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End of Season Report WHUFC 2012/2013

May 27, 2013 Leave a comment

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.

Special mentions.

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.

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Take a bow son !. Sir Winston of East London (and NZ)

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WHUFC vs Everton 22/12/2012 – EPL

December 23, 2012 Leave a comment

Both teams came to this game with patched up teams, but WHU’s was decimated. No McCartney or Demel at the back gave a rare start to James Tomkins at right back. Once again Gary O’Neill filled in the centre of midfield for Diame.

The game itself was lively, and both teams seemed to want to win, even if WHU warmed up and got ready like a pub team, all strolling around and no conversation or organisation. Something Sam might want to take a look at.

Then began the comedy act of the day Mr Antony Taylor. A great corner from Bains was met by Leon Osman for one nil Toffees. But was cancelled by the ref. I still dont know why, it was right in front of me, and I saw nothing untoward. However i’ll take it because that woke up WHU and Matt Taylor sent a great ball through for Carlton Cole, who is starting to look back to his best, who then shrugged of the defender to power in a great goal from just outside of the box.

By half time we were good for the one nil, but the Everton fans may disagree. If Jelavic could shoot it may of been different.

We came out for the second in good form again with Nolan and Taylor having chances to extend the lead, but by the hour mark we were starting to play the game out, but Everton were getting on top. They equalized with a header from Anichebe Then the comedy show started again. Ball goes past Cole. As he turns he puts his leg up. Bains goes for ball with head. Carlton cannot see Bains as he is turning. Carlton catches Bains. Red Card. WHAT !!!! Absolute joke.

As with the loss of Diame last week, things like this destabilize WHU easily . You could almost see the wheels rolling down Green Street as they came screaming off. Pienaar made it two, 10 minutes later with a scrambled goal involving Matt Taylor. Then the ref, realising this was partially his fault, sends off Darren Gibson for nothing to even it up. This raised a massive chant of “You’re not fit to referee” from the WHU fans !

So yet again we allow things out of our control to change our game. Once again we throw away a good lead. We have dropped six points in our last 2 home games. We could be battling for 7th with Chelsea, but we are in 12th, and starting the inevitable slide.

This is where teamwork come in. As i mentioned earlier, the team is looking disorganised, and not really a team. The pre match was shocking. I have never seen one like it. If there is an issue Sam needs to sort it in Jan, by moving some people out, because it wasn’t there last year. Last year we would of closed out both games. It wouldn’t of been pretty, but there you go.

Hopefully Sam can get CC’s red card rescinded as we are so short of players its getting silly (nice to see Jordan Spence get on yesterday, and Jack warming the bench). Apparently he wants some sort of exec action on the ref, but I think he may be wasting his time.

MOTM: James Collins was immense again. But one player played above the rest yesterday. His movement and vision was ahead of everyone. Unfortunately he wasn’t wearing claret and blue. Steven Pienaar.

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Always Believing……..Carlton COLE !

WHU vs Arsenal EPL 06/10/2012

October 7, 2012 Leave a comment

We come to our second London derby of the week, after our good win against QPR away on the Monday. Arsenal come to Upton Park of the back of a good win in the Champions League. That was not the first difference of the day. The ground was full and the atmosphere was fantastic.

Most WHU fans were optimistic about this game, as Arsenal have shown some weakness this season against the dead ball, and they are missing their talismanic striker Van Persie, following his exit to Old Trafford over the summer. Personally i was concerned they may end up starting Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott, and just kill us for pace.

Arsene helped me out by not starting either, but putting Podolski on the wing instead isn’t a bad replacement I suppose !

The game got off as expected with Arsenal piling in the pressure, with constant incisive passing. But as usual with Arsenal had no finishing quality (it was out on the wing as usual – this would frustrate me massively if I was a fan of our North London neighbours).

WHU’s forays into the opponents box were limited, but they weathered the storm at the beginning to fight back into the game. However it was still against the run of play, in the 21st minute, when Diame shrugged off Ramsey on the edge of their box, to absolutely rocket in the first goal of his Hammers career from an obtuse angle. Game on.

Then normal service resumed, but it looked like WHU would hold out the first half for a dream start. Andy Carroll was winning everything in the air, and as usual was bringing in other players. The improvement on Carlton Cole cannot be disputed now, and we need to do everything we can in January to hold onto the big Geordie.

Arsenal seemed to find space everywhere, especially on their left, and just before half time Poldolski got a cross in for Giroud to push home on the front post, to bring Arsenal level. Nolan went close to getting onto the end of cross to put us 2-1 up at the break, but just didn’t have the pace.

One all at half time, and although both teams were probably content, I’m sure Arsenal were the happier, having got back into the game at a crucial time.

The second half was more of the same, as the Arsenal pressure just got bigger and bigger. The space they find in the middle of the park is amazing, and WHU couldn’t close them down. However, WHU had some chances with Carroll coming close with a header going just past the post. At the 60 minutes mark Walcott came on, and didn’t look to clever to be honest. Until about 15 minutes later when Diame got robbed of the ball, Walcott got on the end of it with no one near him, and cooly slotted home to put the Gunners ahead. During that 15 Vaz Te halfheartedly got into a tangle with Mannone, and got rewarded with a dislocated shoulder. Also Demel, who was playing well, went off with knock to be replaced by Tompkins, who must be in for a shout for a next game, as we are losing defenders like Man U at the moment.

This put WHU into a bit of a spin, and the third looked imminent. But after 5 minutes we seemed to be making a fist of it again, with Nolan having a couple of chances that he didn’t finish. With 7 to go Carzola drilled in a 20 yrd screamer to end WHU’s chances of at least one point, and close the game out for Arsenal.

So we end up 1-3 to Arsenal, and we learn the the Premier League is still 2 or 3 leagues in one. We lost the game in the middle, as we spent most of our time chasing shadows, we were just not quick enough. Jarvis was also found wanting on the wing against Kieran Gibbs, as was Vaz Te when we swapped about. Whether this is fitness or awareness, will be down to BFS to sort out.

But its not all doom and gloom for the Hammers. Carroll was fantastic, and Reid played well again, as did Diame (although some final ball passing wouldn’t go amiss). Nolan’s fitness was found out again. Also, if Noble thinks he has an England chance, he needs to stop trying and failing to deliver Gerrardesque hollywood balls, and concentrate on what he is good at. Maybe he could hit the club shop and get a few season reviews from the Scott Parker era.

So not too disappointed overall, and after the international break we have Southampton at home, which should be 3 points for WHU on current form.

MOTM: Carroll for WHU, but overall Cazorla ran the game from start to finish, and got a good goal at the end.

Cazorla with 3 WHU players. A familiar sight unfortunately !