Reading Afterthoughts

Well that really was two points lost. Unforgiveably so. This was a lacklustre showing against ten men who we should have wiped off the park. The truth is that they showed the spirit we lacked. I can’t think of a single move which deserved the accolade of being made by West Ham United. Our defence was strong, but we created little on the wings and too often lost out in midfield. Cole and Ashton were well off the pace and Camara was even worse when he came on as a sub for Cole. What’s the betting we now go and beat Man U?!

Green 7
Upson 7
Spector 7
McCartney 7
Neill 7
Mullins 6
Parker 7
Ljungberg 5
Solano 7
Cole 5
Ashton 5

Ljungberg is way past his best, and he may be many things, but a left winger he ain’t.

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28 Responses to Reading Afterthoughts

  1. Prince H says:

    I agree that this was soooo bad. We need a creative midfielder and we need some guts. Solano and Cole was the only creative players out there, and they were both substituted ‘gainst 10 men Reading. Curbs got it really wrong here.
    Don’t agree with Ljungberg- he really fought harder than most on the field. And Spector 7? Allright it was only one big mistake, but it costed us dearly. How can he leave Kitson so?
    And how many new fans has West Ham got in these last games??? Possibly not a single kid – we need to show some sparkles out there…

  2. Big Casino says:

    I agree – very lacklustre….. we looked very static and one dimensional in the final third.

    Ashton, although showing glimpses of what he’s all about, still looks MASSIVELY off the pace to me. I’m one of his biggest fans, but he looks very rusty… I’m not sure we’ll see the very best of Ashton until next year when he gets this season behind him and a full pre-season in the summer.

    I think defensivley and in midfield we’re looking ok. Parker and Solano are class acts, and had we had Bellamy available today, I feel he would have made the runs for Parker and Solano to pick him out.

    Overall though, we’re not doing bad. When you take Bellamy, Dyer, Ethers and Faubert out of the team you take away all of our pace, and when that happens we lose a lot from the side. But when these players come back we are going to look very stong.

    I still think we’re lacking a real presence in the centre of the pitch. Credit to Mullins, he has raised his game yet again, but we need a real dominate force in there alongside Parker.

    And obviously another body up front would be good, especially as Camara is so useless – he just bounces off the opposition and hasn’t done anything since he joined. We need someone pacey, like an Andy Johnson, or a Martins… but with Bellamy coming back soon (or so we’re led to believe), I’d be tempted to wait until the summer to re-jig our forwards. Maybe ship a couple out and look to bring a couple in….

    If he weren’t going to cost us more than £1.5m I’d be tempted to take a punt on the Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford in January. He’s young, hungry and scores goals for fun… ok so he could end up being massively out of his depth, but if he is, what have we lost? We have mega bucks behind us now… I just think it would be refreshing to bring someone like that in to shake things up a bit amongst forwards.

  3. crazyhorse says:

    Ljundberg is over the hill and is just enjoying his wage packet,he needs replacing,and quick

  4. claire says:

    Let’s hear it for Solano – most intelligent player and still up for it at – what is he – 33?
    Mullins was his usual useful self too, Parker looks like he’s coming back OK, and McCartney is for me our best young player. But apart from that, we were fairly dire; Reading are big and tall and win everything in the air, so why couldn’t we keep the ball on the floor and make passes? Why can’t our players have the nerve to shoot first and fast, rather than lose the ball or hang on too long and shoot weakly? And why is Ljungberg…oh, words fail me.

  5. mac says:

    We looked out of ideas that’s for sure. The front players have to take a lot of the responsibility for not making the runs. We played either with the ball being knocked continually across the back four before lumping it aimlessly into the final third, or by fannying about with it in midfield before running into dead ends. Both routes made us look – and I hate to use the word in relation to us – ordinary.

    What’s happened to the verve, creativity and passion? However, we next play a team with all three of these in abundance and we have to raise our game accordingly. If we don’t, we’ll be flattened.

  6. WHU Kim says:

    I just can’t understand the casualness and lack of urgency from the team. No leadership today either on or off the field. We had a man advantage yet were playing like we were hanging on for a point away to a top 4 side instead of a team who up until today had amassed a whole two points away from home.

  7. Kim says:

    Hate to say it, but I am fed up with hearing Deano! To coin a phrase he is overweight, over paid and over here!

  8. Rooster says:

    Id give them all 5, except for Parker, Solano 7.5 each and McCartney 7.
    We cant begrudge Reading the 1 point, they deserved it.
    We never seemed to play like a team, the passing was awful and inacurate, again it reminded me of a grade 3 schoolboy match.
    Curbs has to do something to get this squad working together as a team, and good luck to him.
    Even though we are 9th now, i am still gutted, the 2 points would have made so much difference.

  9. Hammers & Zvezda says:

    In Australia we have to watch a highlights package……how on earth will they put one together after reading all these comments?!

    Can’t wait for ManU, if only for the Tevez reception!

  10. west ham johnny says:

    again and again soon as we go level or behind the team panic and no one really wants the ball and all we seem to do is pump the ball long and then the crowd get restless then the players get worse. i agree on freddie i think it was a terrible buy when we could have got a younger prospect for a little bit more.

    just noticed we moved up to 9th……….. dont feel like it seems more like we lost

    oh well 2 easy games coming up so lets not worry to much hey????

  11. fred says:

    we miss someone like Paulo Di Canio..someone able to create and a true leader on the field

  12. Woking Hammer says:

    Today was shocking in more ways than one. But rather than bemoan the shocking performances, lack of passion, technique, guile and ability excepting the three quality players we have in Green, Parker and Solano I think we today witnessed Curbs true colours.

    He has now been in charged for a year, and we have here on many occasions questioned his judgement, which, rightfully so, has been predominantly supported given the circumstances. But today 1 – 0 up at home against 10 men, can someone please explain why at every set piece against us, we pulled every player back in to defend. Reading left at least 1 at the back sometimes 2 that means we had 3 players doing bugger all apart from getting in each others way, and when the ball is cleared we have no one to pick the ball up and allow us to break out. It looked like we were trying to defend 1-0 at every cost.

    We have questioned his substitutions before, but I just do not understand them. Why was Solano brought off, he is the one player who can do something different and is consistently one of our best players, if he wants to bring on Noble to give us something extra, then fine but take of Ljungberg rather than Solano or if he wanted to be bold, take of Spector go 3 at the back and then go 3 up top.

    If things carry on we will turn into a Charlton MkII, except with better fans.

    Before everyone jump’s down my throat, I appreciate that we are missing a some quality players, who if they played today would of put the game out of sight by half time. It’s just that nagging feeling at the back of the head, would we go out and attack, take teams on, pressurise them, take a chance, or will we still be pulling everyone in to our box to defend set pieces, inviting teams to put us under pressue.

  13. ironsmith says:

    Having read the many thoughtful comments posted here I think curbs should look for outside help in trying to break down the psychological brick wall that prevents us from performing at home. Alternatively, he could solve the problem himself by being more positive in his own approach. For example at 1-0 he could have brought on noble for mullins and pushed on to close the game or some similar action to go and win a game we really should have won and show that fans that he can be fearles too!. When in the first half Ljungberg produced a sublime header to ashton who normally would have buried it at full fitness but failed here I felt it wasn’t to be our day. I still believe curbs is the man and I fully expect a brilliant second half of the season as I put this performance down to our injuries again(what other explanation is there for having camara in the side?). Let us all hope that the change in home form starts on saturday!

  14. Plaistow54 says:

    Yeah, what a roller coaster ride this is turning into. We go away & show signs of improvement. some fluid movement, a bit more killer instinct in front of goal, then we come home & do this. If we continue in this vein on Saturday Man.U. are going take us apart on our own turf. I know sometimes it is difficult to play against ten men. They raise their tempo to compensate, but if Reading had have kept eleven on they would have won. They were the more positive side. What is it about us at home ? Curbs has got to sort this out. We looked frightened of losing. We didn’t shoot till the second or third touch. Solano replaced, you must be kidding me, even he had a shake of the head as he walked off. If Ashtons header at the end had of gone in, it would have been a travesty of justice for Reading. Lets face it. Ashton is taking a long time to come back. We can’t score goals at the moment & we know it & are frightened of conceding goals. We need Bellamy & Zamora back or we need another striker from somewhere. Someone who is clinical in front of goal, & a sense of urgency wouldn’t go astray.

  15. Wavid says:

    I agree with many of the comments made on here regarding Wednesday’s game at Upton Park against Reading. But, just to highlight a few points – we are ninth with a game in hand and we have key personnel injured – but look at the stats we have only let in 16 goals so far – with only five teams who have let in less than this in the league. Not bad for a make shift defence for the most part. With only 23 goals for you can see where our problems are. Consider the Middlesborough game and the atmosphere at home this week. The difference is shocking – very little singing, and as soon as the team seem to be finding it hard at home, the crowd are on their backs, nerves set in and the long ball comes and rears it’s ugly head. I am not a great fan of Curbs, but there is a rather difficult job here – does he leave Ashton on as he needs games, or take Cole off, despite holding the ball pretty well but has a yellow card? We have no natural wingers in the side at the moment, yet we need to play wide – but where is the pace going to come from? Etherington, Bellamy, Dyer and Faubert all injured, with Freddie a poorer substitute. One other thing I noticed with Ashton, he tends to warm up by himself, stretching and so on, rather than kicking the ball about with his team mates – perhaps his injury last season is still affecting him and there is a real fear he will get badly injuryed again. Positives – Parker, he runs so intellegently and MacCartney who gives us some options on the left. I am sure the team will raise their game on Saturday, but perhaps we as fans need to also raise our game at home too!

  16. vdm says:

    Actually thought in the last 10 mins we did get round the back of them with some nice moves – Ljungberg and Parker could both have scored – but this was late in the game against 10 men.
    Alot of Prem games are like this – very tight and tense and you need a bit of guile / pace to open teams up – we don’t really have that just now . However there are some good signs – Parker outstanding – Upson , McCartney, solano all good – hopefully the likes of Faubert / Bellamy coming back some time soon+ maybe a purchase or two in the window

  17. Megalosaurus says:

    I guess Solano may have been taken off because we have one of the ‘big four’ at the Boleyn on Saturday and we need him to be at his best?

    It’s really dissapointing to hear fans using these after match reports to have a sly dig at the manager.

    Reading were very well organised and we did not have PLAYERS with the pace or guile to unlock their 10 man defence. It happens quite a lot when a team go down to ten men.

    As many have said. We need to consolidate this season and get these injured stars playing consistently and then we can judge Curbs on facts not ‘nagging feelings’.

  18. Brian Sains says:

    We were very bad, i thought Ashton looked like he had too much turkey and crimbo pud in his belly still !!!! Parker played well and defence looked good too, even Spector in the middle, but there is just no creativity in the team. I think a Noble and parker pairing in midfield could give us some added bite. I do fear against Man Utd now, but as you say, we may beat them !!!

  19. nr2iron says:

    I feel it is now time for Curbs to earn his corn and start by dropping Ljungberg for a start as at the moment he is eh inafective at the very least,in january we need a flair midfielder to create things as i feel we are very regimental in our play.Is Camara Titis brother? as he looks as bad as him.

  20. phil says:

    I was watching down the pub and it was so boring I found my attention drawn to the other screens showing the Cheksea and Spurs games and I never thought that would ever happen to me.
    Ashton is really disappointing at home and never wins any high balls which we keep pumping to him. Cole was much better so why was he substituted?
    I actually thought Llungburg had one of his better games for us (which isn’t saying much).
    I’m dreading Man U but hopefully some of the players can raise their game.

  21. The Headmaster says:

    Woking, my old son, you have it absolutely spot on for me. If anyone ‘jumps down your throat’ they are entitled to their opinion. So are you. Telling it the way it is does not mean that you are not supporting yout team. Telling it the way it is does not mean that you are being simply negative or unconstructive. There are times, and I believe this is one of them, when the sheer frustration of shelling out our hard earned to go and watch the kind of drivel I witnessed yeterday just becomes too much and a good old fashioned whinge is called for.
    Having said that, yours is not just a whinge. You were absolutley on the money – 11 men in our own half time after time against 10 men – at home! Unacceptable.

  22. DevoDevo says:

    For once, i think most of us are in agreement!

    A few weeks ago I suggested Ljundberg should be released in Jan – nothing yesterday made me change my mind!

    Aside from the excellent Parker (again), it was hard to pick another player that had a decent game. The substitution was perplexing as Solano is one player that has a little guile. Personally, I would have taken Mullins off for Noble, as he offers very little going forward and the emphasis was on attacking NOT defending.

    Injuries to key players is still playing its part, but the wost worrying thing to me is the lack of passing that has been evident for most of the season.

    Yesterday, I received a Xmas present, a book about Ex-Hammers, “In my Day”. It only served to highlight the players that we had, particularly in the 80’s, when we could play teams off the park.

    If only we had Devo now!!

  23. Brian Sains says:

    In response to Phil as to why was Cole subbed, i can only assume it was coz he got a very silly booking.

  24. Brooking is a legend so is Devonshire says:

    I agree with most of the above, our home form is not only poor in result form but also performance.
    One thing we all have to remember though, if we never had so many injuries it could have been so much better. Its alright blaming Curbs for buying injury prone players but the fact is Faubert and Dyers injuries had nothing to do with being injury prone and was nothing more then very unlucky. Who could have predicted those?
    On a positive note, if we continue to improve in the next 12 months like we have since last new years day, we could be challanging for a champions league place this time next year!
    Lets live in hope! COYI

  25. Plaistow54 says:

    I reckon Woking is pretty close to the mark too. We were defending a lead. Risky business. Solano & Parker are 110%. I’ve seen this in kid’s sides on the weekend. Chance to make the semi’s, game against the top side, very nervous. They go out & play conservative. Instead of winning by one goal or losing by seven, they lose by one. Defend & hope to hit on the break. Not the way to play at home. Parker, Noble & Solano on together sounds good too. The beauty of the next two games is that no one expects us to take anything. We always play well against Man.U & Le Arse think they are the creative fashionable side in the U.K. I hope we run at them. I for one would not be surprised if we pick up points in the next two matches. No point sitting back in either game. Curbs does make some odd decisions but i should imagine that he is desperate for things to turn out o.k. Time to chill out. Let’s just have a go at Manchester.

  26. Doc H Ball says:

    Whingers! I think W Ham’s crap home form goes back a few years now and to fans, perhaps rightly, distrusting our own players. After all the bond scheme fiasco and then selling our young starlets for the price of a Freddie Ljungberg, there’s a thin crust on our confidence and we turn on the team too quickly. We think they’re over paid prima donas and let them know it.

    As we reach the end of the year and have just passed Curbs 1st anniversary, cast your minds back to where we were then. What he did in helping keep us up and steering a 2nd string team to mid table safety would have seemed like a godsend 12 months ago. Now he’s had to cope with injuries to Bellamy, Ethers, Dyer, Flaubert and Deano – our best attacking players. When we play away, we play it tight and keep the game narrrow; when we’re at home we need the width and to attack in numbers, but haven’t got the players available.

    I’ll settle, for now, with where we are. What we need on top are the flair players fit and a bit more patience, confidence and noise from you lot.

  27. Bobbo says:

    You are right Doc. I hate the way we are playing at the moment..but needs must I suppose. Still 26 points by Christmas is certainly not a bad return. If we could just get something from the Mancs then Im sure confidance will grow on the terraces and within the team…

  28. taylor says:

    absoluteley doc.
    curbishley has turned us around, but it had to start at the back – do people really expect us to go from the bag of shite we were last year to mid-table this year and playing like brazil the whole time?? no chance, what curbs has done is steady the ship, and part of that is disapointing draws like today which is better than a disapointing defeat to watford!
    anyone in football will tell you that in order to compete you must sort out your defence right through the team – and then attack.
    i love west ham’s past because of the attacking flair, football and am proud that people in other parts of the country (especially liverpool) like our club for that reason, but in recent years that tradition has not been succeeding and we are perilously close to disaster if we do not compete in the modern game – do we want to be in the lower leagues like leeds or sheff weds?
    llundberg is a good player coming back from injury, he will improve. good players dont become shit overnight, ok he is getting on a bit but he is quality, so is ashton, green, parker, upson, mccartney, bellamy – we will get there, eventually, and we will be playing good football soon as well, we just need to sort out the basics first.
    we need to start singing at home, i remember ian bishop saying it was like having an extra man – well what is a bad atmosphere like for the players, like being a man down?? just something to consider???

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