West Ham 3 Graham Poll/Injuries/George McCartney 3

I’ve just about calmed down now. I really don’t know where to begin this. Positives first – Yossi Benayoun and Nigel Reo Coker were simply outstanding. Yossi is now back to his effervescent best and Reo Coker’s surging runs reminded me of his performance against Arsendal last season. He showed us exactly what we would be missing if we let him go. Those who were calling for his head just two short weeks ago should be hanging their heads in shame. Today he showed he wanted to play for us and the crowd’s reaction showed that we also want him to stay. I hope he will.

A word about the crowd. To get a capacity crowd when we are in the bottom three and playing a team like Fulham should tell everyone what West Ham are all about. It’s why we can legitimately claim to be a ‘big’ club and teams like Blackburn and Middlesbrough can’t.

Now several words about Graham Poll. Wanker, tosser, arsehole, fucking joke. There. And let’s add c**t for good measure. I don’t allow that word on my OTHER blog, but I am still so angry at his performance I find it difficult to think of another more appropriate word. I cannot believe he can have put in such a bad performance since his joke of a game when he failed to send off a player after two yellow cards in the World Cup match between Italy and Australia. I lost count of the players he booked, the trouble was, he often booked the wrong ones. Fulham players had obviously set out to wind up Boa Morte, yet they escaped yellow cards for really vicious tackles. He let Reo Coker off a second yellow when he shouldn’t have done (praise be to Allah for that one) and then sent Bobby Zamora off for a challenge which looked to me as if it didn’t warrant it. He then spent most of the second half awarding free kicks to Fulham, half of which should have gone the other way.

We should be pleased with the way the team battled through very adverse circumstances. We lost Tevez and Collins to injuries within the first twenty minutes, with Gabbidon following half way through the second half (having had a good game). Carlton Cole played the last ten minutes as if he had been shot in the thigh and Boa Morte was completely shagged out for the entire second half. So bearing in mind we lost both central defenders and played the last 15 minutes with more or less nine men, or eight if you bring Poll into the equation, maybe we should consider ourselves lucky. Like fuck we should. We deserved to win that game and should have done. Yossi’s after match tears showed what it had meant to him. At least this will hopefully put paid to all the rumours that Curbishley wants him out of the club.

The two disappointments today for me were the performances of George McCartney and Nigel Quashie. McCartney gave away three needless corners, one of which lead to the first goal. He looked dodgy all afternoon. If Konchesky really is going on this performance you’d have to say that McCartney didn’t look to be good enough to replace him. Quashie displayed a shocking first touch but you certainly couldn’t fault his commitment. He got better as the game went on, but I am not sure I see him as bringing much more to the team than Mullins has. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Mark Noble should be in that position.

The big worry now are the number of injuries we have, particularly in defence. All three of our central defenders are now out with what do not look like short term injuries. I commented earlier in the week that we need to buy a quality centre back. Now I reckon we need two.

Carroll 6 – why was he playing in the first place? Not at fault for the goals but he never inspires confidence
Dailly 5 – shocking in the air when he moved into the centre
Gabbidon 7 – good game before he had to go off – several shot saving tackles
Collins 6 – went off after 15 minutes – perhaps he was never really fit enough to play
Spector 6 – possibly his weakes game for us
McCartney 4 – all over the place defensively
Benayoun 9 – man of the match. First goal was unbelievable. Dribbling awesome and tackling was superb
Reo Coker 9 – faultless in both effort and skill. Some wonderful surging runs
Boa Morte 6 – quiet and went AWOL in the second half a bit. Would have been subbed if we had had any subs left!
Tevez 6 – went off with hamstring trouble after 20 mins
Cole – 5 – for someone his height he should win headers. He doesn’t. End of. Far too languid
Newton – 5 came on for Gabbidon but was largely anonymous. Why was he on the bench and not Noble?
Zamora – 8 best game since September. First touch can still let him down but took the goal well
Quashie – 6 got better as game went on. Bad first touch but a hard tackler


15 Responses to West Ham 3 Graham Poll/Injuries/George McCartney 3

  1. Ed Thomas says:

    Great report Iain. It’s fantastic to think I have a congenial site to come to for a genuine write up of West Ham matches.

    It’s clear to me- and has been for a while I think- that our problems are mainly defensive. We just concede far too many goals, as our goal difference demonstrates far too obviously.

    We have (or had) a hatful of quality attacking players but things look very thin at the back. Maybe we’ve been unlucky with injuries, but it’s funny how a stable defensive set-up tends to keep a nucleus of fit and strong defenders. Not, of course, a coincidence.

  2. Jeremycj says:

    OK Iain, it’s head on chopping block time.

    In what position will West Ham finish this season?

    16th, 17th?

  3. Iain Dale says:

    Jeremy, I would hope higher… but even I am now getting worried. I would happily settle for 17th.

  4. Y is a vowel says:

    iain dale said: It’s why we can legitimately claim to be a ‘big’ club and teams like Blackburn and Middlesbrough can’t.

    Y says: boro fans do not claim to be a big team; we claim to be a team that have won a cup this century, to have got to the uefa cup final this century and to be above west ham in the league. we use the word big to describe our aspirations…

  5. Maggie Thatcher Fan says:

    Iain, Am I right in thinking you don’t like Graham Poll? I think you know I’m a Fulham supporter, and over 48yrs I have seen some diabolical referees, and Fulham have had their fair share of them. When I used to go regularly, we always seemed to get bad referees when we were not playing well/downtowards the foot of the table. I think there must be a link somwhere 😉
    I can understand your frustration.

  6. prolix says:

    Welcome to the club Iain! Everton fans are also sick of Poll and his utter incompetence. As I wrote on my blog a few months back.

    In fact, I would be honoured if you would display the ‘Kick Poll Out Of Football’ blog button that a few of us are displaying on our blogs. Info and the button image here.

    As you say, what a performance from Yossi, I was very impressed with him last year and he seems to be getting back in to that form now, if he’s for sale, I hope David Moyes was watching Match of the Day last night!

  7. Maggie Thatcher Fan says:

    I saw the MOTD highlights last night. If Graham Poll had been as bad as you suggest, I am somewhat surprised the MOTD team did not mention it , though Alan Curbishley criticised the added time.
    Looking at the game dispassionately and admittedly only from the highlights, it looks like both teams defending was abysmal and they both got what they deserved

  8. Gordon Broon says:

    Hmmm… not totally sure what the problem is here, Iain. You did get a draw, which is not a bad result. And although Graham Poll did ‘cock up’ in a big way at the World Cup, I thought the ‘received wisdom’ [or ignorant ‘groupthink’ if you prefer] was that he was a reasonable referee, on a longer term view.

    Surely blaming a referee is ‘clutching at straws’ ? But then what would I know, I am more of a rugby fan these days, having in the past been a Man Utd ‘supporter’…

  9. billy says:

    Wolves are another ‘big’ club. You’ll be playing them next season.

  10. bluebilly says:

    Sorry mate, West Ham never have been and never will be “big” club, sorry to dash your elusions. A draw against Fulham is the best you could hope for, you have ditched a half-decent manager and brought in a half-decent manager – your Icelandic sugardaddy has no idea about football and it shows. You will be relegated – best you learn to live with it – West Ham and clubs like yours are like water, they always find their own level and that level unfortunately for you is the 2nd Division (or as it is compassionately know these days..The Championship…that’s just to soften the blow).

    Stop whingeing about refs – everybody has the same ones so if they’re crap – then they’re crap for everyone – like the man says – you are clutching at straws.

  11. Maggie Thatcher fan says:

    iain, In your defence , the Torygraph reporter had a go at Graham Poll, so what you say might have some validity but maybe not in the strident terms you used., but I say again, when you concede goals the way both Fulham and the Hammers did, the Ref is pretty irrelevant, irrespective of who was sent off/booked.
    My pal is a Spurs fan, so I have been giving it large to him this evening. Happy Days !!!!!

  12. ck says:

    “Ed Thomas Says:

    January 13th, 2007 at 8:07 pm
    Great report Iain. It’s fantastic to think I have a congenial site to come to for a genuine write up of West Ham matches.”

    Ed. May I recommend http://www.kumb.com. East Stand Martin, now he’s back from the horror show in Australia, generally does a good write up of all the games. I think there is an archive of his past reports somewhere too.

  13. Personally Iain, I think the ref got the two yellow cards spot on and Fulham scored with two minutes of extra time left, so the fact he gave five minutes was irrelent.

    But you are right, he is a shit ref !

  14. kujar says:

    Don’t know if the hammers are a ‘big’ club or not (and why care anyway) but you used to have a great youth policy. All those players developed at Upton Park now plying their trade at other clubs.

    I am thankful for Carrick and Rio. Hopefully they’ll contribute to keeping Joe Cole in second place this seaseon. But its a real shame for you.

    We used to have a good youth policy but others caught on. Fergie now has to buy in. Pity. At least he still goes for youth.

  15. Dave 'the Headmaster' Payne says:

    Poll is an arse hole. End of.
    Fulham were luckier than a Romany clutching a bale of heather and a 4 leaf clover buying a lottery ticket.
    Oh, and the Irons will survive.
    Boro? U wot…!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: