IN the interval between West Ham’s defeat to Sunderland on Saturday evening and you reading this paper today, Sam Allardyce predicted he would have made dozens of phone calls hoping to bring in new signings.
At the Stadium of Light on Saturday night, Allardyce pinned the blame for a poor performance from his side on a lack of strength in depth.
And while Sunderland have injury issues of their own, West Ham are also down to the bare bones in central defence with just two recognised centre-halves left.
“The big blow for me is not having enough defenders,” agreed Allardyce. “Too many are injured and not having Joey O’Brien, George McCarthy and now James Collins to call on means, defensively, we are weak.
“Collins has a grade three tear to his hamstring and is going to be out for some time, so I probably need two defenders minimum.
“We’ve made an inquiry or two, but they haven’t produced anything yet and I fully expect to be making 50 or 60 phone calls before Monday looking for new players.”
Allardyce was quick to acknowledge that his side just weren’t at the races against Sunderland.
“Apart from my goalkeeper, Jussi Jaaskelainen, the rest of the team underperformed and it’s strange to get that when they’d done so well against Man United in the cup the previous week,” he sighed.
“But, from start to finish, we were never really in it.
“We might have had a chance to get a goal or two when we were 3-0 down, but that’s not a time to start playing.
“Sunderland played with a good flow and a good range of attacking players and we needed to be at our best, but we were nowhere near and got beaten comprehensively.
“First-half, we were really poor. Second-half, we created some really good chances but still couldn’t score.
“The second goal we conceded was pathetic – we have a free-kick and Sunderland score.
“Jussi gets us out of jail with a save but we mess up on the clearance.
“Sunderland played well on the day, but, defensively especially, we were nowhere near good enough and that’s something we have to address.
“We also have to look at the other end, too, because we haven’t scored enough goals away from home – even when we’ve had an easy chance against Sunderland we couldn’t score.
“That’s a concern for me, but then against Sunderland, everything about us was a concern for me.”