Saturday, 27 November 2010

West Ham 3 Wigan 1 Frankenstein Revives The Corpse!

 Before the game I wrote:

"This is a must win game. What odds the draw?" and "If you judge the strength of a team by the bench, we are in trouble" and "If I am Martinez I am sending everything down our left" and "Oh for the option of Daprela" and "Gabbidon aint a lot of use at left back it is true but he has to be an improvement on Rita" and "Up front, Cole has talked himself onto the bench even though Obinna has been crap in recent weeks" and "This team is already dead and buried" and "Show me a fighter outside of Parker in the West Ham team" and "Wigan will fight today, we have all the punch and determination of Audley Harrison" and "The team already have their excuses written" and "Behrami already has his exit strategy planned" and "A draw looks nailed on to me". I'll get my coat!

To be fair, I was right about Gabbidon. He was done for Wigan's goal and conceded the penalty in pathetic fashion. He actually dived into a tackle in the box in the first half but fortunately connected with the ball that time. We still need a left back!  But that apart, hands up, I was wrong, wrong, wrong and wrong again!

So why the turn around? Well Tomkins and Upson were nicely solid at the back. That is a much stronger combination than Upson and Gabbidon. To be fair, I also said, "Tomkins returns and I'm not complaining about that. Gabbidon has been poor at centre half and Ilunga even worse at left back." In midfield, Parker and Behrami fought like tigers and both got on the score sheet. So much for my claim that they don't offer a goal threat from midfield! And up front, Piquionne, Stanislas and Obinna combined well, and Obinna stuffed my criticism down my throat with a brilliant goal and an even better assist for Parker! Boy am I happy to be wrong!

First half we were goodish. Second half, although we scored twice, we were nervy. The penalty save by Green was huge. Had that gone in, I would have backed Wigan to get a point. And although the conceding of the penalty was stupid, a goal had been coming. We started the second half poorly, handing the initiative to Wigan and, just as with Birmingham, went into our shell when two goals ahead. Why? Hopefully this result will settle a few nerves. The removal of Parker didn't help the cause either once we were three goals ahead. Kovac for Parker is like a moped for a Porsche!

Mind you, I have repeatedly said that Parker is not international quality because of his poor tackling technique and, yet again, he conceded a dangerous free kick on the edge of the box with an utterless reckless tackle. Why he wasn't booked is beyond me. Fortunately Wigan failed to capitalise, just as they failed to capitalise on the penalty. Had those two gone in, we would have been talking about a different game! 3-3 and the grave would be dug and the headstone ordered.

Now back to the positives. The first goal was superb: a lovely cross from deep from Jacobsen, a brilliant head down by Piquionne and a lovely finish by Behrami. Well done to Huff & Puff for getting so far forward!

The second was better. Piquionne took the ball well, pullled left (as he did all game), thought about going past his defender and shooting but had the composure to reassess and tee up Obinna who drove the ball low and hard into the right hand corner of the net. It was a brilliant finish and, just as impressive was the way Stanislas was diving in at the far post trying to net had the ball been narrowly missing. A superb goal all round.

But the third was as good. Parker drove forward again, played the ball wide left to Obinna, who went to the line and squared across brilliantly for the onrushing Parker to finish. That's six goals for Parker now and I said he couldn't finish!

At the other end, Gabbidon apart, we defended well. The penalty was crass, both in its conceding and in its execution. Green saved it, but it was a very poor penalty. The Wigan goal was superbly taken - it was probably the best goal of the game and suggests that Cleverley has a future. But once again, Gabbidon was done. He is not as much of a liability as Spector and Ilunga, but it is a close run thing. We need a left back urgently!

Piquionne and Stanislas both forced good saves in the first half and a better finisher than Cole might have bagged two in the second, whilst Piquionne missed an absolute sitter! It was a goodish display overall but nothing to get carried away about, especially given Wigan had a perfectly good goal disallowed for offside. The late winner for Wolves means we are still rock bottom and Blackpool edged another point towards safety. Who will go down if not ourselves? Wigan, Blackburn, Fulham, Wolves? We are still playing catch up! Lazarus has a pulse but he is not yet turning cartwheels!

Hang on, I've just realised, had Wigan scored the penalty and the disallowed goal been given, it would have finished 3-3; so I was right after all!

Player Ratings: Green 6: Jacobsen 6, Tomkins 7, Upson 7, Gabbidon 4: Barerra 6, Parker 8, Behrami 7, Stanislas 6:  Piquionne 8, Obinna 7 Subs: Reid 5, Kovac 4, Cole 6


Rabelais said...

Who would you have for a left-back, HF? Our lack of someone in that position is glaring.

Hammersfan said...

God knows mate. Wayne Bridge? I can't believe there isn't someone in the Championship with a left foot who can run fast, time a tackle and send over a cross, having got to the byline. But at the moment, I don't watch games in the Championship. I may be an expert this time next year, however!

Anonymous said...

good report mate best ive read on the game. i was wrong before the match to so dont beat yourself up about it.

Hammersfan said...

Cheers mate. Think I'll predict defeat every game, it seems to work!

COYI said...

Unfortunately I couldn't make it along to the ground today for reasons i'd rather not talk about. How did you rate the atmosphere and mood amongst the crowd? they've been getting on the players a lot this season and if you think about it that can't do much for your confidence. They must have been chuffed today?

Anonymous said...

@Rabelais I am going t answer for HF here and i have heard we have a very good left back in the youth team, jordan brown i think his name is, worth a punt?

@hf I think your ratings were very fair. Green got man of the match even he didnt want and you could see him waving his arms about getting it. I thought piquinne was outstanding and won every header give or take and was my man of the match.

@coyi I felt tension in the stands and there wer ea few boos for Cole. imo i think he was right to say what he did, i cant think of much service he is getting and has been coming on in games when the games are already won or teams are so defensive he cant get into the game. The service to cole was ridiculous v liverpool.

Anyone see Kovacs flick when he came on? first touch of the ball. I also think that behrami and parker work really really well together in centre midfield.


Hammersfan said...

Young Brown is meant to be promising but Spence still hasn't broken through and he is a couple of years older. Brown isn't even making it on to the bench for experience mate.

Anonymous said...

spence cant be any worse than what we have i would punt for a youngster.


Anonymous said...

I would disagree with a few of your ratings.
Stanislas was good for a 7. He had a few dangerous strikes and made alot of space for the front two with his runs.
Green deserves a 7. It was a naff penalty, but if you pull off a game changing penalty serve, you've done MORE than enough. He was solid rest of game, couldn't have done 'out about their goal.
Gabbidon shouldnt be at LB.
I don't think we should blood a youngster.
I think a left winger and LB should be priority for us in Jan.


RevCliffe said...

Fair point re Wigan's penalty miss and also the chalked off goal at the end but we also missed plenty of chances. Remember the one Piq missed when he had time to control it.

Scotty's performance given that he was not well was awesome but the real plus point for me was Tomkins. He hardly put a foot wrong, won all his headers and was capable of always finding his team mate with a pass.

A wins a win and if we had a bit of luck then I think we have earned it given some of the decisions against us this season. Saying that we should have had a pen yesterday, what do you think?

rabelais said...

Sorry to go on about the left back situation, but I can't help but recall all the LBs that have gone- Knoch, McCartney, Daprela. We've got to sort this situation out in January.