Dimitri Payet was Man of The Match vs Manchester City… Here’s a few reasons why 🔥 pic.twitter.com/HbGIpnZ2lu
— WHUFC_Daily (@WHUFC_Daily) January 24, 2016
The first Saturday of the year was a little busy as I had just flown in from Vegas / via Dallas. BA had lost a bag and I needed to get to the early kick off between the Hammers and Liverpool.
I took my seat just after Liverpool had gone close with a cross goal shot, and seemed to have come out of the gate pretty quickly. WHU, however seems to be shutting them down quickly and efficiently. About 30 seconds later Enner Valencia popped in a cross which was met by Michail Antonio to take lead for West Ham. Nice work Sir. The lad who couldn’t get in the team now has 2 in 2.
Liverpool as you would expect had the lions share of the possession, but no end product. Benteke had a one on one after Collins had misread a ball, but Tomkins came across from his right back birth to shepherd the ball out of danger. As mentioned earlier, WHU were harrying and closing down in numbers , so threats were kept to a minimum . Emre Can hit the bar just before half time, but apart from that , WHU were good for the half time lead.
In the second half West Ham played more forward, with Kouyate winning a lot of ball and bring it forward and the midfield were more fluid and interchangeable. In fact , it Was Mark Noble who popped up on the right flank to cross the ball which was met by Andy Carroll to double the lead, and promote some rather enthusiastic celebrations from the number 9, who was let go by Liverpool having been (and still is) their record signing. Liverpool were left to stream forward looking for something, and Klopp didn’t shirk by replacing defenders with midfielders, probably noting that even though we were 2 up, some lucky deflections and defending was contributing to the score. Not to mention the woeful shooting by Liverpool. I cannot remember the last time a team shot so many balls over the bar.
WHU managed to close out the game to win the first game in 2016 with the same scorers as the last game of 2015, and jumped to 5th being the early game.
Once again WHU win a game which will be reported as poor play by the opposition.
However, WHU played well and were all over the pitch. I think Slaven has realised that letting the opposition have the ball all day is not profitable and quicker teams (such as Liverpool) will cut through us (like Leicester did).
The reintroduction of Payet, was very much welcomed by the home faithful, and I get the feeling he only came on after we were 2 nil up, and his name started to ring around the ground. He played a bit of a cameo, but still managed to set up Carroll, and turn Lucas inside out. Hopefully we hold onto him throughout the transfer window. Other players who deserve a mention are James’ Collins and Tomkins. Both were strong in the tackle, and Tomkins seems to be relishing his right back spot (although some of his bombing down the wing needs some finesse !) . One player who really needs to be looked at and I have mentioned it before is Enner Valencia. We paid over 13m for this guy and he is knocked off the ball at the drop of a hat. Personally I don’t think he is EPL standard and would happily bin him this window.
MOTM today was the much maligned Andy Carroll, who battered Liverpool’s defence today, never gave up and got his desserts with a great goal to seal the game.
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”
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.
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.
West Ham United
- 13 Adrián
- 18 Jenkinson
- 19 Collins
- 02 Reid
- 03 Cresswell
- 30 Song
- 16 Noble (Carroll – 92′ )
- 08 Kouyaté (Nolan – 66′ )
- 11 Downing
- 31 E Valencia (Cole – 75′ )
- 15 Sakho
- 04 Nolan
- 05 Tomkins
- 09 Carroll
- 17 O’Brien
- 21 Amalfitano
- 22 Jääskeläinen
- 24 Cole
- 01 Guzan
- 34 Lowton
- 04 Vlaar
- 02 Baker (Senderos – 88′ )
- 23 Cissokho
- 08 Cleverley Booked
- 15 Westwood
- 24 Sánchez
- 28 N’Zogbia (Clark – 92′ )
- 11 Agbonlahor Booked
- 10 Weimann Booked
- 06 Clark
- 07 Bacuna
- 12 Cole
- 14 Senderos
- 18 Richardson
- 19 Bent
- 31 Given
This week has been interesting at West Ham. We have lost two games in New Zealand to poor (relatively) teams, Andy Carroll has been injured again and is out for 4 months. Co-Chairman Sullivan, said he wouldn’t of bought him if he knew what was coming (hindsight and all that), and stated that we shouldn’t of put all the eggs in one basket. Co-Chairman Gold retweeted (accidentally apparently) a tweet from someone asking for BFS to be sacked.
In amongst all that, there was the biggest signing for the close season, and probably the signing that will make or break Sam’s season and WHU career, Enner Valencia. Enner came to our attention scoring in Ecuador’s game against England in the pre World Cup games in Miami. He also netted 3 in the WC, and last season scored 18 in 23 in Mexico. But the Premier League is a different level, and we have all seen players be signed up on the back of good World Cups and fail. Kleberson anyone ?
3 weeks till the Spuds, and the future is looking foggy at best. But we do have the best home kit. NO competition.