Chelsea Afterthoughts: Proud to be a Hammer

I am sure I am not alone when I say how proud I was of our performance against Chelsea. We deserved at least a point, and defensively we were awesome. It givesd me real hope for the future if we continue to play with that level of total commitment and skill. We were never going to have a huge number of goalscoring opportunities, and so it proved, but again, Carlton Cole worked his dogs bits off and Luis Boa Morte had his best game in a Hammers shirt. Scott Parker was terrific in midfield, with Upson the star of a superb back four. I really cannot praise them too highly. Let’s hope this kind of form is carried forward into the two Everton matches and beyond.

Green 8 Consistent as ever
Upson 9 Man of the match
Gabbison 8 Didn’t give Drogba a sniff
McCartney 7 Solid
Neill 7 Improving with every game
Solana 7 Pity about the missed header
Mullins 8 Linked well with Parker
Parker 8 Great tough tackles
Etherington 6 Had a difficult day
Cole 8 Total commitment
Boa Morte 8 Harried and tackled like a demon


46 Responses to Chelsea Afterthoughts: Proud to be a Hammer

  1. col says:

    I agree, a great performance with good closing down and we are learning to keep hold of the ball more instead of punting it upfront. After the Spurs and Chelsea mathes, if we can continue to show this commitment we have to be looking at Europe although having said that, I´m still more than happy with a mid table finish if things don’t go to plan.

  2. tim says:

    I agree – West Ham were fantastic yesterday. I was really proud of the boys. If we can get a fit Belamey up front I think we could be heading for a top six finish if we continue performing like that.


  3. phil says:

    It was a good performance but at the end of the day we lost and hardly created a chance. 0-0 would have been a fair result – Green also hardly had anything to do. Upson and Gabs were superb and Cole never gave Terry a minutes rest.

  4. johnj says:

    I quite agree and I’m hoping that when Ashton is fully fit, with Bellamy back and also Zamora fighting for a place we’ll turn some of that steely tackling and crisp passing into goals. It was always going to be tough against against Chelski, but we rattled them and can take a lot from a game that needed a sleepy linesman to turn it for the home team.

    On a different point, didn’t you think Joe Cole’s celebration was a bit excessive? I thought he was going to kiss his badge for a moment there.

  5. new york says:

    agree- think defensively we really stepped it up a notch. this was 180 degrees opposite to say ,the way we defended a month ago against sunderland. there aren t many teams who will hold chelsea goalless at the bridge for 75 minutes. gabbidon in particular seemed to be back to what we know he s capable of. has noble aggravated his injury ,or was he left out? if he was left out,i hope it s only because we will be playing 3 matches within 7 days when we take on blackburn and then everton twice. the whole midfield did well ,so from that point of view i can t say those that played didn t deserve to. nonetheless ,it always bothers me to not see noble included . interesting that the media felt that mikel shud definitely have been sent off – so we weren t imagining it,then…

    on a different note, after all these years,i d have thought lampard wud have learned to not get into verbals with west ham fans. yet he managed again yesterday to give it a bit of lip and gesture in full view of the camera . Even though it was at the Chelsea end ,and even though he s entitled to a bit of celebration after scoring, i thought joe cole went a bit over the top with his “celebrations.” i thought joe cole had a bit more dignity than that – again i m not saying he can t celebrate at all, but it struck me as bit excessive. ashame he couldn t muster that kind of passion in a an englans shirt. i find it ironic that lee bowyer,always characterized as a “bad boy” , in some ways seems to show more maturity and respect for a former club than joe cole did yesterday. when bowyer scores these days,he tends not to get overly excited about it- he keeps a very level head, and demonstrates a maturity i didn t think he had. i ws critical of the club s purchase of bowyer , but when i see the intensity with which bowyer plays in a west ham shirt these days ,joe cole seems a very distant memory. and despite some of the mistakes bowyer made in his younger days on and off the pitch, i ll take him 365 days a year if he continues to play with the commitment that he s shown this season.

  6. Chris says:

    Great post – couldn’t agree more. Thought we were very unlucky not to come away with something,

    Was there, by any chance, a direct relationship between the fantastic support us fans gave the team and their performance? We kept singing from kick off to final whistle – if only we could do that at home games, I can’t help feeling there wouod be more chance of getting the level of commitment and performance we saw yesterday.

    And when is the manager going to get some credit – isn’t it about time we became Alan Curbishley’s claret and blue army?

  7. dR jOnEs says:

    nope gabbs was the best by a mile!!!!!

  8. anyotherbizniz says:

    Agree with most of this. Think Gabbidon in particular deserves a mention for pretty much shackling Drogba in and around our box. Brilliant performance. Only thing he couldn’t do was win much against Drogba in the air – notably his flick on for the goal. But I am disappointed there that we also didn’t get the second or third ball. I’m becoming a bit more confident in our back four now, even Upson.

    And I thought Parker and Mullins both had excellent games. Nice to see Parker starting to produce what he’s got. Others disagree but I thought he was an excellent buy. But if he is to play he will keep Mullins and/or Noble out. Cos either we play with a creative midfielder (not one at the club currently) or, if we are to have two workers in centre mid out of these three (and/or Freddie and Dyer), then we need to have really flying wingers. Faubert and Matty possibly, but Matty has been disappointing in the last few games.

  9. new york says:

    agree with chris that an improvement in the atmosphere at upton park wud probably translate into a bigger points haul for us. as for curbishley,i agree that the man does deserve credit. given the injuries,a lot of managers wud have fallen short of the 19 points he s got us so far. for the first few months of his time here i was extremely negative on the man ,but from march onwards ,he s been doing the business. As to whether he is the long term answer is perhaps open to debate,but i m happy to acknowledge how well the man has done amidst difficult circumstances thus far at west ham. the more he is able to continue to coax the kind of committed performances out of the players that we re seeing now ,the more i m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt in terms of being the long term answer.

  10. SerbianHammer says:

    i can’t belived that joe cole look so happy…fck she*t of a man!!!i think Carlton Cole was Man of the match!!!Greatings from Serbia!! COME ON YOU IRONS

  11. Ironman says:

    Another thing that hasn’t been mentioned is the moronic claim from Drogba that a fan was shining a ‘Green Laser’ at him. Aren’t lasers red? If he was being hit by a green beam maybe he should be trying to blame alien ray guns.

    My mate Dan was in that part of the crowd and he says it was a focusing light from a digital camera.


  12. HammersWest says:

    Got up at 4.30am here in California to watch the game on my laptop (thanks footymad) as it was not televised. And I was not disappointed. The boys did great.
    I recorded it and watched it again later with a Chelsea fan, who thought something was wrong with Drogba, that’s how good Gabbs was – has to be man of the match.
    as for the fans, all we could hear on the ‘tv’ here was bubbles, and the Hammers fans. Brilliant. the overall performance was great, I spend most matches screaming to the TV ” Close up”, or “Shut him down” but not yesterday. Chelsea’s poor first half was because they were given no chance to play.
    If we can play at this level all season……..

  13. Robbin says:

    Hello everyone, I don’t know what it is with you and Upson Iain but you seem to over rate him every game. He was at fault for the goal. Gabbidon was easily the best performer; he had Drogba in his pocket all game. Our best central two are the two Welsh wonders Gabbidon and Collins – who is also a threat at the other end at set pieces.

    Sometimes I think you watch a different game…. don’t get me wrong, you’re entitled to your opinion but it just worries me that a west ham fan can be this bad a judge of some players. You over rate Mark Nobles performances as well and Luis Boa Morte is a player you have previously consistently under rated. You really should comment on what you watch and not let other things influence your judgement on how a player performs otherwise people will begin to value your opinion less.

    Does anyone think Joe Cole could have been a bit more conservative in his celebrations…. maybe he’s being influenced by Frank Lumpoflard. Thanks

  14. claire says:

    Tempting fate, since it’s about this time last season that we began our slump, but I think we’ll surprise everyone with how high we’ll finish. I was at the Chelsea game and I thought we had them well wrapped up in the first half (credit to Gabbs there)
    Lampard should have learned from Robinson at the Spurs game about how to be gracious when under barracking from our supporters.
    Get Bellamy fit and up front and we can really cause some trouble to the best sides in the Prem.
    Oh, and by the way, when can we add to the “Celebrity Hammers”
    list the name of Sergeant Smith (“Smiffy”) in ITV’s “The Bill” ? He is seen in several episodes drinking from a West Ham mug…

  15. Mac says:

    A hugely positive performance all round that showed how effective we can be at closing teams down away from home. Previous seasons we would have conceded early on and gone down 2, 3 or even 4.

    I also think you have to put the game into the context of the last twelve months. It really shows how we’ve developed as a side and Curbs has to take credit for that. The players are looking more and more like a real outfit; steely in defence, combative in midfield and sharp in attack. While we didn’t create that much, when we did get forward we looked good. Ashton’s crisp shot, Solano’s missed ‘header’ etc proved we had our chances. We did fade when Parker went off and they started to get more space in midfield, but we kept going which was great to see.

    And how delicious to see that it’s now Spurs’ turn to lose at home to last minute goals. What goes around, comes around eh…

  16. ironsmith says:

    joe coles’over zealous celebration was a clear example of the pressure chelsea were put under by the thoroughly professional hammers and once again we showed we can beat anyone in this league and would have won here if only: 1. solano could head the ball 2. etherington could shoot with his right foot- that would have been 2-0, game over and a deserved win for curbishley and all of us. I am very confident that curbs will be around for a while and bring in the players to put the ball away for these few chances available in a game. The back four were immense and I can not wait for the blackburn and everton games. Iain, like you I am extremely proud to be a hammer as always but particularly after this great performance, do you know what they intend to do about bellamys’ groin injury at all?

  17. Eric Gifford says:

    hmmm….. Intreresting thoughts…..

    Wow… Causing me to think..

  18. new york says:

    nice one claire and mac

    don t know if too many people saw it but sunday times ran an interview with defoe. on the whole it s pretty much a toss-up, pardon the pun, for me on who gets on my chest more, him or lampard. but i ll have to give the little bugger credit. he spoke in a very complimentary fashion about west ham and his time at the club. no surprise, he spoke highly of redknapp and di canio. stranger things have happened,but one does wonder if the lad cud be off come january, and if so ,where….

  19. new york says:

    if the folowing repeats apologize, as looked like slite IT prob there…

    as claire mentioned this was right around the time when things became really sticky last season ,so undoubtedly a number of us are going to be a bit edgy as we move thru december . however,i hope that the quality of our performance against a side of the caliber of chelsea , away from home, will not only provide confidence for ewood park, but for our travels in general this season. players can use the quality of that performance at the bridge as a marker to show themselves what we are capable of.
    players shud be able to look at the performance, even if we go thru a sticky stage at some point (which you d think has to happen sometime, as it happens to almost everyone) and know that they we are more than capable of getting a result against anyone in the league away from home. and that even includes at anfield. we didn t come away with any points ,but the performance at chelsea in and of itself cud prove valaubale as the season goes on.

  20. jon l.colney says:

    mullins and parker took no sh1t yesterday and that became the backbone.we do look so much better at the back as performance capped by the tunes from the faithfull all game.a linesman away from knicking a point from an inform top 4 team.unlucky yes but as soon as we can start turning these games in to a point or 3 the better .i mean thats where we must be looking at if this plan is going to work.

    any new on booby z? havent heard a thing for ages .he would fit straight in with saturdays attitude .

    mullins for engalnd !!!!

  21. Super Super Frank says:

    Oh Joy to read the drivel on these pages. Deserved a point or more???!!! Come off it. You played well granted but in the end just couldnt keep us out. Given that i would have been happy to acknowledge that the opposition tried to stop us and almost succeeded. For what it is worth, Curbs is doing a good job and progressing well. The question is how on earth you can progress into the top 4. I do not believe that CFC will be forever in the top 4 but would suspect that WHU wont be the replacement .

    What gets me is the vitriol against Frank. You lot just dont get it, and cant get over it. You know he is many times the player now and your treatment of him makes it all the funnier.

    As for the chant of no history that was an EVEN better moment. Sorry HOW many championships (no you plank not from the lower divisions) HOW many FACups, League Cups, European trophies, and How many times in the Big Cup eh? No not so gobby now

    Silverware oh silverware STILL AINT GOT NO SILVERWARE. From upton Park to anywhere cant see you lot getting any silverware for many a long year.

  22. new york says:

    it is amazing how often solano gets himself into scoring positions . maybe curbishley shud make him take a mandatory 30 minute session of practicing headers within the box from monday to friday. that s 3 thus far this season, and coincidentally perhaps an additional 3 points we d have had on board – all 3 ay pompey and a point at chelsea.
    that said ,the guy is still doing a great job . like green, he seems to have just one flaw in his game- if it can be worked on ,one wud like to think we have some upside in the table.

  23. new york says:

    iain , can you please reinstate the retrospective moderation function to eliminate the sort of trailer trash from 10.15 a.m.?

    begs the question, if that “brains of britain” from 10.15 thinks that what s on here is drivel, then why does he bother reading it? pretty sad case who has enough time in his day to read that which he percieves to be drivel.

  24. the question is more accurately stated , prior to mourinho , and cheslea s 500 million pound injection of capital , how many trophies did chelsea win?
    sorry? want to repeeat that ? i didn t think so. because prior to the “special one” you didn t win much. did you?

  25. Ian Peacock says:

    Agree with pretty much all thats been written here, Gab’s & Uspon both awesome, all others excellent. Taken a bit of stick off the Chelsae boys but it was one of there players who committed the worst foul & if we dont stand up to these teams we will get battered. Once we can get all our players back & become more confident we should be sorted.
    PS at this stage last season we hadn’t won away, & had a won 4, lost 6 stats so we shouldn’t be to worried that its going to go wrong. In fact as West Ham fans I’d like to think we’re going to win the league!!!! 🙂

  26. if frank lampard is that good a player, then why on earth have england failed to qualify for teh european champiosnhips.

    if lampard could simply accept that when you earn 100,000 pounds per game , taking stick periodically is part and parcel of earning your wages , and if he cud simply ignore the stick, then a lot of the ill will wud fade away. rather than do the mature ,sensible thing, lampard chooses to fuel the ill feeling between him and west ham. pretty poor judgement for a guy with over 10 years pro experience ,millions in the bank, and who is in theory meant to be a role model for youngsters.

    anyone can buy success temporarily. that s different from earning it year in and year out. chelsea have a long way to go before they can claim the latter.

  27. DevoDevo says:

    I have to agree with most of the above posts, one of the most professional performances our boys have put in for a long time. Curbs seems to be getting the squad into shape and working out the opposition very well. Apart form Etherington, I couldn’t think of one player who played badly – unfortunately, we just didn’t have enough going forward. Partly because of Eths wastefulness, partly because BM doesn’t have much confidence when in on goal.

    Plenty to build on and with Faubert due back soon, plenty to look forward to.

    A sign of how far we have come since last season is to look at our reserve side if every player was fit – it compares favourably with our FIRST team last year!

    (no cover for Linda)
    Boa Morte

  28. Plaistow54 says:

    We’ve won the F.A. Cup three times & the old Cup winners cup once in 65 actually. Nowhere near the silverware that Chelsea have won in recent years. As for the future i do not know, as i have never been much at prophesying. However, i have been kicking dirt long enough on this planet to know that things change. Three or four years in football is a long time, just ask Leeds. Given that we played well on saturday & were a genuine chance of taking points off Chelsea at their place, i am hopeful for the future. This is a great blog with some real commonsense comments & everyone seems happy with our performance. I missed it, as i was away, but i saw some replays on t.v. & the link that Mamamia put up. Thank you. We are starting to put things together. Curbs & the team. Looking at the Joe Cole goal, is it time for the video ref ? Who does John Terry think he is ? Grabbing Boa Morte round the throat. He should have gone off for that.

  29. new york says:

    agree plaistow – why is it that terry is allowed to go for the jugular ,literally, with boa morte ?

  30. jon l.colney says:

    jingle bells jingle bells jingle all the way oh what fun it is to see the brum win away !!!!

  31. Johnno says:

    Agree it was a great performance. However in three recent games where we’ve conceded late goals they usually come 5 minutes after Curbishley makes a substitution. I thought we should have kept it the same on Saturday rather than trying to be clever and bring off Solano. I know he was tiring but he was also a class above many of the other players on the park. So my message is we only need worry when AC makes a substitution! We’re generally solid at the back and just need a touch of class to create and take a few chances in attack.

  32. Ian the Hammer says:

    Cole has apologised for over celebrating his goal, in today’s papers. Just goes to show how much relief they all felt at managing to score against little ol’ West Ham

  33. vdm says:

    Agree with most of this – really good performance and unlucky to lose – however the real measure of how much we’re improving comes in the next 3 games against teams we would see as ‘equals / catchable’ in the league – Blackburn and Everton. If we are to push on to a euro spot we have to win these games. We’ve been good at raising our game against the top 4 for a few seasons but need to show the same commitment against the teams around and just above us – especially at home where as others have said the ‘atmosphere’ can sometimes be poor

  34. nr2iron says:

    In answer to the west end rouskie i believe you won the old 1st division once! and for a so called glamour club that is eh poor at the very least,you have only won trophys since the days of The russian and before him Harding pumping OBSCENE amounts of dough into your club FACT.

  35. Plaistow54 says:

    Yeah Ian, i reckon Chelsea were happy to get away with that one. Of all the ex hamsters around Cole is the one i still like a bit. He was our captain & went regretfully. At the start of the season i was like many others & was saying i would be happy with consolidation & survival but wouldn’t it be great if we could get into a UEFA spot. That was the dream. Well, if you look at it we have been averaging a point & a half a game apart from a couple of late slip ups. That would give us 57 to 60 points at seasons end if we can continue to win home games & work on the aways. If you look at past seasons tables on ESPN Soccernet that would give us 6th maybe 5th spot & UEFA. With the way things are going & players coming back that is still a real possibility. Who would have thought it with a third of the season gone. If you think that we are going to win the League next year you could be disappointed but if you think that we are going to win it in five years you could be right. People forget that football now is as much a business as it is a game. Curbs may be a traditional type, some say boring, manager but he is an astute businessman & exactly what we need to rebuild. I’m glad we didn’t pay 18 mill for Bent. We don’t need to pay fees like that. There are plenty of good players around for 5 to 10 mill who won’t break the bank & take us down to Div.3. Case in point, a rumour that Curbs has or is going to approach Fergie for Darren Fletcher who is struggling to get first team football because of Hargreaves. He is a fine player once touted as the next Beckham. For 5 or 6 mill or on loan would be a great addition to an attacking side. Any way you look at it, we are on the up. I could be wrong, i nearly made a mistake once, but based on what i read, see & the laws of probability, i think i’m right.

  36. West_Ham says:

    Well said Plaistow54. I had that very same thought about Terry when i watched the highlights.

    Everyone has a real sense of us being on the up and will gradually progress over the next few years into competing in Europe and, dare I say, the Champion’s League!!

    I realise a link has already been posted for highlights but more can be found here:

  37. Saw a comment further up about the green laser on Drogba, there was actually a clip that they played on Sky Sports that showed it. I suppose he had a right to complain but that takes nothing away from the fact that he is a moaning git!

    Did anyone else see him after the match with the Man of the Match award? He said that he should not have had it and that the West Ham players deserved it. It was a total change of personality”

    I agree with some other views and think Gabs was MOM on Saturday. Was worried before the game but he coped with Drogba better than most others have in the Premiership.

    When I saw Collins at Old Trafford on the last game of the season, he was brilliant. A ManUre fan even said to me after the game “who was that ginger kid at the back!?” He has hardly featured this season, Curbs seems to be preferring Gabs. I’d like to see him given a game when there are injuries, though after the game at Stamford Bridge I can have no complaints.

    Plaistow45, it’s interesting about Fletcher. Personally, I don’t rate the guy though I haven’t really seen him play. I’m not sure we particularly need him either, as I would be happy with Noble and Parker in the middle (I thought Scott was brilliant against Chelsea). And as for right wingers, I think we already have enough of them.

    Stephen Carr is the latest rumour I’ve heard – another Newcastle reject! Cover for Neill probably, so wouldn’t want to pay more than a couple of million for him.

  38. new york says:

    i agree on darren fletcher- if we cud get him i think it wud be a great acquisition. he s going to struggle to get a chance to play at man utd ,so perhaps a move wud suit all parties.

    well stated nr2iron,re that obnoxious west london post banging on about the so-called trophies won in that part of town.

    agree with vdm-these upcoming matches are against clubs we re capable of catching.
    below newcastle you have a group of 9 clubs potentially fighting the drop. above us you have 9 clubs all with a shot at europe in form or another.

  39. new york says:

    logical that as we get closer to the transfer window ,the rumor mill is building. if we cud receive reasonable money for davenport,quashie and pantsil ,perhaps it makes sense to sell those players, or failing that ,loan them. if they are unlikely to see action even as subs, it makes no sense to be obliged to keep paying their wages. the one which does surprise me, and seems to be picking up steam in the press, is zamora.

    for a start ,we would need a minimum of 4 capable strikers even under normal circumstances. but these are anything but normal circumstances. our 2 best strikers are not fully fit, with one of them, bellamy potentially out for a bit longer. so it does not seem to be sensible to get rid of zamora ,given these injuries ,and ceratinly not before we acquire another striker. this does not even take into account the issue of whether one rates him as a striker or not, which appears to be a somewhat controversial topic.
    i m favorably biased towards zamora because he s a local lad who loves the club and because his work rate is excellent. but i m realistic to acknowledge that his performance at the start of this season was not satisfactory. it s a difficult call, because in his time at west ham , in every season he has scored goals and contributed meaningfully to the team, but in every season he has also had a bad patch.

    on balance , i d prefer zamora to camara, for teh reasons mentioned earlier, and because i think he s a slightly better player. but given the notable improvement of carlton,zamora will clearly be well down the pecking order if and when he gets fit.
    complicating it further is that perhaps curbishley feels comfortable using boa morte as a striker on an “emergency basis.” Not to mention ,he may feel he cud use Ljungberg up front in an emergency as well. Not to mention ,what happens if Dyer s recovery gets him back sooner than we had imagined? So,all of the sudden come february ,or march ,we cud be much more “fully staffed” with respect to strikers ,especially if we manage to buy 1 in the window. hence the potential expendability of zamora.

    i d like to see zamora be given another chance before the window ,if he recovers in time . in a sense ,i think it wud ashame to let him go based just on his indifferent start to this campaign. but one when looks at the evidence starting to accumulate,the media may not be exaggerating when they play up the odds of zamora departing.

    in terms of bring a striker in, obviously bringing in a top player is not going to be easy ,even if we re prepared to spend, as january is never ideal for this. i do wonder if darius vassel might be available ,and if so ,wud he be worth a shot? i know he s taken stick for not really delivering when he was in the england side ,but ericsson still uses him and i think the guy can score and create chances for others as well. of course he s not a bellamy or an ashton, but i think he d add more value than camara, and much as i hate to admit it, might add more than zamora. and i don t think he d cost a fortune either.

  40. The Academy says:

    Good performance and one to give us hope.
    I have to say that I am continually disappointed by professional footballers. Firstly, John Terry. I feel ashamed of England with this man as our national captain. A good centre half (not great) who seems to have elevated himself to a position of immortality. Nearly every week he screams at referees from a foot away, swears at them because someone tackles him. This week took it to the brink as grabbing a player by the throat, for whatever reason is unnacceptable. How can we stand by this behaviour.
    As a rugby player I would love to takcle him on the field of play. The great players, really great ones would not have behaved in this manner. I say rid him of the captaincy of his country. Between him and Robbie Keane I have seen two of the worst scenes by national football icons. A disgrace.

  41. new york says:

    spot on , academy

  42. vdm says:

    To be fair and it goads me to say it Keane was a bit unlucky – when you look at Mikkel, Diouf and Hunt ‘s tackle a few weeks ago there’s no comparison

  43. new york says:

    reference the comment on zamora, curbishley has admitted that bellamy is still far from a return to fitness. adds to the case for holding on to zamora

  44. new york says:

    fair comment vdm, that the red card keane got vs. birminghham was harsh. having said that , it seems so often to be the case that keane is at the center of controversy . the previous week it was against us. Keane seems to have a moan at the referee in many matches ,and this over time may be working against him. Referees may be tiring of his frequent complaining , and rightly or wrongly, this cud be starting to be reflected in decisions involving him.

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