WHUFC vs Liverpool 20/09/2014 EPL 2014/2015


Not a massive fan of late kick offs so I dragged myself down to Upton Park for this game which had been moved for our friends on the telly. Having a chat with Angry pre game, and some random turns up and gives us free beer as his mates had disappeared, so the day was looking up. Anyway the bottom line of this chat, was that for us to get anything out of this, Liverpool needed to be having an off day. But at least we have a chance after it appears that Sam’s attacking football ™ is starting to gel, following the Hull game last Monday.

So the game starts in front of a vocal full house and the atmosphere is electric. After 90 seconds it goes to 11 once Winston Reid scores from a Tomkins knock down, the put the hammers into the lead. As everyone was settling into the pattern, of Liverpool attack and WHU counter, when Sakho lofted over Mignolet from the right hand side to double the lead, within 6 minutes. Now, whether it was really a cross or not, I’ll leave for him to answer, but from the Bobby Moore Upper it looked fantastic.

Being a West Ham fan, you know this isn’t enough, so the more Liverpool got the ball, the more concerned for the final result you were. And they got the ball a lot, but Balotelli and Sterling didn’t really offer the threat of a Sturridge and Suarez. One other highlight in the first half was everyones favourite pantomime villain Balotelli, going straight through Adrian, and nearly get a hiding for his trouble, but in the end they both settled for yellow cards. Liverpool got one back just before half time, when a Balotelli shot rebounded off Cresswell onto an onrushing Sterling to fire into the bottom left corner, with a well taken strike. The half time conversation was not as comfortable as you would expect being 2-1 up, and we started the second half waiting for inevitable. Which never came. The scousers battled on and had way more ball. but there was no plan B outside of give it to Sterling. Gerrard wasn’t driving on and Henderson looked like he had regressed two years.

West Ham had the odd counter, but to be fair this period wasn’t as eventful as the first half, unless you count Lovren chasing after Valencia, because Valencia won the ball in the air, but Lovren was convinced he had been butted (he wasn’t, but he had taken a massive bang in the head in first half, so maybe can be forgiven for his reaction). With 2 minutes to go, WHU broke and an improving Downing threaded through a great ball for new boy Amalfitano to slot home the final goal of the game, and end any hope Liverpool had of points today.

I don’t say this very often, but Sam got it right today, keeping Sakho and Valencia up top, and putting in Alex Song with Noble. Alex Song. Now this guy is some player. He doesn’t do any more than anyone else, but everything he does is completed correctly, and without fuss. He makes every pass and sees balls that our other midfielders don’t. And he knows when to put himself out there to pick up a card, just to stop the game. Lets hope he stays. Also something else i don’t say a lot, Downing played well, and seems to be happier in his distribution now we have a quicker frontline. Lets hope Sam allows this midfield to continue to flourish, once Nolan is fit.

Sam also made the right call, by throwing on Collins as soon as Rodgers put in Lambert, to make sure the existing players on the pitch didn’t have to change their style to combat a new offence.

So well played Sam, well played West Ham, and well played Alex Song (MOTM). Going back to my pre game chat, I don’t think Liverpool had an off day, I think they are just at that level without Sturridge. They better enjoy the CL this year, because I don’t think they will be in it next year. Also, If Sterling and Borini would like to stop the diving, that would be nice as well.

Is Adrian angling for a move to Real Madrid. Nice kit anyway.
Is Adrian angling for a move to Real Madrid. Nice kit anyway.
Lovren getting some serious attention from the medical staff
Lovren getting some serious attention from the medical staff

WHUFC vs Southampton EPL 30/08/2014


Alex gets a Song from the West Stand.
Alex gets a Song from the West Stand.

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.

Continue reading “WHUFC vs Southampton EPL 30/08/2014”

WHUFC vs Tottenham Hotspur EPL 2014/2015 16/08/2014


3 mins until the start of the season
3 mins until the start of the season

The new seasons is upon us and Sam has promised a new look attacking West Ham. What we got was Carlton Cole up top on his own . 

The game started at a pretty frenetic pace as you would expect in a always competitive London derby. However both teams cancelled each other out, and chances were at a premium. However, after 27 mins a turned shot from Kevin Nolan was adjudged to be hand balled by Kyle Naughton and he was dismissed and Mark Noble stepped up to take the pen. I have never been the biggest fan of his penalties but he always seem to score them, so fair play. Anyway this one he pulled to the left of the goal and the game stayed drawn. As is usual Spurs started to get back into it, and they swapped to 3 at the back. This is where Sam made the mistake. As soon as Spurs went down the 10 men we should of gone two up top. Valencia and Zareto were on the bench, and Nolan was on the pitch, but no, Sam knows best and kept Carlton isolated up front.

By the second half you could tell the fans were getting frustrated, but we kept getting chances. Stewart Downing was unlucky after getting through 2 players to only drop short against a brilliant Lloris save. Valencia came on for the last 15 and looked lively although small. Collins was also dismissed after the hour mark for a second yellow, both of which were justified as basically he was trying to break up play with cynical fouls.

The interesting thing was that at 90 mins, no one was leaving the ground. I and I think everyone else knew that something was going to happen but didn’t know what. They didn’t have long to wait when Spurs new signing Dier broke through the dogged WHU defence and slotted home the winner around Adrian.

Bottom line is we played OK, just OK, but not poorly. Cresswell looked great and Kouyate was OK in the middle but needs to come out and forward more. Valencia’s cameo appearance was encouraging, but he is way too small to play on his own up there.

For me Cresswell was MOTM, with Noble closely behind. Nolan was shocking and Sam needs to take a good look at his best mate and his contribution to the team. And at least we are above Man U on the league. 

Looks like we already taking the existing ground down !
Looks like we already taking the existing ground down !

I also had some time before the game to check the progress on our new home in Stratford. Things seems to be coming along, but it still looks too big for us if I’m honest.

2 years to go....
2 years to go….

Diame on his way ?


Just happy to be at Upton Park !
Just happy to be at Upton Park !

 

Today, WHU announced the signing of Cheikhou Kouyate from Anderlecht. I will admit I’m no expert on the guy but he does seem a Sam signing. A 6’4″ midfielder from Senegal who has some experience of European competition during his time in Anderlecht. 3 goals in 145 appearances suggests that he hasn’t been signed as part of Sam’s new “attacking project” or as a replacement for Kevin Nolan. Mark Noble’s performances this last season makes him a shoe in for the first 11. This means in my estimation, with the amount of midfielders we have available means that at least one will be going. That one, in my estimation will be Mo Diame, who lets be honest, hasn’t torn up any trees this year, and I think we all agree needs new challenges and unfortunately needs to be off of our payroll if he doesn’t want to be here. Such a shame, as some of his performances have been fantastic, but he seems to have a little of the Adebayor’s about him, now he’s settled.

So Merhbe (welcome in Wolof) Cheikhou, and may your stay be good !

 

Also the fixture list is out.

Totts at home first game. At least we can start the season well !