Sunday, 2 October 2011

Oh For Ba's Broken Knee!

I admit I was opposed to his signing, fearing the worst given his catalogue of injuries, but what would we give to have Demba Ba in the team right now? With Ba scoring for fun, and Newcastle sitting in a crazy third in the Premiership table (a place higher than ours in the Championship!), it is becoming increasingly clear which team got the better deal when we paid £4m for tubby Nolan and Pardew picked up Ba for a song.

It also makes you gasp at the stupidity of Grant parking Dembones out on the left, rather than playing him down the centre to feed on the scraps of chances that we were creating in the Prem. I am old enough to remember the mighty Trevor Brooking saying how he expected his game to improve when we signed Ted MacDougall because when you have somebody in the side who scores goals, it lifts everybody. As it happens Trev was wrong, because MacDougall was shit but it is no coincidence that our best season in the league ever coincided with the pairing of Cottee and McAvennie - two players who would gobble up a high percentage of chances created.

Doctor Evil doesn't understand why dominance isn't coinciding with victories. Well first of all, he seems to have a funny idea of dominance. We did not dominate Leeds, Millwall, Peterborough or Ipswich. Yes we had more of the ball against Cardiff but what did we create? We needed an own goal to draw the game against Leeds! And yes we had more of the ball yesterday but did the Palace keeper play a blinder? He didn't have to!

There is a huge irony in Allardyce talking about possession. The exponent of route one knows full well that one killer pass is worth thirty sideways passes. Look at Palace's opening goal! Doctor Evil is bleating about bad defending but that was a goal straight out of the Allardyce text book, "Ugly Goals Win Games".

The problem is, we don't have a goal scorer in the team - outside of the misfiring Nolan. As much as I have defended Cole, he will not plunder enough goals as a lone striker so we HAVE to play another striker alongside him if he starts.

Is Baldock good enough? Probably not. Can Carew and Cole partner each other? Unlikely because then Cole will be running onto the knockdowns and the barn door will suddenly appear very small as Carlton's heart starts beating. Will Carew and Nolan work? No pace.

No matter how you look at it, the bits of the jigsaw still don't fit. But if Ba were there...well we would be storming this division. Tevez would help of course, but that was always a long shot and who knows if he would try anyway. Showing the crossed Hammers when in a Man Utd shirt is one thing, but toughing it out on the pitch on a Tuesday night in November is another.

So what do we do? I would go with Carew and Baldock personally or Carew and Piquionne, and pray. But we are entering into a dangerous clutch of games now and it is absurd that we have wasted the easier fixtures without yet settling on the best team and formation. Allardyce has been fiddling whilst the Boleyn burns and the idiots on the terraces have been dancing to the jig, oblivious to the growing crisis.

Much more of this and I will have to rename Sam Pot. How about Doctor Nero?


Anonymous said...

Baldock and Carew looked really strong together against Palace. Give them a chance to gel (remember, this entire team has only played 10 or so games together, Baldock and Carew even less than that) and I think we'll see the best from them both. It just takes time! And until then, we're still averaging 1.8 points a game, and we can only improve.

Anonymous said...

kevin in Manchester writes..
for the record, we absolutely dominated cardiff -something like 12 pots on target to their two; plus we hit the bar twice and had an effort cleared off the line. No team ever dominates everyone all the time and we are in the championship for a reason. let's not get down over matches that haven't happened yet.. we're not great but we're doing all right.

Anonymous said...

If Ba still played for us you would be picking up on the fact he has failed to score in 6 out of 8 games and saying how despite getting a hatrick last week has been playing awful...

Sav said...

Our problem yesterday more than anything else was our defence. We conceded silly Sunday League goals. Yes, eeeping Ba would have been the best, but it was not a realistic option as he, obviously, did not want to stay in the Championship. So, let's not cry over spilt milk. What's done is done. The question is how do we use what we have to be more effective. I don't think Sam has solved the puzzle of having too many options available to him. It is very worrying however dropping 5 points in two matches with teams like Ipswich and Crystal Palace. If we don't win our next game then we will be very near crisis time.

Hammersfan said...

Here we go again! Firstly, we cannot "ONLY IMPROVE". The last 2 games have yielded 1 point, that is not an IMPROVEMENT on what went before is it? We COULD improve or we COULD stay the same or we COULD get worse! We are now a QUARTER of the way through the season and we are 4 points behind Southampton. Doesn't sound much does it but that is 16 points over a full season. And that is the point. We are 16 points off top spot playing as we are and 8 points off second spot. Leicester and Blackpool are IMPROVING and we are getting worse. Close your eyes and put your fingers in your ears and go NA NA NA if you like, but those are the facts.

Kevin, at no point did I feel we were going to beat Cardiff. About five minutes into the secoind half, I said to my son that, apart from my love of the club, I would happily bet against West Ham winning - the writing was on the wall because we were complacent and had no spark to our play. And we lost. I am surprised to find you making these sorts of noises. Look at the fixtures we have played and the fixtures coming up. Look at the points we have already thrown away!

cOOL cOL said...

Sam Allardyce has been a manager for over 20 years yet for some reason you tell everyone that he shouldn't be playing this way and should be playing that way. Do you seriously think you know what should be done over and above a manager with 20 years experience you c***.

Tell me, how long have you been a manager gobshite.

I wish you would just die.

USA Dave said...

And I admit I predicted Ba would be a flop for Newcastle, that he brilliantly turned 13 games into a windfall.

I am gutted that I am wrong.

I do not blame him for leaving. His deal was so in our favor, the one thing he demanded and got was the release. Good on him.

Bad on us.

Sav said...

I think that HF is right about West Ham giving unconvincing performances so far. We cannot really keep the ball as we should if we want to achieve automatic promotion. I felt exactly like HF in the home games against Cardiff, Leeds and Ipswich to mention just a few.

We need to have a strong midfield that dominates proceedings in every game. We are far from achieving that. We were not much good at this even in those away games that the scoreline suggest that we won convincingly. Sam is experimenting, hopefully trying to find the optimum first team selection. I will reserve judgement on Sam until he has all the players available and after the new players have a chance to show their true qualities.

Hammersfan said...

Well done Col, you avoided the F and C words, just! Has Allardyce been a manager for 20 years now? Bless me. All that time and none of the big clubs have looked at him. Squeezed out at Bolton, sacked by Newcastle, sacked by Blackburn. what has he ever won? He has a fantastic CV doesn't he? Peter Reid has been a manager for a long time now. Avram Grant has been knocking around for a few years now. You really should listen to your girlfriend / wife when she tries to reassure you that it's not the length that matters!

How long has Jose been a manager? Not as long as Allardyce! Who do you think should take advice from who?

Follow your logic and we would have no journalists, no film critics, no art critics, no political commentators...yep, go and live in Syria Col, it is right up your street!

Hammersfan said...

And Col, if someone disagrees with those in power in Syria, they don't wish them dead, they ARE killed. Perfect for you!

Anonymous said...

Kris from Denmark writes:

Baldock + Carew.

Flog Cole.

Anonymous said...

Allardyce would be better suited to being an American Football coach with his regimented, creativeless, ugly and utterly boring style of set plays and his reliance on scoring off of choreographed set pieces. One could argue that if he were getting results then it would be possible to tolerate his version of "football", however aside from a couple of decent performances, more than a few lucky wins and utter dross the rest of the time, he has done nothing to assure anyone that we will make the playoffs, let alone gain promotion.

Mike said...

Maybe Allardyce should give this Montenegro guy a look. Apparently he's quite pacey and likes to run at players.