Sunday, 29 September 2013

Look at the important stats you idiot Allardyce!

Listen to him! What an idiotic twat. It was the referee's fault. Well it always is when we lose according to Allardyce, but this time he does have a point.

It was the players' fault. We created chances and when you create chances you should score goals. It's like a deformed handicapped ugly dwarf with puss weeping pimples wandering into a party full of beautiful women. The beautiful women are there, so he should score. Obviously.

Read the stats from yesterday's game and it looks like Allardyce has a point. We had 18 shots in the game apparently, twice as many as Hull, and got five on target. Ergo, we wasted chances. But did we really? Apart from the Tomkins header, which beat the keeper and found a defender on the line, I can remember two clear cut chances. Diame made a complete hash of his chance, air kicking a brilliant pulled back cross from Rat. And Rat himself fired wide after controlling the ball superbly on his chest before shooting like a Romanian defender.

So where does a shot count of 18 come from exactly? Well Vaz Te had that overhead kick. It would have been a brilliant goal but he was forced into attempting the incredible by a poor cross in the first place. Then there was the Vaz Te free kick which cleared the bar. Well, Diamante apart, we have complained for years that we have nobody in the team able to capitalise from these sorts of opportunities but what has Allardyce done to address the issue? Then there was Noble's shot from outside the box. But tell me, how many goals has Noble scored from open play over the last four years? You have enough fingers on one hand to count!

Then there was that Maiga shot, of course. But he was too far out, too wide of the goal and under too much pressure to stand any realistic chance of scoring. Had we started with two players up top, Maiga would have had the option of crossing, and one of the two defenders snapping at his heels would have been otherwise engaged. But Allardyce only plays with one up top and yesterday started with Diame and Jarvis wide, neither of whom are noted for their goal scoring acumen.

And apart from those efforts? Well the rest were snatched at half chances, feeble headers from poor crosses or speculative attempts from unrealistic positions.

Well Allardyce is a stats man, so let's look at the stats shall we? The Premiership goal scoring record of the ten outfield players that started yesterday's game reads as follows:

O'Brien - 2 goals from 87 games.
Rat - 0 goals from 2 games.
Tomkins - 3 goals from 86 games.
Reid - 1 goal from 48 games
Noble - 19 goals from 161 games (including 12 penalties)
Nolan - 62 goals from 342 games
Jarvis -17 goals from 145 games
Diame - 8 goals from 135 games
Morrison - 1 goal from 4 games
Maiga - 2 goals from 22 games

Now do the sums. Even allowing for the potential statistical anomaly of Morrison, who needs to score 9 goals a season to maintain his present ratio, this team has scored a combined total of 115 goals from 1032 games! Take out Nolan's stats, and many want Nolan out of the team, and the figures make truly terrifying reading, with just 53 goals scored from 690 games. Take out Noble's penalties and that becomes 41 goals from 690 games!

Now if Allardyce cannot understand why this team is not scoring goals after reading those statistics, he truly is an arse! And that is before we take into account his 4-5-1, safety first tactics!

It's an unfortunate given of the game  that you cannot win a match if you do not score, so how exactly does Allardyce expect to win enough games to survive in the Prem with a team that has such an appalling goal scoring return? It's not the number of shots that matters, it's who the chances are falling to, as Collins, Rat, Maiga and Diame have illustrated in recent games.

Of course, add Joe Cole and Stewart Downing to the team and the picture improves, but the problem still remains that without a goal scoring striker, the net return will still be insufficient to average a point a game.

And here's another terrifying stat - Jarvis didn't assist a single goal in the Prem last season! Yes he got in lots of crosses, but none of those crosses led directly to a goal. And he is supposedly one of our most effective attacking weapons!

Yesterday, we played for a draw at Hull City. The team was set up to keep what we had at the start of the match and, yet again, the tactic seemed to be to keep a clean sheet and hope that we could pinch a goal. Fair enough at Newcastle and Southampton perhaps, but against Hull City? Dear God, they had Faye at centre back! He was old and slow in the Championship two years ago but he was able to keep pace with Nolan and Maiga yesterday, despite having only just returned from injury. That is terrifying!

So, why are we struggling and why will we continue to struggle? Because of the personnel that Allardyce has recruited and the tactics he is employing. It's not Kevin Friend's fault. It's not the players' fault because they can only do what they can do, it's Allardyce's fault, and he needs to find a Plan B fast or we will go down.

Take those vital stats and shove them up your big fat gormless arse Allardyce!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Tigers 1 Hammers 0 - Referee Friend Receives Hull City's Man of the Match Award!

Well the penalty awarded to Hull in the first half was as soft as wet toilet paper but debateable if O'Brien did, indeed, stupidly shove Brady in the back, but the failure to award an equaliser penalty for the most obvious hand ball you will see this season was utterly inexplicable. Livermore clearly put his arm to ball and it rebounded off the point of his elbow. How the officials thought he had put the ball behind for a corner, given his body was nowhere near the ball, will remain a mystery. Although the suspicion is that Kevin was determined to be Hull's best Friend come what may!

Allardyce will do his nut, and with some justification, but that must not disguise his own crass stupidity. Once again we started with Maiga, and once again we looked utterly toothless. Time and again Mogadon failed to control the ball when it was played forward to him, and though he did, at long last, have a shot on target and also cleared the ball off his own line, he was woeful for the most part. Why he started, and why he stayed on for over 60 minutes, only Allardyce will know. Unless, of course, Petric is as crap as he looked after replacing Maiga!

But when Vaz Te came on, the game changed. He moved into space, he took on defenders, and he was hungry to get on the end of things. One freekick bent wide from outside the box and one overhead kick showed that he has more natural ability than both Petric and Maiga combined. It's time for Sam to swallow his pride and admit that he was wrong when trying to side line the man whose goal got us into the Prem.

And the introduction of Downing for Jarvis was also a factor in our second half improvement.

However, we are clutching at straws of comfort here. Yes we dominated the last 20 minutes, but we shouldn't forget that McGreggor didn't have to make a difficult save all game whereas Jussi made two impressive blocks and Livermore also hit the post. And we are talking Hull City here. Even Zola's West Ham could beat Hull City!

A crisis is unfolding. Allardyce will blame the officials and lament the fact that our best chance again fell to a defender, with Rat slicing the ball wide, but if you don't have a striker worthy of the name, how do expect chances to fall to somebody skilled at putting the ball in the net? Tomkins had a header cleared off the line, Rat sliced a chance wide, Rat set up Diame superbly, only for an air shot to follow and O'Brien delivered our best cross of the game. Doesn't say much for the offensive unit does it?

Player ratings: Jussi 7; O'Brien 4 (penalty award!), Tomkins 6, Reid 6, Rat 7; Noble 5; Nolan 6, Morrison 6, Diame 6, Jarvis 4; Maiga 3 Subs: Petric 2, Vaz Te 7, Downing 6

Half Time - Kevin a Friend of Hull City!

Was it a penalty? It looked bloody soft to me, but Hull City's best Friend, the referee, saw a push from O'Brien in the back of Brady and, following a fantastic swallow dive by the Hull player, the pen was awarded. If O'Brien did push him, he should be shot because Tomkins had the situation under control and was heading the ball clear. So, crass stupidity either on the part of the defender or the official, or a combination of the two. Give a penalty for that, and you have to give a penalty or a free kick every time players jostle, lean, nudge and shove at a corner!

Apart from that, the game has been pretty unremarkable and alarmingly predictable. I warned we would be behind inside the first quarter of an hour, and Hull scored after 11 minutes. Mind you, something staggering happened after 19 minutes and 27 seconds, Maiga had his first shot on target in the Prem this season! How many minutes in total has that taken exactly? Of course, the shot presented no problems, Maiga lacking the pace or guile to outstrip the ageing Faye after a lovely through ball by Jarvis.

Those on Maiga watch will have noted how often the ball has bounced away from him. This resulted in one missed chance inside the box, with Maiga receiving the ball in space in the box, only for a heavy touch to present the defender with an easy clearance. Faye must be thinking that playing in the Prem is a doddle!

Mind you, Maiga's ability to deflect the ball wide of the goal came into its own with a goal line clearance to prevent Hull going two up. Quite how he got the ball up and over the bar from his position of one foot in front of the goal line, only Maiga will know, but watching him in the opposite box, it is clearly a skill he has been working on in training!

We have enjoyed two other chances, one fluffed appallingly by Diame after a superb cut back cross from Rat, and another which saw a Tomkins header stopped on the line in a fashion that presented the referee with an opportunity to even up the dodgy penalty awards, but being a good Friend of Hull, Kevin decided against that!

Allardyce opts for dog crap!

So Maiga starts again, meaning that Vaz Te is sat on the bench once more alongside Petric. The selection is perverse but the pig headed one knows he knows best, so it looks like we are stuck with Maiga at least until Petric or Cole are fit to start.

If I was Vaz Te, I would be well pissed. OK, the teams he has scored against are not the best, but he has scored twice, which is two more times than Maiga. The other option was to play RVT out wide, but that would be far too positive a move given his reluctance to track back. And we are playing the might of Hull Tigers remember!

The other controversial pick sees Tomkins start ahead of Collins. I fear we could end up regretting that within 15 minutes of kick off. I like JT and remain hopeful that he will mature into a top class defender, but for the moment, I reckon Collins is the better bet. But perhaps Allardyce is belatedly punishing Ginge for not taking that opportunity against Southampton!

Noble is back of course, and Rat is preferred over Demel, allowing O'Brien to revert to the right. This is a game we need to win, but the team will set up to keep what we have got. I am not optimistic!

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Vaz Te or Maiga?

Well, it shouldn't take long to answer that one. Strawberries & cream or dog shit? London or Leeds? Italy or Albania? Ron Greenwood or Avram Grant? Paradise or Purgatory?

So tell me, why the hell has Maiga started so many games whilst Vaz Te has been ignored? Bloody hell, Maiga hasn't even played for Bolton!

Hopefully, hopefully, Allardyce has got the message at last. If Petric isn't fit to start, for God's sake start with RVT!

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Echoes of Avram Grant as West Ham Progress in League Cup

I did not see the game but the Cardiff equaliser was depressingly predictable after we took an early two goal lead. Without Reid, the centre of the defence is short of pace, whilst Chambers and McCartney were never going to provide a sense of solidity on the flanks. A win is a win, but the fact that we let a two goal lead slip and needed a late winner to progress, when playing against Cardiff City's stiffs, is worrying.

Perhaps more worrying still is the fact that this season is shaping up much the same as Avram's year in charge. Pre season went like a dream, we performed well in the League Cup, but when it came to the Prem...oh dear.

And for all the money spent by Allardyce, are we really any better than when Avram was in charge? Take out Carroll - and he never plays - and this is a mediocre team, Winston Reid apart who Grant brought to the club.

Remember, Nolan, Carroll, Jussi, Vaz Te, Taylor, Downing, O'Brien, Jarvis and Joe Cole have all suffered relegation from the Prem in their careers, and as QPR showed last season, if you pack your squad with failures, you ain't going to win the title in a hurry, even if you have spent a fortune to recruit them. You can, of course, add Tomkins, Collison, Noble and Reid to that "Relegated Club" giving us a baker's dozen of hanged men.

So, progress in the Capital One Fan Cup is great, but Cardiff's reserves should have been a push over and much tougher battles lay ahead. This still threatens to be a tough, tough season.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Ex Sunderland Boss Di Canio next in line to manage West Ham?

So, how many West Ham fans want him now? Not so long ago, the Claret and Blue Klan were hailing Il Duce as the best thing to happen to football management since Brian Clough. Any suggestions that he was too hot headed, and would be a disaster as a manager, were met with howls of derision from the West Ham faithful. Well, they won't admit to it publicly, but privately they might be having second thoughts now.

The Sunderland board may consider that another season in the Prem is justification for the crazy appointment, but I for one believe that O'Neill would have kept the Black Cats up anyway - they had a few lives left despite the catalogue of injuries.

And if O'Neill's sacking was knee jerk, Di Canio's appointment screamed short termism of the very worst kind. Sure, a firebrand manager will get an immediate reaction which may be worth a win or two, but sooner or later, millionaire players are going to think "Bugger this for a game of monkeys" when the man at the top reveals himself as a complete arsehole. Allardyce may be one dimensional tactically, but at least he has a track record to fall back on; Di Canio is just a jumped up little twat, end of!

Thank God we never approached him for the West Ham job because our Board would have found it much more difficult to remove him due to the adoration  he enjoys amongst our fans.  That adoration is utterly misplaced, as his Tom-foolery at Sunderland has proved, so hopefully he will never be linked with our club again.

Until, that is, Allardyce loses another game!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Was Noble to blame for the Everton defeat?

Noble's critics were quick to blame their bĂȘte noir for the defeat against Everton, conveniently forgetting that Everton's first equaliser resulted from a foul by Collins in exactly the same area of the pitch. There was no argument about the award when Collins rashly and needlessly tripped Barkley, but for some reason, Ginge has not come in for the same level of criticism, even though television replays appear to support my initial impression that Noble took the ball. Allardyce is certainly convinced that the referee erred.

Sadly, some of our fans seem to delight in a Noble error, to the point where you suspect that they are actually happy when he makes a mistake that costs us a game. Instead of lambasting the referee, these Noble haters rushed to their keyboards after the game to slam the midfielder, completely ignoring the fact that he made two identical challenges earlier in the game, which the referee deemed fair, waving play on despite Everton protests - and in each case he broke up dangerous Everton attacks.

Now I accept that any challenge from behind runs the risk of conceding a free kick, and that it also carries with it the risk of a caution, so on that basis Noble was unwise to dive in, but what was he meant to do, let Barkley run unchallenged into the box with Everton players up in support? By this stage of the game, we were chasing shadows, the players exhausted by the pressing tactics employed from the first minute. Noble's challenge was, quite simply, a challenge born of desperation.

But Noble's critics don't care about context. They will not remember the earlier challenges nor the completed passes, all they will recall is that dreadful free kick straight through to Howard and the red carded "foul".  It is a disgraceful way to treat a product of the Academy and if these so called fans are not careful, they will drive him out, just as Lampard would have been hounded out had not his father and uncle defended him against all the unfounded and spiteful criticism of a vindictive boo boy section in our fan base.

I am on Maiga's case at the moment, but I would love him to prove me wrong, because I care more about the club than about my own ego. I am genuinely wondering if that is true of those who delight in their Noble vendetta.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

West Ham 2 Everton 3 - Relegation struggle confirmed

OK, the excuses will be made. Did Noble connect with the ball before he was sent off? Probably yes. Should he have been sent off therefore, even if a foul was awarded? Probably no. Did he even deserve the first yellow for the tug on Mirallis? Some referees would have considered the free kick punishment enough, especially given the fact that Reid cleared the ball anyway.

However, moan as much as we like, we lost because Everton played us off the park in the second half and Noble ended up with an early bath because we were chasing shadows throughout that second period.

So, the West Ham fans who took issue with my warning about relegation, made as soon as Carroll's injury was confirmed and we failed to buy a replacement, might now like to think again. True Petric came on and made an instant impression by chasing a lost cause and setting up Nolan for the penalty award, but it is unlikely he will be fit and available for every game, and Maiga, once again, looked out of his depth. In fact, depth is the key word because when you bring on Taylor to protect a lead in the Prem, you admit that your squad is paper thin.

That second half was every bit as depressing as our performance against Stoke. As soon as Collins fouled Barkley within Baines shooting range, you knew Everton would equalise. Jussi's positioning was awful, but with Baines going for the opposite corner for his second, you can understand the Finn's muddled thinking. Of course, the solution was obvious, to put a tall man on the unprotected post, but you need players with brains to work that out, or a manager that thinks outside the box, which Allardyce doesn't.

Once Noble was dismissed, the game was up, but we were lucky to lead because the only objective in the second half was to protect what we had. Petric did brilliantly to win the ball on the dead ball line and play it back to Nolan, and Nolan bought the penalty like the old pro he is, but we offered absolutely nothing going forward apart from that in the second period. And the midfield were clearly shattered 60 minutes into the game because of the pressing tactics. Everton simply bided their time and then passed the ball through the gaps that inevitably appeared.

Meanwhile, Lukaku showed what we missed as Sullivan and Gold fiddled as Upton Park burned. Financial Fair Play? Cobblers. We were just trying to save on wages for a few weeks, and because of Carroll's injury, it exploded in our faces. Also, of course, Allardyce's one dimensional Plan A policy of the lone striker meant that Lukaku didn't fancy keeping the bench warm, waiting for Carroll to pull up lame.

So, the relegation struggle was confirmed today. It's going to be a long, difficult, painful season and God only knows the implications to the club if we go down.

Player ratings: Jussi 4; O'Brien 5 Collins 6, Reid 8, Rat 6; Noble 5, Morrison 5; Jarvis 5, Nolan 5, Diame 6; Maiga 4 Subs Petric 6, Taylor 5

Half Time: West Ham 1 Everton 0 - Morrison!!!!!!!!

Ok, it took a huge deflection, without which the ball would not have found the back of the net, but who cares? Ravel is off the mark, West Ham have scored and, thus far, the roses are sweet smelling.

We haven't looked particularly good with the ball again, but we have looked far better than against Stoke. Maiga has won three headers and has actually found a team mate with a few passes. He's also had a shot which, sadly, sailed well over the goal. But beggars can't be choosers, that's a marked improvement!

Again, the defending in midfield and at the back has been tigerish, and one Jussi save apart for Marallis, we have coped excellently without the ball. The trouble, Everton have been poor, in part thanks to our pressing game, and are likely to improve markedly in the second 45. Poor O'Brien has his hands full with Baines and Marallis and if Lukaku comes on, Collins and Reid will know they are in a game. Morrison has to be careful too after a first half yellow for a rash challenge.

Fingers crossed, but we have led against Everton quite a few times before, only to lose the game!

Everton trembling as Maiga leads the line again!

So, despite looking as toothless at Southampton as a ninety five year old who has just gone ten rounds with Floyd Mayweather, the only change to the team is enforced, with Rat coming in for Demel. Everton's defenders must be quaking in their boots at the thought of trying to shut out Maiga and co for ninety minutes!

And this is Everton remember, a team who we can't beat even when we are at full strength and on the top of our game! If I could bring myself to bet against West Ham, this would be the game I would select. If the Toffees don't win this one, I will be very pleasantly surprised!

Allardyce clearly hasn't hit upon a plan B yet. Hopes that Vaz Te might start along with young Lee have been dashed. Forget movement, forget angled balls, forget subtlety, it seems we intend to pump it forward regardless of the fact that we are pumping it forward to nobody!

Still, Maiga may surprise us! Finger crossed. The Everton hoodoo may be laid with a Maiga hat trick. And look, there's a squadron of pigs flying over Upton Park as the pre match entertainment!

Monday, 16 September 2013

How brainless is Maiga?

Right on cue, Captain Kev has made a statement in support of West Ham's strikers and Maiga in particular. Nolan insists Maiga can and will score but Nolan is missing the point, just as Maiga misses the target. It's not the guy's ability that's the problem, it's his footballing intelligence. When it comes to understanding the nuances of the game, the guy is literally brainless.

Just watch his movement, or rather lack of movement, when he doesn't have the ball. There was one really telling moment shortly before he was taken off against Southampton.

Noble was in possession on the half way line and was desperately looking for the opportunity to play the ball forward. He looked up and Maiga was absolutely static with a Southampton defender up his backside. Noble waited and waited. Would Maiga spin and run, making either the ball over the top or down the channel possible, or would he drop deep, setting up a one two?

The answer was neither. He stood still. So poor Noble told him what to do, inviting him to drop into the space by beckoning him forwards, before playing the pass. Maiga responded, but the defender came with him, inevitably given Noble's frustrated hand gesture, and Maiga promptly made a hash of receiving the pass, played directly to his feet, and allowed the ball to bounce off his legs to the feet of an opponent - and suddenly we were back peddling as Southampton poured forward. Hopeless!

Did Maiga win one header all game? Yes. But he back headed it straight to a Southampton defender with no West Ham player goal side of him. Did he have a single shot on target? No. Did he have one authentic shot off target? No, his only attempt ballooned off his leg with his body shape all over the shop. Did he once run a channel? Nope. Did he drop deep to link the play? Nope. Did he attempt to stretch the Southampton defence by running beyond their back line? Nope.  Did he do anything? No. Well actually, that's not fair.

There was one classic moment that showed how incompetent this guy is. Remember when Southampton hit the post? Well Maiga was guarding that post and failed to jump as the ball passed over his head. Fair enough, it was traveling at quite a lick, but it is what happened afterwards that is the concern. The ball rebounded into play and pinged around our penalty box; and what did Maiga do? He actually stepped outside the post, leaving the goal unguarded and screened the fans behind the goal should a Southampton player strike his shot wide.

Now that was truly brainless!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Furious Allardyce Blames Referee Marriner

Funny, I thought Allardyce set up to draw the game, so it seems a bit rich for him to be pointing the finger at referee Andre Marriner for our failure to score and take home 3 points. Listen to Doctor Evil and you would think we were somehow robbed. And the reason? Because Schneiderlin wasn't sent off when he scythed through Diame.

Now I always consider it a tad desperate when a manager uses the excuse for the failure to get a result that the opposition had the same number of players on the pitch. But in this case, I think Allardyce may have a point, even though O'Brien might have seen red for a similar tackle. After all, by selecting Maiga to start, Allardyce handed a one man advantage to Southampton, so had Marriner sent off Schneiderlin, he would  simply have been levelling things up by making it ten men against ten!

For the record, here's what Doctor Evil had to say after the game:

"I can't for the life of me understand Andre Marriner. He is such an experienced referee now, how he didn't see that."

"For me that was a disappointment. It's in the end kept them with 11 men on the field, which the law was supposed to be they should only have had 10 men, which would have given us a better chance of winning because I started the game with 10 anyway."

"But I'm happy with a point. I can't affect what the referees do, it's not my job, it's just my job to build a squad that can cope with injuries and to evolve tactics which enable us to score when the opposition have eleven men on the pitch in case the referee doesn't send one of them off."

"Of course I did my job brilliantly, as ever, because we could have won it at the end when that Ginger twat had his chance but he let me down just like he let the people of Wales down in mid week - that was the best chance of game".

"It was a bit unlucky for me and my superb tactics that it fell to our centre half, but from that far out even a Welsh ginger twat should hit the target."

"Overall, it was a decent performance. Defensively we showed how good we are but we can't hit the back of the net. That's my concern at the moment. But had Marriner done his job and reduced them to ten men, we might have had half a chance of winning."

Southampton's Saints 0 Cynical Sinners 0 - a Snore Draw!

Allardyce will be pleased but if every game was played like this, football would be dead as a spectator sport inside twelve months. Doctor Evil has the perfect excuse, of course - no Carroll, no Downing and no Cole - but he put this squad together and with the route one totem removed, we have no idea how to score.

True Diame forced a great save in the first five minutes and true we had a goal disallowed after Jarvis mistimed his run and so was caught offside, and true Collins blasted over when unmarked in the box after a superb pull back by Noble, but those moments apart, we had all the attacking intent of a pacifist convention in Switzerland. There was one game plan, and one game plan only, to keep Southampton out and hope upon hope that a scrap might fall to Nolan which he would take. Two did fall to him, but he made a hash of both.

The decision to play Diame out wide was a defensive ploy to nullify Shaw's forward runs and, outside of Noble and Morrison, we had nobody looking to create. Jarvis was hopeless with the ball all afternoon, Maiga was completely and utterly anonymous, Nolan did what Nolan does (without the vital finishing bit), Diame lumped every cross twenty yards over the head of everybody in the box and Vaz Te looked as hungry as a corpse when he replaced Mogadon Maiga. It really was a dire spectacle when we were in possession.

Without the ball, we were, for the most part, superb. The midfield pressed, harried, bit, spat, elbowed, nudged, rolled and fouled their way through the game, effectively suffocating Southampton's short passing game. At the back, a couple of gaffs apart in the first half, Collins was at his belligerent best and Reid again impressed. O'Brien picked up a stupid yellow high up the pitch with an ugly and unnecessary challenge but otherwise was excellent on both the right and left flank, and Demel was a beast until he went off injured. On came the appropriately named Rat who fitted in neatly.

The trouble is, we were hungry for the ball when the opposition had it and utterly clueless when they occasionally gave it to us. We can't survive drawing the remaining games 0-0 so something has to be done to make us more effective going forward and given the personnel problems, Allardyce might have to find a Plan B. An Allardyce Plan B, now there's an oxymoron!

By the way, Jussi was truly brilliant, with two utterly awesome saves and two others worthy of mention!

Player ratings: Jussi 10; Demel 6, Collins 7, Reid 8, O'Brien 7; Noble 8, Morrison 6; Diame 5, Nolan 6, Jarvis 5; Mogadon Maiga 0 Subs: Rat 7, Vaz Te 2, Taylor 5

Half Time Southampton 0 West Ham 0 - Not bad for 10 men!

Ok, it again hasn't been terribly pretty but it hasn't all been long ball either. What would be the point when Maiga is the lone man up front and he has been as useless as ever.

We really are playing with 10 men at the moment and I can't believe that either Vaz Te or Nolan as the target man could be as bad. Maiga's half was summed up when the ball fell to him in the box in the final minute and he failed to control it, failed to shape his body, failed to get a proper connection and provoked jeers of derision as the ball floated behind for a goal kick like a balloon. Hopeless, truly, truly hopeless.

Mind you, Maiga's not alone in having a bit of a mare. Allardyce will be laying in to Jarvis after the dipstick has made a complete hash of his crossing and mistimed a run which resulted in a goal being disallowed because he was a fraction off side. Like Maiga, he is not a very intelligent footballer.

And at the back, Collins has been shaky, sliding on his arse once and so allowing a Southampton break, and losing possession horribly when the final defender. Fortunately Rodrigeuz failed to control the ball.

And generally speaking our crossing from the flanks has been poor, with only O'Brien keeping his head when in space. I'm wondering if Allardyce had had them practising with a sodden old leather ball because it is frightening how many times crosses and long balls have been overhit.

On the positive side, Jussi pulled off a brilliant save, Diame forced an equally good save, the tackling has been tigerish, we have had the ball in the net and Morrison very nearly curled one into the top corner from outside the box. The worry is, should Southampton score, who the hell, apart maybe from Nolan or Morrison, is going to score for us? This team is terrifyingly light on goal scorers.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

West Ham risk points deduction as Sullivan flouts the rules

So that's it then. Having surrendered five points in our one club quest to stay the right side of the Financial Fair Play rules, David Sullivan has suddenly decided to face up to the wrath of the footballing authorities rather than trust to the possibility that, sometime this side of never, Maiga might learn that those funny white posts with a net attached is called a goal.

Of course, should we narrowly avoid the drop, we can expect a disciplinary hearing and calls to financially compensate any team that goes down in our stead. Crystal Palace have probably appointed a team of lawyers already, and the first team that Petric scores against will instantly put together a case proving that the former Fulham man was a one man team. Well, he's already proved himself a better keeper than Rob Green if you believe some reports!

Neil Warnock is probably touting himself as a consultant and expert witness as you read this whilst Shafting United's McScab is no doubt investigating the possibility of a "piggy back" claim, asking for a retrospective review of the Tevez case in the light of proof that the London club are a bunch of cheating East End shysters. Every player in the Prem, meanwhile, is asking his agent to seek legal advice on making a claim for a personal loss.

Meanwhile Scotty Duxbury will probably offer his services to the club in an effort to mitigate losses, persuading the Board to accept a deduction of 18 points, a fine somewhere in the range of £30m to £60m, and compensation deals, to avoid costly legal actions, amounting to £700m.

No wonder we didn't try to sign a striker before the window closed!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

And I thought Sullivan & Gold were supposedly West Ham fans!

Sullivan and Gold are West Ham fans? Don't make me laugh! All West Ham fans know from painful experience one, absolute, unalterable, never to be refuted or denied or challenged law: if it can go wrong, it bloody well will go wrong, and with fcuking great knobs on!

So, we break our transfer record and buy a guy whose thighs are wrapped up in more bandages than your average Egyptian mummy and we all know what's going to happen next - his career is going to end cruelly and prematurely. Hello Dean Ashton.

And, we get taken over by an Icelandic bank so it's welcome to the collapse of the world banking system!

And we sign two World Class Argies -  so suddenly Third Party Agreements raise their ugly heads!

And Pardew takes us to a Cup Final and to the top ten of the Prem in our first season back up - so his flies break!

And we appoint a manager who has taken a club to the Champions League final - but it's Avram Grant!

And we sign Keiron Dyer so...oh no, that curse hit every one of his clubs equally!

West Ham fans know that you never, ever, ever, back yourself in to a blind alley with only one way out, because if you do, before you know it, that exit way will be blocked by a pride of lions, a herd of rhinos and Jo Brand in stockings and suspenders.

So Carroll is out for the season. Is anybody other than our chairmen really surprised?

Carroll injury exposes the grand folly of Sullivan, Gold and Princess Brady

So that's it then, Carroll has sustained another injury and is beginning to bear all the hallmarks of another Dean Ashton or Keiron Dyer. But at least when those two inaction men booked in to their favourite treatment suite, the club had somebody to fill their shirts. Not so this time.

Amazingly, or should I say typically, West Ham fans have been slow to condemn the brinkmanship which saw us look around dazed and confused until the final hours of the transfer window, before making a belated bid to sign three, by that stage, unlikely targets. Perhaps it took the Stoke game to wake the Board up. And perhaps the very real prospect of a relegation battle alerted them to the fact that a vague threat of a points deduction was as of nothing, compared to a second dose of financial Armageddon in the Championship; but somehow the Financial Fair Play rules became, at the very last moment, less of an insurmountable obstacle.

Why, oh, why, oh why did we buy Downing rather than prioritizing a striker? What folly! Why, oh why, oh why did we let Norwich and Sunderland and Tottenham build new teams whilst we muttered on about new rules which are not tested for the first time until May 2015? What folly!

West Ham fans scoffed over the weekend and last week when I suggested we were now in danger of relegation, but tell me, how are we going to win games if we can't score goals? I can only see one option at the moment, and that is to move Captain Kev up top because Maiga is shit.

The latest rumour is that we are bringing in Petric. Well he hasn't got a club and we seem to be hoovering up any scraps on offer. A great signing methinks, he didn't net a single goal for Fulham post Christmas and from Easter on, Fulham showed relegation form.

But we won a friendly in Spain! Yep, with a Noble penalty.

It's threatening to be one nightmare of a season!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Leave it late and you get what you deserve - sweet FA!

So the truth is out! Far from sitting on their dildos, messers Sullivan, Gold and Brady were moving heaven and earth on the last day of the window trying to sign a striker. Ba, Lukaku and Bendtner were all on the shopping list, but sadly all three deals fell at the final hurdle.

Two questions arise from this, of course. The first is, why did we wait until the last moment before making a move? It was obvious to everybody that we needed an understudy for Carroll and that Maiga wasn't up to the job, so why, oh why, oh why did we dilly and dally, dally and dilly and lose our way at home to Stoke?

And the second is, what exactly happened to the Financial Fair Play regulations on the final day of the window which supposedly meant that we couldn't sign anybody until a player was sold? As I said all along, that was obviously bollocks. Unless Princess Brady is telling porkies now.

So, we got exactly what we deserved. Sweet FA. And if relegation is the consequence then we know who to blame.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Saint Carlton agrees to play for nothing

So when is the guy going to be canonized? Such is Carlton's love for the club that he is happy to play for nothing.

How else can we explain the club's attempt to re-sign him? According to the line spun by Big Brother Sullivan, and swallowed by the opened mouthed chicks in the Claret and Blue nest, we couldn't sign another striker until somebody left because of a limit on our wage bill. Well nobody has left so, ergo, the only way we can recruit Carlton Goals is if he has agreed to play for nothing, or next to nothing if we are to credit Sullivan's statement with an iota of truth.

Of course, it was all cobblers from the outset. I said two weeks back that West Ham fans were being taken for mugs and cited Spurs and Sunderland in evidence. The Claret and Blue Klan predictably howled in protest, just as they howled at the suggestion that The Great Puppet Master Duxbury was spinning them a line when he waxed lyrical about the "Project" even as he sold Bellamy and Collins. But these fools can't see the writing on the wall, or on the side of a van even as the Knacker arrives to take the faithful Boxer away.

Captain Kev has been wheeled out to pledge support for want away RVT and if Carlton signs, some bollocks will be released about how, after looking at all the alternatives, he was the best option available. But Carlton can't score and Everton and Cardiff both signed strikers at the end of the window with a proven record in the Prem. We have been betrayed and the management will be hugely culpable if their penny pinching gamble explodes in their face.

What was it that Benjamin said as Boxer was taken away by the butcher? "Fools, fools, fools! Can't you see what's written on the side of that van?" Well as Carlton is brought BACK from the knackers, let's hope to God it doesn't say relegation!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

West Ham operating on wingers and a prayer!

What a joke, but, to quote The Smiths, that joke ain't funny anymore, it's too close to home and too near the bone!

The window has closed and unless transfer papers have been couriered in secret, Sullivan, Gold & Allardyce haves decided that plan B really is one plan too many. We have Andy Carroll, so why do we need anybody else?

True Carroll is injury prone. True we have lost 5 points already because we have nobody to play up top when Carroll is injured. And true Carroll tends to have barren spells even when playing. But none of that is a problem, it seems.

Who needs a striker? Who needs goals? We have Downing and Jarvis to pump the ball into the box, and the stats say that if you get the ball in the opposition box enough times in a game, you are bound to score. I mean, eventually, an opponent with nobody to mark will put the ball in his own bloody net!

This is mismanagement on a monumental scale. It threatens to be a long depressing season. And if we go down, Sullivan will get exactly what he deserves!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Allardyce calls for Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland to be deducted points

Interesting. Backed into a bit of a corner in the post match Talk Bollocks interview, Allardyce repeated the myth that West Ham cannot buy without selling because of the new financial regulations for clubs in the Prem. A slightly intimidated interviewer had the audacity, like this blog, to raise the issue of Spurs and Sunderland, and Allardyce replied that it was down to the authorities to act.

Of course, he knows they won't. He knows the first checkpoint isn't until February of 2015, a date deliberately chosen to allow this and three further windows to slam shut, and he knows that the penalties have not even been specified and, legally, the "football authorities" wouldn't have a leg to stand on if they tried to retrospectively impose a penalty which hadn't been clarified at the time of the offence.

So, irrespective of the sale of Bale - which wasn't guaranteed when Spurs splurged the cash - we all know that Tottenham must have broken the salary rule. You're not going to tell me that the wages of those sold will cover those of the foreign legion brought in! And as for Sunderland, Di Canio has recruited 11 so far and is looking for more!

West Ham fans have been taken for mugs. We have surrendered five points anyway by not bringing in a half decent striker and suddenly a relegation battle looms because we are short of target after that defeat at home to Stoke and 4 points shy of what we got from the equivalent fixtures last season. But how many of the Claret and Blue Klan swallowed the propaganda of Sullivan just as they lapped up the warm milky words of The Grand Puppet Master Duxbury?

I wish I had been conducting that interview! My follow up question would have been, "So if there is any truth in this financial rules cobblers, why the fcuk did you spend the precious budget on Downing? Dead leg? How about dead brain, dead desire and dead ability?"