That was truly shameful. The pragmatists will say it is all about the win and credit a "brilliant defensive display" - but they are kidding themselves. Brighton are a poor team. They made poor decisions all night and, despite the good footballing ethos of Poyet, couldn't pass their way around a set of M25 bollards. But we are not here to discuss Brighton, this is a West Ham blog, although what I witnessed tonight had nothing to do with West Ham United. The performance was rank and any half decent side would have slaughtered us.
How many chances did we create? None. Oh yes we scored, but only because a dozy Brighton defender dwelt on the ball and Harper gave Nolan seven eighths of the goal to shoot at. Even then Captain Kev put it so close to the Barcodes' understudy that he got both hands to the ball. Fortunately for us, his positioning was so poor that he simply deflected it into the corner of the goal. Nolan did his turkey celebration and he was spot on. It was a shocking shot which my Mum would have saved had somebody sorted out her positioning for her.
And apart from that, what was there? Did we string three passes together all night? If so, I missed it. Who played well? Faubert was shit. Nolan, the goal apart, was anonymous offensively. Collison barely touched the ball after the third minute. Carew was ordinary at best. Diop was ponderous. Noble was dozy. McCartney overhit freekicks appallingly. O'Brien was done a couple of times out on the right and never crossed the halfway line all night. Both Faye and Reid were dragged out of position during the last 15 minutes of the first half. Sears buzzed around a bit after he came on but the end product, as usual, was poor. Piquionne floated like a butterfly and stung like...a butterfly. And Baldock was brought on for two minutes! Almunia had to make one save all night!
At one stage, the corner count stood at 8-0 in Brighton's favour and the possession 65% to 35% in the Seagull's favour. That is shameful. It was crude, cynical, unimaginative, defensive, long ball, inept, tedious, embarrassing stuff, Doctor Evil football at it's very worst. And why? Brighton were there for the taking. A decent team playing 4-4-2 could have taken them apart but Harper had a night off apart from that lucky, lucky, Nolan strike. Dear God when we won two corners, we took them short and we had the farcical situation for the second of a return pass from Faubert to Noble, with "Mr West Ham" standing offside. What a joke!
We are in second place, the apologists will scream. We are five points ahead of Leicester and they have just sacked their manager I will reply. Brighton have shit players trying to play decent football; we have a decent bunch of players and Allardyce is shrouding them in a cloak of fear. You guys can kid yourselves if you like but I know that I witnessed one of the most mediocre West Ham performances I have ever seen tonight. If that is football, then football as a spectator sport is dead.
Almunia 7; O'Brien 5, Faye 6, Reid 6, McCartney 6; Diop 5, Noble 5, Faubert 5, Nolan 5, Collison 4, Carew 5 Subs: Sears 6, Piquionne 5, Baldock - did he get a kick?