West Ham fan Adam Greenaway questions Sam Allardyce's selection of young and old at Nottingham Forest

Picture: Action Images

Picture: Action Images

First published in Football by , West Ham fan

Sunday's FA Cup fixture at Nottingham Forest saw West Ham United manager, Sam Allardyce, field a very young team. Adrian, Stewart Downing, Matt Jarvis, Alou Diarra and Modibo Maiga were the only senior players to be named in the squad.

Diarra started out of position at centre back, with Downing and Jarvis starting in unfamiliar wing back positions.

As a supporter, I am very proud of the academy that we have and it has produced a whole host of world class players over the years. However, Allardyce warned that the current crop were not quite ready, despite calls from the supporters for him to play them.

I have no doubt that Allardyces tactics were part to blame as well, but the youngsters showed that perhaps Big Sam was right in his assessment.

Too often, our players were shrugged off the ball as Forest ran us ragged. Too many times our back three were exposed to the through balls which would normally be cut out by a covering full back.

And simple mistakes, perhaps from their lack of experience, did cost us.

I am not simply laying the blame at the youngsters' doors - the senior players hardly helped them did they?

In fact I think Allardyce played the wrong senior players in this match. The backbone of the side needed to be stronger. A more experienced midfielder alongside the youngsters, and playing a back four would have settled the defence down and made it easier for them to defend as a unit.

Overall, I think Big Sam got it wrong by picking too many youngsters at once, especially against an in-form Forest team.

The outcome was inevitable; I just hope it doesn't knock the youngsters confidence too much, and that this was simply seen as character building.

On the other hand, was Sam Allardyce trying to prove a point in saying that the youngsters were not quite ready yet?

One thing's for sure, confidence is at rock bottom at the moment and we need to pull together as a club in order to start trying to climb the table.

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