Chelsea Afterthoughts

I really thought we could get something from this game. It shows how wrong you can be. Three soft goals in five minutes and it was all over. Up to then we had been at the races, although never really threatening. I suppose can all be self indulgent and look back at the Lampard sending off as being worth a heavy defeat, but we all know in our heads that such thoughts are madness. Three points would have put us among the European contenders. We’re now dropping a little behind, although it is comforting to see that we are 8 points clear of the eleventh place club, Tottenham.

So what went wrong against Chelsea? Simple. The first three goals. We were never going to come back from that, although it would have been nice to get a consolation goal. I was praying Dean Ashton could have grabbed one when he came on as a sub for the totally ineffective Luis Boa Morte. It wasn’t to be, although I did think Ashton looked a lot sharper than he has seemed recently. I think it’s now the time to give him a run of games. He needs his confidence back for next season and the only way that is going to happen is for him to play regularly. Yet again Carlton Cole was our best player. It’s a shame he just can’t put away a few more goals as his build up play and holding up of the ball are increasingly superb. Hem was very unlucky not to score yesterday.

The midfield were disappointing yesterday and failed to impose themselves. Faubert in particular did little to impress, and looked knackered in the middle of the second half. Ljungberg had a few good runs but that was it. Mark Noble has his weakest game for some time and his distribution was very poor. Mullins went on a few good runs, but that was it. In defence, apart from the goals (!) they seemed quite strong, but you just cannot give away goals like that. The Joe Cole goal was especially unforgiveable.

Was it a penalty? I didn’t think so. I thought the ball was almost out of play before the Chelsea player went down, but I was a long way away from it. Everyone around me felt it was cast iron penalty.

It was good to see Bobby Z get a few minutes. He didn’t really do anything but it would have done him the world of good.

Green 6
Ferdinand 6
Upson 7
McCartney 6
Neill 6
Faubert 5
Mullins 6
Noble 5
Ljungberg 7
Cole 8
Boa Morte 4

I think we just have to put this down as a bad day at the office and move on to think about the Liverpool game on Wednesday. I’d ring a few changes and play 4-5-1, bringing in Nobby Solano in place of Julien Faubert and Lee Bowyer (is he fit?) to play with Mullins and Noble in central midfield.

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22 Responses to Chelsea Afterthoughts

  1. chris says:

    First! please reply to this iain.
    I agree bad day at the office,but we look so weak down our right side,neil is so short of pace for a fullback,faubert is never a midfielder at this level and looks overweight,but he is a very good rightback Ive seen him play in france in this position so lets give him a go!
    also we lack pace all over the pitch, just wish bellars and dyer were avalible,lets switch back to a proper 4 5 1(left footer on ther left) some people say boring an negative but the man utd game wasn’t,denos looking fitter so give him a run out up top.

  2. jon.london colney says:

    the 451 works well with parker mullins and noble.
    i think when its not them 3 we struggle with that so maybe 6 4 0 would be better for the micky mousers?

  3. jon.london colney says:

    how do i get a picture?

  4. stan says:

    european contenders?
    you’re ‘aving a laarf!

  5. Dave King says:

    As if Curbishley needs any encouragement from YOU to play 4-5-1. Don’t encourage him Iain ffs.
    ps….did I see you leaving after half an hour 🙂 ?

  6. Hammer says:

    Got to say, bad day at the office it may have been but the bottom line is that we were completely out classed. Their midfield were in total control. This game I feel showed a number of things. Firstly, that without our first choice players we are strictly second class. Secondly, that considering the injury problems Curbs has done wonders. This game (us getting a beating) has been on the cards for some time but to be fair the lads have been working really hard and getting the results they deserve. More than anything I feel that the defence had their worst game for a long time. Up against a side of quality with a point to prove after last w/end was just to much for the guys available. When/if our top players are available, we will start to compete on real terms with the top sides but even then we will need to improve in certain areas. The road to being a true solid top 7 prem. side is a long one and we will have to be patient. This game hopefully showed the players that full commitment is needed in EVERY game. Just remember, this time last season we only had half the points we have now. The WHU we all want will not appear over night.
    Come on you Irons.

  7. pjd says:

    after 24 hours to reflect,we seem to have no tempo to our play,too many times we give the ball away cheaply,boa morte must have some serious dirt on curbishley.to me its obvious that cole and ashton cant play together.sadly if ashton got into the situations that cole does i think he would put more away.neil is having a disturbing lack of form.the sad truth is that we look a very average and boring side.on the plus side it was good to see zamora on the pitch.i can only hope that our style of play changes but i wont hold my breath

  8. Carlos Tabrez says:

    CURBISHLEY complains about lack of goals but he persists with a 4-5-1 and that 1 being a striker, though he tries his hardest, doesn’t have the best of conversion rates. Unless we have a midfield like ManUs or Chelseas who can score, it’s pointless playing 4-5-1…our midfielders are not goal scoring midfielders. Lets put to guys up there to do what we need – score goals.

    Our midfield against Chelsea made our defence look poor. Both COLES and BALLACKS goals were midfield mistakes – not fast enough getting back to track the midfiled runs and get close enough to do something about it…..maybe because they were too busy trying to help out the lone striker.

    BOA MORTE won some decent free kicks and should be applauded for getting LAMPLARD sent off – deserves more than 4 although I appreciate the fact you recognise that NOBLE had a bad game Iain.

    UPSON had another good game, ANTONS challenge was clumsy if anything and made the most of by KALOU. FAUBERTS just come back from a serious injury and you want to drop him when he hasn’t even played a full game yet? He and SOLANO can play in the same team Iain. Plus NEIL hasn’t exactly helped him out on the right and when FAUBERT does get the ball and is ready to put it in, who do we have in the box? one striker.

    When we play a passing game, we will see FAUBERT come to the fore and FREDDIE be a lot more happy and effective. LJUNDBERG must be so frustrated at the moment. He hardly ever needed to run with the ball at Arsenal yet here he feels the need to do it as he hasn’t the players with him or the instructions from management to play in a free flowing way.

    It’s all good sending DAY out there then joining him and pointing fingers everywhere but you got to do something about CURBISHLEY – for your sake.

  9. brooking is still the best says:

    I hope Zamora can strike up a partnership with Ashton, I think we have been lacking a real strike dual nearly all season. Now europe is getting beyond our reach, why not give Fred Sears a few run outs.

    If the new owners are really serious about making the Hammers a top side, they will need to invest big time in the summer. If you look at our spending since the take over, in all truth, it hasnt been that impressive when you compare it to the likes of the Spuds or other top ten sides.

  10. Ian the Hammer says:

    If you concede 3 goals in 5 mins against anyone your not going to win. Now we have some players returning Curbs has to revert to 4-4-2, or he has no defense against the boo boys if we play stale football using 4-5-1.

  11. crazyhorse says:

    I agree we need to play 4-4-2 now.Granted we are safe but the lack of goals is just no good,especially when even if there are goals they are coming from everywhere else except up front.Ashton and Zamora up front and Sears for a run out later.

  12. vdm says:

    When you think how we played against them at SB – it was as if we didn’t think we needed to get into them because we were at home. Always thought there’d be a bit of a backlash after all the media stuff about them through the week – the writing was on the wall very early on with the disallowed goal.
    Thought in partricular McCartney was really poor yesterday.

    We can only hope that over 2/3 seasons we’ll make steady progress and become an Everton / Villa – it’s a slow burner and petience is required.
    The real trick is making progress while being ‘entertaining’ at the same time. In today’s game this is a major challenge and lets face it no one really knows if Curbishley is capable of achieving that.

  13. Darwinhammer says:

    Agree totally with chris …. for months now been saying the same thing Neil just doesn’t cut …. he’s slow, always out of position, and just a terrible defender … I’ve lost count of the number of goals that have come from down our right side …. don’t know about the rest but I’m in a malaise about us at the moment … we seem to be in our own twilight league (win,lose, draw … we remain 10th) … and yet nothing changes – FFS mix it up abit … give faubert a trot at fullback for the 2nd half …. and put Sears on the bench and give him a run for the 2nd 45 also … Coles form may well be good – but how can he be given a pass mark when he’s not performing one of his major tasks as a striker …. why would you play 4-5-1 – when you’re 1 can’t score …

  14. PeteH says:

    I think I knew we were in for a long afternoon as soon as I was told we were matching Chelsea with 4-5-1 and Cole was alone upfront. I know Cole works his socks off but for me he doesn’t add anything at all. First touch is poor and seems to find himself anywhere but in the box. We lack any invention in midfield and looked scared when they run at us with pace.

    I’m looking forward to next season once we get Bellamy, Ashton, Parker, Faubert, Dyer through a very hard pre-season. We also need lean the squad and add some real quality. We seem to have alot of players probably on a good wage that are not good enough to take us to the next level. Cole, Gabbidon, Paintsil, Spector, Quashie, Davenport, Boa Morte, Camara definately need to go and we need 3/4 players in certain positions with some either potential or quality.

    Another left back, attacking midfielder and another centre forward. But before we look else where lets see what these kids can do coming through. Get Sears in and play him alongside Ashton against Spurs. Lets see what this kid can do, he got another one on Saturday and having seen him at the Spurs Reserves game alongside Deano they make a very good pair, might save us £10m.

    Also, open that cheque book and get Joe Cole back to the club. He was awesome on Sat and took his goal well. I can see him giving license to roam and hurting teams.

    Come on you irons.

  15. ironsmith says:

    I agree with the excellent post by hammer in total, Chelsea had too much class for us all over the pitch and this team is the result of many seasons of building starting back in the rainierie days and before and curbs has only had one year and what a year!We have to be patient. I was saddened by two things in this game. Firstly the result and secondly how on earth did the appalling relationship between some of our fans and frank lampard deteriorate to this level he is an ex hammer for gods sake? I know I may become unpopular by saying this but you have to speak what you feel, Frank Lampard is one of the best midfielders in the world scoring between 15 and 20 goals every season for his time at chelsea and at the top of the tree in my opinion. I have a certain level of respect for the man which is not shared by some of my fellow fans and in itself that is fine as we all have different opinions of players which is natural. However in my view the abuse which some fans hurl at one or two of our ex-players serves only to demean the fans and the club . Whatever they have done wrong, whether it is sign for spurs following our relegation or kiss the shirt of their new club or whatever -so what? If you are upset by this then get a life, keep it to yourself, and save your vocal energy to get behind the lads which is what we are really famous for. We are not alone of course in this situation it happens at other clubs too but I only care about west ham!Thats enough of that asI know it will not make a blind bit of difference and it is time to move on to beat the scouse gits in a west ham backlash!

  16. chris says:

    Come on guys! we did’nt play 4 5 1 we played 4 4 1 1, with boa morte roaming around,christ knows why! Cant believe some of you still think playing an extra striker means more goals,if we play 4 in midfield im sorry but we wont get a grip of the game,not with these players,mullins is quite good but only when he sits right on top of his centre backs,in a 4 you have to be more dynamic,parkers more dynamic but always injured shame,,so until everyones fit lets be difficult to beat….remember 4 4 2 against arsenal,,,4 4 2 switch against liverpool,even this chelsea game i would say we were more 4 4 2..

  17. IRHammer says:

    If you look at the stats on Sky we had 7 shots on target to Chelskis 9 – had 51% of tehe play and majority of teh game was soent in Chelsea half of the field – what we lacked was the abiliy to DO anything with the ball – Scot Parker would have made a big difference. BUT, the writing was on the wall for teh last 5-10 mins after we scored against Fulham – we were like rabbits in the headlights and could NOT keep the ball to save our lives. WE need some players to come back, and if Deano doesn’t get a run in the side he will be off in the close season mark my words – he looks disgruntled, despite the fact we’ve paid his salary all last year !!
    Having said that – I would have taken 40 points at this stage no problem – tricky run of games coming up so we need no worse than a draw at Anfield this week. COYI

  18. DevoDevo says:

    Very good post by Darwin.

    I think Curbishley has achieved all he is capable of at the club and that it making us hardworking and difficult to beat (aside from saturday) – where have we seen that before?

    If BG is serious about building a club to challenge for Europe, he has to get rid of Curbishley and bring Bilic in after the Euros.

    How any team that has a strike force of LBM and Cole can claim to be top 6 material is beyond me. Yes, we miss Bellamy, Parker and Dyer, but all of them have injury ravaged careers, so to pin all our hopes on them lasting a full season is wishful thinking.

    All season Neill has been a liabilty. I haven’t seen Faubert play at RB, but if he can, he has to be worth a pop. He has pace and is a decent tackler.

    I agree with another poster, most of the goals were down to the midfield not doing their job. We have nothing to play for this season, let’s give Collison and Sears a run in the side. Personally, I think Deano is a pale shadow of his former self and would much rather see Zamora upsides Sears. Someone mentioned that Deano will be off in the summer if he doesn’t figure for the rest of the season, but who is going to buy him on this season’s evidence?

    Our best and most inventful player at Fulham last week was Solano and he didn’t even start. That tells you all you need to know about Curbishley.

  19. Stuart says:

    How can you say LBM was toally ineffective – he got lampard send off.

  20. crazyhorse says:

    If we sack curbs in the summer we will be know different to those other clubs who offload their managers like its no tomorrow.I agree the football hasnt been how we would like it to be,but curbs has had to chop n change the team because of injuries.Give the guy a chance,we cant just give him the thumbs just like that,I think next season will define where he stands as a mananger for west ham.Lets get behind the manager and the team,and keep the ship steady

  21. i dont see why curbs played the same sturggling squad that played fulham, agaisnt chelsea.

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