19/05/2012 The Football League Show


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After days of anticipation and nervous tension, the big day has


finally arrived. We are delighted to announce tonight that The


Football League Show is to continue on the BBC for the next three


seasons, we have secured a new deal to start from August. But the real


reason we're here is to reflect on a monumental day in the


Championship, as Blackpool and West Ham contested one of the most


lucrative games in English football. Despite missing out on automatic


promotion, West Ham comfortably beat Cardiff. And Sam Allardyce's


side were not in the mood to let it slip back at Upton Park. No doubt


about it, the Hammers meant business. Blackpool of course have


a wonderful play-off record. And they held firm against Birmingham.


They were off to Wembley, hopefully all the way to the Premier League.


A simply massive game for both teams, who are looking for an


immediate return to the top flight, and the huge financial rewards that


go with it. I am joined by a man who knows what it is like to score


the winner in this match, someone who has had plenty of success down


the years, Steve Claridge. It is the most dramatic way to get to the


Premier League, and the most heartbreaking way to miss out. Your


commentary team, Mark Bright and of a draining campaign, and it has


all come down to one day of destiny. Both clubs have experienced this


before, but only one will be able to claim the golden ticket.


Blackballed include four of the team that beat Cardiff here two


years ago. It would have been five, but Gary Taylor-Fletcher has failed


a fitness test on an ankle injury. Kevin Phillips starts in his place.


For West Ham, Jack Collison has recovered from a dislocated


shoulder. They are led by Kevin Nolan, who was with Sam Allardyce


in this final 11 years ago, to lead Bolton into the top flight. So, it


is west Ham have get us under way. These two separated by 11 points in


the regular season. West Ham won both league meetings. Which one of


these two teams will be going straight back to the Premier


League? West Ham immediately on the front foot with Kevin Nolan. A


Gary Taylor-Fletcher. But it is a great opportunity for Kevin


the ball. That was a mistake, what a moment that was full stop the


most relieved man is Matt Taylor. He tries to chest it back to the


goalkeeper, but it was a great save Ricardo Vaz Te. Still going, Vaz Te.


He was just off balance at the all- important moment. That was the


first time he has had the ball at the way they have started. Phillips


has gone for the return, Matt Phillips! He could not generate


enough power to trouble Robert Green. Great link-up play. Now, he


takes a touch - take another touch and get it out of your feet! You


could see what he was trying to do, but he got it between his feet.


Phillips again! It is still Matt Phillips! And he still cannot find


a way through for Blackpool. And Demel is the most relieved man in


the stadium. There's he missed times it, and then he has not got


enough time to recover. Awful Carlton Cole, and into the side-


netting by Ricardo Vaz Te! That's the best we have seen from West Ham


so far. This is an excellent pass to Ricardo Vaz Te. It is a tight


defending very well, getting header came from Carlton Cole, over


the crossbar. Great ball in. Blackpool, sitting a little bit


deeper. Carlton just gets in front Gilks did not get there! It is


another corner to West Ham. There is a lot of pace on the ball.


Goalkeeper comes for it, nowhere near. Both managers pointed to the


importance of set pieces before the game, and here's another one for


West Ham, third in a row. What you need is a quality ball in, and that


is what West Ham have provided so far from both sides. Do not foul


just over half an hour gone, the deadlock still to be broken. Headed


away by Kevin Phillips, on the edge of his own six-yard box. That's


blocked by Ince, and it is another West Ham corner. Good pressure by


West Ham. Blackpool have to weather the end. But it was Tomkins who


headed this one back. He kept his eye on it, when we thought it was


going out, he recovered it. There needs some support. It has come to


Taylor. He gets it back again. Carlton Cole! West Ham's leading


scorer scores at Wembley in the final! First blood to the Hammers.


Well, the stadium is absolutely rocking. We talk about the early


chances that Blackpool had. Is this a foul? I think it is. From that,


they go and score. Good counter- attack, but you have to say, I


think Blackpool are unhappy with that decision. Good touch from


Carlton Cole, and an emphatic finish. That's the difference.


Blackpool have had two good opportunities and wasted them.


different emotions in those technical areas. That's what it


means to this lot, and you could found him! What an opportunity that


was for Vaz Te. He could not take it! Great movement from Vaz Te. He


comes up short then pulls off. I don't know why he shoots from there.


But even if he is shooting on his little bit of experience used by


Kevin Phillips there. Can Blackpool reply before the break? Cleared


only as far as Martinez, who got right underneath the volley. He has


only scored one goal might in his first season in English football,


and he was not close to doubling it there. Is there time for black ball


to get forward one more time before time whistle. And there it is, from


Howard Webb. West Ham leading, courtesy of Carlton Cole's goal,


his 15th of the season. Blackpool season, and it is up to Blackpool


to come from behind in this one. No changes from either side at half-


time. That was a foul by Alex half-time? If we can do the same at


the start of the second-half, we are back in it. Taylor's free-kick.


The man who provided the ball for He tried to stop himself from doing


it. Gary tail or Halifax Fletcher can only look on -- Taylor-Fletcher


can only look on. An injury rules found him. It's Tom Ince Ince! 1-1.


The former West Ham player, levels it at Wembley on his fifth year


career appearance. Inside three minutes of the second-half, Tom


Ince Ince for Blackpool. Carlton Cole gives the ball away. This is a


fantastic ball here. He allows the ball to drop. A nice little caress


across the goalkeeper. Doesn't need any power. Excellent finish, back


in the game. Look at the reaction of the two managers. Sam Allardyce


can't believe it. It's a long pass, a straight pass. That gives


everybody, the players and the fans a few lift. After conceding that


goal they went flat. They stopped passing the ball, lost their rhythm.


The man who was fouled got his team back in the game. He has got them


back to believing again. That is a dream start to the second-half for


Ian Holloway and Blackpool. Baptiste wants it back. It's Alex


Baptiste. It's cleared away by Taylor. Incredible. He won the ball


and continued his run forward. An excellent pass from Kevin Phillips.


The ball wouldn't come down for him, would it? He was unlucky. Phillips


to take the corner, off the head of Carlton Cole. Rob Green wanted that.


Blackpool's way now. They are keeping possession, back in the


What a good challenge by Reid to deny Dobbie. I'm really surprised.


He knows how to finish. Was he offside? No, he's not. Great


decision. There was space in front of him he could of got a shot in.


Green has come from the corner. He it is a taken it cleanly. Baptiste


was the one here? He starts the play here. Look at the space.


Phillips has come short. Continues his run between the centre-backs.


That ball there, I'm thinking stoop and head it. He said his team were


a dead duck last summer, no-one gave them a chance. He's got his


again. Taylor's cross! In went Collison, who might just have


fallen on the shoulder he dislocated in stretching for this.


He is up on his feet now. He gets into that near-post and lands


he pulled it back. Taylor. Collison is back on his feet. The offside


flag is up. The opportunity is gone. Vaz Te didn't do Collison any


favours with that pass. Excellent play. He draws the challenge.


Manages to poke the ball wide. Here is a good ball. Look where he puts


it. He puts it past his right foot, on to his left, he's slipping.


Awful play. Last time Blackpool lost a play-off game, Sam Allardyce


was the manager. 18 years ago against Bradford. It cost him his


first job in English football. He hasn't lost in a play-off campaign


since. I think he has proved himself since then. Into Carlton


Cole. Good save by Gilks and away by Eardley. The first touch is


excellent. Good ball in. Well watched by Reid. Phillips. Matt


Phillips had a swing. Off that left wing. Here's Dobbie, Phillips, this


is a crossing opportunity for Blackpool. Three in the penalty


area. Who will it come to? Dobbie. The man who started. It he complete


miss kicks it. Excellent play. Cut it back perfect. Here, Dobbie, he


is on the penalty spot. He only had to caress it in. He misses it


completely. They have had some Still Dobbie. Shot deflected for a


Blackpool corner. Tomkins got caught completely out of position


there. He's asking a couple of questions there. He might be


talking to Howard Webb, I think he is. He thinks he was fouled. Ince


with a corner. Away by Noble, driven over by Baptiste. Do you


have a man on the post, or don't you? On the far right you can just


see Mark Noble in position, he saves the day. Done ever so well


for his age, Kevin Phillips, substituted now. Sylvestre is on


for the last 20 minutes. Kevin Phillips, who has never won at


Wembley he can only look on to see how it will end today with


Blackpool. Dobbie went for goal. He scored here 12 months ago, to help


Swansea to the Premier League, trying to give Blackpool the lead.


As you saw there, behind the goal, corner. Kicked away by Taylor. Such


a long hard season. These players have to dig deep for 15 more big


minutes. Carlton Cole, lovely -- lovely control. Collison. He went


for goal, Collison. He couldn't keep it down. Decent play. Good


play from Carlton Cole, Collison won the ball, waited. Good support


play. It opens up. He can do. This to aim for. Totally unmarked! It


was the captain, Kevin Nolan cannot believe it. He thought that was the


moment. Great play from McCartney. He started the move. Great clip. I


think it's tipped. I think he saves it on to the bar, Gilks. Yes, what


a touch! They thought that was the moment too. They did it 11 years


ago, with Sam Allardyce, with Bolton. Free-kick to Blackpool.


should have waited just a second there. That ball was in Blackpool's


possession. He's standing right in front of Rob Green. Webb hasn't got


a problem with. It here's Dobbie. Held by Green. A little touch, out


it comes in line with the ball. Straight down the throat. Five


minutes to go. Carlton Cole. That's players know that one slip. Yes.


That is why you have to reinforce that concentration, concentrate,


focus. Stick with your man. No free headers. All those things you do


all the time in training. Lifted in from Noble. In came from the header.


The one from Tompkins looked over the crossbar. He is stretching.


That is the best he can do. Everybody is looking for that knock


back. Vaz Te is there. Nolan is there. Don't get drawn towards the


ball. Which one of these two will be in the Premier League next


season. Nolan the captain. It might come to Carlton Cole. Gilks. Vaz


West Ham United back in the big time. Absolutely incredible. Well,


he will get a card for taking his shirt off. This is missed by


everybody. Carlton Cole does well. He gets a toe on it. Vase tai's


goals have been so important for them, since he arrived from


Barnsley. That's a crucial finish. His 12th goal since arriving in


January to be reunited with Sam Allardyce. That could be the golden


goal for West Ham United. You know, Blackpool have a chance. They have


to go for. It they've had some great opportunities. They've had


some great opportunities. On reflection, talk about being


unlucky, they missed those chances. In a game like this, you can't


afford to miss chances. This game has been a rollercoaster for Sam


Allardyce. 90 seconds of the 90 minutes left. It almost came to


Martinez at the back post. This is Eardley. That should be Green's to


miss. Well, it's just hard to explain it. The atmosphere around


you, and the roar when that ball went in from Vaz Te. It's out of


stoppage time. Kevin Nolan is absolutely roasting Taylor for what


he did there. 47 years to the day since West Ham beat 1860 Munich to


win the Cup Winners' Cup here at Wembley. As we head into stoppage


time. Blackpool have given a good account of themselves, but at this


stage of the season, after everything you have done, the


opportunities they have had and not taken, that has been the difference


between these two teams. They have played some excellent football and


controlled large parts of this game, but you have to say, West Ham have


been ruthless in front of goal. Howard Webb waves away claims for a


foul. You can see here, just a little touch. It is a hard place to


come and lose, especially after such a long, hard season. No


disgrace losing to this West Ham team, they have got a lot of


experience. Mission accomplished! Sam Allardyce has led West Ham


united back into the Premier League at the first time of asking.


Ricardo Vaz Te's dramatic late winner was the golden goal for the


golden ticket. They have done it the hard way, they have done it in


the most dramatic way, but West Ham are back in the big time.


MARK BRIGHT: Congratulations to West Ham. It has been a long, hard


season, but for Blackpool, it is heartbreak. Gary Taylor-Fletcher


missing this game, what a great shame for them. But the difference


between the two team's is that West Ham took their chances and black


ball didn't. Local boy, longest serving player, relegations,


promotions, discuss... Fantastic. The boys have worked so hard all


year. We were favourites to go up but it did not work out like that,


we drew too many games. But this is amazing. It is frightening.


does this compare with a couple of years ago? This is probably better


because of the pressure we were under this season, dropping down


and everything. It is one of the best days. Up there I have got my


family, my wife and everyone, didn't just delighted. Ricardo Vaz


Te - How does it feel to have scored the goal to take West Ham


back into the Premier League? tremendous, in front of these


amazing fans, it is amazing to be here. To get the goal, it is a


bonus. It could not get any better. I had the opportunity, I have done


it. So, here comes Kevin Nolan to lead West Ham up the 107 steps at


the new Wembley Stadium to the royal box. It is a walk that feels


fantastic as a winner, particularly when the prize is a return to the


top flight of football. In his first season, he has done exactly


what he did at Newcastle, make an immediate return to the top flight


at the first time of asking. So, Kevin Nolan leads West Ham united


up to the royal box. He will receive the trophy which is West


Ham's passport back into the Premier League. They have had to


deal with the expectation. It took 49 games, but in 91 days' time,


they will begin another Premier League season! They have got back


there at the first time of asking. It will be a 56th season in the top


flight for West Ham United. As the teachers say, nothing beats being


back. -- as the T-shirts say. Sam Allardyce, the man who was given


the challenge of taking West Ham straight back up by David Gold and


David Sullivan, and it took until the last five minutes of the 49th


game that he finally delivered it. I have seen you looking better,


mate, it is not necessarily your style. Great atmosphere, great day,


great fans, great team. We put in the performance that we needed.


Blackpool came and set their stall out, they were really good, but we


just had enough to beat them. has been quite a season, but it is


now mission accomplished. We are back in the Premiership, where this


great football club deserves to be. Everybody has worked hard. I have


got to pay tribute to David Sullivan, Karren Brady, Sam


Allardyce, the players, and I did a bit as well. You have been at this


club for two thirds of your life, so what does this mean? You can see


around the place, it is just unbelievable. The players, the


staff, the whole club. It is something special to come to


Wembley and win. I have never met such a handsome centre half, but


what a player. But that is a bad thing, isn't it? No, it is not, not


the way he plays. Are you drained? Feeling drained, totally. You could


have tossed a coin which way this was going to go today. With all the


pressure being on us, the last thing I wanted was for the lads to


thing I wanted was for the lads to let themselves down today. In the


end they came up trumps. I cannot imagine the desolation you must be


feeling right now. Such is life, I'm afraid. I feel for the lads


more than myself. They were to a man fantastic, apart from taking


one or two of the chances that we created. All you can ask is the


effort, all you can give them is some advice, and boy, did they take


it on at half-time? I'm sure there will be lots of things when we look


at the stats which show that we have improved again. We needed to,


we played a very good team, and I thought we looked a very good team.


I am pretty proud, really, to be perfectly blunt with you.


margins are so fine. It could have gone the other way. It could. We


knew it would not be as easy as people thought. Blackpool have had


the experience here before, which showed in the early part of the


game. But at the end of the day, it is about converting your chances.


We converted one more than Blackpool, so we are where we


should be. Over the season I don't think anybody could argue. It is


just a great end to what has been a great season. Congratulations to


West Ham, back in the top flight after one season out. Steve, West


Ham, second best for a good part of the contest, but they will not be


dwelling on that for too long tonight. Certainly the first 15


minutes of each half, certainly in the first half, and conceding early


in the second half. After they got to grips with it, the last half-an-


hour of the first half, probably controlled the game. The second


half was very even, could have gone either way. You know all about late


play-off winners, it is all about taking your chance. Yes, we all


realised there would be opportunities in this game, and


that was the case. I don't think we thought it would go right to the


wire like this, he has almost done too much with it. But if you have a


look at it, Baptiste falls down, Crainey falls down. But it was a


great touch. And Vaz Te he has an awful lot to do with it. I was


looking at it from behind the goal, and he only just gets it in, but it


is the winner, and it is a great feeling. What a great signing he


has turned out to be. Managers like to trust what they have known


before. Obviously, Sam Allardyce had him at Bolton. He went to


Barnsley after that. And he went overseas for a while. Yes, but he


has come back to Sam Allardyce and he has paid him back. Let's be


honest, this is absolutely fantastic, the old saying about


putting it on a sixpence, that's exactly what Matt Taylor does here.


He completely takes Evatt out of the game. Was this a foul in the


build up? Well, he gets a little bit of luck. The ball rebounds back


to him, and Carlton Cole, that little bit of pace, keeps the ball,


gets his body between Evatt and the ball, and his touch gives him the


angle to shoot across goal. This is Blackpool's goal, and it was quite


similar. Yes, Carlton Cole scores the goal for West Ham and then


gives the ball away, and then he can only stand and watch as


Phillips picks out a tremendous ball. And then, Ince knows that all


he needs is a connection, it does not have to be a great connection,


it is all about where he directs the ball. He is cool and calm and


he sticks it in the back of the net. If you look at that, Robert Green


gets nowhere near it. Blackpool will be to -- live themselves


considering the amount of chances they had. Especially in the first


half, this was an excellent opportunity. This one, I'm not sure


that Phillips actually believes he can get past the goalkeeper. He


goes past the defender, but it was a poor finish. And this one, this


was probably the best of the lot, he has just got to keep his nerve.


And this one, Baptiste, surely have gone with his head? I don't know,


I'm not sure you can do that. This was the one where everybody sat


back and thought, Stephen Dobbie, a great technician, you would expect


him at least to hit the target and probably to score. That was a


massive surprise for everyone. When you look at it, he had his head in


his hands, he knew it was a great chance for someone with his ability.


For Sam Allardyce, it is very much a job done. But he put pressure on


himself at the start of the season, saying, we are going to go up. He


had very little room for error. and one thing you can say, Sam


Allardyce had a major part to play in this game because his tactical


change in the second half, taking off Gary O'Neil and changing the


formation, putting Vaz Te up front, I thought that was an excellent


move, because at that stage, they were wobbling. They were looking


like they could concede at any moment. But after that it became a


very even contest. We have talk about him playing one up front,


being a little bit negative this season, but he was anything but


that today. He got his rewards for being positive. As for Ian Holloway,


he started the season talking about a Premier League hangover, but he


will have to dust himself down and go again, will it be even harder


this time? I think so. I think the players had a bit of a slow start


this season. But this, for me, will be far harder. This is a massive,


massive disappointment. When you win these games, it is difficult


instantly to celebrate, it is more a sense of relief. But for the


people who have lost, you look back at 48 games, counting for


absolutely nothing, we are back where we started, albeit a great


effort by everybody involved. But it is back where you started. So,


it is a huge disappointment. It is one which, after last year, to pick


themselves up again, he might just have to freshen it up a bit and


move a couple in and out. Commiserations to Blackpool, well


done again for West Ham. It's certainly whets the appetite for


the other play-off finals. Huddersfield against Sheffield


United and Cheltenham against Crewe - How do you see these going?


if they are half as good as today...! Huddersfield and


Sheffield united, two fantastic sides, with massive support. Nobody


can begrudge them getting there. And obviously, Cheltenham have had


a wonderful year, and a late charge for Crewe. They have played the way


we expected, so that is and other fantastic game in prospect. And you


can see highlights of both of those play-off finals next Sunday. That's


almost it from us. Don't forget, you can see tonight's show on the


iPlayer all week. The website will have extended highlights of today's


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