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Posts Tagged ‘EPL 2015 -2016’

WHUFC vs Manchester United 10/05/2016 EPL 2015-2016

May 11, 2016 1 comment

The 80’s are fashionable currently so I hear. Jordan 1’s are back in stores, as is garish gym gear. Women’s fashion seems to be very 80’s based currently and last week I swear I saw someone playing with a Rubik Cube on the train.

West Ham join in the revival and we get castigated ! I remember a time when smashing the opposition bus, having several thousand fans locked out the ground, starting the game an hour late, throwing bottles at their keeper (plus the obligatory, should be old enough to know better, pitch invader) ,  running a bar dry, and leaving the ground to make your way through riot police was a staple of most Saturdays. But now people just get hot about it.

OK I jest, but anyone who wasn’t there and has just read the websites and papers, and listened to Adrian Durham drone on (who wasn’t there either) will think (once again) WW3 broke out in Upton Park last night. I’m not condoning any of the above  (except the bar bit) but lets be real. Yes the streets were packed, yes loads of people without tickets were there, but a few idiots throw some bottles at a bus and it’s the ICF comeback. Nonsense. Absolute nonsense.

I spent about 5  hours there, and never heard a raised (angry) voice. But I heard many voices, all raised. The atmosphere was just something to behold. This fixture is always an occasion, but last night was off the chart. I was there for the last game of the South Bank, the North Bank and the West Stand, but this was something that will live with me forever.

All the stuff afterwards with the fireworks and all that, although I see some people liking it, isn’t for me and I scooted prior to the Rejects playing, which is a little annoying but like I say, that stuff isn’t for me

There was a video played on the screens, listing many of the players that had passed away but would technically been “young enough” to be there, and although John Lyall, and Graham Paddon were up there, obviously the big one was Sir Bobby Moore. The Man U fans spontaneously burst into a chant of his name. Class Act all round. It was that kind of night.

With all this going on there was a football game on as well, and although late, it was probably one of the best Premier League games of the season. Both teams still have their eye on 5th, and both put out very strong teams. Our nemesis, Mr Rooney, started for United which is usually ominous. But we seemed to contain him ,and he seemed a little off form, which doesn’t bode well for the Euros. Misplaced passes out wide were common place and we started to get the upper hand. For the first time in a long time we played two real strikers up top, I assume to keep the Utd centre backs busy, and it seemed to be paying off. Then Sakho bent one round De Gea from distance, and it was game on after  10 minutes. We had another chance when Carroll went clear from a great through ball from Payet but hit it straight at the keeper. Anyway, we held onto our lead to half time, and it looked like the dream night would happen. In the 2nd half Man U came out firing, and the wingers seem to be on their A game. In fact one of them, Mr Martial strolled though our defence to pick up a straight pass/cross and draw the visitors level. Did I expect it it ?  Yes. Did I expect a re run of the first 2 Swansea goals? No. Slaven needs to get the CB’s to work on position when there is an overlap, its just too easy for the opposition.

Soon after Martial got another one by getting into a stoppable position again, and the wheels were coming off. But the team fed off the incredible crowd, and in only 4 minutes, Antonio had equalised with a great header. Once again he had a set celebration ready, but Andy Carroll dragged him up the pitch. He knew it, we knew it, this was our night, and ours only, even if you are the most decorated team ever in the English game. Another 4 minutes, another goal, this time from the unlikely source of Winston Reid, whose other goal was pretty famous on the terraces as well, but will always now be the scorer of the last ever goal at The Boleyn.

We played out the last 10 minutes on the edge but for a change in control. So who won the game? The players played for the fans, the fans went berserk for the players, and Slaven was the architect. Did it mean as much to him as everyone else? Considering he was in tears at the final whistle, I think the answer was yes.

5th place is in the hands of others now, and I think the game at Stoke is a bit after the Lord Mayors show, so we have to see the shake out of FA Cups and UEFA cups to see if we get another shot in Europe in our new shed in season 1, but I for one will never forget this evening. Leaving earlier than most gave me a bit of time on my own taking one last look at the old girl and I left with a heavy heart, but hoping we can build this club on the potential that is now in place. Whether I will be along for the full ride will depend on how the new “experience” plays out, but I have my ticket, and we shall see.

Thanks for the memories, old girl..

MOTM: The Stadium and the Fans

 

WHU vs Swansea City 07/05/2016 EPL 2015-2016

May 8, 2016 1 comment

Last week’s win against WBA secured 2 records for WHU. Our highest points tally in Premier League history and our longest unbeaten streak in PL history. On Wednesday was the end of season awards do. I think all 3 contributed to WHU turning up with their minds on their holidays and getting spanked by a fully focused Swansea team who took their chances when they got them, and were clinical in the finish.

Also the fans were the same as the final days of the Boleyn are upon us, with only one game left. Will we win that ? I hope so, just to send the old girl off in style, but we cannot play like we did yesterday. Lanzini and Payet need to cover more ground, and be more clinical in their passing. The only WHU player who came out of yesterday with any credit was Antonio, who was once again out of position and superb. Why Byram cannot play back is beyond me, and then we can drop Moses who was also useless yesterday.

Anyway, for today and the final game against Man U, I have my camera with me, so hopefully the pics are better than usual from the phone.

MOTM Antonio

Enjoy

WHUFC vs Arsenal 09/04/2016 EPL 2015-2016

April 12, 2016 Leave a comment

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COYI

Where do I start with this one? Near the end as we have Man U tomorrow and time is of the essence I’ll be brief.

Once again big team syndrome prevails at Upton Park. Arsenal were allowed to dive and cheat their way through a game whilst WHU were booked for the slightest indifference. We had a goal ruled offside (Lanzini) early doors, that clearly wasn’t.

Arsenal’s first goal came about after Monreal dived in the box, and ref said no foul and indicated a dive. So surely a free kick ? No, but we stop, thinking yes, and Ozil scores.

We also had another ruled off for some reason I don’t know. We were 3-2 up and Carroll got involved with the Arsenal keeper and defender, by the left hand post. There was a tussle and Carroll came out with the ball. Ref doesn’t blow. Carroll passes to Payet. Ref doesn’t blow. Payet taps the ball in and the ref blows??? WTF????

So MOTM is obviously Carroll for his first WHU hatrick. The game ended 3-3 and probably ruined our CL chances and Arsenal’s Championship assault.

One thing I should add, is the atmosphere. When we scored our second to equalize the game, while everyone on the pitch was celebrating with Carroll, Noble was running around the centre circle on his own, and Adrian was shaking hit net , while facing the crowd, like a madman. And the roof was coming off.

Same again tomorrow night and we win. The normal pessimist me has gone. I even tweeted while we were 2-0 down that I thought we would win (just as Carroll got his first)

#COYI

 

WHUFC vs Crystal Palace EPL 2015- 2016 02/04/2016

April 3, 2016 Leave a comment

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Palace are without a win in the premier league this year and WHU are tearing up trees pushing for a CL spot. But in true West Ham style we blew a gift. Everyone seems to the blaming the ref, but I differ, and will explain below.

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WHUFC vs Sunderland 27/02/2016 EPL 2015-2016

February 28, 2016 Leave a comment

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Everybody Ready ? Then I’ll begin.

Big Sam returned yesterday and didn’t it show, with one of the worst games I’ve seen this season. The only plus point was we won by scoring the only goal of the game but I don’t think anyone left there thinking they had had a good time, home or away fans.

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WHUFC vs Aston Villa 02/02/2016 EPL 2015- 2016

February 3, 2016 Leave a comment

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The lights come on, and the games commence.

The lights decended once again over Upton Park as the Premier League strugglers Aston Villa rolled into town for this midweek battle of the Claret and Blues.
We drew 0-0 with them just before Xmas, and knowing our history of being a charitable team to anyone who needs points, to be honest I expected the same.

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WHUFC vs Manchester City 23/01/2016 EPL 2015-2016

January 27, 2016 Leave a comment

Late in!
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Hammers under floodlights, those were the days, blah, blah.

 Having already beaten Man City on the road, this game should have been a stroll in the park for the Hammers.
Back in the real world, we needed to be at our best to get anything from this game, and Slaven realized this by trusting his experienced players and putting people in the right holes. Song came in for Obiang, and Jenkinson at right back for the injured Tomkins. Reid made up the back 4 in favor of Ogbonna.
He left Valencia up top, and also left in Antonio on the right, in lieu of the just back from injury Moses.
This worked well, as Valencia carried on his recent scoring run, by netting after 1 minute from a deflected Kouyate cross. Happy days. Obviously the crowd was going crazy, but we all know the next 10 minutes are the most important. Just on the cusp of this window, Aguero burst through and only needed the slightest touch from Jenkinson to go down, and the penalty was given. I’ve seen them given and not, but the way the ref was looking after the “bigger” team, it was no surprise. So 1-1 after 10 minutes, game on.
The ref carried on making decisions in the opponents favor, including when Kouyate was scythed down by Toure when he was clear and the ref didn’t even give a free kick. Obviously any West Ham challenge was met with a free kick and a yellow for Noble.
Jenks went off with a knock post the penalty (now confirmed as ligament damage, ouch), and on came Byram for his debut, after signing from Leeds in the week. His first job was to mark Aguero at a corner. Welcome to the Premier League son !
However WHU kept on plugging away and although City had most of the possession, we had our chances. Payet was sublime but Joe Hart was a match for him, with a fantastic save from a free kick into the top corner.
Overall , we went into the break, tails up, but looking tired.
Second half we came out a little brighter, and kept up the attacks. Antonio spotted a quick throw to an aware Valencia, who managed to drop a shinned shot into Joe Hart’s bottom right corner and we go 2-1 up. Roof comes of stadium and then reality sets in. Same as last year, we take a one goal lead of City and hope to hold on. We did well, with Ginge repelling all boarders, but you could see the back four melting with fatigue. Alex Song started to drop in and was winning great tackles all over the place, and Noble became part of the back 6. Young Sam was shot, so Payet was covering back as well. This resolution lasted until the 81st minute when that man Aguero popped up again for his second to level. Some people are suggesting the swap out of Antonio for Moses changed the game somewhat, but Slaven needed fresh legs out there.
The last kick of the game, was actually a header, which Kouyate put onto the City crossbar after a nice cross from Noble following a fantastic round the corner from Payet.
So we stay in 6th, but have taken 4 points from the team who in most peoples minds, will win the league. This is progression, make no mistake. If we can put Liverpool out of the cup this weekend, then why not dare to dream. Even Joe Hart stated it would of been unfair for City to win, but not unfair for the Hammers.
Payet was magnificent again, the big question is will we hold onto him in the summer. In fact everyone played well, but my MOTM goes to Alex Song, who actually looked like he did at the start of last season. Also big shout out to Byram, who looks like he will be getting a run in the team now, with Jenks out for quite a while.
I’ll just leave this here:

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WHUFC vs Liverpool EPL 02/01/2016

January 3, 2016 4 comments

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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.

carr

 

WHUFC vs West Bromwich Albion, EPL, 29/11/2015

December 2, 2015 Leave a comment

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Even the line up was a mess.

Not a lot to write home about for this game if I’m honest, hence why it’s been filed a few days late.

Ogbonna came in for Tomkins and Noble and Payet were replaced by Obiang and Zaurate.

West Ham started lively enough, but seemed to struggle breaking down a typical Pulis team. However that all changed when we got a free kick just after the quarter hour mark. Up stepped Zaurate who proceeded to bend the ball into a postage stamp space in the top corner. Mark Noble could have been out there forever and not scored a set play like that.

The Hammers proceeded to be on top for the rest of the half but had no clear cut chances to extend their lead.

At half time Pulis popped on the Liverpool failure, Ricky Lambert, who you always knew was going to be busy. Within 5 minutes he lashed a shot goalward, which hit Reid on the back, and deflected in for an own goal.

We then brought on our own Liverpool failure, Mr Carroll, as Obiang was struggling trying to cover the midfield. To be honest AC never looks comfortable with Sakho, which is a little bit of a worry. Not for Andy though, as Sakho was carted off with what could be a serious injury after a very promising attack from the Hammers ended up with his shot hitting the side netting. Antonio came on for a cameo appearance near the end, but we didn’t really get to see anything.

The game drew to its inevitable drawing conclusion, and West Brom went away happier I think. But after getting tonked by Spurs last week, we should take some comfort as well.

Points or order: Carl Jenkinson is going backward at a rate. Literally. He refuses to take on those runs he used to, and keeps passing backwards for no reason. Zaurate on the other hand, takes on too many runs and loses the ball too often, and holds on too long. Very selfish. No one else disgraced themselves, or played a blinder. MOTM to Adrian for his save late on, that kept the game at 1-1, and won us a point to go back up to 7th (for while).

Highlight of the game was the bags that invaded the pitch in the second half due to crazy wind. It made the game look more like a Sunday League game more than it already did.

Man U away this week, which I don’t expect much from, but the form book for both teams currently suggests a 0-0. After that we should be picking up points again heading into the new year, but we will have to do it with a skeleton front line. Did Carlton Cole go on loan to Celtic……….?

 

 

WHUFC vs Everton EPL 07/11/2015

November 8, 2015 Leave a comment

It’s been while, what with International breaks, holidays and golf trips (missed the Chelsea Game, bah). Last week saw us get played off the park by an organised Watford team, while our visitors were smashing big Sam’s Sunderland all over the place.

Traditionally, these games are close, with honours even at Upton Park last year, with Everton winning the league game, and WHUFC winning the League Cup game in dramatic style with Adrian scoring a penalty in the shootout.

West Ham lined up with Reid back in the centre of defence following the Ginger Pele’s sending off last week. Carroll was favoured up top again, with Zarate and Valencia on the bench, as Moses took up his slot on the right hand side.

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