Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Our season summed up in one game.


Incredible, truly incredible. We sit in second place in the table, on course for automatic promotion courtesy of a single goal victory over Coventry. But we could have been top. Southampton and Middlesbrough played their parts by losing and shipping three goals apiece. Had we taken Coventry apart - as a team third from top playing a team second from bottom should have done - then the goal difference would have seen us top. But we couldn't play our part, we had to rely on others to help us out. And that's our season in a nutshell!

The wheels are off at Southampton big time, but they are still above us in the table. How many opportunities have they given us to overtake them? But time and again we fall short. Imagine the boost had we put four past Coventry and moved above the Saints in the table. The psychological impact on both teams would have been huge. But instead of stamping our authority on Coventry and the division as a whole, we ended the game clinging on, conceding corner after corner and doing our level best to help our goal shy opponents to score. Statistically we dominated the game, but Murphy's "brilliant" performance amounted to two very good saves and a whole load of routine stuff otherwise.

Allardyce keeps blaming the forwards but how many clear cut chances do we create? If you encourage "hit and hope" shooting, the completion rate isn't going to be great, and the majority of our attempts are speculative rather than genuine chances. The best forwards only score one goal for every three genuine attempts. The conversion rate for half chances is much lower. How many genuine chances did we create on Saturday? Three? Four? So the one goal return is not really a great surprise on that basis. Ask yourself, how many times have you got out of your seat in expectation of us scoring this season? Actually the goal return is pretty good when that is taken into account.

Look back at the Birmingham game. Faubert missed two, but you wouldn't expect Faubert to score with headers would you? Cole forced a brilliant save. Nolan narrowly failed to connect on a cross. Can you think of any other clear cut chances in the whole game? Did Myhill make another save of note? I can't remember one.

At Reading Piquionne was clean through but his finish was tame. And apart from that? We had a shot cleared off the line but those two moments apart, my arse could have been super glued to my seat for all the urge I felt to stand up in anticipation of a goal. If you need three chances to score one goal, is it any wonder we didn't score?

So, I say again, it is the midfield that is the issue. It is width. It is stretching the opposition, pulling defenders to the left and to the right and so creating gaps down the middle. But are we being linked with any creative midfielders or any pacey wide men? No.

But does it matter? We are crap but we are still in a promotion place. So Allardyce will feel vindicated. Captain Kev won us the points again - and as passive as he appears, his goals have been invaluable, winning us 7 points so far.

The win against Coventry was truly our season in a nutshell. Inadequate yet somehow adequate. As Dicks said, "You expect more from West Ham" but under Allardyce we need to revise expectations.

44 comments:

Nick Reeve said...

Think your right on the issue with width however I feel you're a little over critical of Allerdyce. Our defence has sured up alot and we are grinding out results with half the team missing. We haven't got out of third gear all season long and we're second in the league joint with the leaders, if the team kicks it up a gear I'd say we'll start to lead and pull away

el martillo said...

Our season summed up in one word... "Rubbish". And I don't care where we are in the league!

Anonymous said...

ya we should have thumped them just like man utd did to blackburn 1-0 was fine with me.no easy games.

Anonymous said...

hi hf... how many games have you been too this season??

Hammersfan said...

Too many with the crap that is being served up. Weirdly, I thought football was "entertainment". Bloody hell, if Allardyce made films they would make German comedies Oscar winners by comparison!

el martillo said...

Allardyce has made a film... A Nightmare on Green Street starring Fredi...

Hammersfan said...

LOL Now what other titles could we come up with for Allardyce films?

Anonymous said...

It's All Gone Quiet on the West Ham Front.

Hammersfan said...

Beauty and the Beast?

Hammersfan said...

The Desperados? The Omen with a space The O Men? With Princess Karrren, Sullivan, Gold and Allardyce in mind, Three Conmen and a Not So Little Lady?

el martillo said...

Nosferatu

Hammersfan said...

Piquionne and Faubert star in "The French Misconnection"?

el martillo said...

LOL... 433 Squadron

Hammersfan said...

The Dirty Eleven

Hammersfan said...

Given we are the big fish in a small pond, Steven Spielberg's "Snores" - Just when you thought it was safe to go through the turnstiles!

el martillo said...

One flew over the cuckoo's nest... and then another one and another one

Hammersfan said...

LOL All the fans given a frontal lobotomy as they enter the stadium. Hang on, 50% of them have had one already!

el martillo said...

Field of Nightmares

Hammersfan said...

Mean Machine

Hammersfan said...

Last ones for now because I've got work to do - Utterly Indecent Proposal and When Sammy Met the Academy!

el martillo said...

89 minutes gone and one point made; Jack Collison opens the door and nobody wants to leave the security of the penalty box.

Travelling Hammer said...

How to win promotion the Alladyce way........the very occassionally good, the often bad and the normally ugly?

Happy New Year by the way, see you've made no resolutions about stopping winding Grrrrs fans, but hopefully no more mentions of Scottie!

Anonymous said...

The good, the bad and the allardyce

Anonymous said...

Allerdyce Now

Anonymous said...

Hack to the future

Hammersfan said...

Hamburger Hill - Ooops McCarthy has gone!

Hammersfan said...

Ballspotting - It's up there, in the clouds!

Anonymous said...

The devil wears claret and blue

Hammersfan said...

LOL Very good!

Hammersfan said...

Sleeping with the Enemy

Hammersfan said...

The Long Ball Saturday - Allardyce asks, "The Mafia? I've shit 'em!"

Hammersfan said...

On The Long Ball Friday quotes, Allardyce says to Piquionne & Carew "I'm glad I found out in time just what a partnership with a pair of wankers like you would've been. A sleeping partner's one thing, but you're in a fucking coma!"

Hammersfan said...

The Zola and Nani era "The Italian Job".

el martillo said...

Casablanca... Play it again Sam; on second thoughts, don't bother!

el martillo said...

The untalented Mr. Allardyce.

el martillo said...

Absence of midfield... Malicious or otherwise!

el martillo said...

True Shit

darrenharry said...

Up

Spammer said...

Only on this blog do you see the host make 5 unanswered posts one after the other..... it's a bit like the pub bore who laughs at his own poor jokes.

Travelling Hammer said...

If we get promoted and send Sam on his way ......back to the future .......but probably wishful thinking

el martillo said...

As we're top of the league how about... "The bore supremacy"? Or perhaps a comment on the lack of entertainment,,, "The silence of the crowd"?

Hammersfan said...

Couldn't you think of one Spammer?

el martillo said...

Actually HF I did one for Spammer... True Shit. It's an autobiography!

Anonymous said...

Shitetanic