Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Braga defeat must force Sullivan's hand

OK, the result is irrelevant and the game will be very quickly forgotten - one of the most tepid matches in the history of football with a total exclusion zone around both goal mouths apparently agreed before kick off - but the 90 or so sterile minutes illustrated perfectly our desperate need for another striker to both back up and support Carroll.

Season after season we fail to address the most glaring weakness in the squad until either just before the window slams shut or in January. In recent seasons there has been a crying need for a left back which has been stubbornly ignored. We now have Boomtown Rat and the maturing Potts so that little hole has been filled.

The right backs - O'Brien and Demel - are not going to compete for Player of the Year any time soon, but between them they can do a job. And with Collins, Tomkins, Reid and Diara (if he stays), we seem to have enough cover at centre back. Defensively we were ok against both Sporting (who would never have scored without the referee's assists) and Braga, and that epic defensive display against Liverpool at Anfield is still fresh in my mind.

Jussi is a worry because he made two bad mistakes against Sporting but Adrian looked ok and a better understudy than the mugs we have given a salary to over the last few seasons. Boffin anybody? Nevertheless, a new keeper may be a priority come January.

The midfield still lacks pace. Noble screened the back four well against Sporting and his range of passing was, as usual, good. Diame, providing his heart is still in it, is a class act. Nolan is Nolan. He missed a sitter against Sporting but scored a typical sniffer's goal in the second half. He won't open up defences with his passing, and he certainly won't do it with his pace, but he is our most penetrative player going forward, even with Carroll in the team.

The most exciting news is the emergence of Morrison. He scored two superb goals against Sporting, and against Braga showed his willingness to take on players and the skill to force them into fouls. If he can keep his head straight, he could be a huge plus this season.

Collison is Collison, a perfect sub who will run his heart out and pop up in the box to score the odd important goal. What about Diarra? He should be good enough to hold down a place in the team but, as with Diame, so much will depend on his commitment to the cause.

Jarvis remains frustrating. The potential is there, and his completed crosses record is surprisingly good, but too often he drifts out of games. That said, with Carroll in the team, Jarvis is a must to supply the ammunition. Then there is Joe Cole. He put in a shift against Sporting and, crucially, looked fit. The skill is undeniable, the heart is beating for the fans and the club, so maybe, just maybe, he could be born again this season.

But up front? Vaz Te is too languid and Miaga too fitful. We need a striker and we need him now, not two or three games into the new season, especially with Carroll injured.

Get your finger out Sullivan! And make sure it is gripping the cheque book!

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kevin in manchester writes....

First of all welcome back HF. I suspect whoever we get we are likely to be underwhelmed. Sam has made clear he's playing one up top and that one is Carroll, so whoever is signed they will know that they are going to be warming the bench, which will limit the pool that we are fishing in. The question is; is there anyone out there who will do a better job than Modibo? If the club had the funds I dare say we would have bought Bony. However we have a midfield and even a defence capable of scoring -as they proved at Sporting-and the crucial task in any team is to build from the back which we have done.As I have written many times before, Sam is a pragmatist and he's still thinking in terms of avoiding relegation and spending a second season establishing us as a mid table banker. The club can't afford to do much else, so there is certainly danger but it seems to me that he knows what he is doing and will have a squad capable of executing the plan.Personally, I'd like to see Sean Maloney at the club, he is capable of playing left,right and centre, is mustard fast and is worth 10 to 12 goals per Season..

Chris Yexley said...

100% mate -top post

Hammersfan said...

Agree about Maloney but he is surely Everton bound once Baines is sold to the Mancs and they have some funds.

Hammersfan said...

Cheers Chris.

Stani said...

We should have gone all out for Bony. We'd have been all set to go. He'll be a real hit this season.

But keeping two quality strikers will always be a problem with Allardyce's fascination for just one up top. I expect Maiga to move on this season too, upset at the lack of opportunity and the false hope. Can't blame him.

Revolver said...

Kevin, the reason Bony didn't join us isn't because of a lack of funds. It's because he "wouldn't have come as backup to Andy Carroll". They are Sullivan's own words.

If Allardyce's plan is to establish us as a mid table team then as things stand he will probably achieve it as long as Carroll is fit. We have problems though when Carroll is injured or suspended.

el martillo said...

Well, well; you're still alive and kicking! I thought some of the simple minds who come on here had finally got to you and you'd gone for a season ticket in the great chicken run in the sky. Resumed your verbal violence with WHTID.

I'm glad you're back. It'll save me from trawling through all the dross on 'news now'.

I see the dildo brothers have got their premium rate phone lines crossed again; apparently we've put in an inflated offer for anaughtybitch from Bremen!

Hammersfan said...

Hi Marty, yes I'm still on this mortal coil. The Leeds fans are trying to sniff me out, but they keeping ending up with their noses up each others' arses.

Stani! But Maiga is shit!

Anonymous said...

What about Defoe

Hammersfan said...

Can Defoe play out wide or lead the line alone? Doctor Evil is more likely to sign Snow White than one of the dwarfs!

Stani said...

Maybe, maybe not. But he's hardly been given a fair go at it, HF.

And if he is shit then we overpaid and we need to ask why.

But that's beside the point. It's Allardyce's tactics regarding strikers that is the main concern.

I emailed you a few days ago!

Hammersfan said...

Sorry Stani, the email was hacked and so was the site. Recovered the site after my hols but can't access the email.

gary wise said...

glad your back! G+S need to dig deep sharpish. i watched the braga game not one shot at goal maiga vaz te noooooo

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha , the truth is out , you pathetic loser , you haven't been anywhere this summer , you've just been sat scratching you're plumbs cos the site was hacked ,, we'll find ya nev ,

fred149 said...

Stani, I agree with you regarding tactics. Maiga isnt shite and we wont know how good or bad he is until he gets a run of games in a formation and styLe of play that actaully suits him. Everyone is banging on about buying a new striker. Maiga vs braga didnt get a single through ball to chase and not a single ball to feet all game. We cant win games trying to play like we have carroll in the team without carroll.

Anonymous said...

I know I run the risk of being shot down, but heres my view. I dont believe we are really looking for a striker. We all know that we need to find £35m to pay off the bank debt before we move to theOS. Where is that coming from? I believe we are going to tough it out and hope Maiga fills a hole. No new striker is my bet. All the talk is just smoke and mirrors to keep the fand on board. Lets see

Stani said...

Why don't you make a new email and remove the other one from the sidebar, HF?

Stani said...

Fred, he's set up everything with Carroll in mind, whether Carroll plays or not. It's ridiculous.

I'm surprised Maiga hasn't gone already, with just what I think is 2 league starts since his arrival a year ago.

Please God don't let us be in for the same old shite as last season.