Well Satan is fulfilling his part of the bargain. This was another stuttering performance - with the team again only managing a single goal against weak opposition - but incredibly, we sit joint top at the end of the day. Never mind events at Upton Park, Southampton and Miserableboro both suffered 3-0 defeats, with the Saints losing Lambert to a red card for violent conduct. That's him out for three games then - and he is a huge player for Southampton. Hull also lost so only Cardiff of the top 6 won - apart from ourselves.
It's beginning to look as if nobody wants to win this division. We were cruising in the second half but, once again, dropped back after taking the lead, with Coventry doing all the attacking in the last ten minutes. Is it our fragile mentality, or do teams suddenly discover how poor we really are when they decide to throw caution to the wind and attack us? I suspect it is the latter. More ambition, and opponents would find that the Emperor really does have no clothes. Once Reading stepped it up, they murdered us. When Burnley decided it wasn't against the rules to cross the half way line, they found scoring easy. Derby came out of the traps early and found our soft underbelly, then retreated and invited us on.
All the usual weaknesses were there to see again today. Faubert was awful. Time and again his crosses were over hit, or hit from such a deep position that they were easy to defend. He also did his very best to hand Coventry a goal on a plate by heading a cross directly up into the air and then falling on his fat arse to try to supply a free view of the goal. Dicks summed it up when he said, "With his pace he should be attacking the full back but instead he puts the ball in from deep every time." He did get to the byline twice but over hit both crosses, one actually going out for a goal kick. The guy is hopeless. Sell him!
Nolan scored the winner but was again a passenger for most of the match. I will turn to Dicks again for a balanced opinion: "Nolan’s done nothing...not a bean...but then he pops up and scores...but that’s what Sam says he’s there for. He’s been nonexistent up to his goal." Dicks also said of the team performance, "You expect more from West Ham". Spot on!
The shot count, possession and corner count all suggest a commanding performance, but this was far from it. We were again playing against a poor team and again found ourselves hanging on at the end. I get sick of the old cliche "one goal is never enough" because it often is enough, but we really shouldn't be biting our nails and worrying as the game goes into added time when at home to the likes of Coventry City.
True Murphy had a good game, with two impressive saves, but a par score today would have been 3-0, with Murphy making a string of saves regardless. 1-0 gives us the points, but simply plasters over the cracks. The Allardyce Acolytes will say, "Look at the table" and Doctor Evil will tell everybody that it was a game that we dominated, but Dicks said in the last minute of extra time "If Coventry had played like this from the start, they would have won the game." And that's the point. We are still not controlling games.
A win is a win but when are we going to win with a swagger exactly? I forgot, it takes time for a team to gel apparently.