Monday, 19 November 2012

West Ham 1 Stoke 1 - Two Precious Points Lost, One Precious Point Won

First off, credit where credit is due. I don't care how much holding there was in the box for the Stoke goal - every team does it, it's just Stoke are better at it - the corner was the most wonderfully crafted set piece goal I have EVER seen. Walters' run was stunning, starting outside the back post and inside the six yard box and finishing - in both senses of the word - on the near post, in the middle of the box, to meet a perfectly delivered pass. Talk about a training ground move transferred to a game! How do you defend against that? Amazing!

The stats for the game suggest we were unlucky not to win - 58% of the possession, more shots on goal, more shots on target, 12 corners to 4 - but the truth is that Stoke came closest to getting a second with N'Zonzi's brilliant strike against the bar. Our goal apart, we huffed and puffed but never really looked like blowing the Stoke house down.

Our limitations were exposed in this game. True O'Neil supplied the cross for O'Brien's goal - and what was the Irishman doing in the six yard box? - and true O'Neil nearly scored from a corner move almost as good as Stoke's - his shot curling narrowly wide - but without Jarvis, Benayoun and Vaz Te, we lack pace and creativity when in possession. It's all very well having the Carroll battering ram, but that battering ram isn't battering anybody at the moment - and we don't have an alternative. Cole came on and ran into the channels, but Cole's goalless run is longer than Carroll's!

Meanwhile, Maiga looks more and more like a duff. His decision making was again poor and his distribution pretty woeful. Yes he has pace but he doesn't seem to have a footballing brain at all. And the crowd are getting frustrated with him.

And anybody wondering why Noble always takes our corners should look at Taylor's two pathetic efforts and the even worse one from Diame. Contrast those three with the Walters goal and you'll see why we didn't win the game!

On the plus side, Tomkins and Reid again looked good, but those two apart, the team were very ordinary. It's going to need all Allardyce's organisational and motivational skills to conjure points from the challenging run of fixtures that we now face. The point was very welcome but, in truth, this was really two points lost.

And one last moan - why did McCartney give away the corner for the Stoke goal? He had done the hard work, chasing back to cover but when the ball came to him, the danger had passed. It was so lazy and crass to put the ball behind and give Stoke their favourite goal scoring opportunity. Mind you, it set up that Walters goal, and that was just about the only reward for any neutrals who foolishly gave over 90 minutes of their lives to watch this game!
Player ratings: Jussi 6; O'Brien 7, Tomkins 7, Reid 7, McCartney 5; Noble 6, Diame 6; O'Neil 6, Maiga 4; Nolan 6, Carroll 5. Subs: Cole 5, Demel 5, Taylor 4


João e Vanessa Azevedo said...

We can not think small.... Lost 2 pts. Blame? Your name is Big Sam

João e Vanessa Azevedo said...

Jarvis and VazTe. I miss you

USA Dave said...

Without Yossi or Jarvis, I dont think we should scoff atva point. When both were ruled out I expected a loss or a draw at best. Stoke are a solid, EPL team. If staying up is the true goal, and I believe it is, then the point is useful towards that goal.

Stani said...

Hellooo guys! :D

Deary me, still playing the same record HF. Why can't you just say Noble had a bad game? His set pieces were awfully wasteful.

You can talk about Taylor and O'Neil, but they don't have the advantage of being able to take every set piece like Noble does...and look how poor he is. It's obvious they're rushed when they get a chance because they know teacher's pet has some special right over free kicks and corners. Taylor and O'Neil have a better delivery than him. To argue against that would just be stupidity.

Maiga looks a duff? I thought he did very well on the left instigating some lovely moves with short triangles.

Hammersfan said...

Hi Stani. So identify when Maiga crossed a ball that found a West Ham player and when he had a shot on target!

Good to see you are still alive. Cook is still having all the luck when batting for England I see. Shame the others aren't as lucky!

So professionals footballers need time to lift a corner more than two yards off the ground do they? Come on, admit it, the Taylor corners and the Diame corner were amongst the worst you have ever seen!

Hammersfan said...

And Stani, how about commenting on this article!

Stani said...

Went to Kashmir for two months married out there. Bet you've been missing me, havent you? ;)

And that means he's duff HF? Maiga was involved in some excellent moves on the left with Linda, Nolan and Carroll. You can tell he's got something...wants to get it down, pass and move. If Benayoun was there, would have suited him. Don't forget he's not played much yet either.

Sorry, haven't really been able to follow the cricket. Early on in his innings, a ball seaming or swinging in from off stump. That is all that is required for your lover boy Cook, HF.

No, Noble needs time to lift a ball more than two yards, clearly. You know he is poor at set pieces and yet you still defend him? Perverse

I think Diame shouldnt take corners...he's not technically suited to that kind of thing. Taylor has a great left peg, stop being silly. O'Neil knows how to whip them in too. Give any of them two the luxury afforded to Nobes and we'll see an increase in productivity from our set pieces. We have Carroll (and Reid and Tomkins) and yet we are still not able to make the most of set pieces. That's criminal. But but but...the fact that all these guys are trying to take corners at any given opportunity, shows you they think Noble's delivery is poor

I'll have a look at the artile in a bit but from the url, you're not comparing him with Gerrard are you? Blimey

Anonymous said...

i dont believe you team,i.e. west ham are newly promoted in a notoriously tough league and imo (and the majority of true fans)are well overachieving,you on the other hand seem to relish digging the team out for any minor shortcomings.Could it be that you are only concerned about hits on your site and deliberatly whinge to get reaction and the numbers up with irons fans,same as you do with the leeds.Lighten up