Posts Tagged ‘Carlton Cole’

Leicester City vs West Ham United 23/04/2012 Championship

April 23, 2012 Leave a comment

After Southampton threw us a lifeline by losing the Middlesborough, we go to the Walkers (now King Power !) stadium, full of hope, on St Georges day. Being in front of the telly means i can blog as its happening, so apologies for any opinions that might not pan out, eg we are going up whatever, etc ! This game at the start of the season, was supposed to be a celebration of both teams being promoted, but with Leicester out of the playoffs by some distance, it was far more important for the Hammers.

Sam selected a attacking formation, leaving Taylor at left back, and pushing Vaz further up top with Cole. 2 up top ? Wonder where that came from ūüôā , so did the Foxes, with Nugent and Beckford up top (and Vassell, aged 100 on the bench).

The game kicked of to a half empty ground.

Within the first 5 minutes, Jack Collison find himself with two shots well saved by Kasper¬†Schmeichel. Bearing in mins some of the struggles we have had with defenders this season, why didn’t we get Konchesky back.? He is far better than any full backs we have.

Nothing else to report for the first 15, except Carlton Cole seems to be on top, and has started lively. That said he was clear on 15.5 and was caught and excellently dispossessed by Wes Morgan, when he should of took on the shot. Captain Wellens appeared to take a freak knock from Nolan, and it looked like he was coming off, but he struggles on. On 21 Beckford got on the wrong end of a Demel 50/ 50 and startd hobbling as Wellens does get subbed. Dirty West Ham ??

That said he didn’t appear to be hobbling on 25 when he met Dyers cross and put it just past¬†Green’s¬†post. A couple of mins later Nolan was unlucky with a trick volley from distance, after a rare forage forwards from Demel, but the first half hour was honours even in everything including the score. Gary O’Neill took one for the team with a professional foul on Dyer to get the first yellow card of the game.

On 33 minutes, Marshall left Taylor for dead (on his arse actually !), and placed a lovely cross onto the head of Darren Beckford to open the scoring. One nil Leicester (Southampton ?).

West Ham respond well immediately but cannot get a shot off. Taylor should of crossed into a crowded box but was too relaxed by far. But on 38, he overlapped well, and did get the cross in for Winston Reid to connect and equalise. Game on. 1-1.

Vaz Te had a long ranger blocked on 40 by Wes Morgan. Tompkins had a trademark back post header just go wide, just before half time.

The second half begins with 45 minutes for West Ham to define their season. Noble takes an out of the box chance that nearly troubles the post, after a corner. Cole had been quiet since the early parts of the 1st half, and almost looks  disinterested. Demel and Taylor spent the first 5 mins of this half camped in the Foxes half.

On 56 Nolan snatches a great through ball from O’Neill , and puts it over the bar, when on target should of been the minimum. This is forgotten when Jack Collison bangs in a half volley from 25 yrds +, and Kasper is close but no cigar. 2-1 West Ham. They then pile on the pressure, but Jack’s next shot deflets off a defender for a corner.

The next 15-20 nothing happened as i had to pick up my wife from the station ūüôā Oh and Faubert came on for Demel. Then CC came off on 80 mins for Danny Collins. This is not a good move as far as I’m concerned. Too defensive, and we do like to let in a late goal. But Collins has pushed into left back and Taylor moved forward avoiding 5 at the back.

With 5 to go, Shaun St Leger nearly helped out with an own goal for the Hammers, and Collison was replaced by Landsbury. All action in the last couple as Green had to make a point blank save, and Nolan was greedy and should of passed to Landsbury for an easy 3rd.

Another win for the hammers on their record breaking season away from home.

We move onto the finale on Saturday with West Ham playing Hull, and Southampton playing a dead and buried Coventry. Southampton should go through, and fair play to them and Reading, but we can dream…………….


MOTM : James Tomkins.




WHUFC vs Brighton and Hove Albion – 14/04/2012 Championship

April 15, 2012 Leave a comment

After the Reading and Southampton game the previous evening, it appeared that WHU’s chances of automatic promotion were slim if not gone completely. With this in mind, the fact that we had a near full house surprised me. Over 32000 came to watch a game between two now playoff¬†hopefuls. Once again the cold set in, and i expected yet another draw for Big Sams team. It was refreshing to see that Vaz Te was allowed to play up front with CC, in a near 442 formation. Also coming in for a second time in just over a week, was Guy Demel, making a welcome run in the team post injury.

The two up front strategy seemed to work as we hit the bar in the first minute. Then out of nowhere Vaz Te banged one in from range, leaving the keeper like a Coldstream guard, one nil 3 mins. By seven mins he had doubled his tally with a header for 2 nil. Brighton had no response and by 10 mins Nolan had got onto the end of a Tomkins back post header to tap in the 3rd.

By this time Hamers fans were dreaming of record wins, and closing the goal difference on Southampton. And then BFS switched to one up front again, and Vaz was restricted to shots from distance which i assume was team orders as Brezovan, the seagulls keeper, didn’t like to catch and kept punching out, giving forwards who follow up some sort of chance. Half time came and went, pretty¬†quietly, as did the first 20 mins of the second half. The we moved to two up front again, and Vaz Te took a stunning¬†bicycle¬†kick¬†¬†to get his hattrick, and celebrate his change (not BFS’s in my opinion) to go back up front.

This reopened the floodgates, and CC got his first of the day with a hard shot that deflected off Lansbury to go 5 nil up. CC by the way had his worst day bar none, missing nearly all balls hit his way, but he¬†didn’t¬†give up and got his reward. Just when things couldn’t get any worse for Brighton, in came a Noble corner, which hit the back of the calf of Dicker for an own goal, and the last of the day.

West Ham win 6 0, but it’s all a little late, we need Southampton to lose at least one of their next 2 games. We have to win all of our games, and it really didn’t need to be this way. Once again, 2 up top is the solution, and Sam should be by now getting¬†disciplinaries¬†from the board based on this¬†omission. Even today it proved the¬†difference¬†for probably¬†two¬†more goals. Speaking of which Lansbury should of got one, when he blazed over the bar from about 8 foot. This was a player who i thought would make the difference, and always scores for the under 21’s, but looks terrible for WHU. Where does he need to play, Centre Mid ? Would you drop Noble, or introduce some sort of xmas tree formation?

Apparently Morrison in injured. Or apparently Ravel has had a tiff with our own Kevin Nolan, and is currently on suspension from the club. This of course could be nonsense, but not surprising.

One other thing i heard is that if we dont get promotion, then Kevin Davies is on his way this summer. Really ? To replace who, Carew? Baldock ? or someone else who hardly plays.

Cheers Vaz (again !)


We have Bristol City on Tuesday, in a game to extend our away record and close the gap on Southampton. We drew at home, in a dire wet evening game, lets hope Tuesday is better. Then Leicester away on Saturday. By then, realistically we will know where we are in relation to a straight promotion.

Fingers crossed and 2 up top.


MOTM: Ricardo Vaz Te. who else.

WHUFC vs Birmingham City 09/04/2012

April 9, 2012 Leave a comment

After the hiding we took at our last home game against Reading, WHU today set sail to beat two objectives. First off the home record and secondly 3 points to apply pressure on Reading and Southampton for automatic promotion into the Premiership.

Neither was achieved honestly. WHU dominated the first half and found themselves 2 nil down by the half hour mark, due to two bad errors by the team when trying to push out. A goal back by Vaz Te, should of got WHU back in contention for half time, but a further goal by Burke about a minute afterwards left WHU struggling 3-1 down at half time.

This was now shit or bust time, and as much as we pushed nothing happened apart from the atmosphere got better and better. once again a crowd that has been treated to some dire football this season got behind a team that frankly dont deserve it.

Carlton Cole has been a much maligned figure the past month or two, but showed his class on 70 minutes, by actually being allowed to use his feet and dropping off the play to smash home a second for the Hammers. Then it was really game on, with more and more pressure. With a minute to go , Chris Burke handled and Vaz Te equalised from the spot, which Birmingham probably thought was a disaster but on reflection was about the right result.

One player who has been praised greatly this season is Rob Green for giving international¬†performances¬†every game. This was his worst by a mile. He didn’t move at all for the first goal. If he wants to play for his country, he has to be at the top of his game every week, without fail.

It was nice to see two up top, but Gary O’Neill was played out of position and it showed. Why Morrison or Landsbury cannot play 90 minutes is down to Sam I suppose.

So, we can take the point bearing in mind where we were at half time, but Reading need to drop points against Brighton tomorrow. In reality, we still have the play offs to look forward to, but lets hope we dont meet Brum again along the way. We played them 4 times last year, and could do without 4 times this year !

As a side note, I think it was the first time this year both myself and the two Johns made the pub prior to the game. Sounds like Aus John had the better trip home taking the self named “Stella Express” home across the Essex countryside.

MOTM: Vaz Te.


Vaz gets the equaliser for the Hammers.

WHUFC vs Middlesbrough 20/03/2012 Championship

March 21, 2012 2 comments

Is this the night Sam lost the Boleyn ?

This game was rubbish, for both teams from start to finish, and the draw was fair. Also fair play to the Boro lads coming down that far on a Tuesday, and having to suffer a game of such low quality. Also, apologies to any one who tuned into Sky, as a neutral, to catch this “top of the table” clash

Now onto the meat and veg. We were poor, and played the old one up front game again. How many times do I have to say this Sam, Carlton Cole cannot play every ball up in the air. The guy is good on the ground and can bring others into play, but you continue to choose to use him as a traditional target man. David Cross left some time ago.

Noble and Nolan were inefficient, and Noble looked like he had been on a treadmill all day, he was that slow. Tompkins has to come out of the midfield, you are destroying a lad who could be a United legend, and if we don’t go up, will¬†definitely¬†leave at the end of the season.

Greenie was getting v.frustrated with the teams lethargy, and this has to stop. If you have a plan, stick to it, else change the plan.

Maynard was completely wasted on the wing. This is not his fault. Yet another who must be wondering why he is there.

Then we come to the tactics. Once we went one nil up (to a lucky goal, but we had had all the pressure to be fair), why did CC and Maynard have to leave the pitch immediately ? Did you not think they may go on to score another, as Boro would have to open up. Collison has been poor all season. This was the time to introduce Morrison, to inject some pace and vision into proceedings.

Once they equalised (great goal by the way), you almost admitted this by bringing on Baldock.

Sam , you are losing the home crowd. We don’t expect to be winning leagues all over the place, and knocking out Barca in the CL, but we do expect common sense.

You have done well thus far, but you have to play to our strengths, as well as the weaknesses of the opposition. I’m sure you heard the Paulo Di Canio calls , the same as I did. If backed by the board i think you can do a job for us in the Premiership, but currently the main objective is the Championship. A win on Saturday is a must.

Stand firm, keep the faith !

MOTM: N/A (it really was that bad)

WHUFC vs Doncaster Rovers 10/03/2012 Championship.

March 11, 2012 Leave a comment

After the disappointment of our midweek draw against Watford. This was a welcome game to have, against a Donny team that have been near the bottom all season.

We started with Collinson and Vaz back in. Vaz had a perfectly good goal overruled after 20 seconds for an alleged foul on the defender. Not sure if you know Vaz, but he’s not the bullying kind ! Then CC hit the bar, and finally after waiting all of nine minutes we went one nil up, after Tompkins headed a great ball back across goal for Nolan.

i really thought this would be a rout for WHU. But as usual at home , we sat back and the game drifted into nothingness until the second half. It really was that bad.

Donny started to get on top mid way through the second half and WHU’s defending was spacious to say the least and Donny got their reward with an equaliser after 73 mins.

2 home daws in a week at this stage of the season is suicide , and Reading are now on equal points, but our goal difference keeps them out of the automatic promotion places.

We have to put teams like this away, and comfortably. And this is where we fail. We cannot put teams to the sword. I have to blame the manager. He has bough a raft of strikers this term with no real impact from any of them. CC is the only one playing well, but with no support is becoming a scapegoat. Sam needs to sort this as a matter of extreme urgency. Sam also needs to look at the tactics, that say as soon as we go behind or the opposition draw, we should go ultra long ball. This has only crept in for the last 2 games, but needs to dissapear ASAP.

I said playoffs, at the start of the season, and I hope I’m wrong, but it’s out go my hands and up to Sam to install some fight into his front line! And deliver some creativity into the mid field. I think with the personnel we have this is quite easy, but they need to play closer, and Nolan needs to stop wandering.

One other thing that is bothering me is the following. When I watch Premiership football, it seems way above what I see at Upton Park. If we do go up this season, i fear for the next one !

MOTM Carlton Cole. Did a lot of work for not a lot of return from his teammates.

WHUFC vs Watford 07/03/2012 Championship

March 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Yet another freezing cold evening took mrben09 to the fortress of Upton Park, for a semi local derby with Watford. A team that used to have such luminaries as John Barnes, Luther Blissett, and Elton John, are now a confirmed championship side, but should of provided no competition to a Hammers team that so convincingly beat Cardiff the previous Sunday.

Collinson and Vaz Te were dropped from the starting line up for Matt Taylor and Julien Faubert, a move that i saw as positive and that nearly reaped rewards, as MT hit the bar after about 50 seconds from a 35 yrd shot. I’m afraid after that we huffed and puffed, and apart from a sitter missed (a recuring theme this season, Sam, get these guys practicing ) from Faubert following a MT cross, we stumbled towards half time. The front line appeared to be not engaging with the rest of the team, apart from flashes of co-ordination from CC.

The second half proved a different proposition with WHU pummelling the Watford penalty box but with no end result. I say penalty box, as shots were thin on the ground. With about 20 to go, i pointed out to Angry John, that Watford seemed to be getting on top. At that very minute, Watford scored a goal out of nothing, with a long range grasscutter, hitting the inside of the post and its one nil Watford.

Then it became charge of the light brigade stuff, with long balls to CC, and follow ons. To be fair CC played really well for all of the second half, winning about 80% of balls in the air, and laying off well. With about 8 to go of nomal time, Vaz Te managed to get on the end of a cleared corner to shoot through several players and equalise. Good news, but still we ploughed on. Due to a serious injury to a Watford player early in the secong half, there was 12 mins of extra time. More bluster from WHU, but no goals.

So in short, a disappointment for WHU fans, but a point at at the end of the day, that we needed to dig out. This is good practice for next year (assuming promotion). MOTM James Tomkins, who pretty much  collected everything aimed near him all night, and made some crucial interceptions, and appears to be learning well from Faye.

Cheers Vaz !

WHUFC vs Burnley 03/12/2011. Championship

December 4, 2011 Leave a comment

After missing last week’s comeback against Derby, i arrived at Upton Park hoping for a another impressive hammers display. This season i have missed the great home wins against Pompey, Derby, and Blackpool, but have witnessed the games against Leeds, Cardiff and Bristol City. This is starting to form a pattern, and one that i would of liked to rid myself of yesterday.

May i add that yesterday the Upper Bobby was exceptionally cold and windy, or maybe i’m just getting to that age !

After the now obligitory 1 minute for Gary Speed (let us not forget one of the greatest midfielders of all time – Socrates, passed away this weekend. RIP), the game got under way and WHU came out of the blocks, winning plenty of possession and corners.

Although industrious, i have mentioned in the blog previously that CC, cannot play on his own up top, and this was once again proved. Although, the midfield were supporting quicker than usual, especially Collinson, who overall had one of his best games this season (and was actually played in position – coincedence ?).

Nolan missed an open goal ,after some great work from CC to get the ball across the box. Maybe the ball could of been slightly better, but Kev should of buried it.

So, half time finds us at  0 0, but the Hammers were more than in control.

Early in the second half, CC flicked on a ball, that Nolan read perfectly, and then lobbed the keeper from distance to open the scoring. From then on it looked a formality. Until someone on the Burnley bench pointed out that we dont defend corners or crosses very well. Within 5 mins McCann had equalised heading in a cross, and then on the 75th minute, substitute Vokes took his chance, and headed in the winner from a corner.

How we threw it all away.

In all, it was a bad day at the office, and thats all. We should of won, with Jack and CC¬†both hitting the post. Another day we could of had a rout, but all credit to Burnley for their attitude and not giving up. I assumed that without Eagles they wouldn’t move it around as well, but i was wrong.

Some final comments. Jack played really well and i hope BFS keeps him in a position that suits him rather than suits the side. Nolan looked lively for a change, and with this being the 3rd game in seven days, maybe is approaching some level of fitness. CC needs help up front, and this is easily sorted while Baldock is out, by using either Nolan or Collinson in a real no. 10 position.

Now defending. Faye and Tompkins look fantastic in one to one situations (Faye to me looks as good as Bilic and Martin, from back in the day), but there is some misorganisation in the way they defend crosses and corners. BFS, who is a diligent student of tactics, needs to sort this out, as that is one of the reasons we went down last year.

Lets get the show back on the road next week, against Reading. I’ll take a well defended one nil.

On a slightly different ¬†note,¬†I happen to mention to my wife that all the cool kids are going for romantic breaks to the Ukraine this summer.¬†I don’t think she believes me !

WHUFC vs Leicester City 29/10/2011

October 30, 2011 Leave a comment

A month spent across the pond for me has found the Hammers moving into second in the championship, behind the force of nature that seems to be Southampton at the moment.

An unnaturally warm end to October brings the managerless and big spending foxes up UP. Bearing in mind our pretty poor home record this season (and most others recently !), and the fact how teams raise their game when the chips are down, I had a draw in my head.
The noisy foxes were silenced after 17 mins, when Sam Baldock belied his height to get up at the back stick, and onto the end of a Carew cross for our first. This was quickly followed by Julien Faubert hitting a good 20 harder into Schmeichel the youngest bottom corner for our second.

Faubert seems to be enjoying his new position and seems to be doing well at it, long may this continue. We reach half time comfortably in the lead. Happy days, its beer time.

We then enter the usual WHU trait on failing to protect or build on a lead, and let Leicester back in via Andy King. Carew is then subbed for big Fred and the draw looms as the most likely outcome.

To be fair on a rare attack at this stage, a route one play finds Fred flicking on for Sam to put away a calm finish, to go 3-1 up, and surely get the 3 points.

Andy King then scores a screamer to make it 3-2 and then we press the ? button and bring on little Freddie Sears. Now, maybe I’m wrong but I just don’t get it. He wasn’t good enough under Zola playing football, and definitely ain’t good enough under big Sam’s longer ball regime, so why does he persist, when Nouble is playing well for the gills and is more built for the job. Sorry Fred, I know you are WHU through and through but you just don’t cut it kid.

Anyway we crack on and ground out a hard won win from what should of been an easy job at half time.

We are now pulling away from the play off places and another 3 points on Tuesday against Bristol City should compound this position.

I am hoping to see Carlton Cole at least on the bench. He is our top scorer this season along with Sam Baldock and the two of them need more time together to get a long lasting partnership going.