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Posts Tagged ‘Joe Cole’

WHU – where next ?

June 10, 2014 Leave a comment

A season to forget for the big fella

A season to forget for the big fella

So, the season has come to an end and the Hammers ended up in a respectable mid table position. Despite the dreadful football exhibited by Sam and the team this year.
Where do we go? This close season has delivered some great rumors (Ashley Cole), some poor ones (Rio Ferdinand), and some outright hilarious ones (Emile Heskey ?).
The signing of Mauro Zarate is obviously a cheap tactic for the board and manager to protest their new brand of attacking football. What’s the chances he turns up and sits on the bench, watching Carroll flounder around on his own for another season. Where does this leave Carlton Cole? As he hasn’t followed his namesake Joe out of the door, I assume he stays and sees out his remaining one year around the bench and the last 10 minutes.
Talking of Joe , I for one will go on record and say he did not deliver this time around, and I for one was disappointed. Sam got one thing right, JC was simply not fit enough. Villa are taking a massive chance on giving him what surely must be his last chance.
With Joe in the taxi (c. V Paradis) was George McCartney and Jack Collison. Jack was no surprise, as he didn’t really add anything , and since his career threatening injury a couple of years ago, he is just not a premier league player. But he is WHU through and through, and his open letter to the fans was truly sad, especially his reminisces of that Millwall game. George going was interesting as currently there are no ideal replacements in the team unless Joey O’Brien is being favoured (really ?). Bring on Ashley Cole I say, or maybe Evra if he gets replaced at United as they talk about doing it nearly every season.

As part of this new look attacking team (LOL @ Sam), we need someone who is a real attacking midfielder. Nolan has cost us more than he has delivered in the last year, but will not leave all the time Sam is there (but he’s not in the photos for the new kit, so you never know). Who is this person we need?  How about Ravel Morrison (remember him ?). Didn’t get a game for QPR either when it mattered, but we all know what he can do. If Sam is the manager he thinks and says he is then he has to sort this out. However if Fergie and ‘Arry couldn’t then maybe it is a lost cause. In that case I bring you…..Jack Rodwell. Wasting his time at City, and with probably more big players coming in , that won’t change anytime soon.

This is also the upcoming season to blood some of the Academy properly, and not in the way it was done this year, by exploiting them in the FA Cup.

This coming season for the club is critical, being the penultimate season at the Boleyn. We cannot be trying to get promotion before the big move, or worse still, move in while we are in the Championship. Just unthinkable.

I would also be looking to shift some more deadwood (RVT and Stephen Henderson) and someone who played like a dead wood, Mr Mohammed Diame. It’s a shame, the lad has everything, but cannot be arsed to do it for us, and keeps banging on about Liverpool. So do us all a favour mate and piss off.

Normally i would review the season but it was one to right off. I will issue my player of the season though. Once again unexpected (for me), after the surprise of Winston Reid last year, this years recipient is Mark Noble. Not only did he carry himself well all season he also carried Diame and Nolan at times as well.  Well played Sir.

Special shout out to Adrian, who came into a team in disarray, let in double figures in his first 2 games (none his fault), and then turned in performance after performance. Good lad.

That’s me for this season unless any big news happens before the start of the season. But like the Euro’s i will be doing a little right up of the England games as they happen in the WC. Guess that will keep me busy for 2 weeks !

 

COYI

 

 

 

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WHUFC vs Cardiff City 17/08/2013 EPL 2013/14

August 18, 2013 Leave a comment

The new season has finally come round and where better to start than against a recently promoted team? Two years ago we entertained CCFC in our first game in the Championship. This time both teams are in the Premier League, but one has an extra years experience.

This summer Sam had been quietly going about his business. Securing Carroll, picking up Ratz and Downing, reintegrating Morrison back into squad. The net result of this pitchside was exactly the same team from last year with Maiga replacing Carroll / Cole.

BUT…. we looked fit. Joe Cole and Nolan for example had definitely dropped some timber over the summer. Ravel had made the bench, along with Downing. RVT was there as well, but Downing coming in might accelerate his exit (hopefully). I will also mention at this point that i was wearing shorts, the first time in nearly 3 seasons. About time !

West Ham started the game looking assured, and Cardiff started at pace, moving the ball around snappily. But after a while it was apparent where the experience laid. One thing i noticed in our first year back in the prem was the fact that the game, although slightly slower than the Championship, is way more accurate and bad passing is punished. This was happening to Cardiff who made a sequence of bad passes, particularly when in attacking positions. Nolan and Noble seemed to be picking up presents everywhere simply by closing down quickly.

One of these led to Matt Jarvis getting down the wing with 13 mins on the clock. His cross was looking all the world like a normal ball into the air until he cleverly cut back and found Joe Cole with a well placed pass. Cole collected, spun and smashed it past Marshall to open the Hammers account for 2013/14.

The game pattern had pretty much been set. Cardiff attacks breaking down and West Ham keeping Marshall and the Cardiff back four busy. As usual the second half came around and we still hadn’t got the second goal we needed. Cardiff showed signs of reinvigoration through Bellamy and Campbell’s interactions, but with no other assistance, most of this effort came to nothing.

We were also looking stale so Sam mixed things up a bit. He brought on Downing after 70 mins. JC should of made way as despite his goal, Jarvis was tearing Cardiff apart on the left. But BFS being BFS he took off Jarvis (is Sam scared of big name players ?).

For a fella who had reservations about coming to WHU, Downing looked like a man reborn, getting straight into the game. Just four minutes into his hammers career, he shot down the right again, and fed in Mark Noble. Nobes in turn pushed it into Nolan who wasted no time in firing past Marshall to double the score. This left the result in no doubt.

I have it on good authority that Cardiff have not finished spending and on watching this game, this is really needed. Some of those lads need to adjust quickly if they are serious about staying up. Their fans will follow them everywhere though, and this must help. Special mention to Craig Bellamy. A firm favourite of mine in his short spell at WHU, he still makes those lung bursting runs, and still looks a class act. He also got warm applause from the West Ham fans when he was substituted.

On the subject of fit for premier league. Maiga? Please. He was getting shoved off the ball all the time. If he has been kept in favour of Carlton Cole, then someone really needs to have a word with BFS.

In short a great start for the Hammers and a 3 point lead on a team we could be struggling against come the end of season. Will Cardiff stay up ? Judging on one game is harsh, so i’ll just say investment is required.

MOTM: On the first half performance, JC by a mile. But over 90 minutes, it has to go to the new trim Kevin Nolan. A goal, loads of blocks, tackling and running back,  he gave the Hammers a real captain’s performance.

My view of the new season.

Can I leave you with this. You really need to take a look at yourself if you are wearing a shirt with the name of a player on the back who is younger than you.

Oldie with Moore 6. Acceptable. 30 years old with Greaves 9. Fine. 40 years old with Wilsher 10 (saw 3 on the way home). Sad and unacceptable. You are not 12.

WHUFC vs Reading FC 20/05/2013 EPL

May 20, 2013 Leave a comment

We come to the end of the season and a dead game against an already relegated Reading. Sam made some changes with the recently impressive Gary O’Neill dropped for Mark Noble and Jarvis swapped out for Joe Cole. WHU started as you would expect and pressured Reading, but with no out and out shots (as usual !).

Just after the 20 minute mark WHU got their breakthrough when Alex McCarthy in the Reading goal fired a clearance against the back of Andy Carroll for it to fall into the path of Kevin Nolan, who rounded the keeper to score. 10 minutes later WHU doubled their lead through a fantastic take down from Carroll followed by a reverse pass into the path of RVT who slotted it home. Just as well as he was shocking up till then.

West Ham might as well of done the lap of honour at half time as they came out in the second half as if they were the team that were relegated. Reading took this as the invite it was and were back to 2-2 within 10 minutes of the restart. Staring down the barrel of a defeat reinvigorated the Hammers and they came back with two late goals from Kevin Nolan to get his hat trick. Nice to see him pull his finger out for a change. The last goal was interesting if for nothing more than the provider was one Modibo Maiga. Sam’s folly of the season came on for a cameo and hopefully his last appearance in the Claret and Blue .

So the season long battle to stave off relegation finishes and the one to keep Andy Carroll starts. He set up three goals (one by chance, but you have to buy a ticket and all that). and was clearly the best player on the park. But for his first WHU threesome, i’ll go Kevin Nolan for MOTM.

This week I hope to get the full season report card out but dont hold your breath.

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A mobile phone shot of the other end of the ground, where the Reading fans were firing inflatables around like it was Man City in the 80’s

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Hopefully not really the back of Andy Carroll !

WHUFC vs Wigan Athletic 20/04/2013

April 21, 2013 Leave a comment

After our well earned point (some would say moral victory) against the Champions elect earlier this week, I really fancied us to continue on to win against Wigan this weekend. It’s always a close game, in fact we were two nil up and then went on to lose to a last minute goal in May 2011 which saw WHU relegated, and Avram Grant getting home under his own steam.

This time around, we are on an unbeaten run of 4 games and Wigan are staring down the barrel of relegation, with an FA Cup final to look forward to.

Sam made no changes to the starting line up, but Joe Cole was added to the bench. The opening salvos from both teams set themselves out to attack. West Ham a chance with a flashing header from Collins just going wide from a corner, and Maloney for Wigan got on the end of a great through ball only to be blocked by Jussi. From then on WHU seem to take control and it was only a matter of time, although the inevitable goal was a little unexpected. Matt Jarvis seem to be having a field day down the wing, and once again in the 21st minute he crossed in the ball after a great burst out of the midfield by Diame. This cross missed about 2 Wigan players, Diame and Nolan lashed at it to no avail, and then the Latics goalie let it go past him, to open the scoring for WHU. For all their dominance, WHU didn’t capitalise on this lead.

The second half was more of the same and then Sam did as Sam does and swapped out the whole midfield, with quick succession, O’Neill, Diame and RVT (who was woeful) were replaced by Noble, Joe Cole and Collison. Notice Nolan was not replaced, even though he seemed ineffectual if I’m honest. Again.

Anyway, WHU went into free fall  and if it wasn’t for Jussi, we would of been behind, as Wigan threw everything at us, and we had no way of stopping it.

This game had draw written all over it until with 10 minutes to go a long free kick found the ever impressive Carroll who moved it on brilliantly for Nolan to volley it in for his 100th premier league goal, and some justification for him still being on the pitch.

So WHU win 2-0, and Wigan might not get out of the hole this time. They did not have the luck, and being a WHU fan, I know what happens when you are down there. You cannot buy luck or goals. However you can buy players and there are a couple I could see playing in claret and blue if Wigan do go down ! Maloney for one.

We have all but secured our position in the league for next year, and can look forward for a change. Being in the top half has a nice feel to it as well, so lets hope we can stay there.

MOTM: Jussi Jaaskelainen. Just pure class again and kept us in the game when BFS block replaced a midfield unit. Gary O’Neill gets a shout as well, for his performance up until he was subbed.

Ton up Kev

Ton up Kev

WHUFC vs Tottenham Hotspur EPL 25/02/2013

February 26, 2013 Leave a comment

Bit late for new year, but we invited the neighbours over for a party, and ensured they left with the favours. I say left, they were stolen by one man.

This game was billed as a tribute to the late great Bobby Moore, who passed away 20 years ago (seems I was at the gates of Upton Park yesterday), and as a spectacle more than lived up to it.

There was a one minute applause, followed by a fans mosaic celebrating the man. I was in the mosaic and I have one comment. Next time, show it on the screen at the other end, or we have no idea what we are showing ! Judging by the camera flashes (plenty from the Spurs section), it was impressive enough.

Noble was replaced by Gary O’Neill in the middle, and Guy Demel was brought in at right back. The game got underway with WHU on the attack for a change. At the six minute mark there was a another break out of “Bobby Moores’ claret and blue army”, and WHU continued piling on the pressure, with Jarvis getting in crosses, and Joe Cole looking lively.

On the rare Spurs attacks it was being pointed out by the WHU faithful that Gareth Bale looked a little like a chimp. He responded by taking a goal, that on the replay was well taken ,but in play looked too easy for him. Skipping along the edge of the box he then turned to pass the ball past Jussi for the opener. WHU seemed to fall apart, and thing didn’t look good.

10 minutes later, Scott Parker (who was getting booed all night, nice one WHU “fans”) took out Carroll to give WHU a pen. Up steps Carroll in place of Noble and smashes it home. By this time Nolan was already struggling and was replaced 10 minutes later by Taylor. With none of the usual midfield cautiousness, WHU seemed to push on and finished the half well ,with Jarvis going close with an acrobatic volley.

At half time, Becks said to me “what a shambles, bloody disgrace ,etc”. No idea what game he was watching. I’m no fan of Allardyce but I tend to remember what I’m watching !

The second half was pretty quite with Bale being especially quiet if I’m honest, but you know it wont last. When he doesn’t have the ball he is constantly moving, chopping and changing markers all the time. This confuses defenders (poor lambs), and mixes up formations.

Just over a quarter into the half (an eighth ?), up pops Joe Cole, to finish off a good move between Caroll and himself, to poke it past Lloris to put the Hammers 2-1 up. Jussi spends the next 20 minutes being the best keeper in the world, making some of the most outrageous saves, including a double from Adebayour that I’m sure he still doesn’t know what happened.

At this stage a point works, and 3 would be great. Enter Big Sam. Demel comes off for Pogatetz, and we lose a goal mouth scramble for a Spurs equalizer. Then, the main thorn in their side Diame is brought off for Collison, who for all his skills is not a hard hitting midfield general. Then Sam gets his get out jail card, with hardly anything left on the clock, Gareth Bale, scores a world class goal from miles out from nothing, no run up or big swing just pure class.

So did Sam throw it away ? Based on Jussi in the second half probably not, but he could of maybe helped the situation.

The league situation is looking very precarious now, but a win against Stoke this weekend could make all the difference.

 

MOTM Everyone else will give it to Bale. But for some world class keeping in the second half, and making sure we didn’t lose 6-2, i’ll give it to Jussi Jaaskelainen

 

Can you see me ?

Can you see me ?

Viva Bobby Moore !

WHUFC vs QPR EPL 19/01/2012

January 20, 2013 Leave a comment

This game, although not a six pointer was important for both teams. WHU needed to stop the slide towards danger, and Harry’s QPR need to try and capitalise on recent good performances to try and lift them from their rivals. Needless to say, the weather was shocking, the only good news coming from the fact the wind was blowing away from us in the Upper Bobby.

After we played well in the second half for the last few games, i sort of hoped we might start well today. This was not the case, as after 13 minutes if WHU pressure, QPR broke and found our defence wide open and put a through ball to this weeks big signing for QPR, Loic Remy. Fair play to him , he ran to the ball with out a touch, and fired past Jussi’s left to open his and QPR’s account. The rest of the half was the WHU show, but no goals to show for it. Where we did let ourselves down was in crossing the ball. Both Nolan and Joe Cole were consistently overhitting balls to the far side. To say this was frustrating was an understatement. Winston Reid came close after Mo Diame had a little Giggs style run around the QPR defence, and his cross was met by Reid only to run the whole width of the goal untouched about 1ft from the line. But the key was the crossing. Terrible. Chamakh started for the hammers today, and if I’m honest did not really impress in the first half, although he seemed to be geting about and winning the odd long ball.

The second half was just as annoying, with further crosses into QPR area being mishit and more chances going to waste. We have to learn to finish teams like this. And I have a plan but more of that later.

Winston Reid seemed to be camped in the QPR box, and had a couple of shots blocked by a resolute defence. Cesar in the QPR goal was showing all of his experience by playing quickly when needed and giving QPR time when they needed it as well. But he does kick goal kicks way left, so obviously Rob Green has been showing him some of his talents.

My Remy was very absent in the second half and seems to suffer from the “Berbatovs”. If he gets the ball played directly to him, he is interested, but if not he won’t go looking for it. This will frustrate QPR moving forwards.

CC came on from Chamakh in the 62nd minute, and started to terrorise an already panicing defence. After 6 minutes he rose to a cross, which was saved by Cesar, and then JC followed up to reopen his account at Upton Park (for West Ham !).

After this WHU really pushed on but not break dow the R’s defence.

The game ends one one, and questions have to be asked. We are not scoring enough goals and more shots in this game and the United game during the week would have changed thing significantly.

It should be said at this time. Nolan was shocking today. Passes going everywhere but where they should. This, hopefully was a bad day at the office.

The issue is easy to see. Sam has 4 strikers, Cole, Maiga, Carroll, and now Chamakh. They are all the same. Apparently RVT is a striker as well, according to the squad list on whufc.com, but he’s a midfielder at best. So we have 4 strikers who all offer the same thing at different levels. If Sam needs another striker, and he obviously thinks we do as he got Chamakh, then why 1). Get what we already have. 2). Not play more than one at a time.

Point 2 is just as frustrating. Nolan helps out, as does RVT (to some extent), but to win games we need to have 2 strikers. When Carroll is fit, surely him and CC should terrorise any defence. This leaves Nolan to pick up lose balls, and JC to have 2 options open to him to pass the ball forward.

Point 1 is trickier, as strikers seem to be a dying breed. So we just have to get on with playing  2. Or we try and get players in on loan like Macheda from United or go crazy and try and get some one like Billy McKay from Inverness as a wildcard.

MOTM. Noble played well, and just did his job (and left some corners to JC). Reid looked accomplished as usual, and added to the attack today, but the romantic in me has to give todays award to Joe Cole. Welcome back !

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JC seals his return to West Ham.

WHUFC vs Manchester Utd FA CUP 3rd Round 05/01/2012

January 5, 2013 1 comment

FA CUP 3RD Round

FA CUP 3RD Round

 

Illness meant I had to give up my ticket for todays game, but watching it on the telly allows me a better blog, if albeit a little disjointed.

So just after Xmas, JC makes his appearance at Upton Park. Joe Cole make his return the the club that taught him his craft. This time though he is a WHU player meaning if he scores, its not so much of an issue this time!

Man U are Rooneyless today, and my condolences go out to Coleen on losing her younger sister thus weekend. However with RVP on the bench and Hernandez and Wellbeck starting they obviously fancy their chances. Vidic comes back in, and Scholes gets a rare start. Fergie has  picked a strong team, and i feel they are the slight favourites.

Dan Potts and Joe Cole go straight into the team. Dan was a solid player when required last year and hopefully will be the same this term. JC could be the difference for a mostly flat looking WHU midfield. Nolan and Collins return from suspension today, meaning no starts for Joey O’Brien, scorer of the winner earlier in the week or Mark Noble, the other scorer in the game against Norwich. Collison and Diarra have also come in to the starting line up, suggesting Sam’s not that fussed regarding the tie, but does need players getting game time. However the fans will demand a decent display.

One bit of interest for me, is whether Vaz Te turns up or bottles against stronger players.

We get underway, and the opening exchanges are all Man U, with WHU getting their first kick after Jussi comes out to collect a pass (1.35 mins). Not looking great for WHU. After 5 mins they have not had a meaningful touch of the ball, suggesting the Hammers might get some sort of hiding here. Hernandez should of scored on 8.30 after a good cross from Smalling following an excellent cross ball from Scholes.

Vidic makes a massive save with an intercepting header from CC after a rare WHU attack led to a corner. After the first 10 minutes the game starts to open, and Jack Collison tries his chances from 30 yrds, just going over.

Just before the 20 minute mark, Dan Potts makes a classic goal line clearance from a Man U corner. That will do his confidence no harm at all. On 22 Man U open the scoring as expected, with a good cross from Hernandez finding Cleverly on his own to take an easy finish. Paul Scholes gets a booking just after for his 2nd cynical challenge of the game.

On 26 minutes Joe Cole crosses in an innocuous ball post a free kick, and finds James Collins who nods in well past De Gea to equalise. No one more surprised than me !! One one. JC has seemed to move over to the right, and swapped with Vaz Te and seems to be getting purchase.

Vidic is lucky not to give away a pen with a shove on Nolan just after the half hour mark. On 35 Danny Wellbeck makes a great breakaway post a WHU corner only to shoot straight into Jussi. Collison picks up a yellow for a Scholesesqe challenge on Rafael.

As the game winds up towards half time Utd are still on top but not to the level they were early on. One observation is Smalling doesn’t look to confortable at right back, he has knocked a forward pass out for a throw or goal kick three or four times. Just on half time CC powers through Vidic to pass to JC but just puts its behind him.

The 2nd half starts as you would expect, but with not a lot happening. On 56 CC goes close from another JC cross. Then on 59 JC throws in another great cross for Collins .2-1 WHU, well well.

First sub is made on 60 with Jarvis coming on for RVT. Question really is how long before Van Persie comes on for Utd. The answer is about 7 minutes when he comes on with Valencia, for Hernandez and Scholes.

On 72 Diarra comes off for Mark Noble. Hopefully he can sure up the middle of the park. The game goes a bit cold if I’m honest and Giggs comes on at 77. Joe Cole leaves the field at the same time to a standing ovation.

Back to back corners for utd on 80 were dealt with but you could tell WHU were getting more edgy.  Matt Jarvis made a good run past Vidic, and encouraged a yellow card from the Utd skipper.

On 87 CC went so close after Nobes cushioned the ball back into Matt Taylor who moved it on to CC.  Just as we head into Fergie time, up pops Van Persie as expected, to equalise after a great ball from Giggs.

Roll on a week for a replay at Old Trafford. United to go through. WHU had their chance today.

MOTM: Joe Cole was superb, CC played his arse off. Potts was magnificent. But James Collins scored 2 important goals for the hammers, so it goes to him. For Utd, Vidic was great against Cole all day, but his bit of madness on Jarvis took the edge off.