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Posts Tagged ‘Morgan Amalfitano’

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

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WHUFC vs Liverpool 20/09/2014 EPL 2014/2015

September 21, 2014 3 comments

Not a massive fan of late kick offs so I dragged myself down to Upton Park for this game which had been moved for our friends on the telly. Having a chat with Angry pre game, and some random turns up and gives us free beer as his mates had disappeared, so the day was looking up. Anyway the bottom line of this chat, was that for us to get anything out of this, Liverpool needed to be having an off day. But at least we have a chance after it appears that Sam’s attacking football ™ is starting to gel, following the Hull game last Monday.

So the game starts in front of a vocal full house and the atmosphere is electric. After 90 seconds it goes to 11 once Winston Reid scores from a Tomkins knock down, the put the hammers into the lead. As everyone was settling into the pattern, of Liverpool attack and WHU counter, when Sakho lofted over Mignolet from the right hand side to double the lead, within 6 minutes. Now, whether it was really a cross or not, I’ll leave for him to answer, but from the Bobby Moore Upper it looked fantastic.

Being a West Ham fan, you know this isn’t enough, so the more Liverpool got the ball, the more concerned for the final result you were. And they got the ball a lot, but Balotelli and Sterling didn’t really offer the threat of a Sturridge and Suarez. One other highlight in the first half was everyones favourite pantomime villain Balotelli, going straight through Adrian, and nearly get a hiding for his trouble, but in the end they both settled for yellow cards. Liverpool got one back just before half time, when a Balotelli shot rebounded off Cresswell onto an onrushing Sterling to fire into the bottom left corner, with a well taken strike. The half time conversation was not as comfortable as you would expect being 2-1 up, and we started the second half waiting for inevitable. Which never came. The scousers battled on and had way more ball. but there was no plan B outside of give it to Sterling. Gerrard wasn’t driving on and Henderson looked like he had regressed two years.

West Ham had the odd counter, but to be fair this period wasn’t as eventful as the first half, unless you count Lovren chasing after Valencia, because Valencia won the ball in the air, but Lovren was convinced he had been butted (he wasn’t, but he had taken a massive bang in the head in first half, so maybe can be forgiven for his reaction). With 2 minutes to go, WHU broke and an improving Downing threaded through a great ball for new boy Amalfitano to slot home the final goal of the game, and end any hope Liverpool had of points today.

I don’t say this very often, but Sam got it right today, keeping Sakho and Valencia up top, and putting in Alex Song with Noble. Alex Song. Now this guy is some player. He doesn’t do any more than anyone else, but everything he does is completed correctly, and without fuss. He makes every pass and sees balls that our other midfielders don’t. And he knows when to put himself out there to pick up a card, just to stop the game. Lets hope he stays. Also something else i don’t say a lot, Downing played well, and seems to be happier in his distribution now we have a quicker frontline. Lets hope Sam allows this midfield to continue to flourish, once Nolan is fit.

Sam also made the right call, by throwing on Collins as soon as Rodgers put in Lambert, to make sure the existing players on the pitch didn’t have to change their style to combat a new offence.

So well played Sam, well played West Ham, and well played Alex Song (MOTM). Going back to my pre game chat, I don’t think Liverpool had an off day, I think they are just at that level without Sturridge. They better enjoy the CL this year, because I don’t think they will be in it next year. Also, If Sterling and Borini would like to stop the diving, that would be nice as well.

Is Adrian angling for a move to Real Madrid. Nice kit anyway.

Is Adrian angling for a move to Real Madrid. Nice kit anyway.

Lovren getting some serious attention from the medical staff

Lovren getting some serious attention from the medical staff