Sunderland Match Report

What an odd game. We looked great in parts and awful in others. I thought some of our passing in the first half was excellent, but the one goal lead never looked enough. Sunderland are not a pretty team, but are effective in stopping others playing. Their centre forward Kenwe Jones gave Upson a hell of a roasting for the whole game.

In some ways you’d have to admit that a 3-1 win did not reflect the ebb and flow of the game. As Kieron Dyer said on SKY, many of us may have settled for a draw after 60 minutes.

It was the substitution which changed things. I had to laugh when the crowd chanted : “you don’t know what you’re doing”. A minute later we scored. Maybe the crowd should have then chanted: “we don’t know what we’re saying”! Mind you, quite what Curbishley thought he ws doing subbing Noble is anyone’e guess.

George McCartney had a stormer today. I thought he was head and shoulders above anyone else. Carlton Cole also did well. As I said in the previous piece, it was an important game for him today and he came through it well. Bowyer has a good first half and Bellamy was all over the pitch. And Robert Green. well, what can one say? His save from Leadbitter was the turning point. If that had gone in, that would have been curtains.

Green 8 Superb
Gabbidon 6 Steady
Upson 4 Jones had him
McCartney 9 Awesome
Neill 6 Anonymous
Noble 7 A couple of bad passes but gave his all
Mullins 6 Average
Bowyer 7 Good first half
Cole 7 Good in the air. Great goal
Bellamy 8 Buzzing


31 Responses to Sunderland Match Report

  1. NunheadHammer says:

    Just got back from the match – thought we were lucky – though Sunderland lacked quality all over the pitch. I thought we gave the ball away far too often in the second half and kept putting ourselves under pressure. Bellamy had great game, Cole goal was a fantastic bit of skill, Gabbidon had a difficult game. We seemed to lack any creative person going forward.

    Iain, I think we should debate on this blog exactly how Eggert gets his figures for the average wage of West Ham supporter is £60k – am I in the wrong job?

  2. Tom says:

    Iain, althought Neill was anonymous you have to admit it wasn’t Nobles day …. it was the right decision. What worries me is the constant booing of the likes of Cole and Boa Morte …. not for the first time have they come up with the good and yet the reception they get is so un West Ham like. Come easter our midfield may look totally different … but if we keep showing this sort of attitude towards squad players then the like of Bridge and Gudjohnson are only going to the like af Manc city or Geordie land. Finally, all those that slated the signing of Solano … you’re a joke ….

  3. appyhammer says:

    West ham were lucky today, but sometimes we need that bit of luck, as do most teams once or twice a season when the better team does not win. I felt our midfield was over run and was not helped by a lot more than usual missed placed passes. I also think Neill had to concerntate more on his defensive duties as his partner on the right Bowyer was going into the middle more.
    I also do not agree with players getting booed before they come on, they may not be everyones choice but is you are slagged off before you start wot extra incentive for doing well.

  4. Plaistow54 says:

    For the life of me i can’t understand people booing Cole. At 19 when he went to Chelsea Claudio Ranieri said that he had never coached a player like Cole. He was the best young player that he had ever seen. Regular appearances & a bit of luck would make all the difference to him. Three points is three points, thanks to Green, the best goalkeeper in the milky way. Man Utd win championships by grinding out results when they are not playing well. Not so long ago we were a division down. More to do but we are going forward. We still need a specialist left back & another class striker come january. Men climb Everest a step at a time. Some good players yet to come back. I’m happy but stop the booing as Tom says.

  5. Thought it was a great performance by west ham and we really deserved the win. Sunderland are definately going down and that Jones guy is such as cheat. Although if Curbs is sacked i think Roy Keane would be a good manager for us. What do you all think.

  6. Henry the Hammer says:

    I woulod take Roy Keane like a shot, bubbles mate, but don’t think he would want to come. Sunderland looked good and I honestly think with a bit of luck they could be looking a Europe in the next few seasons. Especially if they keep that Jones guy.

  7. Wicksy says:

    Just got back from the match today thought the atmosphere was very flat today! I have to agree with plaistow the booing needs to stop if we want to get the best out of the all of the team. But for the life of me i cannot understand how a big lump like cole never seems to win more than 10% of his attempted headers!!!!

  8. Phil says:

    The first 30 minutes of the second half was painful watching. Bloody lucky and Jones was winning everything.
    Credit to Boa Morte – he really changed things.
    Also agree McCartney was by far away our best player.

  9. The Headmaster says:

    Agreeing with most of those posts.
    Iain – we all love Noble but, sorry mate, he was having a bit of a ‘mare today (tho never gave less than his all!). I think he really did look a little jaded after his midweek exploits – understandably.
    I tend to agree with the booing comments. However, whatever Mr Ranieri said, Cole is simply never going to be the real deal in the EPL – never.
    Neill and Upson were pretty poor today for me – Jones was way unlucky! Still, like the rest of you, ‘avin’ it all day long!!

  10. death penalty for murderers says:

    neill and upson need to improve and quickly. the marking from upson on set pieces was appalling. great to see carlton cole score and begin to silence the morons who insist on booing him. so he s not thierry henry- i don t give a toss. he gives 110 percent and during a time when we re lacking in fit strikers ,he s doing a job. brilliant from mccartney again. i ll give noble the benefit of the doubt as he played twice in the week- despite a couple errant passes,he gave everything ,per usual. On this evidence, as soon as he s fit, Collins belongs in the side. the question is who he replaces. maybe Upson, altho i wasn t thrilled with gabbidon s performance either. the brightest thing on the day was solano. he may be 32, but he s still got it. i wish we had only bought him , and not bought parker as well. obviously we were very fortunate.we cud have been 3-1 down by the 70 th minute. but in fairness, were we not deserving of a bit of luck? Ljungbergs goal that was disallowed vs arsenal was perfectly legal. that arguably cost us a point. and the free kick from which gardner scored at villa shu dnever have been give, that arguably cost us a point, maybe 3. so i don t feel guilty about being lucky. we were overdue.

    anybody notice the sendings off this weekend? Coker on the hour and Konchesky at half time. so was it really all curbishley s fault that we got in such deep trouble last term? or were there not a few players with attitude and discipline problems who in the main created the mess? the events of the weekend provide some answers.

    in any case, something to be said for better lucky than good at times, although between yesterday and boro , we can t be relying on that anymore.

  11. new york says:

    even when we went up a goal i never felt comfortable ,as Jones always looked a threat ,especially from corners, i agree with sentiment expressed here that we must make defending set pieces properly our top priority. if we don t improve in that regard we are going to leave points on the table all season. if we do improve there,i believe we can finish top 6 or 7 even with teh injuries we ve had so far.i just don t see blacburn and a few of the others ahead of us having that much more than we do , especially if we can through this horrific spell of injuries. we seem to be one more injury away from disaster in both midfield and up front. to lose bellamy now or one of our current midfield starters now wud put us in real jeopardy, although i get the feeling that cole will surprise some people in a positive way. can t help but think that solano will turn out to be a shrewd purchase, and that now that cole got his first ,there will be more goals to come. wasn t pretty, and more than a bit lucky, but i agree that we were due some luck based on poor refereeing decisions in recent games. they say these things even out over the season- then it s perfectly reasonable and fair that we had the rub of the green,pardon the awful pun, against the black cats. massive 3 points

  12. jon l.colney says:

    watched the telle and switched it for our second to see if hamilton had spun out yet so didnt see the own goal.
    not bellamy’s type of game and he gets so lost chaseing rubbish. i think our back 3 were outstandingly crap.even ferdy when he came on looked as if he had eaten 2 pies to many.
    i hate any booing aimed at the team during the game.we should all be 100% behind them and then at the final whistle give what you will.
    curbs should not feel threatened by making a substitution ,its his job,let him do it.

    as for the 3points -love it,pompey away aint gona be easy though.tin hats on 4 that one!!!
    come on the geordies !!!!!!

  13. west ham johnny says:

    i just heard on sky sports that curbs was getting booed for takin off noble and ethrington, i was in the bobby moore lower and never heard any booing did anyone else??? both were good subs boa morte played a part in both goals and solano did he’s bit aswel so its good to see we’ve got players on the bench who can change games. i thought neill had a pretty good game this week as he’s been rubbish most of this season, and as for upson i dont think u can blame him for not winning headers against jones as the gezzer looked about 7 foot tall.

  14. Aylesbury Hammer says:

    Let’s all cut the boo-ing, eh; it makes us appear shallow and does nothing of any positive value

  15. The Headmaster says:

    I have to say, Jonny, that I too failed to notice any audible booing at the substitutions. The only question some of us might have been asking was ‘why wait so long?’. I would have thought that 25 minutes or, certainly 20, from the end might have been a more approriate time. The motd crew were drawing the comparison between the inexperienced keane who made his changes at HT and the experienced Curbs who made his with 15 minutes to go and concluding that the wise old head won the day on this occasion. Maybe so, but boy how lucky?! We could all see that we should most definitely have been losing by then. In posession terms and in attractive open play terms, Keano wiped the floor with curbs yesterday, for me. But booing? No – sometimes I think the media just have a downer on us and enjoy dishing the dirt 😉

  16. new york says:

    i was in maarten s lower and i don t recall hearing booiing when noble came off either.i m sure i wud have noticed as i remember being pretty irritated to see noble taken off .it almost seems as if the press,what aa surprise, are again trying to add 2 and 2 and get 5, to sti rit up, and make it appear like curbishley is under more pressure. i thought solano was a great sub, and agree that boa morte was useful- i just wish it was mullins that came off and not noble. not that mullins didnt play well- i thot he had a decent game too. i just hate seeing noble come off early,especially when the game is still hanging in teh balance. i cannot think of another player in the current side i d rather have on the pitch than noble at a critical period in a match. even if he s tired and if even if he s young. the guy simply has too much skill and too much desire to not be on the pitch until we ve got the game well and truly in the bag

    as for pompey ,especially away, this is teh real acid test of where we re at . if we can get something there, despite teh injuries, and i realistically think we can if we defend better , then i think we re in very good shape. what bothered me about upson wasn t that he can t get up with jones in the air, as agreed,jones is one tall geezer(and he CAN
    jump) ,but that at times upson just didn t seem close enough to him. mccarthy on the other hand, when he had to mark jones occassionally,stayed much closer to him.
    i think in part it is down to the manager to put more time into marking of players like jones in preperation for the match- hard to do in international week obviously. there s got to be an element of “team marking” in that situation. the guy is a handful ,and the ball is only going to go one place when sunderland have a corner so perhaps upson shud have a bit of help in that situation.

  17. Hammerithome says:

    agree with West Ham Johnny. Spot on mate.
    The first half was cr@p altogether,and then the second half improved and we got better the longer the game went on.
    We can play like that all season for me if we get the points at the end of the match.
    Come on u Ironsssssssssss

  18. Hinsdale Hammer says:

    One of the reasons Kenwe Jones looked good is Upson was so bad. I would still prefer to see Gabiddon and Collins out there but sadly Curbs has a problem with Collins and I don’t know why. Upson will cost us a few more goals before this season’s over.

  19. Couchptato10 says:

    It was an etchy game, they could have done better. I think the next game will be better, and I do agree that the second half was much better than the first based on what I had seen


  20. west ham johnny says:

    i am startin to wonder about our defence,all season we’ve looked like conceding goals no matter if its ferdinand, collins upson or gabbidon in the center and neill has been poor this season. mccartney has looked pretty solid most games. mayb its time to off load a few center backs and get in a quality one. or maybe try neill at center back as he has been gettin roasted at right back. collins always looks good but i’d like us to have a top center half. i wish we had of signed glen johnson back when we had the chance. i read today about wayne bridge which i wouldnt mind as he is a very good defender and gets forward well but its at center back and right back where we’ve been poor.

    anyone agree???

  21. death don t have no mercy says:

    you used to laugh and shout.

    now you don t talk so loud.

    now you don t look so proud .

    about having to be scrounging your next point.

    how does it feel ,to be like a rolling bone,toffenham snobspur???

    toon 3 – arrogance 1

  22. The Headmaster says:

    I just can’t go with those who say that we played better in the second half! The Mackens came out, with 2 very astute substitutions, totally bossed the game, scored, created 2 – 3 guilt edged further chances and should have sewn it all up by the 70 minute mark.
    The Nobster came on and made a difference and, sure then, we started to play a bit, got the goal and forced Sunderland to chase it, creating the late cances, one of which Belars converted.
    I too would take that all season, for this year at least. But, hey, let’s not kid ourselves

  23. new york says:

    i hope we don t have the makings of a bit of a feud bewteen curbishley and noble. in recent weeks there have been little comments in the press from each that suggest a bit of tension in the air. the latest one, which even tho presumably meant in good humor ,in which curbishley refers to noble enjoying too much pie n mash before the match ,probably wasn t the best piece of man management in curbishley s career. noble wants to play 90 minutes every game, which for a a 20 year old is perfectly normal- why wouldn t he? but comments to the media ,unintentionally irritating or not ,about why or why not noble may be playing don t really accomplish much . curbishley is better off keeping shtum , or at least not making any comments that cud antagonize the player. rightfully or wrongfully ,curbishley doesn t have the greatest reputation for building rapport with players ,or for man management. i just hope that doens t translate into a falling out with noble- we need that like a hole in the head

  24. redkipper says:

    Collins is injured from the last Wales game. I hope he’s avavable Saturday otherwise Haarry will have us for toast!

  25. DevoDevo says:

    Let’s get things straight. The team that played on sunday is a bottom 8 side. Our best team is a top 8 side, even better.

    I’m sure I watch a different game to most people on here but Curbishley was quite right in taking Noble and Etherington off. In fact, he coul dhave taken the ineffective Bowyer and Mullins off as well as far as I could see. His only fault was leaving it as late as he did. Boa-Morte is always dangerous late in the game and Solano looked different class.

    At the back, Green continues to be outstanding. McCarthy has been our best defender this season and played well again on Sunday. Neill had arguably his best game of a poor season and Gabbidon looked a little more comfortable. Upson is a joke of a player and shouldn’t be anywhere near the first team. Collins should be first choice with Gabby and Ferdinand as back up.

    Midfield is where we are short with all our injuries, so it was good to see Solano look so comfortable when he came on. Bowyer is past it and offers no width to the side. Mullins is out of his depth, despite strolling round like Beckenbauer and Noble looked leggy from his U21 match in midweek.

    Up front, we are as short as midfield. With no Ashton or Zamora to support the excellent Bellamy, it is left to the hapless Cole to do the job. Despite his goal, his general play remained woeful.

    Come January we will need more strength up front and another choice of right back.

    Curbs – Get rid of Upson and Mullins NOW.

  26. new york says:

    i agree with the posy saying that we have an issue at center back now. the matches vs newcastle,boro and sunderland prove that . we have a number of “acceptable” or potentially good center backs. but of the lot, how many are reaching their potential this season? the one who i like the best,despite his lack of pace, is collins,who of course has not really been given a chance.

    ferdinand- athletic ,but very unreliable ,on and off the pitch
    upson- does some things right ,but makes critical errors . seems to be in the side because curbishley won t admit defeat by leaving a 6 million pound signing on the bench
    gabbidon- athletic and quick, but nowhere near his best, for either club or country ,tho to be fair he hasn t played much for west ham
    neill- perhaps an answer at center back ,though we d lose his ability to provide width down the flank
    spector- works his socks off, decent sub, but not starting material
    davenport- even once fit again, perhaps a decent sub,but no better
    mccartney- possible answer,but then we lose width down the other flank.

    so yes, we ve got a problem in central defense. plenty of potential “options”,but none of them as good in reality as they appear on paper, with upson in particular a bit of a disappointment given what he cost. but the season depends on whether we sort this or not ,either prior, to january, or once the window re-opens. it wud appear the latter is th emore likely. we re going to have “get through” november and xmas clawing for points,to try to steer well clear of the drop zone , and then perhaps push on from february once we ve brought in a cuple more players, and once key injured players have returned.

    in as sense, given how vulnerable our defense is, and how injury ravaged the side is, i m shocked we re in tenth place. we cud easily be somewhere between 15th and 18th now.

    i also agree with the comments that the second half against sunderland was our WORSE half,despite the goals we scored. we cud and shud have conceded 2 in the second half, whilst in the first half we seemed to close them down more effectively.
    it was in the second half, when with their subs, sunderland seemed to create the width they lacked earlier. so despite our goals ,i was much happier with our first half performance. in parts of the second half ,i thought we looked shockingly vulnerable .
    chopra and jones were in the championship last year, and as impressed as i was by the latter, in hindsight i cannot believe the ease with which these 2 carved us up.

    i hope teh manager and the owners are not deceieved by our position in the table. we have the makings of a very good side,but if we don t sort out the defensive failings, we cud be penalized heavily for that ,and end up wasting the potential the side has this
    term. i never thought i d be this “concerned” upon seeing us in tenth. i m concerned because at the minute,i m not sure we deserve to be there.

  27. jon l.colney says:

    disagree with the mullins comments dev,yes he had a poor game true but so did many others and he can controll that midfield /defence better than most.

    as 4 upson,f me what on earth is he doing? its like he has no idea how to head the ball and his positioning is clueless.collins and gabbs 4 me as the 2 centre backs.ferdy to be sold is it just me or are we missing the zed man sooooo much?

    at least he would give 110% every game and maybe drag a few lazy ones along with him.

  28. jon l.colney says:

    oh and when will west ham suporters realise that when theres no atmosphere at the start ov any game then west ham allways play edgy and crap!!!!!

    the anouncer needs his arse kicking and get everyone on there feet !!!

    bring back standing

    2-1 saturday

  29. new york says:

    agree that criticism of mullins is unwarranted. think he s having a good season, and altho in the second half last sunday our midfield seemed to get caught a few times, i don t think it s right to pin that on mullins alone. also agree that the atmosphere is appalling. im actually shocked by it, in that at times i feel like the atmosphere was better when we were in the championship, in that people seemed to care enough to be vocal. now we are outsung routinely . it is embarrassing to hear the likes of man city,sunderland and even plymouth support make it look like it is their home game and not ours. our supporters have alot to be grateful for. we survived battles on and off th epitch that cud have seen us playing in a league below and we are sitting in tenth place despite a horrific run of injuries. things cud be a whole lot worse. and even in the games we ve lost , we ve had a chance to win or draw all of them. no new year s day fiascos ths far . supporters need to take on board that they have a role to play in improving our results ,and our home form in particular

  30. Hammerithome says:

    To the Headmaster; That’s what I love about the game of football.
    There are always different oppinions on it and it doesn’t mean you are wrong and others are right or visa versa,it just means we all have our oppinions and we are all entitled to them.
    I do hope you agree,but there again you may not?
    To quote a famous saying;
    “It’s a funny old game”
    Cheers your Headship. No offence by the way.

  31. The Headmaster says:

    Absolutely right Hammerithome; it is amazing the different interpretations of the same game and long may it be so – it is what makes the beautiful game just that, beautiful. I would never take offence foem someone who offered a different view from my own, but would alwyas hope that it is expressed much as you do – without ridicule or insult. Wea are, when all is said and done, all Irons.

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