European football is upon us for the first time in a few years and not in a qualifier. Last season got us straight into the group stages and tonight we were looking to keep our place at the top of our group, after beating Zagreb on the road 2 weeks ago.Continue reading “WHUFC (2) vs Rapid Vienna (0) 30/09/2021 Europa League”
If this was a movie it would be binned at submission for being too far fetched.
We have the return of the once great one to save the day again. We also have hero returning to the site of his recent exploits to see if he can repeat the formula from the dark side. And we have the introduction of a former hero, now into his dotage, to see if he can just one more time recreate the magic that made him famous throughout the land.Continue reading “WHUFC (1) – Man Utd (2) 19/09/2021. EPL 2021-2022”
West Ham have never won their first three games in the Premier League but with 2 down and a 0 point Palace rolling into town, things were looking good for another small piece of history this weekend. Not to mention the chance to remain top of the league through the International break.
Getting into the ground was considerably easier this time around, but getting there 90 minutes before kick off helps !Continue reading “WHUFC (2) vs Crystal Palace (2) – EPL 2021-2022 28/08/2021”
Match reports have been few and far between this season as to be fair there hasn’t been a lot to report. Injuries , poor placement of players into positions, and non form of key individuals meant things have not been too great.
This report will not really add to this. We played a sub par Southampton team, but we had all our players in the right places, and Bowen got his long awaiting start, and we just tore them apart.
Haller proved the doubters wrong. Completely different player with others around him.
Today was mainly around the other big WHU event of the day. The supporters “stroll”. Basically this was a marched protest from about 1.5 miles outside the stadium ,picking up more and more people as we traveled in. Alone it proved nothing, but maybe it does give cause for concern with the owners that its not 200 “Old men”. There were women and kids and a few old men, who united in the cause that the lies are enough and we need to move forward.
This is where the issue is for me. The cause seems to be to get them out, fair enough. But we need the alternative, and that doesn’t appear to be forthcoming. There are rumours of American Billionaires and Red Bull, but that’s all they are. Best we can get is a climb down and engagement as we continue the relationship.
But lets keep the pressure on. They have already shut down their undemocratic “Supporters Board”. They have suggested holding elections for supporter positions. They will bend over backwards for this to go away, and we need to be constructive with how we use that leverage. First up for me , is let’s test the mettle of the stadium operators and put in a bid. They are losing money hand over fist, and I imagine will take a lowball bid. Once we have control of the stadium, move all athletics duties to Birmingham post 2022. The anniversary games is not a sell out anymore and must cost money to put on.
Once that’s out of the way, we can dig down and reseat the lower tiers into being next to the pitch, a la the Etihad. Yes we may be out of the ground for a year or 2, but it’s not such a big deal ,when we don’t feel we have played at home since 2015 !
So that’s it , the march was good start and hopefully the numbers will get bigger, but we have to have an objective that is achievable else we will be accused of pedaling pipedreams , just like GSB.
As usual West Ham fail to capitalise on a good run of form and throw away a lead to a decent enough team, but not quite at our level.
As with most Hodgson’s teams, there was a straight 4-4-2 across the board, where defence and midfield play close together meaning we have to break down. Once or twice we did get through, and as you might have seen in the build up for our goal,once we do, it was plain sailing.
Anderson and Lanzini were nowhere near their best, therefore creativity was at a premium. In fact the whole team seem to have a bout of wooliness, that stifled any smart play. Haller had chances to score that he didn’t take , and they got very lucky with a rebound. The penalty was also slightly contentious but more likely to be given than turned down. So all in all, happy with the draw.
Aha, but we didn’t draw, we lost. TO VAR. I’m OK with VAR, but for clear and obvious errors only. It’s an assist, not a judge. For a player to be adjudged 5 mm onside , there needs to be something else with the same amount accuracy. The ability to match exactly when the ball is kicked/headed/whatever. Unless you can 100% match these two, any of these too close calls cannot be made, and you have to go with the on the pitch decision (which was offside). From where I sat, it looked offside as well, but there you go. Lose 2-1 and move on.
We are seventh in a league that outside the top one, looks pretty open.
WWW. Nothing to do with Tim Berners-Leigh but WHU’s current form stats.
Helped out by playing those around us in a fortuitous fixture list, only interrupted by the visit of Man City (describes by the Stop HammerTime podcast, as a “contractual responsibility”)
But the style of the wins has been the most encouraging. 3 goals in each ,and most of the action in the second half. So why the slow start ?
Against Palace, it was because they (Palace) came out like lunatics, having probably seen that the Cardiff game could have been all different if the penalty went in. Cardiff and Newcastle were more us feeling our way into the game. Against City that cost us the first goal.
So Palace go one nil up with a soft goal. No panic for West Ham and by half time , although still one nil down, I knew we would not only come back but would win easily. All we needed was a mistake and as all the teams around that position in the league know (including us) , it will happen.
Or you can just pop in a worldie, as the ever improving Robert Snodgrass did straight from the kick off. Surely that completes his transformation back into a West Ham player. He bent one in that didn’t look anywhere near the goal until the last second . From then on it was all WHU, with Hernandez taking a typical poachers goal to secure the lead. The game was over (nearly) when 2 minutes later Anderson bent in one that was better than Snodgrass’s and almost identical to the one he scored against Burnley.
Last month we met some Italian lads on holiday and they told me Anderson would be long periods of frustration interspersed with genius and the case seems to be in their favour. He cannot tackle despite making the run and taking the position, his passing sometimes is off, but boy can he shoot !
As we approached the end of the game we started to go backwards a bit defending our 2 goal lead. By now, with Grady and Anderson on the pitch we were a little lightweight in the tackling dept, and Palace kept coming, eventually getting their second, and making the last 10 more exciting than it needed to be.
So we go 3 for 3 and 10th in the league with struggling Fulham, Watford, Southampton and Burnley next up. 30 points for the new year would be lovely, but let’s not get too carried away.
Best encouragement for me, and worst for non Hammers, is we have proved we are not a one man show. we have won 2 games now with no Arnie. Perez is not his replacement however, and Carroll looked massively sluggish. But with the midfield chipping in with the goals, it will paper over the cracks. Noble looks like he’s back his own self as well, which is no bad thing.
January is coming and I think if we can pick up a couple of full backs maybe Byram and Masuaku can go. With Arthur it’s a shame, as the talent is there but the mistakes can no longer be ignored.
Once again Rice was awesome and this transfer window does worry me. Don’t forget anyone who is still in Europe can buy him and play him. Leaving the negotiations until the end of the season is madness, but lets hope it works.
The season finished off on a bit of a high today as West Ham pulled apart an on the beach Everton in the last game of the season.
To be fair , it was easily the best performance I have seen us put out all season including beating Southampton 3-0 a few weeks a go. Noble commanded the midfield, Arnie was on point and linked up well with Mario. Lanzini had his usual poor start, but grew into the game and rounded off the first half with a tidy finish from an Arnie and Mario assist.
Everton didn’t really bring anything to the party. Davies put a shift in in the 2nd half and Baines seemed reasonably interested.
Arnie smashed in a second, which actually looked better because Pickford almost avoided it. Bodes well for the WC next month ! Everton got back in through a very Sam like goalmouth scramble, and then up popped Lanzini to leather in the WHU 3rd to seal the points and 13th in the league.
Of more interest was the interviews afterwards, as both managers have no idea what they are doing next season. Moyes tried to put a shine on by suggesting that with players coming back in and the last week’s performances that there is something to build on and he could be the architect. But level that against his pre Man U interview where he defended his top 8 + finishes and asked if the club could match his ambition. He also mentioned that the Burnley game was the turnaround for the season. In a nutshell he has the measure of the owners and they will have to buy big in the summer if he is to stay.
Sam started waffling about with no smoke without fire when asked if he was out. The Everton fans were not backward pointing out their opinion on their manager. Everton have more choice than us in the market and hopefully will see sense and bin the sanctimonious idiot. Mr 11/10 indeed.
Weird stuff in the ground today, loads of wall hung big WHU panels have gone up. I assume just in time for them all to come down over the close season, when the stadium owners have The Stones, The Foo fighters, Beyonce and Athletics in town.
Also the little temporary bars in the lower tier disappeared, which although a cost saving will be a pain the arse next season.
Special shout out to Ginge today who probably made his last appearance in our claret and blue. A quiet legend at West Ham over his two spells at the club, lets never forget his pointing at the board at the end of a game just before Xmas suggesting they don’t want to spend money. Also spending the last 2 away games in with the fans, and taking his kids with him. Top fella and there will also ever only be One Ginger Pele. One more season would be great but if he is off, then fair play and good luck to you big fella.
Not good, got battered. Lets hope Huddersfield are worse.
Heres a dog.
Once again it’s been a while, other things have been taking over. That said, those things are looking up for future so lets get cracking.
With the past. Burnley at home to be exact. Shambles, shambles shambles. A team playing at half effort, feeding off a crowd that sensed it was their time to make their point. And they did, but not with what you read in the papers.
Pitch invasions, are Scotland 77, Millwall 2017, not 4 separate blokes clutching sheets of A4. That is encroachment and no where near an invasion. At all. That said , seeing the fella with the flag brought all of the memories of the bond scheme protests flooding back, and I’ll admit annoyed me a bit. at the time. Now I know a bit more of the backstory fair play to Paul and I hope it all works out for him.