backs as "scared" in the face of our attack.

OK, so it was Pardew's first opportunity to sound off in this way since the match (way back on the 17th December), but it all stinks of sour grapes.

Yes, Pardew was right to point out that his side were hardly outclassed and in fact dominated for long periods, so we were rather fortunate to emerge from the encounter 4-2 victors.

But the fact remains that Souness never actually labelled Pardew's defenders "scared", preferring the less loaded term "nervous" - and in any case, was he not justified in doing so in the aftermath of a game in which West Ham had created as many chances as us but we had demonstrated our superior fire power, the combination of Owen and Shearer proving lethal and decisive?

Pardew also wrote: "He should have known better than to criticise players on the opposite team. We will make sure we remember that when we play them again". That sounds suspiciously like a threat of retribution. The way things are going, there's every likelihood that the Hammers will get the chance to exact revenge in the league next season. We just have to steel ourselves for it.


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