WHUFC vs Sunderland 14/12/2013 – EPL


Referees, the hardest position on a professional football pitch, bar none. These guys are now as professional as the players and get paid nowhere near the money. They have 30 cameras watching their every move, and are criticised for the smallest thing, that they would never see in real time. But they have a responsibility to be a as fair to both teams as they can. They also have their recently promoted “assistants”. The clue is in the title, they are there to assist, not just react to offsides and throw in’s.

Step up Andre Marriner. Apparently, one of the best refs in the league, had a shocker yesterday. I have never been to a game where the ref makes the wrong call on 3 corners, all against one side (hello assistants !). He disallowed a goal for an alleged foul by Guy Demel. He gave all manner of odd decisions in the favour of Sunderland. This played into his hands, as the WHU players started to get frustrated with these decisions and started to worry more about kicking and moaning than playing.

However there was a football game going on in amongst this ineptitude. Without the suspended Kevin Nolan, Diame came in, and showed his superiority by running nearly all the first half. Jussi was feeling the pressure and started having a pop at the fans after a poor clearance. Sunderland fought a valiant rear guard but had no teeth going forward, as Tomkins and Collins were comfortably on top. But, the disallowed goal aside, WHU made no serious attempts on goal. Jussi made a fantastic save just on half time, to stop the Black Cats going in ahead.

The second half was more of the same with Sunderland probably having the edge. They brought Jussi into action more than once, and he was equal to everything they had. Diame was very quiet, and Joe Cole was subbed off for Collision due to his half hearted attempts at being involved. He really needs to decide if his heart is in playing for this club, or if he happy picking up the wages. Another disappointment was this year wonderkid, Ravel Morrison. A couple of times he had a run at them and frankly terrified them, then would go back into his shell for 10 minutes. He needs to be more consistent. Plaudits of the day go to both centre backs who dominated all day. Especially Tompkins, who has played his way back into Sam’s starting line up. His frustrations in our play were also plain to see, as he went on a couple of 60 yards runs with the ball to try and inspire the midfield.

So 0-0 and another point to keep us just out of the bottom 3. We just need to hold on to that status until we can spend in Jan. I will be missing the next 2 home games, so hopefully we get some points (!). I missed the Fulham game and that was a great 3-0 win, so anything is possible.

MOTM, shouts to Collins, Tompkins and 1/2 of Diame. And welcome back to George McCartney who put in a sterling performance at the back. But once again Jussi held firm to keep us in the game.

Cardiff City vs WHUFC 04/03/2012 Championship

Watching a game on the telly, when it’s raining outside is never a bad thing. I could claim a family connection today as apparently Don Cowie is a second cousin of mine, but as we have never met and he doesn’t read this, I’ll leave it there. Don, if you do read this , Hi Cus. LOL.

West Ham had lost Winston Reid and Faubert during the week, so Nolan came back post ban, and Tomkins moved back into the back 4. Lansbury came in to the midfield after his 2 goals for the under 21’s during the week. With Maynard and Vaz Te up front, I assuming Sam wants a quick front line. Nolans reinclusion meant Noble had to drop into a holding and carrying role, despite playing at his best in the last 3 games, in a further forward position.

The first 15 passed with no excitement, but both teams had half chances. Cardiff were showing no signs of tiredness after their Carling Cup exploits the previous week. Maynard missed an absolute sitter in the 20th after a nice head back in from Collinson.

After 35 Gesate had the be replaced for Cardiff, after pulling a hamstring, so maybe there were some cup final gremlins about.

At the 42 minute mark, Collinson broke up play to get the ball through to Maynard. He delivered a great ball through to Nolan who struck a sublime pass into the net. That was the first shot on target in the whole game. One nil WHU, half time.

Early in the second half Faye played a beautiful ball to Vaz Te, who rounded the keeper, but was cut off from putting into an empty net. 2 minutes later Vaz Te showed some serious inexperience in not putting Nolan through. Maynard missed another stone wall chance after  headed a pass back straight to NM on his own, who then shot straight at the keeper.

At 61 mins Faye got away with murder father he blatantly brought down an oncoming Cardiff player in a great position. Everyone saw it, except the ref

CC came on shortly afterwards for Maynard. wrong decision IMO. Should of taken off VT if anyone. Whittingham hit the post with a fantastic free kick from some distance at 67. Cardiff at this stage were in the ascendency and WHU were starting to look sloppy, and tired.

For the last 15 Gary O’Neill came on for Lansbury, who had been quiet. In the 76 minute McCartney ran over the half the length of the pitch, go a luck bounce of a defender and pushed it in the bottom corner to register his first goal for WHU in this spell of his tenure.

So another hard won 3 points for west ham, but we do need to look at some issues within the team. Vaz Te needs to get some bottle and put his foot in when needed. Collison played better than recent weeks, and maybe now will take to the left hand side, instead of wanting to play in the middle.MOTM for me was again Mark Noble. He had a very solid game and shepherded the Cardiff middle well.

The main issue I now have is this Portsmouth business. Why should anyone lose 6 points after working hard for 2 good wins. Should this happen and we don’t go up, it will be a disgrace and give Southampton effectively another 5 points. I don’t care if Pompey play their youth team in a park every week, they have to see out their fixtures. I do feel sorry for their fans, but ,I have no sympathy for bad management of both money or personnel.