Hull Match Report: Sublime Performance

In the end I couldn’t get to Upton Park tonight and had to settle for watching the game on Sky. The atmosphere sounded fantastic and I so wish I could have got there. This was a vintage West Ham performance. Although only two goals were scored, there could have been a hatfull. And all in the Hull net. Both Cole and Di Michele could have had hattricks. It was that good. Again the intricate one touch passing was sublime, and the tackling fierce, but fair.

There wasn’t a single weakness in this performance, but the best part of it was the burgeoning partnership between Di Michele and Cole. Who’d have thought it? Their interplay tonight had to be seen to be believed. All of which reminds me of a joke.

Knock Knock
Who’s There?
Craig who?
That’s football.

Defensively we were almost perfect. They barely had a shot on goal. Ilunga was able to rampage down the left at will and once Lucas Neill realised he could do the same from time to time, we had the perfect attack.

In midfield both Parker and Noble had stormers. Parker got forward a lot more, with Behrami filling in at the back, but Parker is the one who is developing into a massive player for us. It is inconceivable that we sell him. Behrami had his quietest game for a long time but was still impressive. Noble sprayed the ball around well, but his penalty was poor. It’s the third one in a row he has put in the same place. Third time unlucky.

It was fantastic to see Di Michele on fire. Amazing what the arrival of a new player can do! He had a couple of superb shots which should have resulted in goals but just clipped the post. The curler in the first half looked a dead cert. He was definitely man of the match. Carlton Cole had another brilliant game too. He had two one on ones and was unlucky with both of them. He held up the ball very well, won a penalty and scored a goal. Fantastic performance.

Green 7
Ilunga 8
Neill 7
Collins 8
Upson 8
Collison 8
Noble 8
Parker 9
Behrami 7
Cole 8
Di Michele 9

UPDATE: Just a word about the Sky TV coverage. They have discovered a fantastic new pundit in Dean Windass. He was knowledgeable, eloquent, funny and not afraid to call it as it is. They should use him more often.


109 Responses to Hull Match Report: Sublime Performance

  1. Pepin - Czech Hammer says:

    We are definitely going in the right direction and todays performance was simply perfect.

    Would anyone expect Cole and DiMichele having such a game few months ago? Me not tbh.

  2. DevoDevo says:

    Couldn’t agree more, iain. We really do look like a top 6 side at the moment. Di Michele looks different class up front and works well with Cole. Defence solid, Neill so much improved recently. In truth it should have been 6 or 7.

    At least some of us could see the progress under Zola, even when we were losing. What happened to the plumb that posted Zola out after we went behind at pompey? šŸ˜‰

    Savio looks lively as well. Happy days.

    Green 7
    Ilunga 8
    Neill 8
    Collins 8
    Upson 8
    Collison 7
    Noble 7
    Parker 9
    Behrami 8
    Cole 7
    Di Michele 9

    Faux Pas 7
    LBM 6
    Savio 10 šŸ™‚

  3. djclipz says:

    Fantastic game, all the forwards could have scored in tht game, even faubert had a good chance that was well saved. Savio showed some nice step overs too, havent seen that in a while!! Cant wait to see him play a longer part and see what he can do!!

    The moments that stick in my head though was di michele curling shot…. awesome

    and also the movement that led to collison hitting the post!! What a goal that would have been!!!

  4. Berkshire Hammer says:

    Fantastic game,

    The West Ham of old would of either

    1. Drew 2-2
    2. Missed so many chances and walked away losing 1-0

    Just a side note. Has anyone notice that our host MR Dale looks a little like Steve Clarke (even if it’s Iain after a few too many beers with Miss Widdecombe)

  5. DevoDevo says:

    Agree dj. Also, the atmosphere was superb.

    btw, Iain, I did mention the use of Ilunga & Neill attacking on the flanks pre-match. šŸ˜‰

  6. Russell says:

    bring on the smelly gooners is all I can say right now!

  7. aussie graham says:

    Any chance we could not put too much paint on the goalposts the woodwork saved them from a massacre. Savio looks exciting who will be able to beat us?

  8. James says:

    Neill and Green deserve an 8 as well!!

    Good result, I fancy us against the Gooners!!


  9. colney says:

    cole played well but yet again to many opotunities and not enough end product,great all round stuff though and biriani is just magic.his engine just doesnt stop and now started a few tricks 2.

    Europe anyone?

  10. HamburgHammer says:

    Great all-round performance, even Faubert looked as if he finally might turn the corner.

    Very proud of the team, very proud also of Zola and Clarke. Did you see the little scene shortly after the whistle, Clarke and Zola sticking their heads together, Clarke whispering something in Zola’s ear ?
    Like two brothers congratulating each other after a job well done…

    I’m not sure if we will beat Arsenal on their turf.
    But we will definitely not lie down and allow them to walk all over us, we will give them a game.
    And how I’d love to see Wenger’s face if we really pull it off and beat them…

  11. DevoDevo says:

    Actually, james, you’re right 8 for Green for that Bullard save alone. Cole & Noble would get 8’s as well if it had not been for the pen miss and CC’s hatful of missed chances.

  12. Johnboy says:

    Really, really loving the Zola style. His manner is confidence inspiring. Don’t want to get too carried away, but he seems to me to be able to convey just what he wants to the players. They’re all coming out and saying they love the training he does (wonder how much Clarkey’s got to do with that?), and he also has the requisite amount of steel to him. Maybe I am getting carried away. Have had a bottle of red whilst watching the game. Who cares?! Even modern-day-spiv-a-like Dux is saying the right things. Love it.

  13. Hammer Ray says:

    I share your optimism James! Fantastic performance from 11 hungry players. All wan’t the ball and want to work for each other, epitomised by Behrami sweeping up for Parker on the rare occasions he got out-numbered. Tireless running. Di Michele was superb but Parker got my MOM vote. Didn’t put a foot wrong and his congrats to DM as he left the pitch summed it up! Watching GZ leaping up and down on the sidelines warms the cockles too! Only blot was LBM who is utterly hopeless. Gily edged chances lashed well wide. Dont care if he can run, he can’t play. ACCEPT IT and SELL HIM to anyone that will take him. A drain on the wages if ever there was one! Don’t want to spoil a fantastic night…Bring on the A**e…expecting points from that after recent weeks! I have been duly reminded why I love the Hammers..thanks chaps!! COYI

  14. Judes says:

    Not chatted before with you guys, although I have enjoyed reading your thoughts.After tonights performance I can’t not put my bit in. I agree with all of you about the performance – IT WAS EXCELLENT – but then again we have played pretty well for a while. The thing that realy hit home tonight though was our captain. He has improved massively, although he was a bit slow going forward to start with. He even managed tackles and passes. I for one will admit that I had concerns after his early performances but can now honestly say that I am happy to have him in the team.

    Things are looking good and although we’ve got a tough few games coming up I don’t see why we can’t beat the gooners, get a draw with utd and beat bolton.

    The futures bright, The futures CLARET AND BLUE !!!!!

    Off for another beer now.


  15. james says:

    Carlton Cole was a merry old soul
    And a merry old soul was he
    He calls for the ball, puts it in the goal
    Or sets up Di Michele
    Oh theres none so rare, that can compare
    With King Cole and his Di Michele

  16. grayboguestmeister says:

    Welcome Judes, or Juden, glad to hear from you.

    Up the Ammmerzzzzz!!!!

  17. james says:

    might copyright that puppy!

  18. Hammer Ray says:

    I expect such a top performance will guarantee the graveyard slot on tonights MOTD!! Still no change there. Agree that Neill is contributing much more lately. If he continues to show the same commitment he can stay, but if not Parker gets my vote for the armband. At the Pompey game recently I overheard quite a few of their supporters wishing they had a midfield dynamo like him. (I was in the only seat I could get by the way)!I have never been so confident of getting a very good result against the Gooners, and who know against the Mancs??? Bring em on I say! Off for a pint or two myself!

  19. Johnboy says:

    Try this one…

    He came from Italy, Chelsea and Napoli
    But We’re better than all three
    When we’ve got Gi-An-Franco Zola
    Z-O-L-A Zola

    Tune of Lola by the Kinks

    Cheers! Come on you Irons,

  20. Eddie Chappers says:

    I have to follow everyone and say I agree we were excellent- professional and incisive with a bite not seen two months ago, plus this was exactly the sort of game in time gone by we would have lost with us in form and the opposition out of form. That goes to make the three points even better and I also have to say that we are playing in a way very reminiscent of Arsenal- creating a hatful of chances of which we finish some to win the game whilst dominating possession throughout.

    I couldnt criticise anything- great team ethic, great team performance, great team………Come on You Irons!!

  21. bazzahammer says:

    i agree with you hammer ray. lbm is utterly hopeless! just looking at his face after he swang his chance wide tells me he is trying so hard and i thank him for that. if i was whu i would get him out on loan to a championship side. if he does well he will come back more confident and do a whole lot better for us. or, he will enjoy it so much he will want to stay and let us get on with playing well!

    brilliant performance by all the lads tonight including zola and clarke who will take us to bigger horizons!

    on another note…SAVIO! SAVIO! SAVIO! i think he will be the next joe cole, di canio and and jermaine defoe put together! (that’s based on their performances with our club and not their attitudes!)

  22. E1 says:

    Green 8
    BACK Four all 8
    Collison,Parker Berami 8
    Noble 7
    cole 8
    Di michele 9
    Fab + Lbm 7
    top performance shame the finishing was’nt a bit better but Hull’s keeper was top class. another 3 points liverpool v wigan was bad result still we are pulling away a bit. Think we might nick something saturday.

  23. Eddie Chappers says:

    P.S> Iain think you’re a bit harsh on Nobes, his penalty taking thus far for us has been consistent and valued- great performance from him today and would be happy to see him take our next pen.

  24. Hammer Ray says:

    Thanks bazza. signing off now but on a final note before I drink too much after tonight, Congrats to Carlton Cole for his scoring exploits and record breaking run. I’m sure TC wishes him well too! I’m as guilty as anyone in the past to question his finishing, although I never questioned his effort. His improvement under GZ is pretty amazing. Not the finished article, but credit where credit is due. We’ll all love him while he’s banging them in wont we! Good night all! COYI

  25. alanalandevonshire says:

    And last on MOTD is……………………..

  26. Hammer Ray says:

    quel surpise!

  27. Hammer Ray says:

    looking forward to gushing praise from Hansen & Lawrenson following the MOTD coverage!!!

  28. Hammer Ray says:

    oh well…all about Hull being rubbish. Didn’t expect any different did we? Don’t let them get you down. Already looking forward to Saturday. COYI

  29. alanalandevonshire says:

    At least they put us on before yesterdays games.

  30. DevoDevo says:

    Only 22 attempts on goal, but we got our usual 5 minutes and no analysis.

    Stuff em.

  31. bazzahammer says:

    great bit of analysis by MOTD.

  32. Hammer Ray says:

    I’m just glad that other Hammers notice the difficulty the MOTD team have over the past 3 years at least to give us any deserved credit whatsoever. Lawro has never forgiven us for beating his beloved Preston in the play off final, Shearer has always hated us, Hansen maybe less so, and Lineker usually gives us a little praise much to the annoyance of the other 2 or three. If we keep playing the way we did tonight though, some may have to bend a little. It must really annoy them that we’ve got GZ in charge as he’s so difficult to dislike for even our most ardent foes! The MOTD coverage really winds me up most of the time..anyone else share my frustration???

  33. DevoDevo says:

    1 Manchester United 6 6 0 0 6 0 12 0 +12 18 3.00
    2 Aston Villa 6 5 1 0 3 0 9 4 +5 16 2.67
    3 West Ham United 6 4 1 1 1 1 13 6 +7 13 2.17
    4 Everton 6 3 3 0 4 1 8 2 +6 12 2.00
    5 Arsenal 6 3 3 0 2 0 9 5 +4 12 2.00


  34. IronMick says:

    I can’t remember the last time I was this happy after a game. We were simply awesome.
    Even being played last on MOTD made me laugh.
    Di Michele was brilliant, that curler must have been the cause of a few spilt pints – also the build up to Collison hitting the post – I thought I was watching Brazil!

  35. IronMick says:

    is that some kind of current form table?
    My overwhelming joy/beer is making it somewhat hard to fathom (love the word fathom)

  36. Hammer Ray says:

    Very pleasing stats Devo. Watching the longer MOTD coverage of arsenal tonight doesn’t give me anything to worry about for Sat. If we keep an eye on the dutchman and make Gallas look like the player he is then we’ll be fine. They certainly are not the force they were and we have nothing to lose, so hope we go for it. I’d certainly rather have Green between the sticks, and so would Wenger!

  37. james says:

    zola has such an amazing project going i can’t see him going if chelsea come knocking. hopefully the same for clarke. that may have been his playing club but if we show him more love and he stamps his footprint on the club i hope hes here for the long haul. we have a history for long managerial terms and like arsenal we have a young talented team to nurture.

  38. IronMick says:

    Carlton Cole..COLE
    He’s gonna get you a goal
    at Upton park we just know
    He is unstoppable
    always believe in….


    to the tune of Spandau Ballet, Gold

    Good, no?
    Well I think so

  39. SJ Chandos says:

    Superb performance. The movement and one touch football was a joy to behold. I think that the Zola style was well and truly born tonight. Yet they were also organised, disciplined and hard working, that is undoubtedly Clarke’s influence. Continue like this and Zola and Clarke will become to football what Lennon and McCartney are to popular music!!!!

    Well done to Di Michele, he looked like a different player tonight. And hats off to Berhami, I think that his skill, drive and hard has added a whole new dimesion to the Hammers midfield.

    I actually predicted a 2-0 win, but I should have been wrong by 3 or 4 goals!

    Other contributors have mentioned the continued BBC ‘institutional discrimination’ against the Hammers. But did you notice how awkward Hanson and Lawrenson looked! So much for their ‘expert opinions, according to them we were a crisis club in free fall! Zola and Clarke have torn up the BBC script for West Ham’s season!

  40. IronMick says:

    How much did Behrami actually cost, I can’t remember exactly but I know it was a bargain. You are dear right SJ Chandos.
    As for Scott Parker:
    He should be, a – West Ham Captain, b – England squad without a shadow of a doubt and on current form starting 11. The man is a legend, he tackles with aggression but control – and is so consistent on the ball and passing.
    On Capello’s form – he will be in the squad, but for the moment I’m just over the moon he is in claret and blue!!

  41. IodHammer says:

    I love how Zola said that every game is an emprovement, and its true, we will have bad games and we will have better games, i cant help but think that under Curbs we would have lost that. Every single player was amazing, it can only get better.

    West ham to stop Man Utd’s amazing run of games without conceeding!

    I knew that after the Aston Villa game we were ok.

    Seriously happy hammer!

  42. SJ Chandos says:

    Arsenal at the Emirates will be a very interesting test of how far West Ham have come under Zola. Normally, we might be apprehensive about back to back Arsenal-Man Utd matches, but in these circumstances we should positively welcome the opportunity to see the team test itself against the very best.

    Normally, no one would turn their noses up at a point from those two games, so anything more is a bonus. I will stick my neck out and predict two draws against Arsenal and Man Utd. We live in interesting times!

  43. SwedeHammer says:

    Hammers signed Behrami for 5 mill. A bargain looking at his contribution.

  44. Kiwi Hammer says:

    I wonder what the Beebs would be saying about us with six points gained in the next two matches?

  45. eleeNYC says:

    I’m floored. It should have been 5-nil. I really had doubts about Di Michele. I dunno. Zola really can see something in players. It’s amazing.
    Zola loves the Gunners plan and it seems to becoming to fruition.

    Stay tuned because
    this is the future of premiership and every club will be looking at us. We are becoming a forward thinking club.


  46. Hammer Ray says:

    In answer to Kiwi Hammer’s question, they would simply mention how badly Arsenal and Man Utd played. No credit neccesary to the Hammers. Oh to be a BBC pundit. Money for old rope and no mistake! Definitely good work if you can get it, as long as you are thick skinned enough to ignore the comments of genuine fans like us, which they seem perfectly able to do!Sad really but it gives us all something to let off steam about. They do say football is a game of opinions dont they? Just a shame the BBC’s ‘impartial’ opinions are generally biased and totally one-sided! Take credit in the fact that performances like last night irritate the hell out of them!. At some point if we keep this form up, they will have to admit that the reason we are winning is because of US, and not because the opponents had a day off. COYI

  47. chris says:

    Great football.looking at the early papers some people giving our players 6 out of 10! can you believe that!
    Some of these reporters are just so gutted they just can’t eat that pie!!!
    Cole was massive unplayable at times,pace power,could of had a hatrick,get ready everyone for a big bid!!!
    Would say we are the dark horses for europe, we are stronger than Everton,Wigan and even villa,I think we have really turned a corner,the only team we should watch out for are the spuds.
    As for the Arsenal game 2-1 to us,Cole will give them a bashing! they are there for the taking this time. marks out of 10,9 for everyone they all played their part.

  48. RunningHammer says:

    I agree on the MOTD coverage. Pathetic. I don’t find Sky’s match commentary that great either. If Andy Gray is in a good mood he’ll give us begrudging acknowledgment at best – but he usually sides against us in any dubious decisions.

    On the booing when Faubert and Boa Morte came on…I was only watching on Sky so it was difficult to tell…but I hope the booing was from the Hull fans and not our own. That would be a real shame if we booed both our own subs, especially when the team played their socks off like that.

  49. IOWHammer says:

    Could not watch this one due to work commitments, so got up early to watch a recording of it. What a great performance, gutted i missed it last night (never the same when you know the result.) I am so looking forward now to our games against the Arse. & Mancs. It will show us how far we have come and we are going into both games with a real chance of competing at their level without it being a one off big effort from us because we are actually playing that well on a regular basis now. Well done to the whole team, great commitment and flair and congratulations to Zola & Clarke on giving us back the WHU we love.

  50. John says:

    Great game yesterday, and Zola is doing wonders for us. Parker again proved that he is one of our best and most important players. Cole should have had a hattrick yesterday, and the things that he missed worry me, because I cant help to ask myself, is the fact that he is scoring at the moment, result of his form or quality.

  51. grayboguestmeister says:

    Where’s Goatygav? Is he still in the pub celebrating? Come on, Goaty, did you get your tix ok and what did you think of the evening?

  52. Ray Moore says:

    Great performance from the whole team, i was so gutted after Noble missed his pen. After devodevo said yesterday that we would win two nil i had a bet on that score and noble to score the first goal at 50/1.

    Great prediction devodevo however i thought you might have mentioned your correct prediction in this post. stand up and take the praise.

  53. Falvo says:

    So proud of the team today. We were simply awesome.

    ‘eleeNYC’ is right. this is the future of the premiership.

    we dont have billions to spend.
    we’ll just be a good team,


  54. DevoDevo says:

    I think I mentioned it somewhere, Ray, despite the fact it should have been a minimum of 5!

    Yes, fellas, that’s the latest current form table, we are also the highest scorers in the league over the last 6 games. Who would have thought that a few months ago when we couldn’t score more than 1 in a game?

    The influence of Clarke & Zola can not be underestimated. Had we still had Curbishley in charge, we would be in a relegation battle and certainly not turning out performances like last night’s.

    I, too, have a funny feeling with the next two games. Arsenal are there for the taking and it will be interesting to see how our passing game holds up against theirs.

    As someone has already stated, as long as we can keep RVP quiet, we have nothing to fear. Man U after has me licking my lips.

    At last, West Ham are on the back pages again for all the right reasons and it appears even the usual suspects have given up on their “West Ham firesale” crusade. šŸ™‚

  55. Dutch Hammer says:

    Best game since Dec 29th 2007 in terms of atmosphere and emotions. Wow, what a game. Of course, we should have scored at least 6, but I was absolutely impressed by midfied play and off-ball movement(in possession). Great performance by Cole, looks like he converts every clearence into possession.

    I am really looking forward to this saturday, hoping we can at leas draw against the gooners. Concerning the table you have to be realistic. First goal will be to maintain 8th or 7th place. At the moment, with some tough games to come, it is just irrealistic to expect us to catch up with Everton or Arsenal.

    This is definately the result of GZ consistent tactics and clear coaching. Looks like the players just know what their teammates will do and are more than able to anticipate on that. He just made it so much easier for the players, and gave them clear understanding on order of rank in the team.

    Last, I am really curious on Savio. Man, he’s small. Hope he isn’t to small for British Football?

  56. Stephen says:

    What a performance! and not just by the players I thought the atmosphere was excellent, good to hear a variety of songs. We need to keep this atmosphere up because there will be games when the players need the our full support. Good to hear the crowd singing Zola’s name.

    One negative point some needles booing from the upper Dr Martens when Faubert and Boa came on. Give it rest now, we all no Boa hasn’t cut the mustard but it’s getting boring and personally speaking they are only human beings so there confidence will be effected. Im not saying Boa will come good but does he really deserve so much grief?

  57. getoutofthat says:

    I wouldn’t worry too much about Savio’s height…
    One of the reasons GZ like s him is that Savio reminds him of himself as a player…and he got by!

  58. Roy says:

    What I think is so great is how Zola is instilling what was his way of playing into the team which is not often the case when great players become managers. Last night was football played in the “West Ham way” of years gone by. I’ve not seen passing and movement like that from a West Ham team since the peak of the Di Canio / Redknapp years and, even then, it was spasmodic.
    Yes, we should have scored 5 or 6 but at least we are creating the chances and on another day that performance would have resulted in a complete rout.
    If Collison’s shot had not hit the post and gone in instead we would have a serious contender for Goal of the Season. After that happened I got a text from a mate (Liverpool fan) who was watching in the pub. It said “Bloody hell, this is like watching Brazil”.
    The other positive thing is that, although the goals came from the front men (well, it is their job, after all) we look like scoring from midfield as well now and even Faubert came close as well as Collins getting in headers from set pieces.
    One concern, and I don’t want to appear negative, is that if the first choice eleven (and we can all name that now) suffers some injuries we still don’t have enough quality in some positions to replace them.
    Still, I believe in Zola and it will be alright!

  59. Roy says:

    Actually, we will never have a contender for Goal of the Season if MOTD is involved. We would probably never even make the shortlist!

  60. Paul M says:

    WOW, we all witnessed something a little bit special last night. WHU coming to the party.
    This is the BEST West Ham ‘TEAM’ for many many years, I say team because tha’s how GZ and SC have got us playing.

    MOM was Di Michele, who’d of thought it eh. Followed very closely by Parker, he is awesome lately (defo’ for the next England squad, put your money on it)
    Nobes was outstanding too (pen miss aside) Behrami, had one of his more quiet nights but was still top draw, what an athlete he is!! Collison again showed his potential, he could be a world beater.

    Carlton could and should of had 3 but who can knock his overall play, again up there with his team mates.
    The back 4 were all brilliant with special praise to Neil, as someone said earlier he has upped his game BIG time and I too would be happy to keep him.
    Greeny, wothout much to do, show just how good he is with a world class save from a Bullard fizzer (another candidate for the England squad)

    I hope someone from the club comes on this blog and reads just what this means to the fans. To see EVERY man on the pitch chasing and tackling as if it was a cup final made the hairs on my arms stand up. If this is what is to come, I can’t wait.

    On a final note, Savio, although only on for 4 or 5 minutes showed that he is going to be a tricky little fella – hope he is the NEW Ronaldo !!!!

    Hammer for life not just Xmas

  61. Roshi says:

    Agree with you Iain about Dean Windass, he was like fresh air in that studio (no pun intended)
    He was honest, despite his close affinity to Hull and he was spot on with his comments.
    The team were awesome and the best bit for me was the genuine man hug of friendship between Zola and Clark at the final whistle which indicated to me that everything is going to plan.
    Oh yes and as a side note, can someone in production at Sky please ask Jamie Redknapp to get some trousers that fit him, tight trousers facing camera with your legs all a kimbo is not a pretty sight, even the missus was commenting on how gross it looked.

  62. Tony says:

    Great night and fantastic performance.

    Agree with all those who say Lucas Neil deserved an 8/10. Personally I’d like to see him sign get a new contract along with Parker/Green/Upson and kept on as captain.

    Great to see Jeremy back on the mic as well.

    Only slight negative for me was the hint of a boo from the crowd when both Faubert and Boa Morte came on. If you can’t bring yourself to support them then keep your gob shut, is my honest opinion on that one.

    Franco Zola’s Claret and Blue Army appears to be on the march!


  63. Doc H Ball says:

    Still a bit hungover here. There’s some games when you just have to have a drink and some banter afterwards, others where you run home to kick the cat. Fortunately my cat’s enjoying a quiet life of late.

    There’s a fair few songs being suggested on here. We were trying to get one started in the lower Bobby to the tune of ‘D.I.S.C.O’:

    S.A.V.I.O, S.A.V.I.O, Oh Oh Oh, S.A.V.I.O…. (continue)

    Celtic sang the same for D.I.CANIO and the memories came flooding back. Oh joy!

  64. redkipper says:

    LBM apart this was a class performance.

    Whats showing now is a confidence when we are on the back foot, we now try and pass our way out of trouble, this is a new and welcome development. This can only be down to Zola & Clarke.

    I see ‘Freds’ agent is saying wonkey eye is lying about Fred not showing up at Spuds to sign – surly not!

  65. Goatygav says:

    What a match to choose for my first visit to UP of the season. Me and my Bro ended up paying cash on gate 16 and getting seats up in the gods of the West Stand – near to the Centenary. We had a load of yoots sat behind us trying to get the songs going. They were quite funny really – reminded me of when I was a teenager with my mates saying some really stupid stuff. At one point they directed a chant of “Your mum’s from Emmerdale – Your mum’s from Emmerdale!” towards the Hull fans. I’d have laughed my head off if I was one of them and heard that. When they started off some sensible songs me and my Bro backed them up and joined in. Not that we were much help as I’d lost my voice after 10 minutes.

    I’ll agree that it should’ve been 5-0. Would just add that could’ve been the scoreline at half time!

    For a debut I thought their keeper did a terrific job for them. Between him and the woodwork a rout was prevented.

    Absolutely loved our movement, passing, tackling, chasing back, Di Mic’s curler, Nobe’s Chip, Di Mic’s solo run into their box and the atmosphere. In Savio’s 3-4 minutes he showed a couple of flashes of his electric pace and willingness to take defenders on. Given time I believe Zola and Clarkey will turn him into a world-beater. Shame he can’t play for England.

    Overall a very confident and professional performance with some superb moments to savour.

    On the way out I overheard several muted “UEFA CUP” conversations. Under normal circumstances I’d have passed them off as yet another false dawn. This team, however, inspires more confidence in me than so many others in the past. There’s a solidity and organization about the defence. There’s some terrific movement, clever interchange and passing as well as some tenacity and determination in midfield. Ilunga is always a threat going forward whilst being solid at the back. So I’m looking upwards and onwards rather than, like in the past, worrying about relegation. If we continue to play like this for the rest of the season I think 6th or 7th will be a realistic expectation.

    There’s also a lot to be said about our strikers being the ones getting the goals. Don’t know about you but I believe that’s the way it should be. It’s their job and teams shouldn’t rely on goals from midfield, or set pieces, to win games.

    As for Hull we just didn’t give them a look. Their best player was their goalkeeper which says it all really. They livened up a bit with Bullard coming on (good to hear applause for him when he entered the fray).

    Overall a very, very Happy Hammer today.

    I’ve got my tickets for Man City and am already very excited about that one. Plus I’ll get the chance to give Craig someoneorwhoever a special East End welcome!!

    COYI!!!!!! More of the same come Saturday lads!!!!!!!!

  66. IronMick says:

    The morning after, and I’m still on a high!
    I agree with various people who suggested that Neil should have got an 8/10. The last few games he has been a lot better and had somewhat calmed down on the rash challenges and bad positional play that he was becoming known for – I still think Parker would be the better Captain however.
    Moving on from Parker, I was having a conversation this morning about Hammer of the year thus far –
    I put my money with Parker with my mate opting for Behrami, which I can understand. In my opinion both have been consistently very solid. You could also make the same case for Upson, and a mention to cole, the later however was just not good enough at the beginning of the season. Thoughts anyone?

  67. richo says:

    Awesome, couldn’t be happier right now Zola and Clarke seem to have totally turned our club around. Atmosphere sounded awesome at the ground from where I sat, good work guys and girls.
    Things are looking great, we’ve set ourselves up nicely with the amount of points we’ve picked up since the Villa game. Most pleasing though is the way we’ve been playing, it’s been consistent quality looking football if this is Zola’s brand then I hope he manages us for the rest of his life, it’s so refreshing to see.

  68. IronMick says:

    The morning after, and I’m still on a high!
    I agree with various people who suggested that Neil should have got an 8/10. The last few games he has been a lot better and had somewhat calmed down on the rash challenges and bad positional play that he was becoming known for – I still think Parker would be the better Captain however.
    Moving on from Parker, I was having a conversation this morning about Hammer of the year thus far –
    I put my money with Parker with my mate opting for Behrami, which I can understand. In my opinion both have been consistently very solid. You could also make the same case for Upson, and a mention to cole, the later however was just not good enough at the beginning of the season. Thoughts anyone?

  69. IronMick says:

    sorry for the duplicate post

  70. eleeNYC says:

    Roshi agreed. Loved that Clarke and Zola had their moment at the end. The whole club is operating as a unit and that counts for so much. To be honest i’m a little teary eyed thinking about it.

    Love that Illunga always comes up front ready to make the cross fighting off the opponents in the corner.

  71. richo says:

    IronMick- ie ‘Hammer of the Year’ i’d say Parker with Upson a close second

  72. Goatygav says:

    Just read this one from the Daily Mail on Line. . Brought a smile to my face. So desperate to “have a dig” whilst we’re storming along they’ve reverted to reporting on ancient history. What a sad day for journalism.

  73. grayboguestmeister says:

    No worries, IronMick… it was a very good post, well worth the second airing.

    One thought that occurred to me…

    … since this upturn in fortunes and the encouraging style of play, and the general all-round optimism, it would be interesting to know the traffic overview for visits to the this site, Iain.

  74. richo says:

    Forgot Behrami aswell he’ll be in the mix for sure

  75. Goatygav says:

    Yep – Parker, Upson, Behrami and Ilunga would be on my shortlist.

  76. IronMick says:

    Thanks Greyboguestmeister,
    I’d also be interested to see the numbers fro this site. furthermore I would be interested to see how our average attendance at Upton Park looks now that we are playing ‘the Zola way’
    Goatygav – you are also right, I overlooked Illunga – despite our inital fears when Mcartney left I believe we have a much superior replacement.

  77. DevoDevo says:

    Looks like we have Kovic on loan as well. More cover for defence and midfield. šŸ™‚

  78. Ray Moore says:

    Great noise from the crowd last night, although i was watching the TV rather than being at the game. Not sure if we did or not but i still didnt hear any Gianfranco Zola’s claret and blue army!!!! is it not time to start giving him some credit and making him proud to be at west ham????????

  79. eleeNYC says:

    guy at our pub was singing Zola to Lola. could sound nice in the stands. simple and clear

  80. grayboguestmeister says:

    Since we’re back on the subject of songs, I posted one on the preview thread while you were all on the way to the match yesterday…

    To the tune of O Solo Mio ā€¦ (or Just One Cornetto to the likes of you and me).

    Just one Gianfranco
    Zola for me
    Heā€™s got more talent
    in his right knee
    Than all of Tottenham’s
    Entire front three
    Just one Gianfranco
    From Eeetaly

  81. iron man says:

    What a game,best overall performance for ages,even Neill is looking good at the moment.Full credit to Di Michelle with strikers coming and going he has perfomed really well with Carlton and is showing some real skill.Zola and Clarke are starting to make the team their own and some of the football on display was magical.We should have scored a few more but at the end of the day we kept plugging away and got our just rewards.
    What a turn around, the faith shown in the management is really starting to pay off.Another encouraging thing is that our best players are happy to stay and happy with the football we are now playing as for LBM
    the way the rest of the team are now makes him look even worse. I would have given Stanislas a run instead. Bring on the Gooners we can get something from this game!
    COYI !!!!!!

  82. Doc H Ball says:

    That’s very good grayboguestmeister.

    We badly need a Zola song. Iain, I smell a competition!

    To the tune of Cococabana by Barry Manilow (?):

    His name was Zola
    Gianfranco Zola
    He’s the one that Chelski can’t get over
    Now he’s at West Ham
    He’s the main man
    Football and passion
    Are always in fashion
    With Zola
    We fell in love…. we fell in love…

  83. Hammer Ray says:

    Love the Zola Cornetto song! I’ll be singing that one! Parker definitely my player of the season, but there are several other contenders already mentioned, like Behrami, Ilunga, and Upson. It is fantastic to hear so many positive comments from REAL supporters. The praise given was totally deserved last night to players, coaches and the fantastic supporters who sang so loud. Sadly couldn’t be there myself, but really noticed the noise without the need for the volume to be increased on the TV. I’ll be on a high for the rest of the week and cannot wait for Saturday. Also don’t agree with any boo boys. We never need that. Leave that to the Spuds. Just hope LBM isn’t introduced anymore, but if he is, if you can’t say anything positive……? COYI

  84. IronMick says:

    Doc H Ball
    Classic song. Suggesting a competiton, then coming out with that badboy. Sly like Russian ;_)

  85. irontc says:

    fantastic night.

    I see, even BG was there.

  86. chris says:

    Radio reports this morning suggest that Kovac’s arrival means one of our midfielders or center halfs is leaving,Please tell me this An’t true west ham not after last night,anyone got any more info!!!!!

  87. irontc says:

    If LBM is staying, which it looks like he is, elements of the crowd have got to stop booing him!

    he tries his hardest, distracts oppenents to let in our other players.

    If we get behind him, he may come good (like Cole and Michelle have)

    give the bloke a break!


  88. irontc says:

    hopefully kovac simply replaces mullins (its a loan deal)

  89. grayboguestmeister says:

    IronTC, sadly, I don’t think the boo boys will be able to read any of the comments on this blog, let alone react to any requests.

    Your point is well worth making, though. Maybe there are others who can influence them inside the stadium.

  90. djclipz says:

    chris, well if thats true i hope it not one of our best. But it a bit strange if they don’t seem to know who… just generally sayin a centre half or midfielder… So im not too worried!! Besides davenports move might be going through too

  91. IronMick says:

    I agree djclipz (with hope) The Davenport deal would seem the most likely candidate, coupled with the departure of Mullins.
    Fingers crossed.
    When does the transfer window end? Is it saturday night?

  92. Falvo says:

    a fantastic performance all round
    i couldnt contain my happiness watching us play yesterday

    if we had lost yesterday
    i wouldnt have minded
    we played good football

    behrami didnt get booked
    faubert was quite fiery when he came on

    everyone played as a team and especially our forwards were immense
    di michele could have had a couple of goals
    cole could have had 4 or 5 and his touch is brilliant now, also his hold-up play

    i even found myself saying well done neill a few times!!! :O
    shock horror!

  93. Falvo says:

    concerning hammer of the year, i think on improvement, cole should get it

    however i think its going to be extremely tight, with parker, behrami, collison and upson all in with a shout.

    i mentioned on a different post that i think we could reach uefa
    wigan and everton drew yday which puts us level on 7th but lower on goal difference (by the way we’ve struck level !!!!!)

    i have to say, player of the season for me is tim cahill so far, he’s been immense for everton

  94. chris says:

    we must get behind Lbm he’s staying so there’s no point slagging him off,some people were out of order last night,he’s well out of sorts but maybe just maybe(help me ob-1 knowbi your my only hope)he can turn it around.Cant zola teach him to stop shooting like hes taking a goal kick!louis just side foot the ball in the net stop trying to hit it as hard as you can.

  95. grayboguestmeister says:

    Falvo, level goal difference is always a big bonus, so well worth pointing it out.

    If we’re not conceding, we’re not losing. Defence has improved immensely. Wouldn’t it be great to shut out the Gooners.

    Must comment that Upson’s timing on his jumps is first-class at the moment.

    It would be great to know the sort of things the guys are working on in training, in detail.

    Another example is Carlton Cole. Keeping it simple … one-touch, then look for a player or look for a shot and get the ball moving. Big respect to him for pulling things round.

  96. Falvo says:

    yeah cheers gray…………….ster

    but did you hear rob hawthorne and andy gray commention on our defence as being weak!
    i was shouting at the screen, it infuriated me.

    lets have tony cottee commentating our games for a change
    i’d love some bias to go OUR way for a change

    someone already said, i EXPECT us to get a draw against arsenal and even man u.

    and yes, upsons timing is amazingly good at the moment. and he is the cleanest centre back in the england squad at the moment!

  97. Falvo says:

    hawthorne and andy gray commentating*

  98. Goatygav says:

    Graybo – I tried a couple of times to get a little ripple (no pun intended) of your Zola/Cornetto song going. No takers, ‘cept for my Brother, last night but I’ll have another go at the Man City game.

  99. grayboguestmeister says:

    Ha-ha… well done, Gav, nice try.

    Bit highbrow, maybe, but perhaps we could get the lyrics up on the jumbotron, or whatever it’s called now, just to have one more go. (Quickly emphasises that that’s a joke, by the way).

    I was sorry to hear that you were up in the nosebleeds. It’s a shame it’s not possible to pitch up on the night and slide into a decent spot on a terrace.

    Although that will probably start a whole new debate about safety and comfort, maybe best left for another day.

  100. Stephen says:

    Nice song grayboguestmeister, more of the same hammers fans

  101. Paul M says:

    looks like Kovac is coming on loan for sure. Also, still looking at Balotteli from Milan. 18 years old, but big and strong, if we can get him on loan too he could be great cover for Carlton as we don’t have another ‘big boy’ in the squad that’s fit. Doubt we could buy him outright as he is very highly rated and would cost a fortune. Only problem is he is a bit of a bighead and a don’t fancy traing too much, that’s why Murinho has dropped him. GZ and SC might just be the right men to get him going agin and what with the ‘Chelsea’ connection this just might go through. I hope so.
    Any thoughts

  102. Paul M says:

    training *

  103. Goatygav says:

    Jumbotron – what a great word! Just googled it and it looks like it was Sony’s brand for big display screens. Anyway – back in the room-back in the room!

    Kovac may provided decent cover. I think someone raised concerns about potential injuries to key players and I don’t think his arrival would do any harm.

  104. grayboguestmeister says:

    … although … we don’t ‘do’ injuries under the new regime. ;o)

  105. Tony says:

    If Carlton Cole gets injured I think we should stick James Collins up front and back fill with Tommo!! Te he.

  106. DevoDevo says:

    Tony, I think a better option would be to put Freddie Sears on Nsereko’s shoulders under an oversized shirt.

    Just imagine. Quick and 7 feet tall!

  107. Hammerswest says:

    Great song Graybo, this site really is a fun place to be, watched the game streaming at work yesterday, amazing the whole team were on fire.
    just got my ticket for the Man U game, and I fly out of California Sunday, can’t wait.

  108. DevoDevo says:

    Stick you blue flag up your
    From Stamford Bridge to Upton park
    We’ve got Mister Zola and Steve Clark
    Stick you blue flag up your

  109. Mac says:

    We were a TEAM.

    A fully fledged, 100% football team.

    It was amazing to watch them truly play for each other; the handshakes as they passed each other, and the passion in their play was stunning.

    And what’s really pleasing is to see is the way we now play two-touch, at almost any stage of the game, and in any area of the pitch. Pure Zola. As neat and tidy as a classic Italian suit.

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