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WHUFC vs Newcastle United EPL 14/09/2015

September 15, 2015 Leave a comment

Hopes were high as The Hammers entertained their struggling opponents under the lights at the Boleyn. Newcastle were not having the best start of the season ever, but WHU were yet to register a point at home, whilst taking full points on the road at Arsenal and (historically) Liverpool.

Since that game at Anfield, some 4 players have joined WHU and one made his debut last night as Victor Moses came in for Obiang, and Tomkins found himself once more in the right back berth. Mark Noble also made his first appearance as officially the club captain, although with the fans he has held that position since Scott Parker left.

WHU started the game with a spring in their step, with Payet and Koutyate especially taking the game to the Geordies. The players seemed happy to close down, move around and make quick passes. Something we haven’t seen for a while. In the 9th minute a neat interchange between Noble and Sakho fed the ball to the edge of the box to Payet, and he shaped up perfectly to meet the ball in his stride to smash it into the top corner

As is usual for WHU the game started to drift and although we maintained the attacks, we were not really making the best of our chances. The Newcastle No.8 Vumon Anita was playing as a one man defence and was stopping everything and everyone coming his way. We continued as is now usual to half time, content to be ahead but not really pushing. But it must be said we were playing further up the pitch than normal and not buggering about passing it around the back.

It made a change not to go in 2-0 down at home, so happy days.

Once again we started the second half with the wind in our sails attacking the Bobby Moore. We cleared an early attack from Newcastle to Moses who ran the whole length of the pitch and got himself in on goal. He shoots, beats the keeper, but not the bar. The rebound comes straight out to Payet who volleys it in to make it 2-0. Big shout to the the team here, as Payet ran off on his own to celebrate, everyone else was congratulating Moses, who had his head in his hands ! From here on, Payet ran the show and gave us his full set of tricks and passes. This started to breed confidence within the team and soon everyone was at it. Against a better team we may of suffered , but Newcastle could not capitalise on the showboat circus. Even Mark Noble was taking people on and getting crosses in. There were back heels and fancy passes all over the place. The crowd were loving it, but occasionally you could see where the loss of the ball could reduce the deficit easily. The biggest cheer of the evening was reserved for the reintroduction of Andy Carroll (again), who nearly picked up a yellow card with his first touch (or non touch as it was on Tim Krull). His five minute cameo ended the night perfectly. The crowd were chanting “Are you watching Allardyce” for the last few minutes in between cheering on the back flicks and nutmegs.

2-0 to the Irons and 5th place in the league with Man City up next to hold on to our perfect away record this season (!). Why are we playing better? My theory is that now that we have a real squad, competition for places is driving players to play a higher standard of football. Lets hope this continues Messrs Bilic and Dicks

On a side note, Kevin Nolan was on Goals on Sunday this weekend and spoke glowingly of the club and his time there. With the stick people (myself included) have given him for the last 6 months, fair play to him, especially having his boy in a WHU kit. In parting, good luck to him in his future endeavours.

So in short, we have a top, top, quality flair player in midfield,backed up with some steel,  we can pass balls all over the shop without fear, we score some tremendous goals, we can defend and attack in numbers, we are all in it together, and are always on the edge of going too far and screwing it all up.

THE WEST HAM WAY IS BACK !!!!!

#COYI

MOTM: Payet, big shouts to Moses, Kouyate, Noble, and Tomkins.

Slaven Bilic's Claret and Blue Army !

Slaven Bilic’s Claret and Blue Army !

Is a straight line really that hard lads ?

Is a straight line really that hard lads ?

WHUFC vs Birkirkara FC – UEFA Cup 16/07/2015

July 18, 2015 Leave a comment

West Ham’s journey into Europe continues unabated as the Hammers faced Birkirkara FC of Malta last Thursday. I was late in getting my ticket application, so for the first time in my life I was sat in the East Stand, the famous “Chicken Run”.

This meant watching football side on, as I was near the half way line, and once I got used to it, I actually enjoyed it. You do miss some of the in box action, but you do get a good idea of the ebb and flow.

This weeks opponents were a big step up from our last round match up, and seemed to be organised and have a modicum of talent. The game itself reminded me of a 3rd round FA cup tie. The plucky lower ranked club were all over the pitch closing down WHU, and kept all their men behind the ball.

That said, a stronger WHU team than played in the previous round could not breach the defences. We even had Maiga on the pitch. Like Zarate (who also played) I thought he was gone, but there he was, in the claret and blue. He had a good first half, eliciting a world class save from their keeper, and hitting the post. The were some long shots from Noble and Amalfitano, and that was that for the first 45 minutes. FCB has no shots on target at all, and were limited to 2 or 3 half hearted attacks.

The second half was more of the same, but it was becoming apparent where the issues were. Maiga was subbed for Lee, but we still were not getting the ball forward. The reason being Kevin Nolan was shocking. He was slower than usual, took an age to turn around, and even seem to struggle with passing the ball into peoples path. Everything was straight at them, making them stop and in turn getting closed down.

Consequently we had to wait until time added on, until Tomkins got this second European goal of the season, after the keeper failed to deal with a corner.

Overall a professional performance from the Hammers and I expect next week’s away leg to be an easier proposition, as the adrenaline will have left our opponents, and the need to open up if they are to stand any chance. The next round, we could be up against Inverness which for personal reasons will be interesting.

WHUFC vs Aston Villa EPL 08/10/2014

November 9, 2014 Leave a comment

Get on and do a job. But you won't play every week !

Welcome back, and stay bloody fit !

After our win over Man City, most WHU fans were thinking that the next 2 games against Stoke and Villa should be 6 points and our top 4 status should be secure. However, old skool heads knew better, and those thoughts were realised after our draw at Stoke (albeit from 2 nil down), and another 1 point game with our 0-0 against Villa yesterday. Last year we would of lost by 3 or 4 at Stoke and maybe could of thrown away the valuable point late on yesterday. Let’s not forget this point moved us back into the top 4 (without at this time knowing the Arsenal result). These results have been recognised with Sam getting Manager of the Month for October and Diafra Sakho getting Player of the Month.

Villa are a team in trouble, and played that way. They spent the last half hour wasting time and if it wasn’t for some great goalkeeping would of lost to our last few minutes onslaught of their goal from the returning Andy Carroll.

WHU played the whole game in control with Downing (congrats on the England call up) and Song running the game from start to finish. The introduction of Carroll was immense, and if he had come in for longer (eg when Cole came on), we would of got a win. However that wasn’t to be and we have to learn that teams respect us more these days and sometimes we will be up against spoiling tactics. That all said some players need to take a look at themselves. Kouyate for example, is a player that prior to his injury had been a Diame with the ability to surge forwards and link up play. His introduction back in yesterday for Amalfitano (who was poor against Stoke) was welcomed but he really didn’t deliver. Against a tight midfield, he was ineffective and looked a shadow of the guy who started the season. In fact, he looked like Diame !

The one worry for me, was that with Valencia and Sahko not firing yesterday, we ended the game with Cole, Nolan and Carroll on the pitch. Will Sam start to revert to these tactics that saw him vilified last season if we go on a run of draws and losses? We will have to wait and see.

Carroll as previously mentioned looked immense when he came on. In the 5 minutes he played, he had 2 chances saved by Guzan . I think he will be introduced in longer spells moving forwards, and the upcoming International break will help with his recuperation.

Our next two games are away to Everton and home to Newcastle. Neither will be easy ,and will be a good bell weather for our finishing position for the season. But we cannot deny, that with a fully fit squad we should now be prepared for anything, and the competition for places should encourage better performances.

Shout out to Joe Cole who took some humorous “banter” well, while warming up for Villa. On that subject, fans singing “he hits who he wants” to James Tomkins might want to think about that.

MOTM today was again Alex Song, but big shouts to James Collins who played a blinder against his old team. Holidays and bad timings of games will limit my reports until late December now, but hopefully, I will still have the optimism brought on by he opening quarter of the season.

COYI

West Ham United

  • 13 Adrián
  • 18 Jenkinson
  • 19 Collins
  • 02 Reid
  • 03 Cresswell
  • 30 Song
  • 16 Noble (Carroll – 92′ )
  • 08 Kouyaté (Nolan – 66′ )
  • 11 Downing
  • 31 E Valencia (Cole – 75′ )
  • 15 Sakho

Substitutes

  • 04 Nolan
  • 05 Tomkins
  • 09 Carroll
  • 17 O’Brien
  • 21 Amalfitano
  • 22 Jääskeläinen
  • 24 Cole

Aston Villa

  • 01 Guzan
  • 34 Lowton
  • 04 Vlaar
  • 02 Baker (Senderos – 88′ )
  • 23 Cissokho
  • 08 Cleverley Booked
  • 15 Westwood
  • 24 Sánchez
  • 28 N’Zogbia (Clark – 92′ )
  • 11 Agbonlahor Booked
  • 10 Weimann Booked

Substitutes

  • 06 Clark
  • 07 Bacuna
  • 12 Cole
  • 14 Senderos
  • 18 Richardson
  • 19 Bent
  • 31 Given
Ref: Jonathan Moss
Att: 34,857
Team lists and details c. the BBC

WHUFC vs Manchester City EPL 25/10/2014

October 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Over she goes

Over she goes

Last season Man City beat us 9-0 over 2 legs in the League Cup semi final and won the premier league, as well as the cup. Today was a test of how far we have come since then, with the new look team and style. Anything short of a hiding would be an improvement over previous encounters. Sam had suggested this was a good time to play them with their mid week trip to an empty stadium in Russia behind them, and I tended to agree. It worked for our Liverpool game !

Both teams lined up pretty much how you would expect, and the Song / Toure match up seemed a mouthwatering prospect. The ground was packed to the rafters, and for a change the atmosphere was electric and expectant. We actually thought we could win. Personally I thought if we could keep them quiet for half an hour, we may have a chance.

However City came out of the blocks flying, and as i thought he would be, Silva was dictating the play, and laid a couple off to Aguero which another day, would of had a different result. We coped with the onslaught by having Song cover every blade of glass, and drive his fellow midfielders on to get back and help out as well. One example was our attack breaking down, and City countering quickly. He must of run 70 yrds to collect the ball off the toe of Dzeko in our box.

After a long 10 minutes we started to get the ball and actually play. We were pushing them back and stopped them playing. Cresswell and Jenkinson were pushing their overlaps further and further back assisted by Sakho and Valencia getting among  the back four to stop any counters being launched. This set the tone for the rest of the half. One loose ball came to Song who threaded a world class ball through for Valencia out wide on the right. He went round Clichy and got to the byline to cross a simple ball avoiding Hart for Amalfitano to tap in to open the scoring for the Hammers. Crowd go wild with chants of “we’re going to win the league”. One nil West Ham.

City did not recover and at half time WHU were quite comfortable with their lead.

The second half was more closing down by WHU high up the pitch, and we started to believe. But you knew we needed at least one more goal. This came on 75 minutes with the ever impressive Cresswell getting down the line to cross for Sakho to head into the corner, and the ball was scraped out by Hart. From my angle, it wasn’t in, but it’s not up to me, and the lino and the technology adjudged it to be over (see photo above), and Sakho gets his 7th in 7 starts. Roof lifts off the ground, and WHU fans start doing the “Posnan” much to the chagrin of the City supporters. 2-0.

Literally from the kick off, Silva shows his quality, by running through half our team to slot in a great goal for City, and set up the finale.

I’ll be honest, some last ditch defending and some saves from Adrian and the post / crossbar kept the visitors out from here on in. Aguero will be having nightmares regarding his shot that hit the bar from within the 6 yards box. Talking of defenders, Kompany should of not still been on the pitch, as once he started to lose it, he decided to kick Valencia all over the pitch. At least 4 times, and only got one yellow. I think the ref needs to have a look at himself today.Nolan, Kouyate and Cole came on to see the game out, and did their jobs well. I hope Nolan (and Sam) understands this will be more the norm for him, these days

Anyway, all told, WHU won and we really deserved it, and that is the important part. The team has been upgraded, we have had a little injury scare, and brought squad players in, and we are still doing well, and find ourselves in 4th, and it’s not a false position. Will we stay there? Probably not, but with Stoke and Villa up next, we dare to dream with some justification.

As much as it pains me to say, Sam has had more than a shout in this, but he needs to deal with this with humility (not a strong point) and not ram it down the fans throats.

MOTM was Song by a mile. If we can change the loan to a permanent move, it could up Sam’s relationship with the fans immeasurably.

On another note, we spoke to a few City fans afterwards, and not one gave us a hard time, and said we deserved the win. Class

WHUFC vs QPR EPL 05/10/2014

October 6, 2014 3 comments

It's good to be wise when you're young 'Cos you can only be young but the once

It’s good to be wise when you’re young
‘Cos you can only be young but the once

A bit of an odd one. As Chelsea, Arsenal, Totts and these two London clubs were all playing in the capital yesterday, our games kicked off at 16.20? A new one even for Sky.

Arriving in Green Street wasn’t quite the same as Wembley Way for the NFL, but we did have a band in the car park. Some good old Ska from the SkaTonics who were covering Guy Lombardo’s (and latterly Prince Buster’s and The Specials) Enjoy Yourself. Being a bit of a 2 Tone man myself, I stuck around for a couple of tracks and then headed in with a spring in my step.

Read more…

Diame on his way ?

June 18, 2014 Leave a comment

Just happy to be at Upton Park !

Just happy to be at Upton Park !

 

Today, WHU announced the signing of Cheikhou Kouyate from Anderlecht. I will admit I’m no expert on the guy but he does seem a Sam signing. A 6’4″ midfielder from Senegal who has some experience of European competition during his time in Anderlecht. 3 goals in 145 appearances suggests that he hasn’t been signed as part of Sam’s new “attacking project” or as a replacement for Kevin Nolan. Mark Noble’s performances this last season makes him a shoe in for the first 11. This means in my estimation, with the amount of midfielders we have available means that at least one will be going. That one, in my estimation will be Mo Diame, who lets be honest, hasn’t torn up any trees this year, and I think we all agree needs new challenges and unfortunately needs to be off of our payroll if he doesn’t want to be here. Such a shame, as some of his performances have been fantastic, but he seems to have a little of the Adebayor’s about him, now he’s settled.

So Merhbe (welcome in Wolof) Cheikhou, and may your stay be good !

 

Also the fixture list is out.

Totts at home first game. At least we can start the season well !

 

 

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

 

 

 

West Ham United vs Southampton EPL 22/02/2014

February 23, 2014 Leave a comment

Great team, great passing, great to watch, big away following, noisy away following, will upset a few big teams, too good to go down, not good enough for Europe. Once upon a time you could guarantee people would be taking about West Ham. These days its more likely that they are talking about Southampton.

Southampton came in good form, as they have held onto all season, but were running into a WHU team who themselves were on a good run. The game started (after the minutes applause for the passing of the legend that was Sir Tom Finney) with Southampton on fire and we were chasing shadows if I’m honest and it was no surprise when they took the lead after 8 minutes. The manner of conceding our first goal in over 4 games was more disappointing. There were 6 West Ham players in a row, marking space rather than players and this allowed Yoshida to ghost in unopposed to get his first goal of the season.

This seemed to wake the hammers up and our midfield in particular.  We started to see more of the ball and were closing down the effective play of the Saints a lot quicker which was starting to make them make mistakes. After 20 minutes, Kevin Nolan spotted a run from Matt Jarvis across their back line and lofted a beautiful ball into the danger zone, which Matty got onto, nuts the keeper and slots in the equalizer. To be fair if he had missed he was due a penalty as well, due to the keeper taking him out. There was a slight sniff of offside, but for once the luck was with us. 1-1

We didn’t have to wait long for the next goal, as the Hammers didn’t relent the pressure on the Saints. 3 minutes after the leveller, Carton Cole jumped out of the pack to bullet a header against the post, and the rebound came back to him (from Yoshida’s arm – another pen ?) and rifled in WHU’s second to make it 2-1 WHU after 23 mins. For the first time this season, football had broken out at Upton Park. Southampton continued their possessional play, and might of felt aggrieved not to be level at half time. Adrian did his part again and so did Guy Demel, making some key interventions and clearances.

The scoreline was interesting for me as Mrs MrBen had had her first ever football bet today. She picked WHU to win 2-1, so was hoping for a drab second half to ensure £100 quid into her pocket.

To be fair she looked good for it as the second half didn’t really live up to action of the first. WHU as usual, had  a period of play where they gave Southampton some opportunities to level, with both Adam Lallana and Gaston Ramirez wasting chances. However come the 71st minute, a lovely cross from Stewart Downing met the industrious Carlton Cole who nodded it down for Kevin Nolan to fire in an overhead kick from 5 yards out to bring another 3 points to Hammers. For once a comfortable win, to confirm their top half league aspirations, and extend their current form to 4 wins, one draw and only one goal conceded. And a game where the score was about right. If Diame’s speculative shot near the end hadn’t just hit the bar, but had gone in, the scoreline would of been unfair to Southampton. This game has probably won Sam the manager of the month award for Feb as well, without Andy Carroll for most of it. Things are looking good for the Hammers, and with Newcastle and Southampton slipping up more than expected currently, I don’t think we have finished our table climb. I was eyeing up Man U yesterday but their win against Palace probably makes them an unrealistic target now.

So some points of note. Sam has maintained then when the team is fit we can match anyone, and despite my reservations, he may be right. One other point is one I started last game. Adam Lallana on Sky commentary this morning, was being lauded as a cert for the plane to Brazil. Mark Noble played him off the park, and once again dominated a game with tackles, pick ups and directing play. He deserves a look in, if nothing else.

I have also decided to add a new feature to the blog, The Bloke Behind Me. Now this guy has been there some time, and comes out with the most inane nonsense,  week in week out .

So for the in inaugural TBBM, we have “James Collins has probably been our best player this season, but i wouldn’t have him in the team” Nice one mate. The only thing that will stop this feature is the 67 year old Angry John clumping him , so I have that in my influence sphere ! Nice to see Aussie John yesterday as well, coming back for a beer, even though he does live the far sticks of Essex these days.

MOTM for this week was once again Mark Noble. Another game dominated.

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The Italian Hammers contingent, gets even bigger

This man wears the no 1 jersey next season. Without a doubt.

This man wears the no 1 jersey next season. Without a doubt.

WHUFC vs Swansea City EPL 01/02/2014

February 2, 2014 Leave a comment

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The West Ham Italian Division, welcomes our new imports.

As well as managing football teams, it appears Mr Allardyce has added time travel to his skillset. Yesterday we moved from the 19th Century Football (TM J.Mourinho) to 21st Century defending according to Sam. Not that the defending should of been having to be used, but more of that later.

I arrived more in hope of a win rather than expecting one. Last years game, here was more what I expected, with Swansea on the attack and plucky old WHU getting away with it.

What i got was markedly different, with a positive WHU, attacking Swansea from the off and in reality, Swansea couldn’t cope. Our defence was containing the admittedly under par Swansea attack and Noble seemed to be everywhere. Carroll was dominating their defence in very impressive style, and you just felt it would be his day. More of that later as well.

The breakthrough came on the 27th minute with Noble picking up the ball in our box and spotting the run of McCartney on the left flank. George continued the run up the line and popped in a superb cross for Andy Carroll to rise high into the air and nod it down for Nolan, to get his first in a while, and his first of the game. Like the 58 outside on Green Street, we didn’t have to wait long for the next one (19 mins to be precise), when a Downing corner found Carroll on the far post, to nod it back in for his mate to double his tally for the day, and send the Hammers in 2-0 up at half time. That really doesn’t do justice to Carroll, as the height he got and the body twist to make the nod down accurate really has to be appreciated. However I cannot find any photos on line, so you will have to catch MOTD or sky or just believe me.

The second half seem to be going the same way, with WHU happy to let the The Jacks crack on in their own half and then use Carroll to involve everybody else in the play.  Then with half an hour to go everything changed. Carroll challenged Flores for the ball, and having seen that, my eyes has gone elsewhere (the incident was that much of nothing), only to catch Flores out of the corner of my eye, rolling around like a cheese in Gloucester. Game stops, Howard Webb comes over, straight red card to AC. What! Really ? I have tried to find content this morning to put up, but i’m struggling currently (edit, now have some). This was not a red card, yellow at a push. Mr Webb made a grave mistake, that (and lets be serious for a minute), could relegate us. I’m not too sure the FA will want their poster boy overturned on appeal, but it’s all in their hands now.

So WHU has to change formation for the last 30 mins, and did stoically. Special shouts out to Matt Taylor, James Collins and Mark Noble, who just threw everything out there to defend (in a 21st century fashion) our lead. So in the end, 3 points and another clean sheet (our 11th this season, why are we 3rd bottom ?) .

In fact everyone played their part yesterday, including Nocerino (Nosher, anyone), one of our new Italian imports,  who came on for the last 5 and looked lively going forward. James Tomkins made a tackle in the first half against Bony, that if it had of been made by Baresi, Beckenbauer, or (dare I say it) Moore, would of been lauded down the decades. If you see it, take into account the lad was on a yellow as well, and it was 0-0. Winston Reid made a welcome return to assist the late rearguard action. This probably signals then end of Tomkins’ run in the team, and is a shame, but we cannot accommodate everyone. It was also nice to see everyone in the correct positions, including Kevin Nolan, who put a shift in for the first time in a long time.

Anyway MOTM goes to big Kev for his contribution, but he was run close by Mark Noble, Andy Carroll and on the outside Matt Taylor.

Is this really a straight red , Mr Webb ?

Is this really a straight red , Mr Webb ?

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I think the look on his face says it all.

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.