Bolton: Afterthoughts

There’s nothing more gutting to a supporter than seeing your team throw away points in the last minute. As usual, we paid the price for not scoring a second goal from a shoal of opportunities. I didn’t get to the game because of a family bereavement, but I did, of course, watch it on SKY. At times, especially in the first half, we looked awesom, especially down the left hand side, where Matty Etherington ruled the roost. Defensively we also looked comfortable for long periods, but it was in midfield that I thought we were poor. This is hardly surprising when you look at our injury list, but Bowyer and Solano were never going to form the kind of midfield bulwark which is needed against teams like Bolton. Carlton Cole showed more positive signs but Luis Boa Morte was appalling. How on earth did Curbishley ever feel that it was worth paying Ā£5 million for his services. We needed two out and out strikers against Bolton and Camara should have been on the pitch from the start. Sky showed a list of our injured players, who could make a team on their own – and they even missed out Julien Faubert on the graphic.

It was good to see John Pantsil get a brief runout towards the end. I still feel he might have something to offer us. If we still have Noble and Mullins out for the Derby game I’d stick Lucas Neill on the right side of midfield and put in Pantsil at right back.

And so to the scores on the doors…

Green 7 – not his strongest game, with a couple of James-esque flaps
Neill 7 – getting better after a bad run
Upson 7 – unspectacular but solid
McCartney 9 – our best player at the moment
Gabbidon – 6 somewhat anonymous
Mullins – 6 gave the ball away too much
Bowyer- 6 a couple of neat runs
Solano – apart from one effort, didn’t really threaten
Etherington 8 – superb first half
Cole 7 – great improvement – held the ball up well
Boa Morte – 4 awful, simply awful


29 Responses to Bolton: Afterthoughts

  1. Lewis says:

    A few things Ian.

    1. Your vendetta against Luis Boa Morte is quite pathetic. Technically he’s a better player than Etherington, just needs some confidence. Try and remember back to the Sunderland game if you will where he came off the bench and set up the 2nd and 3rd goal. He’s an asset.

    2. Paintsil at right back and Neill on the right wing? Have you seen Pantsil defend? The whole reason he doesn’t play is because he can’t. He can bomb forward but he can’t defend. So the logic of playing him on the right of midfield is flawed.

    and more generally

    3. Get over your obsession with Noble. He’s good, but he’s not yet that good (couple more years) when when everyone is fit (including Dyer) he won’t be in the XI.

  2. new york says:

    agree on pantsil- i think he does have something to offer, especially given the run of injuries. agree on neill as well, that this was a notable improvement. wasn t rob green s day ,no doubt. mixed feelings on boa morte – he was frustrating in that he was inside their penalty area constantly ,and did cause them problems, but his final ball too often let him down. i actually thought solano did well- not a brilliant game, but solid. it s small consolation ,but if we were in this situation twelve months ago, we might have gotten blown off the park ,having to play people out of position due to injuries. but the squad is big enough so that even with 12-14 players injured we can hold our own ,or better . still, this was in our hands ,and it s hard to accept dropping points simply because we didn t play intelligently enough at the death. it almost feels worse the next day ,when it really sinks in how unnecesary this dropping of points was.

  3. Gee says:

    We played a mix of 4-5-1 when they had the ball with LBM and Matty out wide and 4-3-3 when we had the ball with LBM and Matty as forwards supporting Cole. The full-backs really attacked forward when we had the ball.

    I diagree with LBM being awful, his finishing and final ball has been poor but his wing play was fantastic at times. He is lacking confidence when he gets into forward positons.

    I keep hearing people banging on about Pantsil. He is a Right-Back that can play on the right wing or as a Right Wing Back. So do we think he is better on the right wing than Bowyer, LBM or Solano. No I don’t think so, its a shame he doesn’t get a game but he simply hasn’t been good enough to take the places of others, he may well get a chance and shine but I don’t think he is the saviour of WHU, we need fit strikers and a creative midfielder.

    Solano looked absolute quality in his creative passing, if we has Bellamy or Ashton fit we would have been brilliant yesterday.

    I think the debate is do we continue to play with 5 in midfield and let Solana be the creative player in the midfield or play 4 in the middle with Solano on the right.

  4. West_Ham says:

    I feel a bit sorry for LBM. He usually puts the effort in but just seems to lack consistency. Sometimes he looks class but other times he seems to struggle with the basic stuff.

    We should consider, though, just how out of sorts the team is at the moment and how some players, including LBM himself, are being played out of position.

    What we are missing is a player up front for the others to play off, i.e. Ashton. Cole tries his best and I for one appreciate his efforts but he is not the long term solution.

    The crux of our problems though is finding the right mix of players. We currently have some positions flooded with talent and other positions almost vacant. This is obviously down to the manager and, whilst he has to make the best of things at the moment, when January arrives he should implement a solid plan of arrivals and departures to balance the team out and blend everyone’s talents together in a way which will demonstrate the great footballing traditions of our great club.

  5. NunheadHammer says:

    Thanks for your comments, Iain. Don’t you mean put Paintsil on the right wing – I recall watching him last season and he can’t defend for toffee.

  6. west ham johnny says:

    still makes me laugh that we keep being linked with shorey when mccartney has been our best defender all season and its at centre back where we look weak, no matter who plays there we’ve looked like conceding every game. i just think we should sell ferdinand and davenport and bring in a top class center back, someone who will take control of that defence.
    on the game, well just feels like a loss to a shit club cant believe the support they brang or didnt bring should i say. but with all these injurys things could be worse we could be losing every week and be in the bottom 3 so i still think once players come back we’ll kick right on and hopefuly get a good run together.

  7. Tom says:

    I was at the game and was proud of the effort put in by the players, what has miffed me was Curbs blaming the players for pushing forward in the last ten, the crowd was that quiet he could have whispered the instructions to his skipper. This is a coach that was playing at home against a team at the bottom with no confidence whatsoever, put out a 4-5-1 …. and played Boa Morte out of position. 4-4-2 with Camara or Boa Morte up front with Cole was surely the way ahead. I have stood by Curbs through thick and thin, however yesterdays result was down to the management. Finishing the game with both Spector and Pantsil in the centre of midfield was also a shocking decision. Finally, lets be honest here we are playing with a quality fizzy pop front six, when our crocks return we will have some serious firepower. Then will be the time to judge Curbs. Matty, Parker, Dyer, Faubert in midfield – Ashton and Bellars up front …. then think of the bench, Noble Mullins Zamora Lundberg and Wrighty ….. and whoever the January window brings in.

  8. Glenn Roeder says:

    Delighted to see you concede that late goal against Bolton after your comments about me.


  9. bryan says:

    agree neill better, agree boa morte is dire and i agree ehtrington was great in the first half, hence his in arfur game!!..he simply cannot play for 90mins..if we dont egt some players back soon of quality, our luck will run out.

    and how on eart did that imbecile curbishley take off cole??…unreal

  10. norwich derby says:

    still looking for that elusive first home win glenn? like they say the check is in the mail.
    except in your case it will be a p45 before the first proper round of the FA cup in january.

    makes for a great christmas to look forward to.

    2-2 against those worldbeaters ipswich? at home?
    is that the best you can do.


  11. new york says:

    mark noble is the here and now. he is the business.
    he s got learning to do ,but in the meantime, the lad is still outstanding. with a workrate to match, that a number of seasoned veterans would do well to match.

    regarding pantsil, it was in the pre-season matches that he showed a glimpse of being able to contribute something in midfield. i agree that he s a liability in the back 4,but he could well be a decent sub in midfield.

  12. farmland hellhole says:

    you never learn glenn .

    face it glenn, when you underperform in this job, it will be the last one you get at championship level.

    you re on the slippery slope. and we don t feel one drop of compassion for you.

    because you don t deserve it.

    you made your bed. lie in it,king of incompetence

  13. Prince H says:

    I do agree on Pantsil, ha can surely cross and make passes, and is a positive player on the pitch. But I rather have Neill behiind him. So play him in the right midfield position. LBM lacked ererything yesterday. He stands still with the ball, and can’t deceide wht to do with it and then starts dribbling. Dribbling from standing still fails nine times out of ten. (he is always better coming on late). I would start with Camara for sure. More skill, more pace.
    MCartney was great, Etherington started brightly and Cole fought to his last drop.

  14. The Headmaster says:

    I do try to be supportive of old curbs, I really do, but to take off Cole and put on the half pint Camara on his own up front just struck me as crackers. Cole spent the entire afternoon winning knockdowns and chasing lost causes he could lay off to a non existent strike partner. Then, when AC has the chance to pair him up with Henri, he takes him off instead – genius.
    LBM was the obvious player to make way at that point, with 15 minutes to go. He was pretty poor, I make Iain right.

  15. Stu says:

    Curbs took Cole off because he was ineffective that’s it. Lots of effort but no product – totally ineffective yesterday as a holding striker. Curbs knows what he’s doing – he’s a good solid manager and will be good for us.

    Painstil – do me a favour the guy is crap. Watched him in the reserves a few times this season and he’s lost there too. He has no future with us.

    Bolton are not a “crap team with no confidence” – they are an experienced outfit of big strong players – made us look like midgets and even Cole struggled. They are a tough team to beat when they wanna be – they played well yesterday (hit woodwork twice and two cleared off the line). That was the sort of game we would have lost a season or two ago (as was the Coventry game).

    So what , we drew – big deal. It was a fair result. On to the next game…

    McCartney played a blinder didn’t he – that boy is getting better and better. I’d get shorey in as cover for George (let’s face we need cover in that position and Shorey would fit the bill – at a fair price).

  16. Hammerithome says:

    I do agree that Camara should have come on and played up front with Cole and not on his own. Boa Morte was having a poor game and yes perhaps should have made way,but it seems at times with Curbs he has to justify paying that sort of dosh out and sticks with HIS players he brought to the club.
    It’s typical West Ham I’m afraid lads,as I’ve seen it over the years and it has not changed one bit. We just don’t kill off teams when we should and that I’m afraid comes from the top,nowhere else.
    It’s no good Curbs ranting and raving on about the players this that and the other. Curbs should already have those things planned and instill it in the players before the game starts.

  17. Aylesbury Hammer says:

    Well done, George on your first league goal. It was beautiful to experience.
    Can’t fault our attitude in the last ten minutes, ie, get another goal …now I suggest that is sporting and not as cynical as parking a bus or timewasting! Shame that it cost us two points, though I’m proud to see us play that way. Sod the cynics! Shame too that Matty missed with his feeble welly at their keeper. GET SOME KICKING PRACTISE IN, SON. Cole was frustratingly penned-in whilst poor ol’ Camara was out-jumped for almost every airborne interception. This’ll get me a kicking, but singing ‘bubbles’ umpteen times sometimes does my head-in (cos I cant reach the high bit).

  18. jon l.colney says:

    Tottenham will use Wembley for high profile matches and West Ham for others while new stadium is built


  19. new york says:

    like everyone i was disappointed to see Cole come off, but perhaps he just was completely spent, having played saturday evening, tuesday evening on the road, and then again on sunday ,all alone upfront. the guy had to be totally puffed outwhen he came off, so there was an argument for fresh legs. bit of a gamble, not necesarily a reckless gamble, but a gamble nonetheless,but one which didn t pay off.

    it s easier in hindsight, but every point we can garner now amidst this injury crisis and in a run of winnable fixtures,is invaluable, so perhaps even an exhausted cole would have been better for the last 20 minutes , than no cole at all. teh shame of it is camara had several half chances to wrap it up for us, but didn t manage to get it done.

  20. new york says:

    ev en though he conceded just one, and at the death, perhaps this game will serve as a wake-up call to green. this was one of his most tentative performances in a west ham shirt ,especially on set pieces. he s better than robinson and carson, and on most days i think he slightly edges it over james. but that doesn t mean there is not room for improvement. and that moderate room for improvement may just be what s denying him an england place .

  21. monterrey pop says:

    glenn- are u going to be an orifice your whole life ,or for merely 98 per cent of it?

  22. jon l.colney says:

    West Ham United’s Dean Ashton will be fit for a return after the international break.

    Manager Alan Curbishley is desperate to boost his front line as Carlton Cole is his only front man available, and Ashton is now back in training after his knee ligament injury.

    dont get to excited,this came from the daily drivel(mail).

  23. Plaistow54 says:

    The Bolton game was two points dropped. History now. It happens that way sometimes. Half the team goes out to play football, the other half well, i don’t know, maybe it’s Curbs maybe they just aren’t good enough. If you had of said at the end of last season, next year we will finish, as some say, mid table mediocraty with a good cup run i would have taken it. After the Tevez charade & being bought by a new owner who promised wonderful things a lot of hamsters seem to be expecting more. I am still unsure about Curbs but i support him & believe that he genuinely has West Ham at heart. His future is in his own hands for sure. Don’t forget the quality of the players he is missing, whether or not he should’ve or should not have bought them the facts remain the same. There are teams behind us in real trouble without going into ground sharing debates who spent more than we did. Personally, i think January will be a crucial point in this season. We need to spend. Two or three seasons ago Portsmouth were in a relegation battle & took twenty odd points in the last ten games. We could still have a very successful season. We have a lot more depth & quality than a couple of years ago & are still grinding out results despite problems.

  24. peter grant says:

    glad to see you muck it up again ,glenn,at home.
    you re going down roeder. again

    go on the hornets

  25. new york says:

    spot on plaistow.

    all things considered ,our league and cup position to date is decent.

    with injured players returning , and with january window coming up , we re in a position to do a lot better in the second half of the season.

    we have no tevez, we have 13 odd injuries ,yet compare this to our position in the table this time last season.

  26. teenage killers get life with no parole says:

    keep the racist tripe the funk out of here. i don t give a toss if they ve got forsekin,backspin,spin doctors or poisoned lasagne. it s irrelevant, whether they re christian,jewish,muslim,hindu or bhuddist or anything else. i don t give a funk .
    what is relevant , and what all agree on , is that we don t like spuds and we don t want to share our ground with them.

    it isn t the ethnicity. it s the fcat that next to arsenal they re the most arrogant ,obnoxious set of fans in the league. except that at least arsenal periodically win a trophy ,whereas spurs just talk tripe about how “big” their club is without ever achieving anything worth talking about.

  27. Plaistow54 says:

    Thank you New York. Yes we are in a much better position all round. As much as Pardew was a nice fella he didn’t quite have it for the Premier League. A lot of pressure as Curbs would know. I believe he should be given a chance at the season despite some continuing critisism of him. When Gudmundsson bought the club he talked of a five year plan. I tend to believe him. You don’t become a billionaire by being an idiot. The talk of who we are going to buy in January at this stage are rumours but i love rumours. I’ll start one. I read on knees up mother brown a few days ago about a young boy & his dad sitting in a restaurant in London. The boy recognized Joe Cole sitting at a table. As they left the boy had a West Ham backpack & put it on his shoulder. As they walked past Cole lifted his finger & winked at the boy. Cole is out of favour at Chelsea. There’s a former player i would welcome back.

  28. Hammerithome says:

    Totally agree about the racist remarks. I thought we were kicking racism out of football?
    Yes,we all don’t like the Spurts,but it has nothing to do with being Jewish,otherwise why did we all cheers Yossi when he was at our club?
    Let’s keep the racist remarks away from our great club,and if those who can’t then p1ss off to another club cos we don’t want you.

  29. righteous army says:

    thank you hammerithome . well stated

    as for the suggestion of joe cole, if he was available ,i think it would be great to get him back. we live in hope…

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