Sunday, 27 February 2011

West Ham 3 Liverpool 1 Ahem. WEST HAM 3 LIVERPOOL 1 DREAMLAND!

I will deal with just how much I got wrong personally later. For now, let's put rivalry aside, let's forget about our differences, let's just take a deep, deep breath and scream in unison, WEST HAM 3 LIVERPOOL 1 - COME ON YOU IRONS!

And having vented the passion, having burst our lungs, having danced and hugged and punched the air, let's just add, WE DESERVED IT! WE PLAYED THE SCOUSERS OFF THE PARK FOR 70 MINUTES!

Today Birmingham play in the League Cup Final. They are welcome to it. Today was our Cup Final to end all Cup Finals. Today was bigger than 23, bigger than 64, bigger than 65, bigger than 75, bigger than 76, bigger than 80, bigger than 81, bigger than 2006. It was even bigger than our Inter Toto victory in 99! Today wasn't just 3 points, today was BELIEF!

Where to start? At the back! Yes we scored three but the win was based on Tomkins and Upson - they were immense! True Suarez did Tomkins once and nearly bought a penalty, but those moments apart, the kid was superb. He needs to work on his heading, the cushioned header is superb and speaks volumes for his composure, but at times you have to put your head through the ball and get real distance. Twice today, he failed in this department and the second time Liverpool scored, albeit courtesy of Jacobsen's crazy decision to let the ball bounce in the penalty box. For that reason, Tomkins doesn't get my man of the match, that accolade for me goes to Upson who I thought was superb. Did he put a foot wrong all game? If so, I didn't see it. He was quick and strong in the challenge and, along with Tomkins, closed out Liverpool time and time again.

Mind you, when Liverpool did get through, they found Green in superb form. Yes there was that lovely save from Saurez, but just as good for me were his punch in the second half, when we were coming under the cosh, and his reaction to the Liverpool goal. This was a man possessed. This was a man enraged! This was the man we need between our sticks!

And after those three, well for the first time this season we saw a West Ham team dominating the midfield. At one point the possession count stood at 60% to 40% in West Ham's favour! Parker was fantastic. Hitzlespurger was almost as good. Noble was impressive. And O'Neil was good too, delivering the perfect cross for Ba's goal.

And up front, well how well did Ba and Cole take their goals? When Liverpool scored, I thought, that's it, 2-2 if we are lucky. But then on came Cole. He won the ball when he had no right to, advanced into the box as if he was Torres in his prime and finished with such a venomous shot that Reina was beaten at his near post. That is 6 goals in 7 games for Carlton now! How has Avram transformed the guy from a two goals in 15 games man under Zola, to a player averaging almost a goal a game? ;  }

Back to the goals. Parker's finish was sublime and followed two poor touches from our England man. Typically his determination rather than his class kept him in possession of the ball but then, well Messi couldn't have bettered that finish! And Parker meant it, he was celebrating as soon as the shot left his boot!

And then came the second, perfectly timed just before the interval. Ba won the ball well, flicked it to O'Neil and made the sort of run our forwards haven't been making all season, to the near post. O'Neil spotted the run, stood the cross up superbly and Ba did the rest, getting his head to the ball and planting it firmly into the back of the net. Brilliant!

And we could have scored more. Piquionne, our weakest player on the day, should have scored when getting his head on a Noble corner. Der Hammer let fly three times but was too high with one and too straight with the other two. Ba so nearly got on the end of a cross deep inside the six yard box. And Liverpool? They benefited from the Jacobsen mistake and forced two saves from Green. We bossed it!

And I think I will end there. Liverpool came to Upton Park in sixth place in the Prem and on the back of an excellent run. We were bottom. And we didn't just win, WE BOSSED IT! If the team don't take confidence from this, then God help us!

Player Ratings: Green 8; Jacobsen 6, Tomkins 8, Upson 9, Bridge 6; O'Neil 7, Parker 8, Hitzlsperger 8, Noble 7, Piquionne 5; Ba 8 Subs: Cole 8 (for the goal!) Spector not on long enough to rate.


USA Dave said...

Allow me to be the first to chime in, HF. I watched the game while playing with my son. Had the TV on in every room (4 year old move around a bunch).

We deserved it. We were the better side. I was a bit angrier than you seem to be at the Scouser goal. Letting the ball bounce was inane, and our central defense let them slide in. We shouldn't have had any anxiety over the last 10 minutes. But I'm probably over-reacting because I expected 2-2 as well.

I hope it's Cole and Ba against Stoke. Piq should sit. He actually seems more committed off the bench. Not sure why, though.

Belief? Yes. But one game is not a predictor of future outcomes this year, although Ba and Hitz may change that.

I'm elated. Back to the kid.

Sav said...

4 wins from our last 10 games should mean safety. I think we can surely get a point a game from now on, but 38 points may not be enough this time round. But, the way we played today means 12 point is attainable, despite a difficult programme. You said it HF, this was better than winning the League Cup. COYI!!!

Anonymous said...

Is der hammer der savior? Totally different team when he's on the pitch compared kovac.

Anonymous said...

Superb result! Hope they don't do the usual, and mess up now with lesser teams. Thought this was our strongest line up with Picqionne and Cole alternating the starts thus giving each of them more chance of avoiding injury

Michael said...

Do you think that his current run of form is to do with the January signings? Perhaps he goes to training everyday and realises he needs to up it in order to get into the side.

Stani Army said...

I think we should give Suarez some credit for that turn, it was world class. Thank God we kept him out of the box most of the time because the guy is so sharp.

It was strange he was taking the corners but I think it was because Gerrard wasnt 100%, and he looked it.

My man of the match was Parker. You sure this is better than the cup HF? ;)

isaac said...

Good result and after reading through your pre-match analysis I'm glad, as I suspect you are, that you will be eating humble pie or your hat or whatever constitutes an acknowledgement of getting it wrong.Well done the Hammers a true goal fest of a week...Had to listen on radio on trek back from the smoke after picking lads up from their week with grandparents after they went on Monday...a great week,can the future really be bright,I'm not convinced looking at our run in but will take every game and every point week by week.
Keep your powder dry know what I mean.