Sunderland Match Report: Proud of Them!

Can there be any doubt about the identity of the Man of the Match? Step forward James Collins. An immense performance, especially in the second half. OK, he was lucky not to have given away a penalty/been sent off, but other than that he (or rather his head) had a superb game. I can’t remember the last time I saw a central defender head the ball so often.

Make no mistake, this was a great performance by West Ham. In the first half we played some neat football but in the second half we were under relentless attack, but managed to thwart every wave. Indeed, I can’t actually remember Sunderland making Rob Green make a difficult save, apart from a header on 85 minutes. Green looked safe the whole game, and a second clean sheet in a row will do his confidence the world of good.

In defence Upson and Collins reigned supreme, while Neill was fairly solid. He retained possession more often than usual, while Ilunga on the other side was tough in the tackle, imposing in the air and positive on the ground.

The makeshift midfield did well, with Parker performing the holding role well. Behrami was all over the place (in a good way!) as usual, while Bowyer was busy on the left. Faubert didn’t really get into the game until the second half and didn’t really ever threaten in attack. Psrker was named Sky man of the match.

Up front neither player really performed at their best. Cole struggled with his first touch and didn’t really hold the ball up, while Bellamy’s only chance was the one on one which he then passed to Behrami who blasted over from two yards.

We deserved this win.

Green 8
Upson 8
Collins 9
Ilunga 7
Neil 6
Bowyer 6
Behrami 7
Parker 8
Faubert 6
Cole 6
Bellamy 6

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53 Responses to Sunderland Match Report: Proud of Them!

  1. jpt says:

    James Coliins – awsome!

  2. jpt says:

    Ok – Collins!

  3. Alex says:

    Good result – not too sure about the performance. Against Sunderland we really should be looking at taking the game to them much more. Collins definitely man of the match. His performance reminded me of his perfomances during our “Great Escape”. I think he was worth 3 points today πŸ˜‰

  4. E1 says:

    A WELL FOUGHT GAME and 3 pionts on the board, but we have to do better keep the ball and release it only when something is on, if we give it away against the likes of Liverpool, chelsea and spurs we could be in for a torrid couple of weeks. still an all round solid performance and who knows we may even nick something over the next few weeks. The Spurs game is even bigger now a 6 pointer.
    COYI !!!!!!!!!

  5. Ronnie Stooge says:

    Both myself and my lad really enjoyed this match. Sunderland were very good at times but it was a deserved win. Up the table we go!!

  6. chris says:

    behrami and collins you we,re f—–g awsome!!!!!
    cole, come on son sought yourself out your touch and finishing were awful!!!
    well battled boys a grafting midfield no real balance but so what we needed 3 points big time coz of our next run of games,EAST LONDON IS WONDERFUL!!!!!!

  7. hammeredcalv says:

    Collins was awesome, so were the other 9 players out there !! Behrami was exceptional today, he was all over the place, he could walk straight into one of the top 4 teams. But, and sorry there is a but , carlton cole is never a prem or proffesional footballer, 50 k a week, cant trap or pass or shoot !!!! why the hell we have given him a new 4 year contract i will never know !! there must be better out there and for less money !! hurry up tristan !! we need you !!

  8. Goatygav says:

    Apart from the lack of any finger nails, which disappeared during the 2nd half, I’m well happy with that. I agree that it was a very good performance.

    Collins was solid as a rock. Time and again he cleared cross after cross after cross. No mean feat when you consider who he was up against.

    I had Behrami down as a contender for MOM. He was positive in possession, didn’t give the ball away sloppily and provided the only real outlet during the intense pressure the boys withstood in the 2nd half. What an engine he’s got on him. I was concerned he was limping a bit at the end. Parker played well but I felt that Collins and Behrami were ahead of him.

    Nosworthy had Carlton Cole in his pocket. CC’s been at the club for quite some time now and he’s had a good run of games this season but still not shown what we all thought he had. Perhaps he hasn’t got it in him to cut it at this level. I hope he proves me wrong but I’ve got serious doubts. He’s signed a four year deal to boot.

    The two clean sheets in a row suggest that Steve Clarke is getting their fitness levels to where they should be.

    That will have done the team’s confidence the power of good. Monday week can’t come soon enough.

  9. Wicksy says:

    Great result for us. I thought Collins and Upson looked solid at the back. I would have gone for collins as MOM. I`m still frustrated by Cole what can i say, when he heads the ball he just seems happy that he got to the ball and doesn`t seem to know where his team mates area or where there running into!!!

    Hate to have a go at any of the team but i think cole just doesn`t have what it takes. Just hope he proves me wrong but how long do we put up with this type of performance from him before someone else gets a go.

  10. James says:

    Collins is an utter cheat and ought to have been sent off in the first half. By any reasonable definition they were both penalties and if he continues to play the same way he will be sent off often and lose a lot of respect as a result. Upson your man of the match. Real man of the match Andy Reid. Only Keane knows why he took him off.

  11. salesh says:

    Collins and Upson, i think we are on to something good at the back πŸ˜€

    2 games, 2 clean sheets, things are on the up.

    Up the irons!!

  12. Tevezgate says:

    Oi, JS – buzz off to your own crappy mackem blog, this is west ham only πŸ˜€

  13. Tevezgate says:

    Agree with all the above comments re Cole, simply does not have the technique for the premiership. Hurry up back Deano, we need you!

  14. Dave Hall says:

    To be honest Tevezgate, we might not see Ashton back this season due to the injury. Lets hope Tristan can find some of his old form. In saying all that, we won and it’s 2 clean sheets now.

  15. DevoDevo says:

    Neill a liabilty again at the back. Drop the donkey and get Berhami back there, pronto!

    Bit disappointed with the lack of ambition, but I guess Zola was happy to take the points.

    Can’t believe Collison didn’t play, maybe went for experience and gave the boy a rest after the international in m/w.

    Upson, Collins, Parker & Behrami outstanding. Cole poor. Bad first touch, no passion, aimless headers – I really hope we don’t offer him a new 5 year deal.

    Green 7
    Neill 4
    Upson 8
    Collins 8
    Ilunga 7

    Faubert 6
    Behrami 8
    Parker 8
    Bowyer 6

    Bellamy 6
    Cole 4

    LBM – 7
    Mullins – 7

    Need to beat Spurs (who looked sh1te today) as we won’t get anything against Chelsea & Liverpool.

    COYI.

  16. Bob Range says:

    Agree how well Collins, Upson and Ilunga were but right side Neill and Faubert were awful. Faubert has not got a clue and looks like a chicken without a head. Cole was dreadful as the hold the ball up guy unable to bring anyone into the play. It was a win but if we thought it was dull before this was horrible and 2 notches below the quality in the top 6.

  17. chris says:

    I DIDN’T KNOW THIS BUT NEW 4 YEAR DEAL FOR COLE,WHY!!!!are we planning for the championship already.

  18. Iron Lung says:

    I said on here a few weeks ago – Collins is one of the top half dozen centre backs in the Prem. Anyone left with any doubt needs to watch a replay of this performance. Magnificent. How badly did we need those points, with our tricky run coming up?

  19. Catalan Hammer says:

    I think the best of all is that the team are being solid in the defence. they are having difficulties in scoring but with a solid defence you just need a goal.
    Regarding Tristan, to be honest, his glory days are over…

  20. Kim says:

    We won and our defense and midfield were awesome. Just need to work on the strikers now!!

  21. MrR3NO says:

    It was a solid performance, a bit on the back foot but the defense never looked like conceding. Cole was shite, his touch, finishing, and worse of all today was his passing. Dreadful performance from Carlton…

    We definitely need some firepower up front perhaps Elano from Man City or Vagner Love from CSKA Moscow.

  22. jon.london colney says:

    cole forgot how to hold the ball up,if he had done that today then we may have scored shed loads .parker was excellent,upson brilliant,birianie first class,and as for ginge.world class.great result,great team spirit and just one thing needed,cole to be subed 4 sears if hes haveing a stinker.nearly 100% now for the mickey mousers.coyi

  23. Gorgonzola says:

    GOTTA STOP GETTING NERVOUS, DROPPING OFF AND INVITING PRESSURE AFTER SCORING.

    NEIL WAS ONE OF THE FEW WHO HELD POSSESSION WELL DUE TO EXPERIENCE.

    BELLAMY HAS GOT TO GET HIS CONFIDENCE BACK…SHOULD HAVE PUT THAT 1 ON 1 AWAY. MISSED A GOOD ONE FOR WALES TOO.

    COLLINS IMMENSE….A BIT OF SPRINT WORK NEEDED THOUGH. LONG LAY OFF SO NEEDS TO GET THE PACE BACK.

    SOME BEAUTIFUL ONE TOUCH PASSING EARLY ON.

    PLEASED FOR GIANFRANCO.

  24. Dave Hall says:

    Catalan, I think we should wait and see if Tristans glory days are over or not. There have been top quality forwards in the past who lost their way, only to come back later and find form. I’m not saying he will be as good as he was in his earlier years, but if he can find some of that form of old, it will be much needed. Lets hope.

  25. wellsie says:

    A terrific performance by Upson,Collins,Behrami and Parker. Worrying that Green could make Andy Reid look like a pacey winger !! Our defence were under immense pressure and hit endless long balls up to Cole. This unfortunately was pointless given Cole’s inability to hold the ball up or find a team mate with one of his miss controls. Whilst Cole is our target man our defence will not get any respite. Please do not condemn us to further frustration by giving Cole a new contract !! Great blog Iain,keep it up.

  26. wellsie says:

    What do i mean Green !! should be Lucas Neil…..sorry.

  27. phil says:

    I would hardly call it a great performance Iain but certainly a welcome 3 points. Collins was immense and all the defence played well (even Neill) and we had that bit of luck with 2 penalty decisions.
    We gave the ball away far to much and I thought for once Zola got it spot on with the substitutions.

  28. Roshi says:

    In true Simon Cowell speak “it was OK”. It was a 1-0 win against a poor side. An important 1-0 win granted, but that was all.
    Sure, Collins and Upson were superb , but aimless balls hit long and high will always be to the advantage of a facing defender, and lets face it Cisse had a mare of a game, we could be writing a very different blog if he had got a decent hold on some of those headers.
    I am delighted for the win, it was really important but we need consistency and above all a striker who looks like he has half a chance of scoring.

  29. djclipz says:

    tbh from the our most recent games i thought yesterday’s performance was probably 1 our worst!! (dont get me wrong collins and upson were solid but we were on the back foot way too much and Weren’t passing the ball as well as i have seen recently!! Plus only really saw a couple of good moves). However i am happy that we got the points and a clean sheet away from home, especially as we are desperate for the points at the minute!! And could have easily been two, not entirely sure how behrami fired that onto the bar and why bellamy went so wide!!
    Can’t say im too optimistic with the upcoming games, especially chelsea, but you never kno, the boys heads have all been lifted we may be in for a cheeky surprise or two!!

    Was tristan even on the bench yesterday, i didnt notice!? I Hope we can see him soon as we are still lacking the finishing qualities, hopefully he’s got it for us!!!

    COYI!!!!!!!

  30. P says:

    Calm down people, the use of phrases such as ‘world class’ are a tad over the top i think. We won a pretty dire match 1-0 against absolutely appalling opponents, how that deserves some of the exaggerated praise here is beyond me. Cole had a poor game, big deal, get over it. According to some though, who never liked the man anyway, that’s enough to rip his contract up. If Zola (who knows a bit more about football than those here who constantly berate Cole do) thinks he is worth a new 4 year contract then he is worth a new contract. The only good thing from yesterday was Collins and Upson, The passing was a complete joke for most of the game, as always, Green still looks dodgy at crosses and set pieces, and if Faubert hadn’t been substituted i would never have known he was actually playing. So while the win is good in terms of points on the board, the fact is we are only going to be battling relegation this season, and our next four matches will have a major bearing on how successful that battle will be.

  31. To me it should be clear for everyone that watched the game that this is not good enough.
    We got away with it against a poor team and maybe deserved the luck, if not the win.
    Cole is not only below par, I think that with him on the pitch we play a game that does not suit many of the rest of our players, Bellamy being the first victim.

  32. James says:

    Awesome defending, At last we shut Andy Gray up the biast old git!!

    All we need now is to get rid of Bowyer in January as I have to admit he did not have one clue what to do while on the pitch yesterday, and yet again every messy move he made left our team in danger! I am starting to wonder about his commitment and age!

    Hope Tristan plays in the next match, we just lack the edge in front of goal but yet again Cole was amazing at doing the holding up stuff, just bellars needs to get in the mix and Faubert needs to stay on the wing!

    Otherwise

    I am a chuffed HAMMER!! MAKING FOR A GOOD WEEK

  33. Steve says:

    Collins was lucky not to get at least one penalty against him. How anyone can say he was ‘awesome’ , I don’t understand. Upson & Ilunga did ok, as did Behrami; the rest were mediocre, pretty much as usual. Luckily Cisse wasn’t on form for Sunderland. No use crying over spilt milk, but when you see goals like the one Glen Johnson scored for Pompey, now that is really ‘awesome’. And seeing the usual parade of ex-WHU players doing great for present clubs – apart from the totally slack Anton – really underlines how much damage Brown /Roeder / Curbishley did. I never liked Pardew much, but at least – for a time – he wan’t as mediocre as the 2 managers before & after him and he had some success in getting us up out of the ‘Championship’. As for the current owners, the sooner they sell up and clear off, the better. Hopefully new owners will keep Zola/Clarke, who at least tries to make a silk purse…..

    Carlton Cole is actually worse than Zamora or even the laughable Harewood. Whover gave him another 4 years is simply incompetent.

    The only causes for optimism are the youth from the academy, still some way off maturity, unfortunately. On the pitch, there is nothing remotely classy about the current team.

  34. clueless says:

    West Ham fans were once regarded as being knowledgable about their football. Lately this is not the case at all. Carlton Cole has a role in the team, and he performs it well. If he didn’t perform it well he wouldn’t be in the team. If he didn’t perform it well he wouldn’t be talked about as a possibility for an England call up sometime in the future. So, the manager, the coaches, various journalists and pundits that can see his worth are all wrong are they? and you the geniuses that post on blogs and give out abuse are right? Many times yesterday Cole held the ball up, flicked the ball on etc and where was his supposed target? where was Bellamy? faffing around out on the left flank or on walkabout that’s where. Bellamy is supposed to be the goal scorer not Cole, he’s not there to get 15-20 goals a season, whereas Bellamy is, if anyone is failing to perform their role it certainly isn’t Cole. But i guess you geniuses always need a hate target or two or even three, if you include Neill and Boa-Morte.

  35. jon.london colney says:

    james,this drug taking your on must stop.cole had a stinker and gave the ball away all game.

  36. Hammered in Singapore says:

    A good timely win. Collins superb, likewise Behrami, Upson and Parker. But it was against a poor Sunderland with only their fattest player in the Premiership looking remotely good. Reid was a menace with his crosses, thankfully Cisse wasn’t on song. I was relieved when Keane took him off.

    Zola and Clarke must be happy, two clean sheets and hopefully a more confident back four. Now they have to turn their attention to the midfield and attack. Hopefully they can isnpire the team so we can get a result agianst Liverpool.

  37. colin says:

    Zola, If you read this, please, please, leave Cole to clean the coach when you are playing the next game!!!!!!!!!! the body language that l saw during the Portsmouth game at Upton Park, ( and we were very close to the pitch ) he didn’t seem to wana be there!! he falls over, & sits on the ground looking around , instead of getting up & getting on with the game.

    We’re over the moon with the result on sunday, we really needed that win.

  38. the headmaster says:

    If you cn’t win well, win ugly. most un-West Ham like. Job done.

  39. brooking still the best says:

    If Curbishley had still been in charge, the win yesterday would have been slated by some. It wasnt pretty, the win was built on us being solid at the back without commiting to many forward. We won ugly and it was well needed. Zola has had to learn that it’s points that count, pretty football is useless when you don’t win the game.
    Don’t anyone make the mistake of believing we are not in a relegation fight, because it has already started.

  40. James says:

    Jon,

    Yes Cole gave the ball away on several occassion’s but he did win most headers during the game( eventhough most did not get to bellars ), He does lack that brain which strikers need but in time I expect Zola to give him that!! He must have some potential if we are offering him a new 4yr deal!

    Bowyer was the main cause for worry during that whole game, Past it springs to mind!!

  41. chris says:

    James we dont have time for potential we are fighting for our lives! cole cant finish and has a head like a fifty pence piece.

  42. DevoDevo says:

    Cole has signed a 5 year extension 😦

    I think James is a wind up merchant from another club. πŸ˜‰

  43. Hammer says:

    Watched this one on the box and thought we played very well. Collins and Upson did fantastic against a difficult front two. They did so well in fact that they took Jones off as Collins won everything in the air. We looked very solid as a defensive unit, not something i’ve said to often about us. This was at the expence of attacking play but i thought they looked so poor at the back we could of got a goal any time we wanted. It seems as if Clark is starting to get them working as a unit so hopefully Zola will start working on the forwards soon. I ain’t a fan of Coles but i thought when the ball was thumped forward he won pretty much all of them in the air. If they had played Bellamy closer to Cole i think more would of come of it. Still happy with the result and two clean sheets. Hopefully things are turning a corner. It’s going to be a hard season but we are starting to look like we finally have the balls for the fight.
    COYI

  44. E1 says:

    We all know that we are not good enough for a top 8 finish with the players we have, so thats just say we have some money to strenthen the squad who would we be able to afford and who are likley to come for first team football ? this is my list any of which would add depth and quality in my opinion, what do you all think ?
    Lawrence stoke
    palacios wigan
    turner hull
    warnock blackburn
    davies bolton
    bullard fulham
    pennent liverpool
    johnson portsmouth
    benjani man city
    geovanni hull
    benayoun liverpool.

  45. Matthew says:

    i never thought i’de ever say this but i was happy for LBM to replace Faubert, SORRY lbm,all is forgiven.

  46. chris says:

    E1 add tevez to that lot.

  47. educate yourselves says:

    Cole is good enough for Zola then he is good enough for me. Maybe some here should learn about football and wise up on what Coles role actually is. Bellamy going on walkabout when Cole flicks the ball on is Bellamy’s fault not Coles. Bellamy out on the left when Cole wins the ball in the centre is Bellamy’s fault again. Well he’s signed a new contract and Zola loves him, as do many far more knowledgable people than those that comment here. Zola doesn’t share your view, Zola who knows more about football than you who pontificate in your cabs says he is worth a new contract, that suggests you don’t know what you are talking about big time. 4 more years, 4 more years.

  48. hammeredcalv says:

    i would try and get Elano from city, would love to see Tevez back, (come on kia you can sort that !) but very unlikely, Appiah would be excellent, but we desperatly need a class striker with a bit of height !

  49. enlightenedone says:

    What is it with the apparently sane people constantly banging on aboiut Tevez coming back. Don’t you realise him and his slaveowner are the cause of so many of our problems. Are West Ham fans nowadays pretty dim or what?

  50. chris says:

    20 goals a season englightenedone I LIKE THAT PROBLEM!!!!!!!!!!!!

  51. Eric says:

    I have to give Parker a lot of credit. His work rate is pretty good since he’s come back. He’s staying fit and playing like he wants to be there. But i agree with the general sentiment on the board.
    Not seeing the finish up front.

    I may have been wrong but i was thinking that Zola tried to make sure they had something in the tank at 80mins. They didn’t seem to fly right out of the gate as they often do.

  52. James says:

    DevoDevo,

    Nope I am a 100% West Ham fan I could not even look at another team,

    Look Cole has signed a five year deal, Maybe we should just get behind him especially while Ashton is out.

    I am suprised nobody has agreed with my comment about Bowyer, please can somebody tell me what he did during the Sunderland game other than lose the ball and putting our team in grave danger again and again?

    It is Bowyer not Cole who should be getting stick I am 100% behind (Educate Yourselves) post on Cole

  53. chris says:

    james u r right bowyers a waste of time,his legs have gone…..but on the positive tristans having a screamer for the res’es I,m being told!!!!

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