SUNDERLAND coach Charlie Oatway says he understands why West Ham supporters are critical of manager Sam Allardyce’s style of football.
But he points out that Allardyce’s way of playing has also succeeded in all but making the Hammers safe this season.
West Ham beat Hull City 2-1 at Upton Park last midweek – a victory which lifted them up to 11th place in the Premier League with 34 points.
The win took West Ham nine points clear of Sunderland, but. at the final whistle, Allardyce was booed off the pitch by home fans unhappy with their team’s direct brand of football.
“Every manager’s entitled to their opinion on how they want to play,” shrugged Oatway (pictured).
“Sam’s the manager of West Ham Football Club and, at this moment in time, by the looks of things he’s got them out of trouble.
“But the way that we want to play, and the way we set up and how we like to see football played, West Ham’s way is not the way we want to play. That’s not a negative towards him and his coaching staff or his players.
“It’s just a case of we want to play this way, and certainly, as a football fan, talking of Sunderland and Gus as a manager, I know that I would want to watch Gus’s teams play.
“That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t want to watch West Ham. It means I would always want to watch Gus’s style of football.”
Hammersmith-born Oatway added: “I grew up as a kid in London watching them play.
“But regarding how West Ham play now, to years ago, all I can say as a football fan is that I know that anybody around the world would want to watch their team play, and play with a certain style and a certain way. With Gus’s teams, that’s the way that you’d want to watch.
“I see and speak to many neutral fans and they like the way that Gus plays, the style that he plays and the sort of formations that he plays. So I know from the general public.
“I know the teams that I would rather go and watch and it’d certainly be a manager likes Gus’.”