Bit chilly outside so what better than to watch WHU away on the telly. Against a Norwich team who got battered last week. A Norwich team that averages 2 goals against a game. Ah, but we still have no fit strikers. Another 0-0? Lets see.
After being the only reporter(!) I read last week who pointed out Winston Reid was struggling, it was no surprise (but a disappointment) for me to see James Collins come in along side Tomkins. Joe Cole also made a rare start in favour of Jarvis.
Norwich started well, and had a chance saved in the opening minute. The game then swung WHU’s way for the next 15 minutes, with chances for Ratz, Nolan and Guy Demel hitting the crossbar with a header from a corner. You just thought if WHU got one, there could be loads in store. After about 20 on the clock the first half started to set a pattern of WHU having the ball a lot and neither team making any chances. This possession paid off on 32 with a cross from Ratz finding Nolan who was lucky (intelligent?) enough to keep it in and find Ravel Morrison to make it one nil. The half finished in much the same way. WHU finished the first 45 with nearly 60% of the possession (away from home ?).
The second half got underway with no changes. An early freekick from a promising position for the Hammers was hit straight off the wall as was one from Downing in the first half. At least its not Noble taking them. On 53 minutes a cross from Norwich was fumbled by Jussi who then in the scramble gave away a penalty (on review post match, there is an argument for a foul on Jussi, but none from me in real time in the game) and West Ham conceded their second goal on their travels this season (both penalties). This woke up the home side and they started to take charge of proceedings. The midfield for WHU seemed the be not as fluent this half and needed shaking up. Nolan was coming deeper and deeper making it very busy and removing the outlet. With 20 to go Diame came on for Joe Cole to try and swap things around. At this time Norwich had a free kick due to clumsiness from Collins and it was sweetly taken by Snodgrass and fired in past Jussi’s left. 2-1 Norwich. The instant reaction was to bring on Carlton Cole for Collison. The game became scrappy with both teams desperate to not get lose the ball. Snodgrass had a chance to finish the game off but was too high by about 40 ft. Jarvis came off the bench on 86 for Noble in a strange decision, as Noble had once again played quite well. WHU had given up by then and Leroy Fer sealed the game with a third and Norwich got 3 points that you would of never seen in the first half but were well earned come 90 minutes.
West Ham keep up their decades long propensity for charitable point donations for teams worse of than us. We need to hold on to what we have and not be sloppy and too relaxed all over the park. Bottom line is we are now one point off the bottom 3 and depending on what Stoke do tomorrow we could go into the international break in a relegation spot with Chelsea up next. Sam needs to weave some magic and bloody quick.
Our passing is too relaxed and with the TV view we seem to pass to the player rather than in front, slowing down attacks.
Ratz seems to be finding his feet and getting the crosses in well. Just need to fit him, Jarvis and Downing in the team when we have someone who can receive the deliveries.
MOTM Robert Snodgrass for his freekick and all round effort for the whole game (WHU take note).