West Ham play Everton and it’s this season. What happens ?
How about a late 90+ winner for Everton, scored by Lukaku.
Yep, Our entire season summed up in 94 minutes.
West Ham play Everton and it’s this season. What happens ?
How about a late 90+ winner for Everton, scored by Lukaku.
Yep, Our entire season summed up in 94 minutes.
Last Weekend, thieves performed an old school heist on a safety deposit box vault in the centre of London. It is thought to be one of the biggest robberies ever in the UK. It would have been beaten into clear second place if WHU had secured all 3 points today. Continue reading “WHUFC vs Stoke City 11/04/2015 – EPL”
After our win over Man City, most WHU fans were thinking that the next 2 games against Stoke and Villa should be 6 points and our top 4 status should be secure. However, old skool heads knew better, and those thoughts were realised after our draw at Stoke (albeit from 2 nil down), and another 1 point game with our 0-0 against Villa yesterday. Last year we would of lost by 3 or 4 at Stoke and maybe could of thrown away the valuable point late on yesterday. Let’s not forget this point moved us back into the top 4 (without at this time knowing the Arsenal result). These results have been recognised with Sam getting Manager of the Month for October and Diafra Sakho getting Player of the Month.
Villa are a team in trouble, and played that way. They spent the last half hour wasting time and if it wasn’t for some great goalkeeping would of lost to our last few minutes onslaught of their goal from the returning Andy Carroll.
WHU played the whole game in control with Downing (congrats on the England call up) and Song running the game from start to finish. The introduction of Carroll was immense, and if he had come in for longer (eg when Cole came on), we would of got a win. However that wasn’t to be and we have to learn that teams respect us more these days and sometimes we will be up against spoiling tactics. That all said some players need to take a look at themselves. Kouyate for example, is a player that prior to his injury had been a Diame with the ability to surge forwards and link up play. His introduction back in yesterday for Amalfitano (who was poor against Stoke) was welcomed but he really didn’t deliver. Against a tight midfield, he was ineffective and looked a shadow of the guy who started the season. In fact, he looked like Diame !
The one worry for me, was that with Valencia and Sahko not firing yesterday, we ended the game with Cole, Nolan and Carroll on the pitch. Will Sam start to revert to these tactics that saw him vilified last season if we go on a run of draws and losses? We will have to wait and see.
Carroll as previously mentioned looked immense when he came on. In the 5 minutes he played, he had 2 chances saved by Guzan . I think he will be introduced in longer spells moving forwards, and the upcoming International break will help with his recuperation.
Our next two games are away to Everton and home to Newcastle. Neither will be easy ,and will be a good bell weather for our finishing position for the season. But we cannot deny, that with a fully fit squad we should now be prepared for anything, and the competition for places should encourage better performances.
Shout out to Joe Cole who took some humorous “banter” well, while warming up for Villa. On that subject, fans singing “he hits who he wants” to James Tomkins might want to think about that.
MOTM today was again Alex Song, but big shouts to James Collins who played a blinder against his old team. Holidays and bad timings of games will limit my reports until late December now, but hopefully, I will still have the optimism brought on by he opening quarter of the season.
First up get well soon Aussie John who didn’t make yesterday’s game, but I will see him later as we are nipping up to the hospital today.
Post our semi dramatic (although not as dramatic as others, LOL) exit from the League Cup, it was back to the Premier League for West Ham, and the visit of Southampton FC.
Southampton had spent most of the summer selling their best assets to Liverpool and Man Utd, and West Ham had been strengthening their squad and continued to do so, with the addition of Alex Song on a season loan from Barcelona being announced just before kick off. So it all looked like a West Ham win.
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 !
Great team, great passing, great to watch, big away following, noisy away following, will upset a few big teams, too good to go down, not good enough for Europe. Once upon a time you could guarantee people would be taking about West Ham. These days its more likely that they are talking about Southampton.
Southampton came in good form, as they have held onto all season, but were running into a WHU team who themselves were on a good run. The game started (after the minutes applause for the passing of the legend that was Sir Tom Finney) with Southampton on fire and we were chasing shadows if I’m honest and it was no surprise when they took the lead after 8 minutes. The manner of conceding our first goal in over 4 games was more disappointing. There were 6 West Ham players in a row, marking space rather than players and this allowed Yoshida to ghost in unopposed to get his first goal of the season.
This seemed to wake the hammers up and our midfield in particular. We started to see more of the ball and were closing down the effective play of the Saints a lot quicker which was starting to make them make mistakes. After 20 minutes, Kevin Nolan spotted a run from Matt Jarvis across their back line and lofted a beautiful ball into the danger zone, which Matty got onto, nuts the keeper and slots in the equalizer. To be fair if he had missed he was due a penalty as well, due to the keeper taking him out. There was a slight sniff of offside, but for once the luck was with us. 1-1
We didn’t have to wait long for the next goal, as the Hammers didn’t relent the pressure on the Saints. 3 minutes after the leveller, Carton Cole jumped out of the pack to bullet a header against the post, and the rebound came back to him (from Yoshida’s arm – another pen ?) and rifled in WHU’s second to make it 2-1 WHU after 23 mins. For the first time this season, football had broken out at Upton Park. Southampton continued their possessional play, and might of felt aggrieved not to be level at half time. Adrian did his part again and so did Guy Demel, making some key interventions and clearances.
The scoreline was interesting for me as Mrs MrBen had had her first ever football bet today. She picked WHU to win 2-1, so was hoping for a drab second half to ensure £100 quid into her pocket.
To be fair she looked good for it as the second half didn’t really live up to action of the first. WHU as usual, had a period of play where they gave Southampton some opportunities to level, with both Adam Lallana and Gaston Ramirez wasting chances. However come the 71st minute, a lovely cross from Stewart Downing met the industrious Carlton Cole who nodded it down for Kevin Nolan to fire in an overhead kick from 5 yards out to bring another 3 points to Hammers. For once a comfortable win, to confirm their top half league aspirations, and extend their current form to 4 wins, one draw and only one goal conceded. And a game where the score was about right. If Diame’s speculative shot near the end hadn’t just hit the bar, but had gone in, the scoreline would of been unfair to Southampton. This game has probably won Sam the manager of the month award for Feb as well, without Andy Carroll for most of it. Things are looking good for the Hammers, and with Newcastle and Southampton slipping up more than expected currently, I don’t think we have finished our table climb. I was eyeing up Man U yesterday but their win against Palace probably makes them an unrealistic target now.
So some points of note. Sam has maintained then when the team is fit we can match anyone, and despite my reservations, he may be right. One other point is one I started last game. Adam Lallana on Sky commentary this morning, was being lauded as a cert for the plane to Brazil. Mark Noble played him off the park, and once again dominated a game with tackles, pick ups and directing play. He deserves a look in, if nothing else.
I have also decided to add a new feature to the blog, The Bloke Behind Me. Now this guy has been there some time, and comes out with the most inane nonsense, week in week out .
So for the in inaugural TBBM, we have “James Collins has probably been our best player this season, but i wouldn’t have him in the team” Nice one mate. The only thing that will stop this feature is the 67 year old Angry John clumping him , so I have that in my influence sphere ! Nice to see Aussie John yesterday as well, coming back for a beer, even though he does live the far sticks of Essex these days.
MOTM for this week was once again Mark Noble. Another game dominated.
With West Ham last game being the magnificent win against Spurs at the Lane, most WHU fans ay the ground had already decided that we already had our name on the 2015 Champions League already. We were unbeatable, and didn’t need strikers and could score at will. And we had this weeks current English wonderkid, Ravel Morrison.
Talking of which, this kid has had a couple of good games and scored some goals. He is also only now delivering on his promise that started at Man U all those years ago. Lets not get carried away just yet. Unlike the Sky Cameras, who decided to chase him around the pitch while he was warming up prior to the match. Surely the pitch is the workplace until the game is over ?
Anyway, Man City stood in front of this assault on Europe. We lined up much like against Spurs, leaving two strikers out of our pool of 2 fit / able strikers on the bench. Welcome back Carlton. As regular readers know, this for me , is some sort of religious resurrection :). City had no Zabeleta or Kompany at the back, which was encouraging.
The game was underway at a high pace, and the scene was being set. David Silva running the show and WHU chasing shadows. We needed to get the ball and that was proving hard to do. We did we had a couple of forays into the City half but that was about that. On 16 mins a great dummy by Negrero left Aguero free to open the scoring for City. West Ham tried to respond but our 6 man midfield were struggling to get involved, which probably tells you which way the game was going. Come half time there had been a few flashes of light, through Morrison and Ratz, and I was happy with one nil.
My happiness was put out 5 minutes into the second half, when a Silva free kick found Aguero’s head for the second. Poor defending all round allowed one of the smallest players on the pitch score his first headed goal in the Prem.
All of a sudden WHU woke up, and our midfield started to fire, with Noble mugging off Yaya Toure a couple of times, which cheered me up no end. Just before the hour mark, RVT fires in an overhead kick past Hart after a nice dink in from Morrison. Upton Park goes wild and not just because CC is warming up ! We then push on and on and City start to falter and make mistakes. This is on like Donkey Kong. But it wasn’t to be, Demel got injured and had to leave for O’Brien, and it upset the balance a little. The knock on effect was we run out of puff, and still Sam left the strikers on the bench. This is where the issue was in reality. At 65 he replaced RVT with Jarvis, when maybe Petric or Cole and the long ball may of been the better option of getting a draw. On the same point, I am no RVT fan but no way should he have come off at any point yesterday. City smelt the fatigue and Silva scored an absolute cracker to finish the game off on 80 minutes.
So what happens next. Well Sam has got Carroll back soon, he has a fit CC and Petric, and therefore we need to change this ridiculous formation. For most of yesterday Diame and Morrison were playing up front and it helped neither. Back to the young lad, he played OK yesterday and in the second half passed the ball around really well, which is something he needs to do.
MOTM: Jussi played well, as did Tomkins and Ratz (after a dodgy start). But David Silva was just unplayable yesterday, and therefore gets my vote.
Overall, our first season back in the prem has been a success, with Big Sam steering the team to a top 10 finish, in allegedly the best league in the world. We have a become a hard team to break down, but we do have a limited attack, unless Andy Carroll is playing. This means our league position is about right. For Sam then, we have to take on board that in the last two seasons he has done exactly what has been asked of him, and delivered in both years. But he needs to liven up play to get more fans on side.
Sam Allardyce 8/10
For the players we shall go in shirt number order.
2. Winston Reid. Bit of a shame to start any article at the top, but this is where we find ourselves. The Kiwi has been outstanding this season, and has won the club’s Player of the Season award, and mine. Which may come as a surprise as I wanted him out when we first took him on. 9/10
3. George McCartney – Only played about 25% of the season, and looked OK, but then injury struck, not OK. Probably should be offloaded this summer. 5/10
4. Kevin Nolan. Big Kev ended the year on a high, with a hatrick against collapsing Reading. Seems to drive the team, but could do with getting in the gym a bit, if you ask me. Double figures from midfield not too shabby though. 7/10.
5. James Tomkins. Really disappointing season for the young defender as Sam obviously doesn’t rate him, which is a shame. Would do best to leave, but i would like him to stay and prove Sam wrong. 6/10
7. Matt Jarvis. Our record signing has been everything we needed this year once he got going. Balls flew in from all angles from the feet of the small winger. More to come I hope. 7/10
8. Andrew Thomas Carroll. Where would we of been without Sam’s inspired loan signing. Not just his goals, but his teamplay and willingness to get on the end of everything has been nothing short of amazing. If he didn’t have a spell out injured, we would of at least been knocking on the door of Europe. If we can hang onto him permanently, colour me a Sam fan ! 9/10
9. Carlton Cole. This season sees Carlton leaving West Ham a cult hero and a West Ham fan. Never gave less than 100%, but just cannot fit into Sam’s system. I’m really sorry to see him go, but wish him luck wherever he ends up. 7/10
10. Jack Collison. Jack has had another injury hit season, but when he has played he still hasn’t lived up to his early potential. I would give him one more season, but there are rumours about an early retirement. 6.5/10
11. Modibo Maiga. Failure, except for a last minute cross for Kevin Nolan to get his hatrick against Reading. Back to France for this recruit. 3/10
12. Richardo Vaz Te. The enigma continues. The guy who scored our last championship goal, gets one in our last game of the season. RVT is just not good enough for Premier League football. He gets shoved off too much and gives the ball away too easily. Another one for the exit door. 4/10
14. Matt Taylor. Seems to give his all, and has the mark of a premier league player. Used sparingly this season, might see more action if RVT leaves. 6/10
15. Yossi Benayoun. Couple of appearances pre christmas and won a Europa League winners medal. Fair play. Don’t come back. 5/10
16. Mark Noble. The local boy had been an ever present until an injury took him out for a few games. Lots of puff, not nearly enough end product. Can do it, and once he gets it in his head he can do it. Needs to realise he is not the best player in WHU and just needs to get his head down and crack on. 6/10.
17 Joey O’Brien. Last years freebie becomes this year’s secret weapon. Plays really well on the right, not so good on the left but capable. A good addition to the team. 7/10.
19 James Collins. Started the season really badly, not sure where he was playing, not linking up with Reid, got mauled by Swansea and kept Tomkins out of the side . Post Xmas was indispensable. Kept Man U quiet on his own. Well played Ginge. 7.5/10
20. Guy Demel. His rampaging down the right seem to be more controlled now and his tackles better. Needs to stay . 7/10
21. Mo Diame. Absolutely fantastic all season. His goal against Man U was sublime. Held us to ransom a bit during Jan, but hopefully with that behind him and a better midfield to come in, he will improve again (before he leaves !). 8.5/10
22. Jussi Jaaskeklainen. Robert Green’s replacement played every PL game this season, and won us about 10 points in my estimation. A couple of mistakes are allowed in a season like this. Well played Sir. 8/10.
26 Joe Cole. If I’m honest I really wanted this to work, and it sort of did, if only from a raising the spirits point of view. Needs more game time, and needs to get his mojo back . You can see why Liverpool moved him on though, as by rights he should sit square in the Brendan Rogers camp. 6.5/10
32. Gary O’Neill. Never let us down as a sub, but really took his chance in the middle when Noble was out. Should get more game time next year. 7/10.
Abou Diarra – nice one.
Dan Potts. Your time will come.
Elliot Lee. Maybe, lets see.
Chamakh. Lol. Lets hope he wasn’t expensive.
Last but not least the Chairmen. Lets not forget, this season we have gained a new ground, as well as bankrolled the signings (re signings) of Carroll, Cole, and secured Diame. Also, for a man in his late 70’s David Gold is fantastic on twitter (dg). The other Dave has kept his self out of the media and left it to Karen, which is probably right. If the 3 of them play this ground business well, we could be up there in a few years.
See you next season (this year was 7.5/10). COYI.
Not having won here for 50 years, I wasn’t expecting WHU to tear up any trees here today at Anfield.
We started minus Andy Carroll for loan condition reasons, and drafted in Carlton Cole to lead the line. It was telling that after 10 minutes the commentator pointed out that WHU were playing with a back six! We were defending a constant stream of Liverpool attacks. This seemed to get even more intense when Sturridge replaced and injured Downing after 25 minutes.
Collins and Tomkins (in for the injured Reid) seemed to be blocking and tackling everywhere.
Diame for WHU was making to odd forage forward but Cole’s lacks of recent games seem to be showing with poor touches and non-existent passing. Towards the end of the half a loose pass from Liverpool led to Cole being straight on goal and his shot rebounded from Agger when it should of at least made the goal. WHU made some reasonable attacks towards half time but it was Liverpool on points at half time.
The second half was more of the same, but with WHU having a little more of the ball. Collins seem to have moved man to man on Suarez, which worked most of the time. Jarvis was seeing a lot more of the ball and seem to be breaking down the Liverpool defence, especially Carragher. Liverpool had countless attacks repelled, and a good shout for a penalty when Gerrad was taken down by Tomkins. The replay to me, showed it was a blatant pen.
In the last 10 mins Pogatetz had to come on for the now injured Tomkins (get well soon Reidy 🙂 ). Collison had a great header cleared off the line by Lucas for an unlikely first goal. In the absence of Tompkins, James Collins was immense in the last few minutes of the game.
No one will deny that this game was Liverpool’s to lose, and with a point today they will feel they have. However it is another step for WHU towards premiership continuity, which is needed even more with the extra money coming into the league next year and the impending move to our new stadium.
James Collins gets the nod for MOTM as he was immense, but Jussi, Diame, Jarvis, O’Brien, and Tomka all put a shift in.
All in all a frustrating game for both sides fan’s to watch, but for different reasons.
This game, although not a six pointer was important for both teams. WHU needed to stop the slide towards danger, and Harry’s QPR need to try and capitalise on recent good performances to try and lift them from their rivals. Needless to say, the weather was shocking, the only good news coming from the fact the wind was blowing away from us in the Upper Bobby.
After we played well in the second half for the last few games, i sort of hoped we might start well today. This was not the case, as after 13 minutes if WHU pressure, QPR broke and found our defence wide open and put a through ball to this weeks big signing for QPR, Loic Remy. Fair play to him , he ran to the ball with out a touch, and fired past Jussi’s left to open his and QPR’s account. The rest of the half was the WHU show, but no goals to show for it. Where we did let ourselves down was in crossing the ball. Both Nolan and Joe Cole were consistently overhitting balls to the far side. To say this was frustrating was an understatement. Winston Reid came close after Mo Diame had a little Giggs style run around the QPR defence, and his cross was met by Reid only to run the whole width of the goal untouched about 1ft from the line. But the key was the crossing. Terrible. Chamakh started for the hammers today, and if I’m honest did not really impress in the first half, although he seemed to be geting about and winning the odd long ball.
The second half was just as annoying, with further crosses into QPR area being mishit and more chances going to waste. We have to learn to finish teams like this. And I have a plan but more of that later.
Winston Reid seemed to be camped in the QPR box, and had a couple of shots blocked by a resolute defence. Cesar in the QPR goal was showing all of his experience by playing quickly when needed and giving QPR time when they needed it as well. But he does kick goal kicks way left, so obviously Rob Green has been showing him some of his talents.
My Remy was very absent in the second half and seems to suffer from the “Berbatovs”. If he gets the ball played directly to him, he is interested, but if not he won’t go looking for it. This will frustrate QPR moving forwards.
CC came on from Chamakh in the 62nd minute, and started to terrorise an already panicing defence. After 6 minutes he rose to a cross, which was saved by Cesar, and then JC followed up to reopen his account at Upton Park (for West Ham !).
After this WHU really pushed on but not break dow the R’s defence.
The game ends one one, and questions have to be asked. We are not scoring enough goals and more shots in this game and the United game during the week would have changed thing significantly.
It should be said at this time. Nolan was shocking today. Passes going everywhere but where they should. This, hopefully was a bad day at the office.
The issue is easy to see. Sam has 4 strikers, Cole, Maiga, Carroll, and now Chamakh. They are all the same. Apparently RVT is a striker as well, according to the squad list on whufc.com, but he’s a midfielder at best. So we have 4 strikers who all offer the same thing at different levels. If Sam needs another striker, and he obviously thinks we do as he got Chamakh, then why 1). Get what we already have. 2). Not play more than one at a time.
Point 2 is just as frustrating. Nolan helps out, as does RVT (to some extent), but to win games we need to have 2 strikers. When Carroll is fit, surely him and CC should terrorise any defence. This leaves Nolan to pick up lose balls, and JC to have 2 options open to him to pass the ball forward.
Point 1 is trickier, as strikers seem to be a dying breed. So we just have to get on with playing 2. Or we try and get players in on loan like Macheda from United or go crazy and try and get some one like Billy McKay from Inverness as a wildcard.
MOTM. Noble played well, and just did his job (and left some corners to JC). Reid looked accomplished as usual, and added to the attack today, but the romantic in me has to give todays award to Joe Cole. Welcome back !