Will We Ever Beat Man City?

There was a time when I used to look forward to playing Manchester City because we’d invariably beat them. We should have beaten them last night but contrived not to take our chances. It was not a good game. Indeed, it was tedious that I took refuge in my laptop for large parts of it.

For me there was no outstanding performance. No one excelled, and it’s for that reason we didn’t win. Noone took the game by the scruff of its neck. Dean Ashton was back out of firm. His first touch seems to have deserted him. And don’t get me started on the inadequacies of Luis Boa Morte. You couldn’t fault his effort but there was never any end result.

And is it just me, or has Robert Green’s form dipped in the last few games? I know I have just said the unthinkable, but he has looked just a little bit ‘flappy’ on occasions recently.

The team must make amends on Sunday. A repeat performance will not be good enough. If we aspire to a top eight finish we should expect at least a point out of the game.

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42 Responses to Will We Ever Beat Man City?

  1. Russ Barrow says:

    Agreed. Terrible game. Can’t believe Boa Morte didn’t square it. Everytime he starts to win me over he goes and does something like that.

    Saying that, everyone was pretty poor. Thought Upson and Ferdinand looked good for the most part – but once again we failed to take chances and I can see us doing the same on Sunday.

    Its Everton all over again…

  2. jonnyhammer says:

    Our only chance of silverware and indeed European football next year and Curbs replaces Cole with Boa Morte? ?! I can’t believe how useless BM is and why Curbs brought him back. Ashton wont run more than 2 feet to get the ball so we badly missed Coles work rater and ability to hold the ball up. It just kept coming back at us because B, was nowhere to be seen and Ashton wont put the effort in. Im afraid BM has been one of our worst ever buys….

    Not sure about bringing Neill back to replace Spector either..(never thought I’d hear myself say that) but Petrov tore Neill apart at the boleyn and he must have been rubbing his hands with glee at the news that Neill was back.

    Am I alone in having been bored rigid by 90% of the game ? I thought it was a dour, lifeless performance without any reative spark.

    Oh how we miss Nobby Solana ( in contract to BM probably one of our best ever buys. A footballing genius who puts bums on seats. Hurry back Nobby, oh how we need you !

  3. jonnyhammer says:

    ‘creative’ spark that should have read

  4. Vince Tanti says:

    I totally agree with you, and as soon as we missed those two chances in the first half by Dean Ashton from the most ideal of positions, and LBM with an open goal, I knew we would lose the game. How can we miss these opportunities and win? We still lack the deadly finishes and we need people who can take these opportunities and get something out of them. (Michael Mifsud of Coventry for example, and I’m not just being patriotic, since I happen to be Maltese too, but I’ve sen him play several times, and Manure and Blackburn were treated to his deadliness)

    I felt Carlton Cole should have started earlier, aa he would have definately spotted Freddie alone in front of goal when LBM decided to go for personal glory.

    As fro you mate, keep the articles coming, as I always enjoy reading them!

  5. denis mcallister says:

    Agree with you about boa Morte.he’s useless and allways a liability to us.Can’t understand why Curbs picks him.Get rid of him.

  6. chris says:

    neil is far to slow for a full back(why make an average player captain).ashtons to slow for the modern game,you need the two best wingers in the world to get the best from him,hes ok against average teams and Boa mortes second touch is a throw!

  7. Josh says:

    Still cant believe Boa Morte managed over 40 goals for Fulham, the guy has the composure of a nervous chicken.

    I can only think Curbs was hoping to rest Cole, seeing as he’s played in each of the last 15 games, he was a definite threat when he came on, much like Bianchi for Man City, he works the defenders.

    Faubert looked decent though, his pace was clear to see even now, imagine what he’ll do when fully fit. He might end up being our very own Petrov.

  8. Paul Pearson says:

    Hello Hammers followers, I’m a Blue and yes, it was a crap game, no other word for it. It was so bad I stopped watching and went on the computer. My son shouted to tell me we had scored, I couldn’t believe we had actually put a few players within 10 yards of your goal. Petrov must have thought he was the only attacker going forward, when he reached the byline there was no-one to cross to. I thought Richards looked a bit dodgy with his passing at times, as for Ferdinand, someone else that has replied said he was good, I thought he looked like he had two left feet. We need another out and out striker to partner Bianchi and preferebly before Sunday !

  9. Matt says:

    I couldn’t agree more…it is Everton all over again….I can’t see any other result on Sunday either other than a 1-0 or 2-0 City win.

    I think what frustrated me so much last night was the lack of passion in the West Ham players….I mean this is the FA Cup but they went out with such a whimper and even when Man City scored there was no urgency from us at all…..unfortunately it seems the players don’t care about the FA Cup as much as the fans these days!!

    What’s even more annoying is that Man City were awful last night (other than Petrov, Dunne and Richards) and were there for the taking and yet we still lost and couldn’t score!!

    What happened to that work rate and short passing that we all saw against Man Utd? Why do we only play like that against the big teams……and Tottenham???

    I do rate Curbs as a tactician (at least we are much better away from home these days) but Bowyer and Noble are simply not good enough as a central midfield pairing….how many times last night did Man City players run through our midfield unchallenged (we missed Mullins). And what’s with our recent long-ball tactics…..banging it high up to Ashton and hoping for the best!! Haven’t we learnt that this tactic doesn’t work against 2 quality centre backs!! It didn’t work against Everton (twice) and it doesn’t work against Dunne and Richards!! Why play wingers if we’re not gonna use them!!

    We desperately need a top quality central midfield player who can dictate a game as at the moment when Parker doesn’t play we lack quality and leadership in that area and the game simply passes our midfielders by.

    We also have no cutting edge without Nobby or Belamy in the team so we can only hope they are back soon….or Faubert is as good as we are being lead to believe….

  10. Keith R, Aylesbury Hammer says:

    Anton’s late run forward in added-time (- with the ball!) was one of few exciting moments to see the ball go refreshingly through the middle.
    PS. Could Bessy Bunter adequately mark her brother, Dean, ?

  11. jon.london colney says:

    shocking game from both teams but how on earth do we keep sending out a team that has no get up n go ? the attitude in the first half was jut a disgrace.

    im gona hate myself 4 saying this but ashton is to fat to slow and to lazy.

    i think he needs to listen to mr oliver a bit more.perhaps hes not eating free range or something coz god hes slow.

    lbm head less chicken.

    may i sugest mullins and parker were missed badly last night?

    those 2 in midfield do seem to keep us steady in there,nble was all over the place and nothing going forward.
    bellamy and zd man are being missed so much now is it time we splashed the cash on a forward? i be thinking yes !!!

  12. Ian the Hammer says:

    Yeah it was a very poor game indeed. Not sure if I agree that Green is looking a bit dodge, think we look pretty solid defending all round but we are screaming out for some creativeness. Curb’s has got a very hard working team out there at the moment & I thought we controlled the game for long periods last night but just lack the spark to take that next step. Anyway we weren’t going to win the cup so it’s no real issue.

  13. phil says:

    I think everyone is being a little harsh on Boa-Morte. At least he tried.
    Also Man City were even worse than us so there’s no reason we can’t beat them next time.
    Thought Ferdinand and Upson were excellent but Ashton really pissed me off.

  14. Perth Hammer says:

    We’re a Brooking short of being a very good team.

  15. Tom says:

    The solution to all this has been glaring the club in the face for some time, if we want to be sucessful then we need a proven prolific goal scorer …… Ashton is struggling, Cole and Boa Morte just are not good enough, and Bellers injury record says it all.

    If we want european footie or to even stay in the top ten, then we need to spend … and spend now. Otherwise the Spuds and Keagans Geordie Army will push down the league.

  16. Smudge says:

    When is AC going to realise that Lucas Neill is crap. Not only does he look unfit but has no positional sense at all. If you look at the goals we have given away this season I would say that the majority have come via Neills inadeqacy. Last nights performance was another example of how bad he is.

  17. Da Don says:

    Anton two left feet? That’s obtuse. He was by far our best player. And we were the better team, although that’s not saying much ‘cos that was the most boring cup tie I’ve seen in a long time.

    Moving on, I’m just appalled that we didn’t go balls out for the last competition we could get anything out of. Essentially it’s season over now, what could have been great fun at Bramall Lane is now marking time until the end of the season, wondering if we’ll ever put out a fully fit first choice 11 (whatever that is).

    Given we’ve nothing left to play for (except for maybe making sure we finish above Tottenham) if Curbs has anything about him at all, he’ll use the rest of the season to experiment with formations (how about a 3-5-2 with Nobby playing just behind the front 2 for example?), blood a few youngsters and let the players have a bit of fun. What’re the odds?

  18. HermitRoadHarry says:

    I’m glad it’s not just me who thinks Lucas Neill seems overweight. He looked fat in the tunnel beforehand and he looked fat when falling on his arse to let Petrov go past him for the goal. Plus his distribution was terrible. Yes, I probably am being overly critical because it was in the papers the other day he wants a raise from his £50k a week, but still – how come we’re the only team in the Prem that can’t stop our players eating too much? (Yeah, you too, Ashton.)

  19. Ollie says:

    Dour game, dour football, missed chances, lack of quality. Same as the first game really.
    Managers are judged by their results and their signings. Pardew’s signings were, in the main, excellent. Curbs are poor, beyond belief. Pards spent a fraction of what Curbs has spent so far, yet his buys either made us money and lots of it (NRC, Marlon, Konch etc) or they are still quality first team players – Ashton, Green, Mullins, McCartney, Etherington, Cole, Collins, Mullins, Zamora etc. Even the leg Johnny Paintsil was a Pards buy!!!!
    Curbs has WASTED fortunes on crap buys: Crocks – Parker, Dyer, Freddie, Toot – Quashie, Davenport, Neill, Camara, LBM. His only good buy has been Upson. Bellamy & Nobby may turn out to be too, If they don’t turn into long-term crocks with Dyer etc.

    Regarding last night’s team selection, I cannot see any reason to change the team from Fulham, and maybe Curbs will reflect on this and agree. Let’s hope he reverts for Sunday.

    Centre midfield needs Mullins or Parker (ball winner) plus Noble or Bowyer (attacking midfielder). If you deviate away from this formula, there’s only one other permutation possible and that’s 4-5-1 and on current fitness levels, Cole has to be the one.

  20. stan says:

    glad we saw a glimpse of faubert last night (one cross in particular was whipped in beckhamesque) but i thought ethers should have gone off instead as freddie was making some decent runs. i think we were one player away from being 2 -0 up before they scored. unfortunatley the culprit was boa. the thing is i thought he was doing a job for us up until then by breaking up their passing in defence and defensive midfielder. but again he had no quality in the final ball. he should have scored when deano was on the floor rubbing his big tummy and should have squared for freddie to tap in. bellamy was the only player last night in our squad who would have turned last night from a close 1 nil defeat to a proffessional 2-1 win. everything else was fine but the final ball.

  21. Lewis Atkinson says:

    Roll on Sunday is what i say!

  22. chris says:

    I agree ollie,we play better 4-5-1,we seem to have more passing options and more cutting edge,unless you have 4 top draw midfielders 4-4-2 is hard to play,also whilst working in france was lucky enough to see faubert play,and i think hes a better fullback than midfielder,i suggest dropping neil hes a carthorse!

  23. Andrew says:

    “we should expect at least a point out of the game.”
    Think that statement may be a bit misguided, Only one team have managed to take any points away from Eastlands all season in the league. That was Blackburn and they only came away with one point themselves. Seeing how City have beat West Ham twice so far this season are you thinking that eventually you have to get something out of a game? Can only see a City win for Sunday, it’ll be a full house and will be a much better backing for the home side.

  24. Batman says:

    Noble was awful once agian. He just seems lost . Not sure why he was playing. Bowyer had two touches in the second half. Why did he take Freddie off, and leave Noble and Bowyer on I will never know.

  25. ironsmith says:

    We lost because boa could not or chose not to pass to freddie with his right foot just after the break. He and ethers caused more problems for us than city did! The difference was that they had petrov and we had these 2 fizzypop players!

  26. crazyhorse says:

    What we miss out there is Solano,Parker and Bellamy.

  27. Plaistow54 says:

    When will we beat City again ? Well we’re going to beat them this Sunday of course. That was the first home game they’ve won since well before Christmas. City didn’t play that well. We need to buy a striker. If we buy one player only, it needs to be someone who puts the ball in the net, not straight at the goalkeeper, not over the crossbar, in the bleeding net. Sure, a creative midfielder as in Benayoun would be great but we ARE creating chances. No goals, no win. 4-5-1 is the way to go but i would like to see Solano on one side of that. Yes, put Cole up front. Ashton can sit on the bench & wait till later. No player is bigger than the club. The same deal with Neill. Who cares he’s the captain. He went to the Asian Cup & hasn’t been the same since. Pick it up buddy ! Faubert will make a difference when fully fit but we need Bellamy & Dyer & soon. O.K. making excuses, we are all sympathetic but it’s getting towards crunch time in the season. Time to play football. We’ll beat City on Sunday, we should’ve beat em yesterday.

  28. JackHammer says:

    Look, it wasn’t a good night and the football was patchy, Ashton looks slow, Boa Morte out of sorts, and Neil slowish and lacking confidence and Green is a bit flappy, but we only just about lost the game and created more chances than City.
    We are mid table and look as if we are not going to be put thro’ the wringer of relagation battle, thank god, com on you Irons

  29. Dave King says:

    Here we are, Mid January, and our season is essentially over. Typical Curbishley fare. Did anyone here honestly think it was going to be any different? Dead atmosphere at UP, can you imagine what its going to be like now? Times like this make me glad I haven’t wasted money on a season ticket.

  30. nr2iron says:

    I think what we missed last night was a creative midfielder,one who plays that little ball through with the right weight on it as far too many balls were overhit.In fairness we never looked like scoring and i thought Citeh were absolutely awful and this a team that has won every home league game.Green flapped at one and he is not the top rate keeper we think he is at times but the back 4 i thought all had reasonable games.We are 7 points off 4th place and i believe a run of 4/5 wins on the bounce could push us towards that spot but it all depends on getting Bellamy back to add some spark up front.

  31. Carlos Tabrez says:

    I’m sorry but ALAN CURBISHLEY does not know what he is doing.

    Why did he not start with COLE alongside ASHTON. It is a simple game, football is supposed to be played 4-4-2 (have to disagree with you ollie, no need for 4-5-1)….FOUR-FOUR-TWO. Why managers try to get clever is beyond me. Yes, by all means, during the game ask one of your forwards to drop to sure up the midfield for certain situations in certain games or ask one of your wingers to support your two forwards once again for certain situations in certain games; but not playing two strikers and four midfielders….to me its incomprehensible. Its not football, it’s just not football. See how well COLE did when he came on. Make the decision, have either ETHERINGTON or BOA MORTE on the left; don’t play both and try to get clever.

    Why did he not start with SPECTOR at right back when you know NEIL struggles with pace and that man city have a player called PETROV? By all means, start with NEIL against teams that do not have an exceptional left winger but I cannot believe a good manager would not see a decision like this.

    NOBLE was chasing the game the whole way through (please watch the game) yet you take off LJUNDBERG? why did you not shift LJUNDBERG inside with BOWYER and take NOBLE off for FAUBERT on the right.

    I am sure you’re a lovely man ALAN; I just wish you would be honest with your managerial abilities. If he does not go soon, this clubs progression will be held back by two years. In that time I’d be surprised if we still have LJUNDBERG, ASHTON and FAUBERT.

    If KONCHESKY can feel that CURBISHLEYS not good enough; I cannot begin to imagine what our better players are going to think.

    I will tell you the problem with CURBISHLEY, and you can mark my words. He is a big admirer of SIR ALEX and as one does, he is trying to model his managerial style similar to the way FERGUSON used to manage. Back in them days managers managed with a stick oppose to a carrot. The only problem CURBISHLEY has is that we’re not back in them days. Players are different these days, you have to speak to them, at times put your arm around them, especially the foreign players; you cannot do what CURBISHLEY does.

    Both KONCHESKY and TEVEZ both said in the media last year that CURBISHLEY doesnt speak to his players. Everyone knows what KONCHESKY said; TEVEZ is quoted as saying that even when he drops players he doesn’t let them know, but just sticks the team sheet up and thats that. You cannot manage like that these days…..even FERGUSON has changed his style with the times.

    Dear EGGERT, wherever you are. Why did you not listen to me when I wrote to you after ALAN PARDEWS sacking asking you to hire SVEN and that CURBISHLEY will only hold your plans up. Now SVEN is at city, look at them. I hate to say I told you so in this case because West Ham is my club but look at city and look at us. SVEN was recently quoted on sky that he was active in the window with the support of his chairman and was surprised by the calibre of players that wanted to play for him. I’m not surprised….he’s a big name. Yet we’re left with someone who not even PAUL KONCHESKY would want to play for.

    ANTON and UPSON were very good. NOBLE was running around doing nothing (please watch the game again and see before disagreeing). And just to be fair on BOA MORTE….most of the criticism above is coming from the fact that he didn’t square the ball to ASHTON…..because of this everyones ignoring his effort throughout the game. Just because of one bad pass he’s had a bad game?…that’s not fair. He continuously got back to hussle for the ball, a couple of times being penalised unfairly by the ref for tackles on HAMAN….and what about his excellent first time ball to ASHTON when he missed that chance? How was that “never a end result” Iain? You’re not being fair on him; your dislike is clouding your judgement. He’d be in front of ETHERINGTON in my team any day.

  32. hammermolder says:

    Am i the only one who got really pissed off at anton ,6 minutes left ,he makes a stupid tackle ,them waists 3minutes argueing with the ref,the boys not to sharp!!!

  33. brooking is still the best says:

    One thing people are forgetting, Sven’s teams always smother all creative talent and entertainment from a game then win by the odd goal. (remember England, they tried and failed at doing it) Typical and it was exactly the type of game i was expecting from Man City.

    I can understand fans being disappointed, after the game I was that and more. Why is everybody so quick to jump on the backs of the team and single certain players out for extra stick. We need to start getting behind the team and cheering them on!

    OK, the game was crap, mainly thanks to Sven’s negative tactics.

  34. vdm says:

    The game was very poor but to be honest you see alot of games like this between Prem. teams – especially outside of games involving the top 4 – teams cancel each other out and the game only opens up very late on. We’ve played much the same in other games this year and got the result (Blackburn away for example) -and everyone comes on saying how it was a good away performance.
    We do have a problem with genuine pace in the team – no Bellamy etc.etc. and without Parker no rythm.
    Also – can anyone ever remember Charlton having a cup run in all thos years!

  35. Hammers & Zvezda says:

    Absolute, total, fu**ing shocker of a game and no guts from our guys except around their waistline! Yes, it’s true, our players are fat – must be that excellent British cuisine, you guys really are world class when it comes to cooking shite!

  36. Plaistow54 says:

    I had another look at the table, at Sven & City, & i don’t see nothing that great. They are coming back down the table & can’t travel. Take away Petrov from their performance & what do you have left ? Curbs out. Nah, we need to stick with him. Maybe he could be a bit nicer but talk or no talk he’s in the job & so far things are not so bad considering the sick list. Boa Morte is trying hard, you can see that. Two tackles stretching & made contact with the ball. Unlucky to get a yellow card, then came off. That’s why he tried to flick the ball past the goalie with his left foot. He wants to score to take some pressure off himself. He needs to forget about what other people think & get back to enjoying football. Go watch some kids play, that’ll put it in perspective. Sorry, i don’t believe Konchesky & don’t think he’s that good a player. We need pace & we need to score, dead simple.

  37. Mac says:

    This is a bit off post I know, but has anyone noticed just how much better Upson looked with a beard? Good beard too. Very Prince Michael of Kent. There was something about him with it that brought back very happy memories of being a fresh-faced schoolboy poring over shots of the Hammers bearded boys in Goal!, (Keith Robson’s was particularly successful if I remember rightly), wishing I was old enough to grow one.

    Back on topic now. I couldn’t believe how much Deano’s first touch had deserted him. Was he wearing concrete boots? Everytime the ball came to him it would cannon off in a different direction. Was probably a bad off day, but as you guys have all said, it exposed how lightweight we are up front when he’s off his game.

  38. headmaster1 says:

    We bossed the game in large parts, created what few chances there were and didnt score.
    Our top striker has amassed 6 goals this season. His striking partner does well in every department except scoring goals.
    We’ve got lots of injuries.
    We’re gonna finish mid table and I for one will take that after last year.

    The close season will be interesting though and tell us much about the confidence of the owners in mr curnishley

  39. Hammers & Zvezda says:

    Headmaster, I had to respond to your post but you are SPOT ON! Though one must agree that we have gone far too long without a trophy (winning promotion doesn’t count). We are a BIG club, so let’s hope the owners start thinking like that soon.

  40. DevoDevo says:

    As the head said, we controlled large parts of the game but didn’t stick the chances away.

    LBM played because Curbs wanted to rest Cole who has been running his socks off lately – don’t any of you guys understand that players need a break?

    Ashton proved he can’t play quick games in succession, but what choice does Curbs have until Bellers is back?

    Bowyer played well and seems to be as good as he was before injury, Anton and Upson were very solid at the back, but Neill, once again, let the defence down. Spector should have started and this must rank as our weakest position.

    I fancy us to get a result at the w/e. If we do and it is 2 points, we’ll be in a very strong position for the final stage of the season, so stop carping all the time!

    I agree that Green has looked less sure of himself since he has been watched for England. I fear that the label England’s Number 1 is a curse that should be avoided at all costs.

    I was impressed with Hart’s approach to coming out at players though. Run right through them. Twice he did it and twice he got away with it. If an outfield player did it, he would be sent off.

  41. chris says:

    Come on you irons!I agree devo, neil is the weak link,play faubert at right back hes great in that position,ive seen him play there myself,he plays like r.carlos did in his prime.People still saying no to 4/5/1,we played man utd off the park with this system,works for man city as well,as ive said before rigid 4/4/2, great if you’ve got a top draw left winger top draw right winger,totally solid holding midfielder, brooking playing in front of him, cottee and macca up front,but at the moment we a’nt.

  42. DevoDevo says:

    You have a point, chris -something like this would work well:

    Green

    Faubert
    Ferdinand/Gabby
    Upson
    Macca

    Solano
    Bowyer
    Parker
    Noble
    Etherington

    Bellamy

    Bring it on. 🙂

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