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Posts Tagged ‘Mohammed Diame’

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

 

 

 

WHU vs Crystal Palace 19/04/2014 EPL 2013 – 2014

April 20, 2014 Leave a comment

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One minute applause for Dylan Tombides

 

This was a game overshadowed by 2 events for me. One was the untimely and very sad passing of promising centre forward Dylan Tombides from a 3 year battle with cancer. The other was meeting with a good friend of mine who starts his chemo this week, after being diagnosed with some serious Cancer complications out of the blue resulting in massive operations less then 24 hrs post diagnoses. The words of Shankly went through my head, and i will have the disagree with the great man this time.

Dylan’s number 38 has been retired by the club and they held a very moving minutes applause before the start of the game witnessed by his brother and father.

The game to me was going to be a drawn out 0-0, that would secure league survival for both teams, and started as such. Sam set out his usual shocking formation, and Pulis didn’t do much better. But the Eagles seemed to have the upper hand as they were more lively up front even if it meant Yannick Bolasie diving all over the place like Tom Daly after a night on the piss. But WHU had possession, and outside of Andy Carroll getting a couple of chances, and one falling to the ever depressing Diame, neither team was going to break the deadlock.

The second half was more of the same, but WHU were retreating more and more into their shells, inviting Palace on. This meant more action in our box. Eventually the inevitable happened when Pablo Armero tripped Cameron Jerome in the box. Jedinak took the pen well, and that sealed the game. 

There were shouts for penatlies on both sides, and that just about sums up the quality of the game all round.

So Palace are now safe, and we are not with 3 tricky games to go, West Brom (A), Totts (H) and Man City away on the last day. Other results will keep us up I imagine, so we must look to next season. I watched Sam this morning on Sky talking about improving the squad, but the reception he got at the end of the game (again), points to the fact that he probably wont be there to improve anything.

Last up, Palace fans, superb all day, plenty of noise and really got behind their team.

West Ham United vs Norwich City 11/02/2014

February 12, 2014 Leave a comment

I’m not going to go into detail regarding this game, except to say WHU won 2-0, and gave us some space in that bottom half of the league. It was that sort of game. To be fair, when the usual tannoy announcement came near the end of the first half, i actually thought it may be “The 4th official has indicated that he got bored after 15 mins and went home”

WHU dominated the first half but all the decent chances fell to Norwich and they couldn’t capitalise, mainly due to some heroics from the MOTM Adrian. He was also active in the second half, but as the game went on, the shaky centre back partnership of the canaries started to give the hammers some small chances. Diame came off the bench and his influence should not be underestimated. He dominated the right back for Norwich, and had a chance saved just before he got the cross in for Collins to break the deadlock on 80 mins. Norwich pushed on to get the equalizer and were unlucky to concede a second in “Fergietime” (94m) after Diame broke free and got a fortunate deflection to double the score for WHU.

One incident of note in the second half was one Mr Martin Olsson. He caught Downing in the head (by accident), but Downing put his hands to his head. This prompted Olsson to drop to the deck (not near anyone) and roll around a la Chico Flores. Thankfully, no red card for nothing this time. The WHU fans loved this (“Are you Flores in disguise”) and other less savoury taunts.

So overall a good win, and another clean sheet. Some real pluses were the Collins and Tomkins partnership getting better and better, and Mark Noble once again dominating a midfield. I know earlier on in the season I laughed it off, but he could be playing himself into the national squad at this rate.

MOTM : Adrian

The Ginger Pele strikes one for the Irons

The Ginger Pele strikes one for the Irons

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 Manchester United 17/04/2013 EPL

April 17, 2013 Leave a comment

This years 4th tie against the Champions Elect (beats Birmingham !) was supposed to be a dead rubber as far as I was concerned. Sam had loads of defenders out. We can beat Wembley bound Wigan at the weekend to stay up, and Man U can do pretty much what they want to win the title.

So I was surprised to see Winston Reid back in the team, and Noble on the bench. Still one up top , but hey ho. Man U played probably their strongest available team as well, with both  Ferdinand and Vidic, and Rooney and Van Persie starting.

Talking of Rooney, you can tell what sort of game he will have within 3 minutes of kick off, and this was not going to be one to build his legacy. In fact he was awful, and my xmas prediction of him leaving this summer is starting to look nailed on. His attitude is all wrong for starters.

WHU were on top for a change from the off. The midfield seem to flow into attack nicely, and Jarvis was seeing plenty of the ball. RVT wasn’t but no issue there. United seemed to be taking it in their stride, but the did look frail.

I seem to be on the only one who spotted RVT drift in from the outside right to get on the end of Carroll’s flick on the open the scoring on 16 minutes.

And still WHU looked comfortable. But being WHU you just knew something was going to happen, and just before half time they all switched off, for United to put 3 or 4 perfect balls together, and end up with Valencia getting the equaliser. Just before the break was the only contentious point of the match (for me – see later), Rooney and Carroll had some handbags before a corner which the ref stopped. Carroll reacted when the corner was taken, by bludgeoning through both De Gea and Evra. Most odd behaviour. And no punishment.

I assume this was pointed out at half time, because early into the second half De Gea and big Andy both went for a ball which the Spaniard won but then dragged Carroll for about 10 feet by his neck before dumping him on the floor. Yellow Card for carroll, obviously !.

This spurred on Andy, he then tried a cheeky one from about 30 yrds out that went close, and then he won to ball for Diame to roast the poor Rooney and blast in a 20 yarder to give the Hammers the lead again in the 55th minute.

Rooney was subbed for Giggs and Sam decided to Sub off our midfield (because this worked so well against Liverpool !). Giggs and Kagawa were linking up well (until the little fella was subbed off for the other little fella Hernandez), and pressure was piling on WHU, and resulted with 14 mins to go an equaliser for United after Kagawa managed to hit James Collins and both posts with RVP netting the follow up. Apparently he was offside but in true Arsene style i have not seen it, so only one bit of contention for me tonight. We tried our best in the last 20 minutes to throw it away but eventually got it over the line and another point on the board and our second 2-2 against Man U this season.

The score was about right, with Jussi making some world class saves (as usual at the moment), and no one goes home unhappy, unless you count me queuing nearly 20 mins for a tube, while watch plonkers jump over fences and stewards doing nothing at all.

MOTM, could of been James Collins early on, Carroll for his effort, Jussi for the saves, but this time I’ll go for Diame, as he scored a screamer, kept most of the Man U midfield quiet all night (until subbed), and had he stayed on i think we might have edged it. Still not happy with BFS playing RVT but he scored tonight so what do i know !

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Worth every penny. Mohamed Diame

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 Swansea City 02/02/2013 EPL

February 3, 2013 1 comment

There are many sayings in Football, and one that I have heard on many occasions, and much to my annoyance normally rings true is that “West Ham always come down with the Christmas decorations”. Our last win up to yesterday was on the opening day of the year against Norwich. Since then we have exited the FA Cup and slid down the league, not so much in position but in the points gap compared to the bottom three.

If I’m honest I think that Sam has failed on 2 counts during this time. He has not drafted in the  right type of players during the transfer window. Also he has not got through his head that sometimes 2 up top will work. And by two i do not mean a striker plus Nolan, or a striker plus Vaz Te. I also notice Vaz Te is listed as a striker in the official squad list. Really? We should of packed him off to the Championship during this window. In Sams’s defence, holding onto Diame is a big deal.

Yesterdays team was interesting with Joey O’Brien moved across to right back, bringing Taylor into the left back berth. Tompkins and Reid shored up the middle. A centre mid of Diame and Noble was flanked by RVT and Jarvis, with Carroll up top supported by Nolan. Jussi as usual was in goal.

I wouldn’t normally list the team, but someone said something to me at half time that made perfect sense. No square pegs in round holes, e.g JoB on the right side, no Joe Cole and Nolan getting in each others way, and with Carroll a striker who can operate on his own.

Anyway, the game !. The Swans have been a team I have admired since they were in the championship, and probably the team i enjoy watching outside of WHU (there is one other but no way am i mentioning them here) . But yesterday they never really fired at full strength. They still moved the ball round well, but failed to get the ball to Michu. This is because WHU came at them all day, closing well, and making sure everyone did their jobs through communication. The usual gaps at the back were not there, and the midfield (Noble especially), were patient and moved the ball where it needed to go, either backwards or forwards. Carroll was as usual winning everything, and Nolan had two chances in the first half which of those at least one should of gone in, a flick on from a Jarvis cross. Tremmel in the Swans goal was on fire, and stopping everything with feet and hands.

The second half was much the same but WHU seemed to run out of ideas, so Tomkins started to hit the ball longer, And Carroll was charging around everywhere. Sam made a great change bringing on Joe Cole for Jarvis on 62. This changes the shape of the team as JC doesn’t mind cutting in either. From here on in, the Swans were really on the back foot, and the Hammers were trying to unlock a tight defence. On 77 we got our first corner of the half. I noticed Carroll was just hanging about outside the box, which was a little odd. But Noble hit a corker into the penalty box which Carroll out jumped everyone by a mile and powerfully nodded it into the bottom right. It was very similar to his goal against Sweden in the Euros. See here

The relief around the ground was amazing, and the smile on Carroll’s face was pertinent. This is a guy who wants to do well, and the injuries have been frustrating, but hopefully he’s back for the rest of the season doing the business.

The remaining 15 (felt like 50) minutes were typical WHU bad passing, panic, backs to the wall, but with Jussi making a couple of good saves, and Noble making some great interventions just to take the sting out of the move, we got it over the line. Sam saw this as well and brought on Emanuel Pogatez to make his debut in place of Nolan for the last 5. Welcome Emanuel !

In summary, we seem to have a squad capable of playing well against most of the league, but we need to ensure the right people play in the right areas. This could of been the game that keeps up WHU this season. Quote of the day, was the guy behind me comparing Diame to Yaya Toure. Nearly but not yet !

MOTM:

The plaudits will go to Andy Carroll for his goal, and work rate, but for me Mark Noble, who is not one of my favourites, was sublime yesterday. He seemed to know what to do every time he got the ball, by interception or tackle, whether it was moving it up to Nolan, along to Diame, or a long pass back to Reid. Everything was done to perfection with no fuss. Keep it up.

One nil Job done

One nil, job done. Arise Sir Andy

WHUFC vs Manchester City 03/11/2012 EPL

November 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Having missed our great win against Southampton while i was in Vegas (post to follow), i travelled to Upton Park with slight trepidation, as i had also heard that we were extremely poor against Wigan.

Man City came to this game with a run of so so results and probably felt this would be a game where 3 points were a formality. This was backed up by team selection, with Mancini starting Tevez, Balotelli, and Edin Dzeko all up top. West Ham put out probably their best starting 11, with Benayoun and Jarvis starting. Collins got a bit of rough reception from the home crowd when announced. Tomkins wasn’t even on the bench, and O’Brien came in at right back.

The game started as you would imagine with City moving the ball around, West Ham picking up scraps. However my main fear hadn’t materialised as Silva wasn’t playing, and the City midfield was not as quick and agile as i expected.

West Ham played themselves into the game with Diame and Noble starting to take charge with some real blood and thunder tackles. Then the potential turning point occured. Kevin Nolan scored a goal from close range that was ruled for offside. Turns out the goal was ruled out wrongly. I haven’t seen the evidence myself but every report seems to back this up.

This shook up City however, and from then on for the first half WHU were on top ,with Benayoun hitting the Bar, and Carroll going close. City had their chances however, but most of them fell to Balotelli, who frankly was useless. This guy has all the talent in the world, but his laziness and refusal to go for any ball that isn’t already on his foot, would frustrate the hell out of me.

No changes for the second half from either team, and no change on the pitch, with City having a shade on possession but WHU keeping their hand in, and once again Carroll went close with a spectacular overhead kick.  City didn’t get te chances they had in the first half, but the ones they did fall to Tevez, who knowing his place at Upton Park, did his best to miss !

West Ham battled on and some good subs by Sam to get Diame off before he was sent off, and a late sub of Collins to give Jordan Spence some game time worked. Collins to be fair had made some great blocks, and tackles and hopefully has redeemed some of the ill will of the WHU faithful.

The game ended  0-0 and it really was a point earned by WHU, and 2 lost by City. I’ll take that.

On leaving the ground, as usual we ended up with the away fans , and i heard some interesting comments. They thought we put 11 behind the ball, and this is what always happens to City on the road. What nonsense ! We had as many scoring opportunities as them and really gave them a game.

The more telling comment was from a young girl, who said that if it had been United rather than City, they would of got the win. This is because United are a team, and City are a group of talented players, who struggle to play as a team when the going gets tough. Witness their CL performances in the last 2 years. This is a trate of Mancini, see no further than his tenure at Inter. He needs to get rid of Balotelli pronto, and push Yaya Toure further up the pitch. Last time we played City at home they won 3-1 and he ran the whole game. Yesterday, he was deep and ineffectual. I would love to say this was due to WHU pressure, but i will admit it was more likely to Mancini’s team selection and tactics.

These City fans need to remember where they were 4 or 5 years ago, and not assume they already have a permanent seat at the top table of European football.

All in all, a good day to build confidence for the Hammers, and keeps us in the top 10.

MOTM. Reid and Collins were excellent, Noble and Diame threw themselves around. But for fitting straight back in and playing a full 90 with style and class, my award goes to Yossi Benayoun.

AC goes close with a speculative overhead kick.

WHU vs Arsenal EPL 06/10/2012

October 7, 2012 Leave a comment

We come to our second London derby of the week, after our good win against QPR away on the Monday. Arsenal come to Upton Park of the back of a good win in the Champions League. That was not the first difference of the day. The ground was full and the atmosphere was fantastic.

Most WHU fans were optimistic about this game, as Arsenal have shown some weakness this season against the dead ball, and they are missing their talismanic striker Van Persie, following his exit to Old Trafford over the summer. Personally i was concerned they may end up starting Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott, and just kill us for pace.

Arsene helped me out by not starting either, but putting Podolski on the wing instead isn’t a bad replacement I suppose !

The game got off as expected with Arsenal piling in the pressure, with constant incisive passing. But as usual with Arsenal had no finishing quality (it was out on the wing as usual – this would frustrate me massively if I was a fan of our North London neighbours).

WHU’s forays into the opponents box were limited, but they weathered the storm at the beginning to fight back into the game. However it was still against the run of play, in the 21st minute, when Diame shrugged off Ramsey on the edge of their box, to absolutely rocket in the first goal of his Hammers career from an obtuse angle. Game on.

Then normal service resumed, but it looked like WHU would hold out the first half for a dream start. Andy Carroll was winning everything in the air, and as usual was bringing in other players. The improvement on Carlton Cole cannot be disputed now, and we need to do everything we can in January to hold onto the big Geordie.

Arsenal seemed to find space everywhere, especially on their left, and just before half time Poldolski got a cross in for Giroud to push home on the front post, to bring Arsenal level. Nolan went close to getting onto the end of cross to put us 2-1 up at the break, but just didn’t have the pace.

One all at half time, and although both teams were probably content, I’m sure Arsenal were the happier, having got back into the game at a crucial time.

The second half was more of the same, as the Arsenal pressure just got bigger and bigger. The space they find in the middle of the park is amazing, and WHU couldn’t close them down. However, WHU had some chances with Carroll coming close with a header going just past the post. At the 60 minutes mark Walcott came on, and didn’t look to clever to be honest. Until about 15 minutes later when Diame got robbed of the ball, Walcott got on the end of it with no one near him, and cooly slotted home to put the Gunners ahead. During that 15 Vaz Te halfheartedly got into a tangle with Mannone, and got rewarded with a dislocated shoulder. Also Demel, who was playing well, went off with knock to be replaced by Tompkins, who must be in for a shout for a next game, as we are losing defenders like Man U at the moment.

This put WHU into a bit of a spin, and the third looked imminent. But after 5 minutes we seemed to be making a fist of it again, with Nolan having a couple of chances that he didn’t finish. With 7 to go Carzola drilled in a 20 yrd screamer to end WHU’s chances of at least one point, and close the game out for Arsenal.

So we end up 1-3 to Arsenal, and we learn the the Premier League is still 2 or 3 leagues in one. We lost the game in the middle, as we spent most of our time chasing shadows, we were just not quick enough. Jarvis was also found wanting on the wing against Kieran Gibbs, as was Vaz Te when we swapped about. Whether this is fitness or awareness, will be down to BFS to sort out.

But its not all doom and gloom for the Hammers. Carroll was fantastic, and Reid played well again, as did Diame (although some final ball passing wouldn’t go amiss). Nolan’s fitness was found out again. Also, if Noble thinks he has an England chance, he needs to stop trying and failing to deliver Gerrardesque hollywood balls, and concentrate on what he is good at. Maybe he could hit the club shop and get a few season reviews from the Scott Parker era.

So not too disappointed overall, and after the international break we have Southampton at home, which should be 3 points for WHU on current form.

MOTM: Carroll for WHU, but overall Cazorla ran the game from start to finish, and got a good goal at the end.

Cazorla with 3 WHU players. A familiar sight unfortunately !