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Posts Tagged ‘James Tompkins’

QPR vs WHUFC 01/10/2012 EPL

October 1, 2012 Leave a comment

Who would of thought it? The R’s and the Hammers in the EPL !

After the humiliation against Wigan, Sam brought out the big gins for the visit to Loftus Road. Cole up top, Carroll on the bench, Diame reinstalled in the middle, and unsurprisingly no Tompkins in the back four. No point embarrassing yourself on the Telly.

Ex Hammer Zamora started for the R’s unlike the shafted Rob Green.

For two teams that play football, the game started quite ugly, and turned into a head tennis match. After 3 minutes RVT fot the ball on right, got through a challenge, and put a cross in for Nolan. Big Kev made a mess of the shot, straight onto Jarvis’ head, and into the net. Cheers, 0-1 to the Hammers.

After that, the next 15 were end to end with no end ! WHU seemed to be quite “agricultural” in the tackle, and luckily Mark Clattenburg was light on the yellows.  On 19 minutes QPR had a free kick that put some panic into the West Ham box, and ended up with Jussi sparking out Winston Reid. Having had a concussion last season, and the fact he wasn’t moving a lot, they were a little concerned, and they subbed him off for Tompkins. Winston left on his feet, which hopefully is good news.

Once again CC seems to be getting penalised for no reason. Maybe Sam needs to have a chat with the refs, a la Mr Rogers at Liverpool. Noble seemed more settled, must be his new wallet balancing him out.

On 33 Joey O’Brien went off with an injury for McCartney. So, with about half an hour gone, we are two defenders down. What to do, eh? How about a goalmouth scramble, an excellent cross from Tompks, and a smart finish from Ricardo Vaz Te, for his first of the season. Happy birthday RVT!

With 5 to go, from a QPR free kick, Cisse gets a nice volley in only for Jussi to push over the bar. This was the first time he had really been called into action in the half. The weight he seems to have lost since he signed for WHU helped him him get up to it, I’m sure!

After 5 minutes of extra time, WHU go into the break 2 up, in a game that was really even to be fair. WHU pushed a little more and were harder in the tackle.

The second half started in West Ham’s favour, with Diame forcing a save from Cesar, and QPR seemingly all over the place.

After 55 minutes Mark highes made a double sub and brought on Adel Taarabt, who waited 70 seconds before rifling in a screamer into the top right hand corner. 1-2 to the Irons. Then the game livened up as you would expect, and WHU started to look concerned., picking up needless yellows, and running balls out for no reason. Jussi made a brilliant save  from Granero, only then to get booked for time wasting.

On 67 Carlton Cole missed a stone wall sitter by putting wide, after Nolan picked up a loose pass, and put him through perfectly. Definitely a man not in form.His reward was also a yellow, along with Kevin Nolan who did no more than question the ref (this is the job of the captain, isn’t it ?). With the game going against us bit by bit (another save by Jussi, after a good long range shot by Cisse), BFS played the trump card and brought on Andy Carroll  in lieu of CC for the last 20. The big question now was “Is he fit ?”. With 15 to go, Diakite (a second half sub) got his second yellow, and the R’s were down to 10. Once again the pendulum swung the way of WHU. QPR were tired and this didn’t help. Carroll made a nice knock down to RVT, whose strike pulled a fantastic tip on to the bar from Cesar. With 2 to go, Jussi made another good save from Zamora, to keep WHU ahead.

The extra time went up as 6 minutes, real Fergie time stuff, and QPR seemed back in the ascendancy. Howlett forced another Jussi save from distance. James Tompkins made it 8 yellows for West Ham. Just before the end, Carroll took a ball down, turned and got  a shot off, and was unlucky to get a rebound. That was about the end of the match, and WHU recorded their first away win of the season, and went 7th in the league.

Not a lot to winge about tonight, but once again selection is odd. O’Brien in front of George Mac. Really ? Training must show things i’ve never seen. Noble seemed more content, with Nolan ,and Diame, moving well around him.

While we are blowing smoke up ourselves, lets stay grounded. We seem to play well against teams at our level, but we will struggle against anyone who wants to pass and move quickly (as proved by Taarabt). Cisse and Bobby Z were never going to set fire to the grass tonight. I said earlier in the season 10 points before Arsenal would do us well. We have 11, and our real season starts on Saturday. We might need to watch the discipline as well, with 8 yellow cards !

What was encouraging is that we seem to be getting more shots off, because we are playing further up the pitch. Andy Carroll’s return was unexpected and welcome.

The crowd must get a mention. Its so good to hear on old school London derby crowd, with both sides going for it.

MOTM: Noble played well, AC looked the part when he came on, but Jussi Jaaskelainen kept WHU in the game.  Much to Rob Green’s disappointment, I’m sure.

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WHU vs Sunderland 22/09/2012 – EPL

September 23, 2012 Leave a comment

I said at the start of the season that we needed 10 points before the visit of Arsenal, and we started off the day being in line with that, and with a chance of going 3rd in the prem, as anyone who is any good was playing on the Sunday.

With that in mind i set off towards London with a confident feeling of another 1-0 win ,a la Villa. The journey to UP was a little disjointed as i got to the Pub in Forest Gate to be told i had missed the lads by 5 minutes, and they were on their way. Now i know they are old boys, but they do know their mobiles are not just for answering !

Anyway, a quick trip on the 58 later, and I arrive at the Theater of Mediocrity in time for a beer (which they had got me, despite having no idea where i was !) and kick off. The game started as these seem to , with a bit of feeling out from both sides. WHU seemed to be on top, but not too keen on pushing forwards. WHU seemed to be happy playing across the back without advancing and this is one thing that gets my goat. If you want to move it around down the pitch fine, but when it gets back to the anchor (in this case, Collins), then make sure that we are further up the pitch than when that phase starts. Anything else is a waste of time. Anyway, Collins seemed to be a little uncomfortable with this. So uncomfortable infact, he tried a hollywood ball out to Taylor, miss hit it, and gave is straight to Larrson, who then put in a beauty for Fletcher to get onto, nuts Collins and put the Black Cats one up. Arrrrgggg. This is the second time this season Collins has given away goals for no reason, and still he starts in front of Tompkins.

This put WHU on the back foot for some time, but with about 10 to go in the half we started to put the chances in with Vaz Te missing a sitter on the back post, while in the air. CC put a header just over, and the “athletic” Kevin Nolan forced a great save from Mignolet in the Mackem’s goal, with an overhead volley.

WHU go in at the break with a goal deficit, but seem to be capable, if they push on a bit. But there are too many loose balls from RVT and Noble needs to play further up the pitch.

The second half was a different story with WHU having all the game, but no clinical play near the Sunderland penalty box. CC was very quiet, and the crowd are getting on his back again. I have defended this guy to the end, but they now have a point, he is getting support from Nolan and RVT, but is not making the moves that a premier league striker needs too. Along with the fact that Bramble and O’Shea were playing well, meant he had to up his game.

The lack of incisive play was apparent to BFS as well, so he brought on Jarvis and Benayuon just before the 60 minute mark. This changed things massively. Jarvis forced Gardner into an early yellow, which gave him free reign for the rest of the game, and without the stats to hand, I would say he put in more crosses in 30 minutes than the rest of the team in the whole of the game.

With 90 gone and our pressure unrelenting it looked like just a bad day at the office, right up until another Jarvis cross led to some toing and froing, and ended up with Kevin Nolan getting on the end of a loose ball to equalize. Chicken dances all round, and a deserved point for the Hammers.

Martin O’Neill suggested his team should of won 3-0. I have no idea what game he is watching. Without his centre backs he would of got an hiding. No Idea what Sam said, but i imagine it was along the lines of hard fought, no easy games,etc, etc.

So what do we do now? Sam needs to start Jarvis. Why pay 11 mil for a player of that quality and put him on the bench. Hopefully we dont have another Baldock on our books. We are not Man City and every pound has to count.

RVT. I have suggested elsewhere, that this lad is not Premier League quality, and yesterday was more proof. He looks OK when he has space, but with quicker players closing him down, he was terrible. He doesn’t have the quick thinking a player of his undoubtable talent should have. Maybe a Jan exit back to the championship for a few mil will help everyone. Talking of slow thinkers, Mark Noble. He may be Hammer of the year, he may be a local boy, but he is not irreplaceable. He takes too long on the ball, and seems to always go sidewards and backwards. Now with Diame in the team, he should play deeper, but he’s almost a 5th defender. And his obsession with taking every free kick and corner is starting to grate, especially with Nolan, Taylor and Jarvis on the pitch ! Apparently he’s getting a new 5 year contract on Monday, but if someone comes in with silly money we should move him on.

CC needs to buck up. Obviously the Carroll situation has pissed him off, but come on Carlton, move about a bit. You were an international 2 years ago, where’s it all gone ?

SAM: Jarvis must start, no negotiation, he was the best crosser of a ball last season in the prem. Why bench him now? Also Collins need to be given a kick up the arse. Play Tomks in mid week, and if he does the business, then let him start against QPR next Monday.

So for MOTM, Reid and Diame were again solid and played really well, but for his support play, his attempts at goal and keeping our unbeaten home record this season, it has to be the newer, fitter, Kevin Nolan.

Captain Chicken to the rescue.

Swansea City VS WHUFC 25/08/2012 EPL

August 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Last week, i blogged about us getting away with it, this week it showed.

The Swans trumped QPR 5-0 last week, and for successive weeks they gave successive WHU (past and present) goalkeepers a torrid time.

I watched the first half in the house, and listened to the second in the car, but i dont need to be there to comment on this game.

So the game. We started Collins again in defence and gave record signing Matt Jarvis Taylors berth on the left. RVT was dropped in favour of Tompkins who started in the middle of the park, to allow Nolan and Jarvis to support Cole.

We started off, OK at best, but soon the cracks started to show. But after 20 Jussi made an absolute howler, rediverting a cross under his body and into the goal. Nine minutes later, Collins passed back a ball so poor it has no home, and Michu ran onto it to put the Swans 2 up.  We started to pick up a little, with some interesting corners, and Nolan came close just before half time.

Nothing changed on the second half, it was all one way traffic ,with Graham getting the third and final goal in the 69th minute.

So what went wrong.

1. Tompkins in the midfield. This was tried last year and was OK at best, as the opposition wasn’t good enough to exploit it. However Swans just moved around him, once they realised he’s not exactly Iniesta on the mobility front.

2 No Vaz Te, a negative move again. Against a team who love to push forward, surely a pacey winger with some skill should be playing. Ahhhh, Jarvis is already playing and you cannot have 2 on the pitch until it goes wrong. NO Sam wrong, wrong wrong. This was a game we were probably going to lose anyway, so why not go for it.

3. Poor old Carlton. Again left in no mans land, about 30m from any other Hammer player. Nolan drifted backwards, unless we had a corner or free kick, and if CC did hold it up, it took and age to get to him. I have moaned and moaned about BFS’s inability to play this lad properly, and its really starting to get to me. He needs support and balls on the deck, end of.

I really hope Tompks doesn’t piss off this week, but if he is going to misused every week, then you cannot blame him. Baldock did and fair play to him. Who’s next, Maynard ?

Personally , i think we had the tools to give the Swans a good game, but Sam made the mistakes, along with Collins and Jussi.

Bad day at the office? hope so………..

NO JAMES. SHIIIIITTTTT !

Heres a useless fact (lost hammers ?:)). The last three -including the current- coaching set up at Liverpool had ex Hammers personnel in. Steve Clarke, Kevin Keen and now Mike Marsh. And look how well they are doing !

 

WHUFC vs Aston Villa EPL 18/08/2012

August 19, 2012 1 comment

This will be abridged as i have had wordpress delete my first attempt at this.

We came back to the Premier League on a sunny day in August. For reference out first game last year was in driving rain and freezing cold. Personally I was not too fussed about the new season, as i still had the Olympic blues, but here i was.

So for WHU, it was about being back in the real business of the PL, for new Villa manager Paul Lambert, it was about improving on last year’s dismal performance. The game was dominated by Villa in the first half, with Ireland and Vlaar running the show. But WHU looked solid and didn’t appear to be under threat at the back. James Collins looked like he had never been away, and seem to team up well with Reid.

Just before half time, in what was becoming a bit of non event, some nice interplay between Carlton Cole, Vaz Te and finally Kevin Nolan, led to a goal from Kev, with a hint of offside. Villa thought so, and the linesman had his flag up, but the ref overturned it, and WHU go in at the break one nil to the good.

Big Kev celebrates being back in the Prem, with the winner, on the opening day of the season.

The second half was all West ham, with Noble and Diame running the show. Diame actually played like a world beater, and if he keeps this up, will be way better than Papa Diop, whose place in the squad, i assume he has taken over. Not many chances to talk of, but CC should of got a pen, but once again his size goes against him.

Jussi had only one decent save to make in the second half, a rasper from Vlaar. I believe Rob Green failed to make at least 5 saves, on his debut for QPR !

So a win on our first outing back with the big boys. great stuff, and my gloom of no Olympics is starting to clear.

All our new signings shined in what was a really average game, including Maiga, who came on for the last 10, rounded Shay Given, only to see his shot cleared of the line.

I spoke to some Villa fans afterwards, who said that was better than they had played all last season ! One small concern i have is that Tompka came on for a midfield cameo appearance. I’m hoping this isn’t going to become normal, but i cannot see him moving the Kiwi or Collins out on their performances today

MOTM: Mohammed Diame, who was everywhere. Mobots all rounds for the big fella.

 

West Ham United Player of the Season Awards 2012

May 2, 2012 Leave a comment

This party was a little premature with us having hopefully 3 games to go, but end of season it was. What could of been a bit if a downer, was actually great fun.

As usual with these types of events, the players were in attendance and put a brave face on bearing in mind they would probably be more concerned about Cardiff away on Thursday rather than Monday in central London. After some strange awards (save of the season ? best team performance ?, we got to the meat and veg. Best youth player was Richard Hall (well deserved). Players player was George McCartney. Then we got onto the auction. Crazy times, 10k for a half day with the chairman. 5 k for a trip to Italy to get the new shirt ?

Post our meal, it was time for the main event, player of the year. I had voted for James Tompkins, but he came second to local boy Mark Noble.

After some more crazy auction time, we had a rousing speech from Mr Gold, practically promising us premier league football next year.

Then the best bit for the fans, the meet and greet. Carlton Cole and Kevin Nolan  were great craic, and Mark Noble must be about the politest bloke i know (or dont know ) I’ll leave it at that, enjoy the photos. Apologies, i’m in them all !

James Tompkins

Kevin Nolan and Joey O’Brien

Mark Noble

Henry Lansbury

GREEENOOO

The big fella, Carlton Cole

WHUFC vs Watford 07/03/2012 Championship

March 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Yet another freezing cold evening took mrben09 to the fortress of Upton Park, for a semi local derby with Watford. A team that used to have such luminaries as John Barnes, Luther Blissett, and Elton John, are now a confirmed championship side, but should of provided no competition to a Hammers team that so convincingly beat Cardiff the previous Sunday.

Collinson and Vaz Te were dropped from the starting line up for Matt Taylor and Julien Faubert, a move that i saw as positive and that nearly reaped rewards, as MT hit the bar after about 50 seconds from a 35 yrd shot. I’m afraid after that we huffed and puffed, and apart from a sitter missed (a recuring theme this season, Sam, get these guys practicing ) from Faubert following a MT cross, we stumbled towards half time. The front line appeared to be not engaging with the rest of the team, apart from flashes of co-ordination from CC.

The second half proved a different proposition with WHU pummelling the Watford penalty box but with no end result. I say penalty box, as shots were thin on the ground. With about 20 to go, i pointed out to Angry John, that Watford seemed to be getting on top. At that very minute, Watford scored a goal out of nothing, with a long range grasscutter, hitting the inside of the post and its one nil Watford.

Then it became charge of the light brigade stuff, with long balls to CC, and follow ons. To be fair CC played really well for all of the second half, winning about 80% of balls in the air, and laying off well. With about 8 to go of nomal time, Vaz Te managed to get on the end of a cleared corner to shoot through several players and equalise. Good news, but still we ploughed on. Due to a serious injury to a Watford player early in the secong half, there was 12 mins of extra time. More bluster from WHU, but no goals.

So in short, a disappointment for WHU fans, but a point at at the end of the day, that we needed to dig out. This is good practice for next year (assuming promotion). MOTM James Tomkins, who pretty much  collected everything aimed near him all night, and made some crucial interceptions, and appears to be learning well from Faye.

Cheers Vaz !