My first trip to the Boleyn in 2014, came after we had dragged ourselves out of the bottom three, via a win at fellow strugglers Cardiff. Also we had conspired in 2 back to back games to have no cup involvement for this year. With Collins back, and Carroll on the mend, believe it or not I actually fancied us to get 3 points at home against a Newcastle team , who have been a bit up or down themselves. The biggest blow was the loss of Tomkins, due to getting a silly red last week. Him and Collins (until Reid comes back), are as about as good as it gets at the back for WHU. Anyway, another defensive shuffle brought Matt Taylor in as right back. Now, using a left midfielder as a right back tells you everything Sam thinks about our current table topping youth policy !
As much as he puts a shift in , Matt Taylor was getting the run around in an unfair position, and that starts to stretch the defence, which didn’t help with Newcastle going 2-0 up with goals from Cabaye and Remy, and really looking to run away with it. However some persistence from Carlton Cole, got a (own) goal back just before half time and there was a small chink of light opening up for West Ham.
Morrison started the second half, which was a encouraging sign from Sam, that he thought it was on, and after 15 mins Carroll joined in on the pitch, in favour of the increasingly disappointing Diame. With a real two up top and some real supply with both Downing and Jarvis still on the pitch, WHU started to pressure the magpies, and both Carlton Cole and Andy Carroll missed sitters to equalise and possibly go on the register back to back wins.
And then Sam decided all the attacking was a bit too exciting , so he brought Joe Cole on for Jarvis. Now, like most WHU fans , i have always been a JC fan, but this time around the experiment has failed and needs curtailing as soon as possible. He really offers nothing extra to what we already have for less wages, and therefore we need to replace him with something more suitable.
Anyway, WHU go on to stay 2-1 down until Cabaye put a lovely free kick in at the end of the game to seal the win for Newcastle.
So while I’ve cut JC off from the WHU gravy train, lets look at a couple of others in that midfield. Diame and Morrison. Both are similar , in as much they are game winners both on their day, but they really are not interested at WHU. TO my mind lookd like Diame wants out and Morrison is being played out of position. So if Diame want to go, lets move him on. Because if he is refusing to utilise his talent, all the cajoling in the world, from the current management team, will make no difference. Morrison is different. We keep hearing about how good he is, but apart from small flashes never see it. Now we have some established players up top, it makes sense to put him in the no 10 role. But with one up top , Sam will want to ever erratic Nolan there. Thererfore we have an issue. We can leave Morrison in the midfield but sitting along the line and waste him or we move him on as well, and see him become an international rated midfielder.
Interesting times for Sam, and he will need all his management skills to balance the team and get the points. If we right off the next game, away to Chelsea, February becomes massive for WHU, we have Swansea, Villa, Norwich and Southampton, with 3 of those at home . Take 10 points there and stay up, take 1 and get relegated, it really is that easy. Hopefully th Lescott deal will be complete in Jan as well to shore up out leaky defence.
Back to the game. Noble, and Collins played well, and when they were both on the park, Cole and Carroll looked a formidable partnership. But for his 2 goals i’ll give Cabaye the MOTM.
Sam, now is the time for you to do your job, and sort this mess out, or maybe we will move yo on in the January window as well.