He said: “You have to combat that [attacking] and the best way of doing that is to exploit the space left by an increasingly desperate opposition. When you win the ball back you need to play your way out into the gaps that inevitably opened up in their formation.
“Sometimes, because of the pressure, you can’t always play your way out but if that’s the case you need to clear the ball properly and with as much length as you can.”
Allardyce has certainly built a career on playing long-ball football, and whilst it may not have won him much acclaim, it has certainly been successful. All his players know what they have to do, and there is a regimental felling about all of the squads he has created.
However, the 60-year-old has somewhat changed that this term, moving to a 4-4-2 diamond and giving the attacking players creative roles in the team. It worked brilliantly at the beginning of the campaign, and got the Hammers into the top four prior to the turn of the year.
Despite this impressive form, injuries and a lack of consistency have stopped Allardyce utilising that same system in the second half of the season, and results have stopped coming.
To once again find a return to form, it would be no surprise to see Allardyce return to his classic long-ball football, and his recent comments suggest that he is preparing that tactical change.
After inviting pressure onto his players, he will force them to kick the ball long to ease the pressure and exploit the space left by the opposition in the attacking positions.
It may not be pretty, but it should work, and West Ham’s form might start to pick up again.