Saturday, 27 April 2013

Manchester City 2 West Ham 1 - Dignity in Defeat!

Bloody hell, we looked Unreal City's equals for much of that second half. True Toure's goal was brilliant and Carroll's was bloody lucky - with Mother Superior Jussi telling that young slut Hart the virtues of keeping your legs shut after the game - but we passed the ball well, got forward frequently and played with tremendous spirit. Another difficult game for Allardyce's critics to explain, because the manager deserves huge credit for the team's organisation, commitment and, yes, skill levels.

How often did we lump it long? Not often. How often did we pass the ball through midfield? Most of the time. Yes we worked it wide to the flanks, and yes we crossed the ball high into the box, but when you have a weapon like Carroll in the team, you would be stupid not to. Liverpool fans who mock our loan signing might like to watch a tape of the game. Carroll was always in the game and his contribution wasn't all elbows and thumping forehead.

There were so many West Ham heroes out there. I can only assume that Collins, Reid and O'Brien are running a competition on who can get in the most blocks this season. If Vaz Te and Demel had showed the same sort of commitment, Unreal City would not have notched their opening goal. Jarvis ran and ran and ran, and got in a few decent crosses too. Carroll, as said above, gave 100% and showed some surprising touches of skill. O'Neil stuck to his job. Nolan linked the play well. And Diame was a bull, our version of Toure. On the balance of play, we didn't quite deserve a point, but given how much Man City have spent, we should have been awarded one anyway! I have rarely felt so proud of a West ham team in defeat.

Jussi, however, had a bit of a mare and was lucky he wasn't punished more severely. He has been hugely impressive this season but this game was, perhaps, a timely reminder that he isn't getting any younger; and a new keeper might be needed for next season. And you have to wonder why Taylor is continually used; he has passed his sell by date for sure!

But let's not end on a negative. Let's remember the Reid block to prevent Tevez scoring. And the O'Brien block inside his own six yard box. And the Collins block. And the panic in the Man City defence every time we crossed the ball into the box. And that superb passing move, back to front, through midfield, in the last couple of minutes of the first half.

Player ratings: Jussi 4; Demel 6, Collins 7, Reid 8, O'Brien 8; O'Neil 7; Vaz Te 6, Nolan 7, Diame 7, Jarvis 7; Carroll 8  Subs Collison 6, Taylor 4, Carlton 5


Kareem said...

I hate to say it, but I agree too that Matty Taylor is past it...:( ... I feel like we should have had a go with Paulista. Understandable that we don't wanna risk Joe Cole or Noble in a game that we don't expect to win, so seems like a good opportunity to test Paulista, who isn't the youngest either. I feel like Vaz Te and Demel were okay, but they aren't half as tight as Jarvis and O'Brien are, that's for sure. I'm glad we kept fighting back though...and I think we can finish things off in 10th if we have that spirit for the rest of the season.

Stani said...

I think you were a bit harsh on Jaaskelainen. I'm glad you noticed Vaz Te's lack of assistance to Demel on the goal, something Jamie Redknapp failed to spot...but he's just a chip off the old block. Saying that, you still came down harsh on Demel. There were a couple of other occasions in the match Demel was left in two minds due to a lack of help. Going forward he's very useful, and he is improving defensively.

O'Neil put in another solid performance and I think we're reaping the rewards of him getting consistent games. As for Jarvis, I think you're subconsciously applying a positive bias to his performances because of Stani's past criticism. He was in a very good position a few times but delivered poorly. Also had a brilliant chance where all he had to do was connect cleanly but he failed to do that even though it was on his good foot.

fred149 said...

Stani mate, tbh I think O'Neil has done alright and to give him another year would be fine, but Ive noticed his biggest fans are Noble biggest critics e.g you. What I have noticed is we now have two holding midfielders in O'Neil and Noble who both play the role slightly different, O'Neil constantly presses to try force them in to sloppy passes whereas noble covers the space between defence and midfield and covers both full backs when need aswell. I wouldnt mind alternating them between games depending on the opposition. Noble still edges it for me though as he wins more tackles and O'Neil still struggles to pass the ball and he doesnt win as many tackles. Think if both were playing yesterday instead of Nolan we wouldve got a result, as they exploited the space between our defence and midfield every time they got the chance.

Stani said...

Fredi boy! Your comment clearly shows you're beginning to see there is life without Noble :) even though you say you'd still keep him ahead of GON.

I would strongly disagree with you that GON struggles to pass the ball. He's technically amongst our better players in regards to that.

Also, his goal against West Brom was something of the like Noble could never do.