WHUFC vs Sevilla -Europa League, Round of 16, 17/03/2022


What to say? easily the greatest game played at the OS. And the best atmosphere since Super Saturday, but with the long jump substituted for the high jump as Soucek opened for scoring for us in this historic game.

Our first home knockout European game for 41 years. Against a team who have won this tournament more times than anyone else. And we are one nil down from the first leg. Antonio and Cresswell were injured in the last game. And Benrahma was starting. What could go wrong ?

Well not a lot as it turned out. To a man everyone played their part. Areola made an amazing point blank save when it was still 0-0. Cresswell seemed to have no knock on effects from Sunday. Johnson was composed. Zouma and Dawson were just themselves.

Fornals and Lanzini were busy, Benrahma made some decent runs, but that last ball needs to get better. Rice and Soucek were imperious. See how much better they play when they play in their natural positions ? And Antonio ran for everything, which was a surprise after seeing get carted off against Villa.

Antonio supplied a lovely ball for Soucek at the back post to open the scoring. My concern (and there always is one) was that Sevilla seemed to be playing within themselves, and I thought if we scored they may go up a gear or two. But we held out till half time. The second half however was more of the same, and we stayed on top, and even started to get comfortable that we would see this through.

Full time came and went and Extra time started. We were still on top. As we went into second period of ET, penalties all but looked like a certainty. Sevilla played for it, but we kept having a go. Noble came on for what I assume was pen duty.

And then the relentless Fornals got an opportunity , and took at decent shot. It spilled from the keeper and Yarma was there to follow up . Absolute scenes.

Support was amazing, but I still get amazed at how many ST holders don’t go to these games. So many daytrippers, getting lost and in the way, but they do make up for it in atmosphere. Small gripe of a fantastic evening

I got home whenever, and hardly slept.

Barcelona, we’re coming for you !

MOTM Yarma. What that fella has gone through recently, cannot be comprehended by most of us, and there he is, clearing his mind and raising his game on the pitch.

PS. Hopefully we can carry this euphoria into the Spuds game. But there will be some tired legs out there.

WHUFC 1 Newcastle 1 EPL 2021/22 19/02/2022


With 2 key players out for the recently better performing opponents, and us pretty much back to full strength, we could have taken this game by the scruff of the neck and started to hold off those with games in hand.

Continue reading “WHUFC 1 Newcastle 1 EPL 2021/22 19/02/2022”

West Ham 1 Brighton 1 EPL 2021-2022 01/12/2021


Line Up Line Up

A lot can be done in 3.5 minutes. You could drive 5 miles on a motorway. You could eat a Big Mac. You could go from Upton Park to East Ham on the tube. Or you could add another nail in the national game via the use of VAR.

The game probably had the right result and we go on, but this season I thought we had got rid of this drawn out nonsense happening in Stockley Park. Once again a corner comes in and we get it into the net through some bodies. No massive complaints from the opposition. And then it starts. Checking possible foul. To be fair it looked like (from a still) that Dawson had hands on a defender. Welcome to every corner in professional football. So that gets recinded. Then we take a look at a possible offside, another 2 minutes. I’m sorry but this was brought in for clear and obvious errors and here we go again. The picture that was showed doesn’t even have Antonio offside and further reports have said that it’s unclear who it hit last. Absolute joke and the quicker they use this in an efficient manner the better.

Anyway a point is a point. I was not one of booing contingent at the end. Maybe some of our supporters need some history lessons, to paraphrase the oppositions manger after their recent draw against Leeds. We have no right to win every game and to be fair the way we played in the first half would indicate we could lose more than we win if we carry on like this.

Squad depth has played a part here. Out of our back 4, we played 2 out of position. I know Johnson has played on the left a few times , but now he is used to being on the right, he was getting turned regulary which then invites crosses. Zouma, being the better of the two centre halfs, has stepped into Ogbonna’s place but seems to have issues getting it out from defence at his feet, which is a massive part of his game. Hopefully Cress is fit for Saturday, but if not Masuako will have to start in left midfield to assist young Ben, as he did when he came on last night. Also Dawson has to go in favour of Diop. Although still lopsided we could have some pace to get us out of issues.

The game itself was pretty poor, similar in some ways to Wolves, where we were the better team without punishing the opposition. Antonio still looks tired, and despite his goal (from a corner ) Soucek was just tidy without any explosivity. The second half livened up somewhat, but we couldn’t put away our chances. And what a goal from Maupay for their equalizer.

Benhrama started again after being poor for a couple of games and carriedon in that vain for the first 20 minutes. Consistently giving the ball away, poor passing and zero decision making. He was replaced by Lanzini with 15 to go. Manuel harried, tackled ran past people, and generally upped out game. Surely he starts against Chelsea ?

Interesting to see what happens to Brighton afterwards as lobbing flares near a pitch cost us a one match attendance ban.

Blue Wednesday

And it was cold. MOTM I’ll give to Maupay for the goal. Out takeaways are we need ot be more at it from the get go. Like we were against Liverpool . Chelsea up next and the crowd will demand a performance. Question is can the team deliver.

One to keep an eye on is the standing up situation. Where we sit the lower tier is just in front and if they stand it is difficult to watch the game. However they only stand when we are attacking and the guys in the back row have no option but to stand as there are 50 rows in front of them on their feet. However the loud bickering started yesterday, and I imagine will continue into the future. Sly digs and offhand statements never work out well so i’ll just be an interested observer in this debate.