Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Jussi Jaaskelainen’

WHUFC vs Sunderland 14/12/2013 – EPL

December 15, 2013 Leave a comment

Image

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.

Advertisements

Norwich City vs WHU EPL 09/11/2013

November 9, 2013 Leave a comment

 Bit chilly outside so what better than to watch WHU away on the telly. Against a Norwich team who got battered last week. A Norwich team that averages 2 goals against a game. Ah, but we still have no fit strikers. Another 0-0? Lets see.

After being the only reporter(!) I read last week who pointed out Winston Reid was struggling, it was no surprise (but a disappointment) for me to see James Collins come in along side Tomkins. Joe Cole also made a rare start in favour of Jarvis.

Norwich started well, and had a chance saved in the opening minute. The game then swung WHU’s way for the next 15 minutes, with chances for Ratz, Nolan and Guy Demel hitting the crossbar with a header from a corner. You just thought if WHU got one, there could be loads in store. After about 20 on the clock the first half started to set a pattern of WHU having the ball a lot and neither team making any chances. This possession paid off on 32 with a cross from Ratz finding Nolan who was lucky (intelligent?) enough to keep it in and find Ravel Morrison to make it one nil. The half finished in much the same way. WHU finished the first 45 with nearly 60% of the possession (away from home ?).

The second half got underway with no changes. An early freekick from a promising position for the Hammers was hit straight off the wall as was one from Downing in the first half. At least its not Noble taking them. On 53 minutes a cross from Norwich was fumbled by Jussi who then in the scramble gave away a penalty (on review post match, there is an argument for a foul on Jussi, but none from me in real time in the game) and West Ham conceded their second goal on their travels this season (both penalties).  This woke up the home side and they started to take charge of proceedings. The midfield for WHU seemed the be not as fluent this half and needed shaking up. Nolan was coming deeper and deeper making it very busy and removing the outlet. With 20 to go Diame came on for Joe Cole to try and swap things around. At this time Norwich had a free kick due to clumsiness from Collins and it was sweetly taken by Snodgrass and fired in past Jussi’s left. 2-1 Norwich. The instant reaction was to bring on Carlton Cole for Collison. The game became scrappy with both teams desperate to not get lose the ball. Snodgrass had a chance to finish the game off but was too high by about 40 ft. Jarvis came off the bench on 86 for Noble in a strange decision, as Noble had once again played quite well. WHU had given up by then and Leroy Fer sealed the game with a third and Norwich got 3 points that you would of never seen in the first half but were well earned come 90 minutes.

West Ham keep up their decades long propensity for charitable point donations for teams worse of than us. We need to hold on to what we have and not be sloppy and too relaxed all over the park. Bottom line is we are now one point off the bottom 3 and depending on what Stoke do tomorrow we could go into the international break in a relegation spot with Chelsea up next. Sam needs to weave some magic and bloody quick.

Our passing is too relaxed and with the TV view we seem to pass to the player rather than in front, slowing down attacks.

Ratz seems to be finding his feet and getting the crosses in well. Just need to fit him, Jarvis and Downing in the team when we have someone who can receive the deliveries.

MOTM Robert Snodgrass for his freekick and all round effort for the whole game (WHU take note).

Joe Cole looks on as Robert Snodgrass gives Norwich the lead.

Joe Cole looks on as Robert Snodgrass gives Norwich the lead.

WHUFC vs Aston Villa 02/11/2013 EPL

November 3, 2013 Leave a comment

Image

With our berth in the last 8 of the League Cup secure with 2 penalties against Burnley, and an entertaining  0-0 against Swansea behind us, I wasn’t expected a goal explosion against Villa. Villa also, are in the middle of a goal drought. This was all set up to be a cracker (!).  I also base this on nearly every Villa game i’ve been to, which has been 1-0 either way or a draw.

Slightly interesting change in the middle, with Collison coming into the Middle for Diame. Diame has been quite laboured recently so it probably the the right decision. Also Jarvis and Downing started. This was odd, as we had no attackers again, and it was Nolan’s go at playing up top.

Not a lot to report about really for the whole game. There were two incidents in the first half both involving Andreas Weinmann. The first was when James Tomkins fell asleep and allowed Weinmann through. This produced a fantastic block from Jussi. The second was more controversial when he started to lose a race with Morrison, and started to lean into him. As Ravel tried to go round the now impeding forward, Weinmann hit the deck. Luckily Howard Webb saw the right path, and waved away the penalty appeals. I will say Ravel might always not be that lucky. Apart from the odd cross from our wingers, WHU never really bothered Jussi’s opposite number, Guzan.

As usual WHU played better in the 2nd half and probably had Villa on the rack for a while, but no striker meant no opportunities. CC came on with half an hour to go, and was pretty poor, and the lack of pre (and early)  season match practice is showing. The quicker Carroll is back the better.

Benteke nearly won the game for the Villa with a powerful header that hit the bar. Joe Cole and Kevin Nolan also missed game winning chances, Joe hitting the keeper and Kevin hitting the hoarding.

Overall , it was another point, and another 0-0 , but should of been 3 points. We are playing on a knife edge, If a couple of these draws were losses, we are looking at a different game. The quicker Carroll is back the better.

Downing was great today despite some serious stick from the away support. Tomkins, apart from one lapse of concentration is justifying his selection every week. Ravel had his moments, but has gone less attack minded. I  assume Sam has given him a dogging for trying to attack on his own all the time, and now he has gone the other way. He just needs to learn the right mix.

MOTM today was non other than the much maligned by me Mark Noble, He was magnificent, all over the pitch and making intelligent moves and passes. If this is off the back of his recently publicised personal quest to get in the England squad then fair play. More chance of me playing in Rio than him, but if this raises his game, I’m all for it. BUT, stop the free kicks son, its really not you !

One concern to end on, Winston Reid looked like he was struggling through the game. This could be a wory that we really pay for later on.

WHUFC vs Manchester City 19/10/2013 EPL

October 20, 2013 Leave a comment

With West Ham last game being the magnificent win against Spurs at the Lane, most WHU fans ay the ground had already decided that we already had our name on the 2015 Champions League already. We were unbeatable, and didn’t need strikers and could score at will. And we had this weeks current English wonderkid, Ravel Morrison.

Talking of which, this kid has had a couple of good games and scored some goals. He is also only now delivering on his promise that started at Man U all those years ago. Lets not get carried away just yet. Unlike the Sky Cameras, who decided to chase him around the pitch while he was warming up prior to the match. Surely the pitch is the workplace until the game is over ?

Anyway, Man City stood in front of this assault on Europe. We lined up much like against Spurs, leaving two strikers out of our pool of 2 fit / able strikers on the bench. Welcome back Carlton. As regular readers know, this for me , is some sort of religious resurrection :). City had no Zabeleta or Kompany at the back, which was encouraging. 

The game was underway at a high pace, and the scene was being set. David Silva running the show and WHU chasing shadows. We needed to get the ball and that was proving hard to do. We did we had a couple of forays into the City half but that was about that. On 16 mins a great dummy by Negrero left Aguero free to open the scoring for City. West Ham tried to respond but our 6 man midfield were struggling to get involved, which probably tells you which way the game was going. Come half time there had been a few flashes of light, through Morrison and Ratz, and I was happy with one nil.

My happiness was put out 5 minutes into the second half, when a Silva free kick found Aguero’s head for the second. Poor defending all round allowed one of the smallest players on the pitch score his first headed goal in the Prem.

All of a sudden WHU woke up, and our midfield started to fire, with Noble mugging off Yaya Toure a couple of times, which cheered me up no end. Just before the hour mark, RVT fires in an overhead kick past Hart after a nice dink in from Morrison. Upton Park goes wild and not just because CC is warming up ! We then push on and on and City start to falter and make mistakes. This is on like Donkey Kong. But it wasn’t to be, Demel got injured and had to leave for O’Brien, and it upset the balance a little. The knock on effect was we run out of puff, and still Sam left the strikers on the bench. This is where the issue was in reality. At 65 he replaced RVT with Jarvis, when maybe Petric or Cole and the long ball may of been the better option of getting a draw. On the same point, I am no RVT fan but no way should he have come off at any point yesterday. City smelt the fatigue and Silva scored an absolute cracker to finish the game off on 80 minutes.

So what happens next. Well Sam has got Carroll back soon, he has a fit CC and Petric, and therefore we need to change this ridiculous formation. For most of yesterday Diame and Morrison were playing up front and it helped neither. Back to the young lad, he played OK yesterday and in the second half passed the ball around really well, which is something he needs to do. 

MOTM: Jussi played well, as did Tomkins and Ratz (after a dodgy start). But David Silva was just unplayable yesterday, and therefore gets my vote.

Image

End of Season Report WHUFC 2012/2013

May 27, 2013 Leave a comment

Overall, our first season back in the prem has been a success, with Big Sam steering the team to a top 10 finish, in allegedly the best league in the world. We have a become a hard team to break down, but we do have a limited attack, unless Andy Carroll is playing. This means our league position is about right. For Sam then, we have to take on board that in the last two seasons he has done exactly what has been asked of him, and delivered in both years. But he needs to liven up play to get more fans on side.

Sam Allardyce 8/10

For the players we shall go in shirt number order.

2. Winston Reid. Bit of a shame to start any article at the top, but this is where we find ourselves. The Kiwi has been outstanding this season, and has won the club’s Player of the Season award, and mine. Which may come as a surprise as I wanted him out when we first took him on. 9/10

3. George McCartney – Only played about 25% of the season, and looked OK, but then injury struck, not OK. Probably should be offloaded this summer. 5/10

4. Kevin Nolan. Big Kev ended the year on a high, with a hatrick against collapsing Reading. Seems to drive the team, but could do with getting in the gym a bit, if you ask me. Double figures from midfield not too shabby though. 7/10.

5. James Tomkins. Really disappointing season for the young defender as Sam obviously doesn’t rate him, which is a shame. Would do best to leave, but i would like him to stay and prove Sam wrong. 6/10

7. Matt Jarvis. Our record signing has been everything we needed this year once he got going. Balls flew in from all angles from the feet of the small winger. More to come I hope. 7/10

8. Andrew Thomas Carroll. Where would we of been without Sam’s inspired loan signing. Not just his goals, but his teamplay and willingness to get on the end of everything has been nothing short of amazing. If he didn’t have a spell out injured, we would of at least been knocking on the door of Europe. If we can hang onto him permanently, colour me a Sam fan ! 9/10

9. Carlton Cole. This season sees Carlton leaving West Ham a cult hero and a West Ham fan. Never gave less than 100%, but just cannot fit into Sam’s system. I’m really sorry to see him go, but wish him luck wherever he ends up. 7/10

10. Jack Collison. Jack has had another injury hit season, but when he has played he still hasn’t lived up to his early potential. I would give him one more season, but there are rumours about an early retirement. 6.5/10

11. Modibo Maiga. Failure, except for a last minute cross for Kevin Nolan to get his hatrick against Reading. Back to France for this recruit. 3/10

12. Richardo Vaz Te. The enigma continues. The guy who scored our last championship goal, gets one in our last game of the season. RVT is just not good enough for Premier League football. He gets shoved off too much and gives the ball away too easily. Another one for the exit door. 4/10

14. Matt Taylor. Seems to give his all, and has the mark of a premier league player. Used sparingly this season, might see more action if RVT leaves.  6/10

15. Yossi Benayoun. Couple of appearances pre christmas and won a Europa League winners medal. Fair play. Don’t come back. 5/10

16. Mark Noble. The local boy had been an ever present until an injury took him out for a few games. Lots of puff, not nearly enough end product. Can do it, and once he gets it in his head he can do it. Needs to realise he is not the best player in WHU and just needs to get his head down and crack on. 6/10.

17 Joey O’Brien. Last years freebie becomes this year’s secret weapon. Plays really well on the right, not so good on the left but capable.  A good addition to the team. 7/10.

19 James Collins. Started the season really badly, not sure where he was playing, not linking up with Reid, got mauled by Swansea and kept Tomkins out of the side . Post Xmas was indispensable. Kept Man U quiet on his own. Well played Ginge. 7.5/10

20. Guy Demel. His rampaging down the right seem to be more controlled now and his tackles better. Needs to stay . 7/10

21. Mo Diame. Absolutely fantastic all season. His goal against Man U was sublime. Held us to ransom a bit during Jan, but hopefully with that behind him and a better midfield to come in, he will improve again (before he leaves !). 8.5/10

22. Jussi Jaaskeklainen. Robert Green’s replacement played every PL game this season, and won us about 10 points in my estimation. A couple of mistakes are allowed in a season like this. Well played Sir. 8/10.

26 Joe Cole. If I’m honest I really wanted this to work, and it sort of did, if only from a raising the spirits point of view. Needs more game time, and needs to get his mojo back . You can see why Liverpool moved him on though, as by rights he should sit square in the Brendan Rogers camp. 6.5/10

32. Gary O’Neill. Never let us down as a sub, but really took his chance in the middle when Noble was out. Should get more game time next year. 7/10.

Special mentions.

Abou Diarra – nice one.

Dan Potts. Your time will come.

Elliot Lee. Maybe, lets see.

Chamakh. Lol. Lets hope he wasn’t expensive.

Last but not least the Chairmen. Lets not forget, this season we have gained a new ground, as well as bankrolled the signings (re signings) of Carroll, Cole, and secured Diame. Also, for a man in his late 70’s David Gold is fantastic on twitter (dg). The other Dave has kept his self out of the media and left it to Karen, which is probably right. If the 3 of them play this ground business well, we could be up there in a few years.

See you next season (this year was 7.5/10).  COYI.

Image

Take a bow son !. Sir Winston of East London (and NZ)

WHUFC vs Newcastle United 04/05/2013 EPL

May 5, 2013 Leave a comment

if this game was a month ago, it would of been a cracker. Both managers had managed their opposition. 2 key players in claret and blue were both once Tyneside legends, and both teams were looking for points and playing well.

This game however saw WHU safe and in the top half and unless there is some major shock results, a draw would suit Newcastle (Wigan beating WBA away, anyone ? :)).

Sam picked his probable best team with the improving O’Neill anchoring the middle instead of Noble, and RVT on the right hand side instead of Joe Cole.

The first half was instantly forgettable, except for on 20 mins, Cisse stripped Collins easily to pass the ball past Jussi, and towards the empty net. Mr Winston Reid arrives on the scene to clear right of the line, but watching it again today on the telly would suggest it might be a good case for goal line technology. The games stumbles towards half time with Gutierrez faking injury and really bonding with the home support.

The game livened up a little in the second half, but no one really troubled either goalkeeper. Carroll, although industrious all game , sent a couple of headers past the post, and Jussi got all caught up coming off his line to leave the goal unattended again but the oncoming shot / cross went past the far post for a goal kick. Matt Jarvis got a few good crosses in late on, and Carroll and Nolan forced a great double save from Elliot to keep the honours even.

Which is how they ended up. A point for West Ham which could be a few quid, but a point for the Geordies leaves them just above the drop zone, and Wigan have a game in hand. Chunky Pardew (dont ask) doesn’t seem phased, but if I was a Newcastle fan , the lack of urgency would bother me.

Nice of Sam to only makes subs where they were needed, and keep Diame and Gary O’Neill on the pitch for 90 minutes.

So for his goal line clearance and general all round good play, todays MOTM goes to Winston Reid.

Image

The once great Geordie nation nearly fills out less than 1 quarter of the North Bank.

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