Sunday, 15 September 2013

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

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sad indictment of how one dimensional we are - when Jussi is our MoM (and lets be honest he was brilliant today!) and we have only 1 shot on target all day - and only 6 in 4 games. Pathetic route 1 hoofball, no plan B, and frustrating boring rubbish that BFS then talks up post match and says we could have won. Yes we could, but equally we could have lost 5-0 if it hadn't been for Jussi.
I've been a Hammer since 1974 and been through thick and thin with our boys many times but beginning to think my season ticket is going to be a cause of major stress in my life this year! Sorry to say but it looks like a long hard and ugly season ahead...

daz said...

maiga played like a 11 year old child plucked from the crowd to play his first game of football, I never realised how awful he is, even vaz te won 3 headers in the short time he was on, diame on the wing, didn't work, next game I would start vaz te upfront and swap diame and morrison around although I would of done that today aswel

Anonymous said...

Your flying now spam dangler! There is no stopping you lot! To infinity and beyond!

Anonymous said...

I didn't see the game but probably just as well! This sounds like a brutal but honest assessment. So to all those fans who are saying 'be optimistic we are only a few games in' this is a wake up call!!!! Yes we've not conceded in open play BUT we have had one shot on target in our last 3 league games. Hello, Sam, are you listening?

fred149 said...

Demel a beast? You sure HF. He was terrible all game.

AppyAmmer said...

My mate on facebook was having a dig at Noble so might disagree with that score you gave him! Personally think your rating for him is too high.
Anyways, we could of been given a pen on another day, Jarvis was ONside so Nolans goal should of stood and they should of been down to 10 men from around the 23rd minute, so not as bad as it looks.

Although been thinking for a while that we have no plan b. Even as a plan A its a bit shit to be honest, and now what happens if Fat Sam moves on, no wonder whoever follows him (NEcastle, Bolton etc)

Sav said...

Almost perfect account of what took place today, except I can't see where you found the 8/10 for your protégé. Yes, I agree with you. We were clinically dead in attack (and to be more accurate, we have been so for the last 3 games). The problem is, as you well point out, there is no Plan B. And I would add no flare players on or off the bench!

kevin mousley said...

I think we should be happy with that. you and I both would have experienced those days when you just knew we were going to cave in matches like this. You can hold a post mortem on what's gone on or rather didn't in the window but when did we last go four games with one goal conceded. For sure we have a tough three or four games ahead while Sam works out how we are actually going to score, after that Petric and possibly Cole will be in the frame. Personally I'd like to see Vaz Te up front with Ravel as a classic number 10 in the meantime.

Anonymous said...

Being a Leeds fan, I noticed this was on TV and decided to take a break from decorating and watch the first half. After 20 minutes I decided I would return to the glossing.

I don't know why you bother HF, but it did offer some explanation as to why a West Ham fan would spend so much time obsessing about my team.

The tactics seemed to be very basic. Hoof it down the line. I even heard your players yelling it to each other over the bored hush that had descended over the stadium. It's the sort of thing you hear from the sidelines when the Red Lion are playinge Dog and Gun.

The Southampton fans seemed to be packed into the three available stands whilst the away end looked decidedly thin, amusing themselves with an occasional outburst of the Bubbles song.

Functional football might stave off relegation but has the club lost its direction? The existing West Ham fan base will not fill the Olymic Stadium and with that sort of offering where are the extra bodies going to come from. Meanwhile Orient go from strength to strength? Only saying like!

Anonymous said...

i find this absolutely hilarious.west ham fans like HF himself were expecting their great team to push on this season and challenge for the top ten (how ambitious!)but its looking like you will struggle this year.just like when he was at bolton,when the bubble bursts he does not have a plan B.

see you next year,or maybe not if NGB pulls off a miracle this season
MOT!

Anonymous said...

didnt you lot know HF has a gay crush on mark noble and would award him at least a 7/10 even if he missed a penalty,scored an own goal and was then sent off.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha how shite u spam dangler's look!! Can't believe u invested and rely'd so heavily on Mandy Carol! The one trick pony who looks like he is ready for the knackers Yard already! Should have sent him straight to the glue factory!

Stani said...

HF, you gave Noble an 8? Was that for his interview or his performance on the pitch? I admit, his interview was pretty good, but 8 for his onfield performance has to be the biggest bit of b*llocks you've written and I've seen some b*llocks from you. I am not exaggerating, mate.

fred149 said...

Stani, enlighten us to what was bad about his performance this time. He won tackles, made our best move of the game, and for someone with "No Pace" he got round more players then anybody else in our team and did it multiple times. Was the only player in our team who tried to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Nolan may be captain, but Noble was the leader om that pitch on sunday.