Saturday, 11 December 2010
West Ham 1 Man City 3 - Taking Sweets From Babies!
How many completed passes did we achieve all game? Certainly never more than three in a row. In fact, how many passes did we actually try to make? Stanislas, Parker, Spector, Barrera and Dyer, after he came on, all seemed to think the idea of the game was to run headlong into cul de sacs. Time and again, when a pass was available, the option to run or let fly from miles out was chosen instead. It was like watching an under 10 team who had met up for the first time on the morning of the game.
That old chestnut of a right footer on the left flank was perfectly exposed shortly before Stanislas was withdrawn. He had the ball on the corner of the Man City box with 15 yards ahead of him to attack before whipping in a cross; but instead, as always, he cut inside to a pack of Man City players and lost possession. That was it, Grant pulled him off a minute later. It is so infuriating. I keep saying to play him on the right but it never happens. But blaming the use of Stanislas would be stupid, the whole team were utterly inept when trying to move forward.
The critics of Noble might now understand what the guy offers. At least with Noble playing there is somebody looking to make forward passes, somebody giving the forwards the hope of an early ball. Without him, we have Parker turning circles or running head down into trouble, Spector doing the same without the circles, Barrera doing the same, but often without the circles or the ball, and Stanislas not even running!
Unreal City, meanwhile, were in dream land. It was so so so easy. The first goal was unstoppable but the second, well sadly Tomkins was woeful. He was done so easily by Toure, his lack of pace cruelly exposed. It was a shame because JT had played well up until that point, frustrating Balotelli just as he had frustrated Bent the week before, again forcing the early withdrawal of his opponent. But when Toure hit the throttle, Tomkins looked like a Reliant Robin up against a Porsche! The double rebound off the post and Green into the net perfectly summed up the way our season is going.
The third City goal was brilliant, with a lovely Silva pass picking out a superb Johnson run, but that just put into context how poor we are as a team going forward. Who in the present West Ham ranks could make that sort of run or that sort of pass? The forwards can try all afternoon but the delivery of the ball forward is so poor or so slow that they either never receive it, or are offside if it does get through. We need a playmaker and Parker isn't the answer. I said, before his injury, that Noble had been our best player so far this season, and the last two games have illustrated his importance perfectly.
At half time I wrote that my money was on a 3-0 defeat, and but for an unmarked Tomkins header from a corner, I would have been spot on. But that goal just added to the frustration for me. It showed that this City team can't defend and proved that, had we got at them early, as I called for, we could have run out winners in this game. But we didn't. We tried to defend. We tried to hit them on the break. We tried to ride the punches, our backs against the ropes. And three moments of class were enough to put us down and out on the canvass.
So the team selection may have been right, but the tactics were all wrong, as was the attitude of the players. This lot start a game with their heads down, it doesn't need an opposition goal to knock the stuffing out of them. And when that goal inevitably comes, it hits them like a demolition ball smashing apart a toddler; or a tram hitting a corner shop!
We are going down. The awful thing is that we are going down without even fighting!
Ratings: Green 5 (Did he make a save?); Faubert 4, Tomkins 6, Upson 6, Ben Haim 6; Barrera 4, Parker 4, Spector 4, Stanislas 4; Obinna 5, Piquionne 5 Subs: Cole 4, Dyer 4, Hines 5
Posted by Hammersfan at 17:25