Not a lot to report here. WHU were useless. Mark Noble excepted, who seemed to be enjoying coming out of the shadow of Kevin Nolan and more likely enjoying the next 5 years on 50k a week.
The interesting thing was Palace were not much better. Their spoiling tactics reminded me a bit of Aston Villa. BUT, they won the majority of the ball, understood their limits, and seemed to have energy that WHU did not possess. And that was the issue, WHU were well off the pace today (Noble excepted). Song is getting more lethargic as the weeks go by. Maybe playing on the bench in Barcelona doesn’t take it out of you as much as a full Premier League season.
Kouyate seems to be feeling his way back in as well after a couple of good games. Downing was completely anonymous, and as everyone knows, he is way better in the middle than stuck out on the wing. Valencia, despite scoring a good consolation goal when we were 3 nil down, it not toughening up as I think Sam thought he would and loses the ball way too easily.
Due to the midfield being poor today, Sakho and Valencia didn’t see a lot of the ball. Our new striker Nene came on later on (for Song) and nearly scored with his first touch, hitting the post. He then went on to not set the world on fire, and seems to like playing deep, so he may give us some options filing the gap between a static midfield and front line.
In short a bad day at the office, but in reality showing our true position on in the League.
MOTM for West Ham . Mark Noble.