Monday, 28 December 2009
Tottenham 2 West Ham 0 - Damage Limitation, Injuries Apart.
So, how stupid does Zola look at the moment? Interviewed before the kick off, he said he left the decision to Parker as to whether or not he should start. I'm sorry, but that is piss poor management. If Parker was feeling a hamstring two days after the Pompey match, there was no way in a million years that he should have been considered as a starter for this game. And so it proved. After 10 minutes, he was off and we were a goal behind because he was unable to track back as Tottenham broke. Eight minutes later and Ilunga was off too, having looked less than enthusiastic at the prospect of coping with Lennon. Let's hope neither injury is serious but with Parker, a niggle usually becomes semi terminal doesn't it?
The injuries apart, this was a huge mismatch from start to finish. It was to the immense credit of the defensive unit that we kept the score down to two, but by defending with such discipline, we offered absolutely nothing going forward. King and Dawson must have been wondering when the game was going to kick off as the ref signalled the end of the match! Gomes did get his hands on the ball once but I don't think he had a save to make as such did he?
Mind you, Green wasn't exactly busy was he? And what he was called upon to do, he did abysmally. Fair enough, he was unlucky with the bounce on the first goal, but unlucky is becoming his middle name. He made a terrible hash of catching one corner and was lucky Crouch barged into the back of him after he dropped the ball and he should have done much better with Defoe's initial shot for the second goal. His kicking throughout was woeful, culminating in the dreadful slice into touch. Ask yourself, how many saves has Green made over the last five games? Hardly any. Not only is he not an England keeper on his present form, it is questionable whether he deserves his place in the West Ham team.
Defensively, we were impressive. I suspect Zola has lost control to Clarke when it comes to how the team is set up. As soon as we tried to move on to the offensive, gaps appeared and Tottenham broke to score. That is our problem. We can defend as a unit but if we try to show any adventure, we are buggered. When Stanislas came on to add attacking impetus he was, yet again, played wide left with Diamanti switched to the right. It is madness, sheer madness, but incredibly some on here continue to defend the decision to play the kid on the wrong flank.
I know Tomkins lost Defoe for the second goal but, that apart, he coped well. Upson was rock solid. Faubert did his job and Spector coped manfully on the wrong flank up against Lennon. Kovac marked space well but again had no concept of how to track a runner from midfield, even when it was Huddlestone. Dear God, the guy is not easy to miss is he but Kovac managed to overlook his runs all afternoon. Behrami stuck to his defensive job well but offered nothing going forward as a result. Diamanti was barely in the match but still should have seen red for repeated fouls on Lennon, capped by mouthing off at the ref. Collison managed one shot on goal but, like the rest, spent the game marking space rather than running in to it. Jimenez returned to type by looking lost and poor Franco was more isolated than Yuri Gagarin when he was blasted into space. Still, he achieved his primary object, collecting a yellow that keeps him out of the Arsenal cup game rather than the crucial fixtures against Portsmouth and Wolves.
2-0 flattered us to be honest, not because Tottenham deserved to score more but because our zero return was too generous given how rarely we crossed the half way line! Reality bites back and mid table looks a million miles away all of a sudden!
Player Ratings: Green 3 - Faubert 6, Upson 8, Tomkins 7, Spector 6 - Collison 5, Behrami 6, Kovac 6, Jimenez 3, Diamanti 4 - Franco 4 (What could he do without the ball?)
Posted by Hammersfan at 15:11