3 games since David Moyes took over and the shoots of recovery were there to see against Man City last week. But we lost and still found ourselves adrift at the wrong end of the table. This game is usually tough, but maybe we could just improve again and realise the potential in the team.
Where do I start with this one? Near the end as we have Man U tomorrow and time is of the essence I’ll be brief.
Once again big team syndrome prevails at Upton Park. Arsenal were allowed to dive and cheat their way through a game whilst WHU were booked for the slightest indifference. We had a goal ruled offside (Lanzini) early doors, that clearly wasn’t.
Arsenal’s first goal came about after Monreal dived in the box, and ref said no foul and indicated a dive. So surely a free kick ? No, but we stop, thinking yes, and Ozil scores.
We also had another ruled off for some reason I don’t know. We were 3-2 up and Carroll got involved with the Arsenal keeper and defender, by the left hand post. There was a tussle and Carroll came out with the ball. Ref doesn’t blow. Carroll passes to Payet. Ref doesn’t blow. Payet taps the ball in and the ref blows??? WTF????
So MOTM is obviously Carroll for his first WHU hatrick. The game ended 3-3 and probably ruined our CL chances and Arsenal’s Championship assault.
One thing I should add, is the atmosphere. When we scored our second to equalize the game, while everyone on the pitch was celebrating with Carroll, Noble was running around the centre circle on his own, and Adrian was shaking hit net , while facing the crowd, like a madman. And the roof was coming off.
Same again tomorrow night and we win. The normal pessimist me has gone. I even tweeted while we were 2-0 down that I thought we would win (just as Carroll got his first)
Yesterday we welcomed one of the new teams to the Premiership. I for one, was not sure of victory as we had had a tough game at Leicester during the week, which was lost in extra time. This was born out by the WHU start which was leggy to say the best. Noble and Kouyate especially were out of sorts and just looked knackered. Just as well we are not still in Europe !
Noble summed this up just before the 10 minute mark, by directing a lazy pass across our goal looking for Tomkins. This was intercepted by Brady who coolly opened the scoring for the canaries.
West Ham huffed and puffed throughout the half. Just after the half hour mark we managed an equalizer when Payet and Sakho combined well to finish with a tap in to make it 1 – 1 at half time.
No subs at half time for WHU , which surprised me, as I wouldn’t have been amazed to see neither Noble, Koutaye, or Jenkinson come out for the second half.
The second half was very much more of the same in what was becoming a easy to forget game. Nathan Redmond came on near the end and I imagine thought he had scored the winner when once again Noble fell short to allow Redmond’s shot to find Adrian’s bottom corner.
Then WHU woke up, and we threw everything at them including Andy Carroll who got himself into a couple of good positions, which were well covered by Ruddy, who also made a great save from Payet. Ruddy’s luck ran out when he tried to punch out a Free kick with Carroll bearing down on him and got it as far as Kouyate, who finished well to secure a draw with seconds to go
So, a point at home keeps us in 3rd and 1 point closer to Man City, but Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham, are 2 points closer to us. Fairplay to Slaven, who had no problem taking off our Captain, as he was having a shocker, maybe a little earlier next time. He also finished with 2 up top, which is encouraging, but with Moses and Payet, you will always have some sort of forward presence.
The Norwich fans seem to be turning into some sort of Palace style “Ultra” support model, which is funny if nothing else.
MOTM was both goalkeepers who kept the goals with some great saves, especially Adrian with his face, which must of stung a bit. With all these saves you would think the game was a classic, it really wasn’t. It was a bit of an attritional game and the score was about right, although Norwich may feel they shaded it, but they did sacrifice the lead twice.
So, the season has come to an end and the Hammers ended up in a respectable mid table position. Despite the dreadful football exhibited by Sam and the team this year.
Where do we go? This close season has delivered some great rumors (Ashley Cole), some poor ones (Rio Ferdinand), and some outright hilarious ones (Emile Heskey ?).
The signing of Mauro Zarate is obviously a cheap tactic for the board and manager to protest their new brand of attacking football. What’s the chances he turns up and sits on the bench, watching Carroll flounder around on his own for another season. Where does this leave Carlton Cole? As he hasn’t followed his namesake Joe out of the door, I assume he stays and sees out his remaining one year around the bench and the last 10 minutes.
Talking of Joe , I for one will go on record and say he did not deliver this time around, and I for one was disappointed. Sam got one thing right, JC was simply not fit enough. Villa are taking a massive chance on giving him what surely must be his last chance.
With Joe in the taxi (c. V Paradis) was George McCartney and Jack Collison. Jack was no surprise, as he didn’t really add anything , and since his career threatening injury a couple of years ago, he is just not a premier league player. But he is WHU through and through, and his open letter to the fans was truly sad, especially his reminisces of that Millwall game. George going was interesting as currently there are no ideal replacements in the team unless Joey O’Brien is being favoured (really ?). Bring on Ashley Cole I say, or maybe Evra if he gets replaced at United as they talk about doing it nearly every season.
As part of this new look attacking team (LOL @ Sam), we need someone who is a real attacking midfielder. Nolan has cost us more than he has delivered in the last year, but will not leave all the time Sam is there (but he’s not in the photos for the new kit, so you never know). Who is this person we need? How about Ravel Morrison (remember him ?). Didn’t get a game for QPR either when it mattered, but we all know what he can do. If Sam is the manager he thinks and says he is then he has to sort this out. However if Fergie and ‘Arry couldn’t then maybe it is a lost cause. In that case I bring you…..Jack Rodwell. Wasting his time at City, and with probably more big players coming in , that won’t change anytime soon.
This is also the upcoming season to blood some of the Academy properly, and not in the way it was done this year, by exploiting them in the FA Cup.
This coming season for the club is critical, being the penultimate season at the Boleyn. We cannot be trying to get promotion before the big move, or worse still, move in while we are in the Championship. Just unthinkable.
I would also be looking to shift some more deadwood (RVT and Stephen Henderson) and someone who played like a dead wood, Mr Mohammed Diame. It’s a shame, the lad has everything, but cannot be arsed to do it for us, and keeps banging on about Liverpool. So do us all a favour mate and piss off.
Normally i would review the season but it was one to right off. I will issue my player of the season though. Once again unexpected (for me), after the surprise of Winston Reid last year, this years recipient is Mark Noble. Not only did he carry himself well all season he also carried Diame and Nolan at times as well. Well played Sir.
Special shout out to Adrian, who came into a team in disarray, let in double figures in his first 2 games (none his fault), and then turned in performance after performance. Good lad.
That’s me for this season unless any big news happens before the start of the season. But like the Euro’s i will be doing a little right up of the England games as they happen in the WC. Guess that will keep me busy for 2 weeks !
I’m not going to go into detail regarding this game, except to say WHU won 2-0, and gave us some space in that bottom half of the league. It was that sort of game. To be fair, when the usual tannoy announcement came near the end of the first half, i actually thought it may be “The 4th official has indicated that he got bored after 15 mins and went home”
WHU dominated the first half but all the decent chances fell to Norwich and they couldn’t capitalise, mainly due to some heroics from the MOTM Adrian. He was also active in the second half, but as the game went on, the shaky centre back partnership of the canaries started to give the hammers some small chances. Diame came off the bench and his influence should not be underestimated. He dominated the right back for Norwich, and had a chance saved just before he got the cross in for Collins to break the deadlock on 80 mins. Norwich pushed on to get the equalizer and were unlucky to concede a second in “Fergietime” (94m) after Diame broke free and got a fortunate deflection to double the score for WHU.
One incident of note in the second half was one Mr Martin Olsson. He caught Downing in the head (by accident), but Downing put his hands to his head. This prompted Olsson to drop to the deck (not near anyone) and roll around a la Chico Flores. Thankfully, no red card for nothing this time. The WHU fans loved this (“Are you Flores in disguise”) and other less savoury taunts.
So overall a good win, and another clean sheet. Some real pluses were the Collins and Tomkins partnership getting better and better, and Mark Noble once again dominating a midfield. I know earlier on in the season I laughed it off, but he could be playing himself into the national squad at this rate.