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Posts Tagged ‘Sam Alladyce’

WHUFC vs Newcastle United 18/01/2014

January 19, 2014 Leave a comment

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.

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Deal or no Deal, Sam ? Its time to go to work.

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WHUFC vs Chelsea EPL 23/11/2013

November 24, 2013 1 comment

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The WHU Charity for ex players and teams off form was well and truly open for business yesterday. Lampard gets 2 (to end his longest run without a premier league goal) and Chelsea keep a clean sheet (their first in 6 games). Thats the game review in a nutshell. We were gutless and all over the place, and that is the key issue. So not a normal game review today, more a review of WHU.

Chelsea played really well, and made an emphatic 3-0 nil win look workmanlike. However John Terry needs to have a look at himself. Chelsea won a penalty early on, and it was a pen all day long. Demel played very poor ball back to Jussi off his thigh, when he could of just played it out or let it go to his feet and Jussi took out the oncoming Oscar. Pen all day long. Oscar though did not have the ball. John Terry then ran the whole length of the pitch to remonstrate with the ref about sending Jussi off. In a country where we pride ourselves on fair play, is a disgrace and he should know better. He already knew by then (well I did !) that Chelsea would win this game by a mile, therefore take the free goal and move on. He carried this on right up until the game restarted. Low behaviour from a player admittedly with low standards, and just uncalled for. He also went after the ref (with another 50 yard run) in the second half after a Diame challenge. To think he used to be the England captain.

Now, this booing of Lampard. It used to be fun to make him the pantomime villian when he was young, but since then he has won League titles, FA Cups and played over 100 times for his country. Lets not forget the day we were partying in the streets of London after coming 3rd in the Championship and getting up through the playoffs, he was winning the Champions League. 

That lad was WHU through and through by birth and left for better things, and as the Chelsea fans sung yesterday “Frankie Lampard, he’s won more than you !” Fair play to him, and screaming at him only fires him up. Witness the celebration for scoring a penalty. Leave the guy alone and appreciate one of the best English players of the last 40 years. Where would his career had gone if he had of stayed? Same as Mark Noble’s in my opinion. For the record, before I get accused of being a Frank apologist, I also have mentioned previously the same treatment of Ryan Giggs. Oh and John Terry is fair game !

Anyway back to WHU. Shocking, plain and simple. We are staring relegation in the face and Sam has decided that petty grievances and stubbornness are the way forward. Diame should be the first name on the sheet, and it appears that some back of house shenanigans is restricting his time on the pitch. He needs to be in there to support Morrison going forward. Sam’s biggest issue is he wants 5 in the middle and have Kevin Nolan on the pitch. We have been carrying Nolan all season, and he needs a kick up the arse. OR we go 3 at the back, and drop a winger. As we have no recognised forward this shouldn’t be an issue. Forwards are another issue. Once again Sam has bought forwards and then doesn’t play them. Petric and Cole have been brought in and aren’t “match fit”. Well fucking play them in some matches then ! We are getting beat anyway, so give them some match practice. Talking of practice, Sam prides himself on his defending, but yesterday was just appalling. Demel’s contribution was mentioned earlier, but Collins was just as culpable for the second. He left his player (Oscar) to chase down another player. Ball goes to Oscar, and he scores. Like I said earlier, all over the place. 

As things are going  downwards towards the Championship, things need to change. Starting team should be:

Jussi,

Tompkins, Reid, Demel (Collins benched)

Diame, Morrison, Nolan, Noble, Downing (Cole benched, or Jarvis could come in for Nolan with a reshuffle).

Then CCole and whoever. 

Or chuck Joey in the back line and leave CC (and then one day AC) up top on their own.

Once more thing before i go. If I was on the board, i would be seriously looking at whether Sam has done his best with WHU, and it’s time to move him on prior to the Jan window. Shake his hand, thanks for getting us up and staying up, but the time has come. But as usual who comes in? Di Canio, no, Holloway, probably not (too used to failure). I have heard mention of Redknapp. Never go back rules say no. Malkay Mackay looks like he might like to leave Cardiff with the employment policy issues. He knows the club as well, and seems to be a bit like a young tough manager, who wont take the shit some of our team serve up. 

So not quite pressing the Sam out button, but hovering over it.

MOTM. Frank Lampard. 

Diame played well when he came on , and Joey fitted back in well. Morrison showed small examples of talent. 

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 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.

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Aston Villa vs WHUFC 10/02/2013 EPL

February 10, 2013 Leave a comment

Last week, WHU breathed some life back into a season that was heading southwards at an alarming rate, and they come to Villa today hoping to push into the top half of the table and almost  guaranteed safety. If im honest i expected a re run of the win earlier in the season

WHU have replaced their wingers Vaz Te and Jarvis with Nolan (!) and Joe Cole. Pogatetz came in at the back ultimately replacing Demel. No surprises that Carroll keeps his place up top. But this looks more of a 4-3-3 formation rather than a 4-5-1.

Gabby Agbonlahor is not in the starting line up for the Villains, so not good for them.

Villa came out all guns blazing and had Wienmann had an open goal chance put wide after 2 minutes following a shoddy rebound by Jussi.  Villa , one of the worst teams at home this season , have the best of the early exchanges, against the team that have the worst away record in all the English professional leagues.

West Ham took some big bangs in the first half hour with a saving tackle from Joey O’Brien ending in another early finish for JOB and Guy Demel coming on in his place. The impressive Tomkins also got a kick in the face from Delph.  It was very accidental, and more of a result of putting his body on the line.

Aside a few half chances, the first half came to an end at 0-0, which was fair.  I would say WHU moved the ball around better, but Villa were more direct in the attack.

In what has become Villa’s trademark this season, WHU started the second half way on top. But the Villa defence held on, and the WHU attack didn’t make the pressure tell by way of shots, which is a tad worrying. Corner after corner with nothing to show is not good form Sam ! By the way, your 4-4-2, looks worrying like 4-5-1.

Just after the hour mark, on comes the former WHU transfer target Darren Bent. Bit of a worry for me, if im honest. And after being on for at least 2 minutes, he clears an Andy Carroll goal off the line following a corner from Taylor ! Then RVT comes on for Taylor.

Nathan Baker picked up a silly card just before 70 mins, for taking out JC who was rampaging down the right,. The resulting free kick from JC was put over by Nolan. Villa sent straight up the other end, and N’zogbia was fouled by Noble and Villa get a penalty. Benteke took the pen very cooly into the bottom right. One nil Villa. Sam makes an unusual change by putting on CC for Noble !

CC had a chance almost immediately, but got it caught in his feet.

2 mins later, N’zogbia pops a great free kick into the top corner, to make it 2 and over as a game.

WHU throw everything at Villa in the last 10. And it pays off when a mistake in the Villa defence leads to an own goal from Westwood. Despite all this Villa hang on for a win. Not deserved, but a win anyway.  A draw would of been a more fair result.

So where does this leave WHU. Nowhere as usual. Sam needs to move on at the end of the season. I think the board have this in mind with him having no contract. Nolan could go with him as well at this stage. Nolan especially pisses me off as he has the skill to play, just decides not to bother. I imagine we also lose Carroll if BFS disappears at the end of the season.

Tomkins played well today, and hopefully has graduated back into the first team, or he will be off at the end of the season. Diame seems to be getting back to normal. CC looked lively when he came on.

MOTM for me should be Tomkins, but leaking 2 goals means he is out. I’ll give it N’Zogbia for his free kick and winning the penalty, and his constant attacking down the right flank.

Benteke casually puts away the penalty for the first goal.

Benteke casually puts away the penalty for the first goal.

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 QPR EPL 19/01/2012

January 20, 2013 Leave a comment

This game, although not a six pointer was important for both teams. WHU needed to stop the slide towards danger, and Harry’s QPR need to try and capitalise on recent good performances to try and lift them from their rivals. Needless to say, the weather was shocking, the only good news coming from the fact the wind was blowing away from us in the Upper Bobby.

After we played well in the second half for the last few games, i sort of hoped we might start well today. This was not the case, as after 13 minutes if WHU pressure, QPR broke and found our defence wide open and put a through ball to this weeks big signing for QPR, Loic Remy. Fair play to him , he ran to the ball with out a touch, and fired past Jussi’s left to open his and QPR’s account. The rest of the half was the WHU show, but no goals to show for it. Where we did let ourselves down was in crossing the ball. Both Nolan and Joe Cole were consistently overhitting balls to the far side. To say this was frustrating was an understatement. Winston Reid came close after Mo Diame had a little Giggs style run around the QPR defence, and his cross was met by Reid only to run the whole width of the goal untouched about 1ft from the line. But the key was the crossing. Terrible. Chamakh started for the hammers today, and if I’m honest did not really impress in the first half, although he seemed to be geting about and winning the odd long ball.

The second half was just as annoying, with further crosses into QPR area being mishit and more chances going to waste. We have to learn to finish teams like this. And I have a plan but more of that later.

Winston Reid seemed to be camped in the QPR box, and had a couple of shots blocked by a resolute defence. Cesar in the QPR goal was showing all of his experience by playing quickly when needed and giving QPR time when they needed it as well. But he does kick goal kicks way left, so obviously Rob Green has been showing him some of his talents.

My Remy was very absent in the second half and seems to suffer from the “Berbatovs”. If he gets the ball played directly to him, he is interested, but if not he won’t go looking for it. This will frustrate QPR moving forwards.

CC came on from Chamakh in the 62nd minute, and started to terrorise an already panicing defence. After 6 minutes he rose to a cross, which was saved by Cesar, and then JC followed up to reopen his account at Upton Park (for West Ham !).

After this WHU really pushed on but not break dow the R’s defence.

The game ends one one, and questions have to be asked. We are not scoring enough goals and more shots in this game and the United game during the week would have changed thing significantly.

It should be said at this time. Nolan was shocking today. Passes going everywhere but where they should. This, hopefully was a bad day at the office.

The issue is easy to see. Sam has 4 strikers, Cole, Maiga, Carroll, and now Chamakh. They are all the same. Apparently RVT is a striker as well, according to the squad list on whufc.com, but he’s a midfielder at best. So we have 4 strikers who all offer the same thing at different levels. If Sam needs another striker, and he obviously thinks we do as he got Chamakh, then why 1). Get what we already have. 2). Not play more than one at a time.

Point 2 is just as frustrating. Nolan helps out, as does RVT (to some extent), but to win games we need to have 2 strikers. When Carroll is fit, surely him and CC should terrorise any defence. This leaves Nolan to pick up lose balls, and JC to have 2 options open to him to pass the ball forward.

Point 1 is trickier, as strikers seem to be a dying breed. So we just have to get on with playing  2. Or we try and get players in on loan like Macheda from United or go crazy and try and get some one like Billy McKay from Inverness as a wildcard.

MOTM. Noble played well, and just did his job (and left some corners to JC). Reid looked accomplished as usual, and added to the attack today, but the romantic in me has to give todays award to Joe Cole. Welcome back !

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JC seals his return to West Ham.