The crazy world of Doctor Evil's West Ham Wanderers!
Saturday, 18 September 2010
One Point Behind Everton After Tougher Games!
That puts things a little into perspective. We have played five, three of which have been away from home; Everton have played the same number, but three at home. We have both played Man Utd, but our game was at Old Trafford, Everton played them as hosts. We have also played at home to Chelsea, whereas Everton have not played any contenders for the top five apart from Ferguson's men.
So far, Everton have played at home to Newcastle and Wolves, two games they would expect to win, and have secured just one point from the two fixtures. They were lucky against Man Utd with two goals in extra time against a Mancs team shorn of Rooney. Away from home, they suffered defeat at Villa, like ourselves, and also came unstuck away to Blackburn, a game they would have expected to seure at least one point. Their fixtures should have yielded a par total of at least 7 points, and instead they are sitting on two.
Our one point sees Avram level on points with Zola on the Grantazola index (we drew at Villa last season, lost at Stoke and the other results have matched!) and, apart from the Bolton defeat, which was actually par for the course in truth, we have not shed points we would normally expect to pick up.
Yes it stinks to be bottom after 5 games, but we played well in patches against Chelsea and were certainly not over-run, we dominated the first half against Bolton and were much the better team in the first half against Stoke today.
The defence looked so much better for the reintroduction of Da Costa and you have to wonder why he has been ignored up until now. Jacobsen also looks a tidy defender who does what it says on the tin. I was impressed with Upson today too and, remember, until his own goal, we were in control defensively against Bolton. The loss of Upson in that game proved expensive. The worry now is the left back berth. I said it was stupid to leave ourselves with only only specialist option for left back, and so it is proving. Ilunga was at fault for Chelsea's third goal and Gabbidon was nowhere to be seen when Pennant sent in the cross for Stoke's goal today. But what choice do we have? Spector and a kid called Brown!
Bring in Hitzlespurger, and the central midfield three could yet prove the powerhouse of the team. Parker has three goals now, which is incredible! If Derr Hammer can start banging them in, we might just manage two goals in a game some time before the end of the season!
I liked the shape today, although there was a case for a defensive substitution at half time to revert to 4-4-2. Piquionne's movement is very good and Obinna has good pace. Sadly, neither look goal machines! Cole was largely ineffective up front, however, and we still await a goal from a forward 6 games into the season, including a home game against fourth division Oxford. THAT is a major concern! Maybe McCarthy is the answer. He was on the bench today. He should have been fasting with Avram!
The table still makes uncomfortable reading. There is a gap between ourselves and the real relegation candidates: Blackpool, Newcastle, West Brom, Sunderland, Wolves and Wigan. And yes, I still fancy Newcastle to struggle. However, the green shoots of recovery are there to see if you want to see them; although, given the way he is performing, "green shoots" may not be the most appropriate term!