Sam Allardyce’s ‘unloved child’ act wearing thin at West Ham 2

“Where normally we’ve had to play with ten men this year and won, tonight the opposition have gone down to ten men and not won and I think everyone should really remember that.  They (the fans) should be grateful.”

The boos rang out at Upton Park at the final-whistle last night, and understandably so: having been a goal-up and having had a man-advantage from early in the game, the Hammers were almost unforgivably poor against Hull City.

Sam Allardyce isn’t one for humility, and his sneering smile and provocative gesture to the fans at the end of the game provided an unwitting example of why he’s not loved in the East End. This is a manager who evidently believes that the West Ham fans are lucky to have him, and who is a bit too transparent with that belief.

Winning is winning, and football is about results - that’s an undeniable truth. The league table rules everything, and avoiding relegation is more important to West Ham than producing pretty passing-patterns, but Allardyce’s was still contrary with his post-game assessment.

There’s a difference between protecting a lead against ten men and doing what West Ham did last night: Hull were allowed back into the game, and West Ham withstood heavy pressure because they invited it upon themselves. They didn’t win because of that approach, they held on because Hull couldn’t score.

Fans are maybe not entitled to expect free-flowing, attacking football at all times, but they can be forgiven for showing bemusement when their side plays dumb, and doesn’t adjust their game to exploit a numerical advantage.

Allardyce has been very quick to congratulate himself for the sequence of results which has elevated West Ham above the drop-zone, but he was never so eager to take responsibility for them being close to it in the first place. Yes, injuries have played a role, but for the most part that Upton Park crowd have endured a joyless season, and one during which performances have been well-below what they were entitled to expect from this squad.

What would have been the harm, last night, in sympathising with the supporters’ frustrations but gently - gently - reminding them of the bigger picture?

Allardyce’s periodic sulking has grown tiresome, and he’s been in the game long enough to know that fortunate home-wins against a ten-man Hull City do not warrant a standing-ovation.

That felt like a loss for West Ham fans last night, and their reaction was completely understandable.

Follow @premleagueowl

Free £25 bet for new users with William Hill.