Manchester City Match Report: We Got What We Deserved

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We got exactly what we deserved from this game. A victory. To bounce back after two less than inspiring performances was incredibly important, and we started this game with ambition, intent and commitment.

This was one of the most physical encounters I can remember at Upton Park, but we gave as good as we got. The referee, Mike Dean, was the worst we have seen at West Ham this season. He was totally inconsistent, failing to punish terrible fouls at all and then dishing out yellow cards when they weren’t warranted. I lost count of the times I saw him with his arm around a Man City player.

The great thing about this performance was that, again, as in January’s games, there was no weak link. There was a consistency of performance right across the team. The lowest mark I gave any player was a 7. One of the main differences to the last two games is that we managed to play with some width. Collison and Ilunga were superb down the left in the first half, and Savio really made a difference when he came on. The goal resulted from his shot from the left hand edge of the area.

The BBC gave their Man of the Match to Rob Green and it is easy to see why. He made two point blank saves which would have been certain goals – both from the otherwise anonymous Robinho. It was Green’s best performance of the year so far.

Defensively, we were awesome today. Lucas Neill had Robinho in his pocket and put in a very aggressive performance. He was just as good going forward and I’d say this was his best game of the season. James Tomkins had a fantastic game. His constant stream of clearing headers were Collins-esque.

In midfield Scott Parker was imperious again, and his early yellow card for bringing down Micah Richards seem to spur him and the rest of the team on. Kovacs was industrious and player far further forward than I was expecting. He’s not the quickest, but he was at the centre of everything. Collison, though, was for me the man of the match in the first half. He was all over the pitch and just as effective in defense as attack. Has he actually ever had a bad game for us? Maybe being left out at Middlesborough gave him an added incentive to do well. He faded a bit in the second half, but that should not obscure how well he took his goal. It was not an easy chance. I think that was his third goal of the season, which is not a bad return at all.

Up front David Di Michele had a good match. He combined well with Cole and had a couple of good chances. He also tackled back and buzzed all over the pitch in the first half. He tired towards the middle of the second half and was then replaced by Spector who, although he was only on for fifteen minutes, did superbly well in shoring up the midfield. Savio, who came on for Behrami, showed that he is going to be some player. The way he controlled a very difficult clearance and then ran half the length of the pitch with the ball was brilliant. The way he took his shot from the left forced Given into an instinctive save, which left Collison with the task of lobbing the ball home. I can’t wait to see Savio start. It can’t be long before that happens.

But I want to reserve huge praise for Carlton Cole. He was immense today. He didn’t have many clearcut chances, but the way he played others in and held the ball up contributed hugely to this performance. If anyone scored him at less than an 8 they can’t have been watching the same game as me.

So that puts us in 7th place. If Man U win today and a top 4 side wins the FA Cup,. 7th place guarantees a European spot. On this evidence, we can do it. We’ve now got matches against Wigan on Wednesday and then West Brom the following Monday. Six points would put some pressure on Everton, who at the moment are 8 point ahead of us. We can but dream!

Green 8
Ilunga 8
Tomkins 8
Neill 8
Upson 7
Parker 9
Kovacs 7
Behrami 7
Savio 7
Collison 8
Cole 8
Di Michele 7
Spector 7

Click HERE to give your own player ratings.

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106 Responses to Manchester City Match Report: We Got What We Deserved

  1. chris says:

    Agree with everyting Iain.
    An incredible result and performance considering last game.Impressive!! grit and guts.
    Never a negative post from me, I have learnt my lesson.

  2. chris says:

    Uefa cup no thanks!

  3. Marleeeen depreciation society says:

    very good account of the game iain, i saw it exactly the same way. let’s all hope behrami is ok, he’s become essential to us.

  4. Goatygav says:

    Just got home after the game. I really must go more often – a 100% home record. Not such a good one away, though, having lost both the games I’ve gone to.

    Once we got a foothold in the first half we were fantastic. There was some really attractive football played as the team continued to implement Zola’s quick passing and clever interplay. We offered more width today which really paid off. Jack Collison is a very special player. Tremendous all round performance and a really cooly taken goal.

    Couldn’t see from where we were but it looked like Upson headed off the line in the 2nd half. Was that the case?

    Savio really impressed when he came on. He was electric and, as Iain rightly pointed out, was the main force in creating the goal.

    Di Michele had a good game. He turned his man a few times and put players through/got a shot in.

    Parker continues to run the midfield. Ilunga, Upson, Neill and Tomka did really well at the back. Spector and Lopez didn’t get enough time to show much but seemed to do ok.

    Carlton Cole made a massive contribution to the win. Why didn’t Zola take him off though? He was clearly struggling and Gianfranco took Di Michele off instead.

    Great stuff – I’m a really Happy Hammer tonight. A well deserved win indeed.

  5. Kim says:

    I totally agree with you Iain – they made us very proud hammers today. Did you read Mark Hughes’ comments on the City website. He said that we created very little and played very negative football. Perhaps he should look at Setanta’s stats – we had six shots on target to their 1. They may have just edged the posession but our tackle success rate was a stunning 95%. Me thinks Hughes sounds like a man in fear of his job. Wigan won’t be easy but the players must have taken loads of confidence from today. Just feel so sorry for poor old Chicken.

  6. Hammerite says:

    Yes, a very solid team performance. We shouldn’t forget Behrami, though. A sickening injury. I wouldn’t be surprised if we have lost him for the remainder of the season.

  7. Paul B says:

    I could not think of anybody who had a bad game. It was fantastic. I don’t think the 72 version of Bubbles was such a big hit but it made me smile. Great atmosphere and I really enjoyed the game and we did get what we deserved. Great stuff.

  8. Goatygav says:

    Twisted his knee badly. Hope he’s ok.

    BEHRAMI ARMY!!!!

  9. Paul B says:

    The only down side was the injury to Behrami. I hope he his ok because I thnk he has been fantastic this season.

  10. Jolly says:

    Just back from the game – will someone please sort out the road round Green street!!!!
    Great performance from the boys – have to agree with Iain that this was Neill’s best games for ages.
    and as for Mr Bell-endamy – had a shocker of a game and good to hear the faithful in good voice.
    2 questions;
    1. what happened to bubbles at the start of the game and
    2. what the hell was the bubbles at half time???

    COYI

  11. Kim says:

    Oh good Man U have just beaten the spuds.

  12. Goatygav says:

    Iain – Is that confirmed about the Europa League places will go to 6th & 7th placed sides in the league and not to the League Cup and FA Cup runners up?

  13. darkspectacle says:

    Like Goatgav I too have a 100% record when I’ve been at Upton Park. I’m sad to say that it was against Leicester, Sunderland and Watford in the late seventies!! It sounds like a fantastic performance. I can’t wait to see it later. This team are turning me back into a football fan!

  14. KP says:

    I missed the game due to family stuff. So far I’ve had to content myself with watching Collison’s matchwinner over and over online. Anyone know if our game will feature in the “Football First: Match Choice” show on Sky Sports 2 at 10pm/11.30pm?

  15. hammerswest says:

    I have a 100% non winning record for my two games this season, good thing I’m back in the states. Great game I actually scored the players slightly lower than you Iain, because I thought I was getting carried away, but it seems not, so I’d probably up all my scores by at least one. Great day, except for Behrami, it looked nasty on the replay

  16. Goatygav says:

    Sadly it’s only 100% this season darkspecatcle.

  17. claire says:

    Agree with you, Iain. Had they not had Given in goal we might have scored a couple in the first half. Our commitment was first-class, in the face of some fairly physical play from City.
    And the right Welshman scored on St David’s Day!
    (Chant of the day: us to them about Robinho: “What a waste of money” them back to us: “At least we’ve got the money!”)

    Very happy hammer here. Oh, and not only was the ref rubbish, but the lino too, always a few feet behind where he should have been.

  18. mokumhammer says:

    a tad optimistic – european spot. I’ll be happy (& perhaps a little more realistic) & plump for mid-table meritocracy

  19. E1 says:

    Excellent team perfomance 8’s all round with scotty getting a 9.
    I still believe we can get 50 points and finish 7th or if we beat the toffee’s 6th.
    COYI !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Rob says:

    i didnt see the game but by the sounds of it we dominated but savio provided that extra spark we have been lacking.
    great result as they have been improving (man city) and now we have a solid league position.
    i think myself and several others were too quick to dismiss our teams ability with the formation and team we have been playing this year (without kovac)

  21. E1 says:

    Rob: only 14 points to go

  22. Englands number 6 says:

    yes a well won 3 points, hard fought for 94 minutes, but for Christs sake, Cole is still a poor excuse for a center forward, its no good being a target man if you need 4 touches to control the ball, he worked hard all day but is still a pile of poo.

  23. budgie says:

    Very pleased to see that the reverse psychology of Chris ” we wont win another game this season” worked a treat as what was possibly our best performance of the 2008/9 was enjoyed by all of us today save only for the sad sight of Valon Behrami’s injury. Everyone did play well and with total comittment. I totally agree with Iain about Mike Dean. There was one especially bad decision against Carlton Cole in the first half when the City player, possibly De Jong, fell over with CC at least a foot away from him and without any contact and they got a free kick. But apart from the horrendous traffic on the way home this is a very happy Hammer household tonight and as I only wish to have positive thoughts lets all congratulate City’s neighbours on winning the Mickey Mouse Cup

  24. E1 says:

    Iain :The fixture list suggest’s that it is not a dream but is in our own hands and can be done, 8 or more points from the next 4 games and we are well on our way.
    COYI !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. mokumhammer says:

    A few things from todays game:

    1 – we’re going to miss Behrami – big time
    2 – Savio – can’t take a corner
    3 – DCC had (another) very poor game
    4 – let’s not get too optimistic on here (or anywhere else) about qualifing for an ueafa place. Next 4 games though might determine our fate.

  26. brooking still the best says:

    Great game and a very well earned three points. Can you believe the football we have played at times this year compared to last?
    One little niggling worry i have is how we have to play so well for the narrow wins we get. If only we had a decent striker..

  27. HammerMalta says:

    Uefa place doesn`t concern me at the moment, i`m more worried about the injury list, Ashton,Collins,and now Berhami not to forget Gabiddon and Dyer.I`ll be more than happy with a sevent place but we still lack that prolific goal scorer.We need to get Ashton more than fit for the new season and hope he stays fit he`s our only target man,otherwise it`s gonna be hard to find the net!!!!!COYI.

  28. brooking still the best says:

    Forgot to say, Arry Redkraps Spuds lost. ha ha ha

  29. E1 says:

    Collins will back 2 wks Ashton dyer gabbidon who cares and they are not likley to do anything much IF they come back. Berahmi is a worry we will have to wait and see how bad it is.
    Well done the mancs Down with the totenham

  30. upton spark says:

    Jolly asks about the bubbles today.
    1;Bit of a mix up with music when the players were coming out
    2;Played different version at start of second half as a fan had sent that version to try out,and as Jeremie said after;”don’t think we’ll bother with that version again”
    Let’s not worry about the music when our team play the way they did today.Superb.

  31. Seb Deery says:

    A very important win for us that I really (& firmly!) believed was a pivotal game for our season all things taken into account (Bellamy coming back/ Last Performance against Boro/ Chance to grab 7th) but we put in a fantastic performance and the only criticism I could have is that we looked nervous having gone into the lead- we overcame that to a certain degree (luck and missed chances notwithstanding) to take the points and put us in a fantastic position for Wednesday.

    I have heard Behrami’s injury looked much worse than it was- a gash to the ankle but thats not gospel truth (though I didnt hear it from the Daily Mail so there is some credibility!!).

    I hope that DiMichele gives himself some breathing room amongst the fans with that performance as I think he played some very intelligent football and when things didnt come off for him he was tracking back to hustle and win possession.

    Collison was superb (the finish for the goal was unbelievably level headed for a player of his age- i can see him being better than Carrick), Kovacs looks a player, Ilunga back to his best after his only poor performance this season on wednesday, Neill had Bellamy and Robinho in his pocket, Tompkins outplayed Upson (which says something), Parker again showed why we have kept him and given him a new contract, Green is Englands number one (massive improvement this season on crosses).

    Now on to Carrllltttooon, I think he had a good game and wasn’t afraid to have a shot but I am not sure whether his ankle is still suspect or he has had a drop in confidence but he didn’t seem to believe in his own ability- I hope he continues his already game though even if can’t get on the scoresheet himself.

  32. Tevezgate says:

    Fantastic performance today – committed, resilient and good to watch too! Not much to add to the above except to emphasise how impressed I was with Savio… what a high quality prospect he looks, has the technique the vision to make quality passes and has speed to burn – I think he could be a genuinely great player in the future. Finally, get well soon Valon… that looked nasty, best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  33. DevoDevo says:

    Well, just when you think it’s all doom & gloom, the team get back to what they did in January and put in a great performance, built on solid defence and midfield. Kovac looked really comfortable first half and looks another excellent acquisition and Cole and Di Michele worked well together, despite DM still not really impressing when in on goal.

    Only saw the first half, as I had to go out to celebrate my birthday with family, but some of the stuff in the first half was exquisite.

    Looking forward to watching it tonight.

    Hope Behrami is OK.

  34. Rob says:

    agree with you E1!!!!!!
    behrami is the only major cause for concern as he has been candidate for hammer of the year so far, lets hope its not as bad as we think!
    and the fixtures, we have 4 very winnable games in a row now, 12 points from them would place us on 48, and the teams below us are all very average.

    7 place no trouble, and lets pray a big 4 club wins fa cup so we get europe next year again!!!!

  35. Goatygav says:

    Happy Birthday DevoDevo. You missed one moment in the 2nd half when the ball was pinged around their area for 5-6 passes and we got a shot away at the end of it. Very reminiscent of the Boys of ’86. Hopefully it’ll get a viewing on M-O-T-D as my Sky package doesn’t cover SSP2 where Football First is on tonight!

  36. E1 says:

    Many Happy returns DEVODEVO 21 today 21 today

  37. tommo says:

    Agree with you Ian on our performance today against a proper bogey side in city and agree also with Collison’s performance just hope we can keep hold of him!.,but im still not sure about the UEFA cup thing just seems alot more games and we havn’t really got the quality in depth to take on all these extra fixtures.

  38. D&G says:

    I thought Collison, Parker and Cole really stood out today. GREAT bounce back, I was really worried about this game after the performance against Boro but they got stuck in and ground out a terrific result.

    Can I single out Cole as a throw back to the seventies! While limping took hold of the ball, held off two men and took the ball to the corner flag. Only ever saw stuff like that from the great Liverpool team of the seventies.

    But please Di Mistake had a good game? He ran around…..

  39. chris says:

    Devo happy birthday mate!
    21 again?

  40. chris says:

    More of savio please!
    A cross between A.Young and defoe!
    Bellamy injured again,BLOODY SHAME!

  41. E1 says:

    tommo: Your right about Uefa cup regarding the squad and extra games but it is next season and we have to be in it to know how we can or not cope. Anyway it will be something to look forward to and I am pretty sure there will be a few players coming and going before then. After today’s performance we only need to strengthen in one area IMHO

  42. chris says:

    Bell endamy said “I didn’t want second best.
    No Craig neither did we, you sicknote.

  43. DevoDevo says:

    Cheers, fellas! I wish. 🙂

  44. Mac says:

    Twisted knee for Behrami. So, out for season or just a few games? Any medics out there?

  45. onechristiandailly says:

    Good performance – Collison just gets better and better. Also thought that Kovac looked OK – and certainly an improvement from the Boro game. I just hope Behrami’s not going to be out for too long…

  46. DaDon says:

    Good, not great, performance, too many wayward passes for my liking but still a whole lot better than Wednesday. An important three points, now we have to work on holding on to 7th place. We’ve got some tough games in the run in, but the next four or five we could (and should) get at least nine points and then we can have some fun with the big boys.

    Wouldn’t it be a laugh to really dent Chelsea and Liverpool’s title hopes? Bloodying Everton’s noses would be nice too.

  47. martin says:

    a good performance but on another day city couldve scored four. green had a lot more to do than given.

  48. SJ Chandos says:

    That was a hard fought victory. Could we have asked more than that, the players digging in and delivering the three points.

    What pleased me was the greater width and variety in our play, the greater mobility of the front two and the likes of Collison getting in to the box to get on the end of things. Collison’s goal was classic in that respect, Nsereko did everything right, shooting across the keeper, Given could only knock it in to Collison’s path and he took it very well. Collison is capable of weighing in with more goals and he needs to be encouraged to do it consistently.

    Di Michele had one of his ‘Jekell’ games and looked very clever on the ball. Cole was magnificant throughout, he needs to show that application and attitude every match. Nsereko brings width and the capacity to run at defences. How refreshing to see a strike from outside the box.

    Also, best wishes to Berhami, lets hope that it is not as serious as it appeared. Apparently scans have shown no break, so here’s hoping for the best. He is a key player and we need him back as soon as possible.

    I have believed from an early stage that EUFA qualification was possible. Our win and Spurs defeat in the Carling Cup are the first two peices in the jigsaw. I understand people’s concerns about extra games and the need to strengthen the squad. But sometimes opportunities arise and you just have to take them. To adapt Lenin’s comment on the perfect revolution, if you wait for the perfect preconditions for European qualification (i.e. getting the squad right before hand) you will wait forever!

    Rather, European qualification will show progress and give the whole club the extra impetus to move forward. I think the failure to sign another Striker in January was a mistake, but hopefully we will get away with it. The next stage is at least a point against Wigan on Wednesday, that might be a difficult match because Bruce has got them playing very well!

    Apparently, Bellamy has an injury that requires referral to a consultant!!!! That’s the last they are going to see of him this season (and probably next)! Oh dear how sad!!

  49. SJ Chandos says:

    The Chandos award for the most off the wall press article this week goes to our old friends at the Daily Mail. This time it is for sustainability and the effective recycling of old, discredited stories about West Ham’s financial stability in light of the Hansa Court hearing on 16 March 2009 and the Blunts nonsense £45m claim.

    The Daily Mail recycle so many stories that they should get a should get a friends of the Earth award! I have heard of recycling rubbish, but ….!

    Also, I am not sure what to make of the Sunday Mirror article that suggests that a far east consortium is in advanced negotiations to take over the club for 90m. We will have to keep an eye on that one!

  50. SJ Chandos says:

    I forgot to mention Tomkins. He had a really impressive game. I like Collins, but this boy is going to be the real deal. Playing along side Upson he has pace, mobility and a good ability to read the game. With Spence, Ngala and Effloysson in the pipeline as well we have some seriously promising players coming through in the central defender positions.

    It was good to see Josh Payne and Junior Stanislaus on the bench as well. Both players have been doing really well and, along with Banjer, could get a first team debut this season. Nothing pleases Hammers fans like seeing such potential coming through the ranks, the trick is to keep and benefit from it this time!

    What happened to Tristan? I was tole that he was not included on the bench this time. Was it an injury or have they run out of patience with him?

  51. SJ Chandos says:

    Another thing that we need to keep an eye on is Terry Dixon’s progress in the reserves. I think that they will proably nurse him along this season, but it will be interesting to follow his progress.

    I know that it is probably asking too much, but would it not be nice to see him do well and get in the first team mix this season. The boy has a big reputation and, as I am sure you will all be glad to hear, the Spurs fans are gutted that we got him back playing.

    Talking about debuts, I will always remember Devonshire’s debut in 1976, he just came from nowhere! There were reports in the Newham Recorder that Devonshire had collapsed on his first day of pro training! Not a good sign one would have thought, but then he got his debut, a few weeks later, against QPR in the League Cup.

    Anyone lucky enough to have been at that game will remember it. He was electric, pure class! The buzz in the crowd at half time was extraordinary, to the effect of, this boy is going to be the business! The rest is history as they say. The only other debut that comes anywhere near it, that I can remember, was Hugo Profiro against Notts Forest in the 1990s!

  52. adelaidehammer says:

    A very happy hammer indeed from Oz !!!!

    The football we played in the first half was awesome to watch. And to watch Scotty Parker play is a joy to see. I hope he makes Upton Park his home for many, many years. Just like Billy Bonds did for us !!!!!!
    COYI

  53. E1 says:

    New Owners.
    Plus = Money to spend we hope
    Minus= no money and start selling players again.
    Not sure I want it to change really

  54. Gav Hammer says:

    QUESTION …

    Last game of the season we play Middlesborough …

    if we win we get in to europe & finish 7th.

    However if we lose Boro stay up & Tottenham get relegated …

    which side do you cheer for ??

  55. HermitRoadHarry says:

    I’m with Chris (2nd post). These days who wants to qualify for the UEFA Cup anyway? 20-odd matches taking in everywhere from the Faroe Islands to the Ukraine, no TV money to speak of and the very real chance half your team will end up injured or, at best, just knackered. Thanks, M Platini, but no thanks.

  56. WHTID says:

    IN YOUR FACE BELLAMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.told you all kovac will get better and he will just keep getting better, good to see lopez as well!!! COYI!!!!!!!!!!!!

  57. Gav Hammer says:

    Kovac was slated where I sit, but I think he looks like he could come good … It’s going to take time but I think he has some real quality about him. He played many small passes & really kept it simple. With Behrami out for a few games I’m glad we have him. Savio should probably start now… we need a good left sided player with Reid, Etherington, Faubert gone & Boa Morte injured.

  58. DevoDevo says:

    I’m with chris as well, the UEFA cup is inconsequential as a competition and if we qualify I would play the youngsters for experience, so it could be of beneficial to us as a club. Let’s not forget (I hope E1 is not reading) if we get Ashton Dyer and Dixon fit, our squad looks a lot stronger.

    Savio deserves to start the next game, but my man of the match having watched the extended highlights on Sky last night was Jack Collison. It took me 45 minutes of watching him at Old Trafford as a sub to tell anyone who cared to listen what a player he would be. Good to see he’s not letting me down! All over the pitch yesterday with an accomplished goal to top it all.

    Great to see the youngsters on the bench and Tristan nowhere to be seen – this is what West Ham supporters want.

    Just going back to the difference this w/e from Wednesday. The team got back to doing the basics right. Defending in two banks of four and more importantly, closing down the opposition further up the pitch.

    I’m still concerned at the number of clear chances Citeh had at our goal, but let’s not get too picky.

    Finally, somebody said how much Rob Green had improved recently on taking crosses – how true! I don’t think it’s any coincidence that he is electing to catch more than punch now (like the old days, but is commanding his box so much more.

    If we can pick up something at Wigan, who are having trouble scoring, we then face a Baggies team that WON’T be in a position to come to us for a draw, giving us a great opportunity to move away from the mid-table sides.

  59. Roymondo says:

    This was a very good team performance in which every player made good contributions but, without wishing to pour cold water on it, there is still the concern that we can’t finish teams off. At one-nil you are always open to a slip and losing points that should have been in the bag. Man City could easily have scored one or more in the last ten minutes and the big lump playing up front should really have put one away.
    This reinforces our need for a goal scorer and I agree with SJ Chandos that not buying a striker in January was a mistake. The problem in January is, however, availability and price. There should be more chance of sorting this out in the summer.
    I can’t believe that there was still criticism of Carlton Cole yesterday. I thought he had an excellent game. The way he is asked to play means he will never be the 20-a-season scorer we need. That will come from a quality finisher playing off him.
    We shouldn’t get too excited about this result, as it was a win against a mid-table team with an appalling away record, any more than Wednesday’s bad day at the office should have produced the near suicidal comments that it did.
    Some of the comments on player marks have got a bit extreme as well. I think some people need to look again at the criteria for marking. To get a 9 or 10 has to be for a truly exceptional game and nobody had one of those yesterday. I can accept that 8 could be considered for Parker, Collison and Cole plus maybe 7 for Green, Neill and Tomkins. I’d say the rest were all 6 – which is a decent performance.
    Still, I enjoyed the game enormously and the spirit that wasn’t there against Boro was back in spades.
    Apparently Behrami is due to have a scan today. If the injury was thought to be really serious he surely would have had that yesterday. Zola has been quoted as saying that he will miss Wednesday’s game at Wigan but made no mention of long term absence. Let’s hope that’s the case.

  60. WHTID says:

    do we really need add pressure of UEFA cup, i say this because of the pressure of the prem we need a bigger squad to cope with another cup comp. i agree with devo he is talking good sense maybe we could play our youth up and coming players in it.

  61. paolo says:

    Great game, great performance and a great (and very important) result against a team that are definitely one of our closest rivals this season in terms of the mini PL mid-table league (e.g. us, Fulham, Bolton, Wigan, Man City).

    I also want to mention the Man City fans who I thought were great and remind me very much of our own in terms of their outlook and support. Got chatting to a few in The Millers on the Barking Road after the game and they were humble in defeat and talked a lot of sense. I know it depends on the individuals that you meet but not many other PL team fans seem to be like that anymore…

  62. E1 says:

    Zola’s plan or so it’s said is to have 22 out field players and 3 keepers,if this is to be then DEVODEVO (lol) Ashton dyer and gabbidon in the squad will weaken it as they are only likley to be avaliable for part of a season if at all.However with 2 or 3 quality additons and the yongsters being used we could have a half decent squad and with the right mix challenge on all fronts,then we may be able to carry the 3 sicknoteatiers and see IF they have anything to offer, other wise we are going to have to off load em and get whatever we can for them.IMHO
    They are I am sorry to say not reliable enough regarding injuries.

  63. E1 says:

    Sorry forgot Dixon who if he is as good as they say and can stay fit will be a big + again it seems to many if’s and but’s but he should be given a chance

  64. Roymondo says:

    Whilst the UEFA Cup (or Europa Cup as it is to be called next season) has its downfalls in terms of the number of games in places we didn’t know existed, there is still some value in it. If we have genuine ambition to push on and, eventually, get into the Champions League, then this is a step up in experience and needs to be taken despite the obvious shambles that it is.
    The tournament that, imho, should be scrapped for Premier League teams is the Carling Cup. This also creates fixture congestion and really has no value other than letting the bigger clubs try out their kids. Let the rest of the Football League have it for themselves and give them a chance of a Wembley final. This would free up an additional UEFA spot based on League position instead of having a second rate team like Tottenham (this year) representing English football in Europe.
    If there were a guaranteed place for the team finishing 7th in the Premiership it would add to competitiveness meaning almost every team was involved in something right the way through the season.

  65. Simon from Gravesend says:

    Can’t believe a few people are still slating Carlton. He was immense today, winning headers, some nice flick-ons, his hold play was superb (when people are screaming at him to pass quicker just take some time to reflect on what options he had…sometimes they were none). One run from the halfway line up the right flank near the end was pure class. He showed skill, strenght and pace to hold 3 pleyers off and still got a pass away. I too was surprised that Zola didn’t take him off when he was struggling at the end, and Cole was initially complaining when it wasn’t his number shown too, but you could see Zola cearly signalling to him that there were only 7 minutes to go and he wanted him to see the game out. You can see why, he scares defenders and there was always 2 sometimes 3 players on him which creates space for others and lessened man City’s ability to send defenders forward to attack.

    One point on the officials. Mike Dean is the worst ref ever…absolutely appalling. Just to show I’m not biased cos he was against us, how can you explain him not booking Neill for shoving the guy in the chest that had just fouled him? There were several tackles from behind, a mandatory booking I thought, that he ignored and only gave a foul.

    The lino on the DM side in the first half deserves a small apology. But just a small one! I, and several thousand others, were screaming at his incompetence for not flagging Robinho offside when he flicked on a shot and Green made a blinding save. TV last night clearly showed that a defender on the nearside was playing him on by several yards! Oh well

  66. I think this was a game all about Zola (Chelsea’s latest managerial target) versus Hughes (the man Chelsea wanted to replace Avram Grant). For me, Gianfranco won hands down and has made an average and relatively inexperienced side look a lot classier than the world’s richest football club.

    I think Zola is the hottest young property in the Premiership.

    Charlie

  67. Colm says:

    Do any of you chaps know what(if any) channels will be showing the Wigan match on wednsday???

    I would love it if we can keep OUR 7th position and I want to watch how hard the lads will fight for it.

    I am one happy hammer after how all results worked in our favour over the weekend.

    also for spurs fortunes 😉

  68. WHTID says:

    all we need know to round our season off is seeing the spuds go down!!!!! ( will wash my mouth out after saying our rivals name!!!) yuk it leaves a horried taste in the mouth!!!!!!!!!!! COYI

  69. WHTID says:

    have a read of this this is probably why they are trying to settle out of court over the tevez affair?????………the Sunday Mirror believe West Ham are set to be taken over by a group of Asian investors in an imminent £90million deal. The group from the Far East are said to be close to replacing the current Icelandic owners with talks thought to be at advanced stage. Indeed, writes Bill Mills, business might even be concluded within the next week. The prospective owners are believed to be a wealthy industrial group who already have the funds in place to buy the club from Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson.

  70. chris says:

    Where does Noble play when he returns!!
    Cant drop Savio now!
    Kovac?
    I would like to see savio on the left and colly on the right what ever! colly’s sharper than noble has a bit more pace.

  71. E1 says:

    On current form collison and savio get my vote to start against wigan

  72. DaDon says:

    To add to what Roymondo wrote, I think consistently getting into Europe has to be a target for us, at the very least it’s the kind of thing that attracts better players and is a sign of progress. The new Europa League will be worth decent money to the teams taking part, UEFA have put a lot of effort, time and money into reformatting and rebranding the UEFA Cup (I know because I was a very small part of the process) and it will be rather more than just the Champions League’s poor relation. I don’t understand the negativity.

  73. E1 says:

    Playing in europe gives the club more exposer and IF we do well atract better quality players and widen the fan bace, more going for it than against I think.

  74. Roymondo says:

    Colm – There is a Match of the Day at 10.45pm on Wednesday plus Sky will be showing highlights that evening too – but I don’t know at what time.

  75. djclipz says:

    don’t hold ur breath for match of the day, we’ll just be last and praise wigan

  76. Colm says:

    Thanks Roymondo! pitty the match wont be televised.

    With reguards djclipz comment I wonder what most pundets etc have against the hammers.

    I remember watching “Football matters” on setanta once when one of the hosts brought up west hams current fortune and was instantly interrupted by the outer host(rebicca Lowe, hasnt a clue). changing the subject.Its always “spurs this” and “spurs that” or “look how rich city” are,they fail to realise that both teams are shocking!!!

    Maybe Its illegal to talk postively about our hammers on the telly.

  77. Rob says:

    reading other comments i agree that it would be a big ask for the club to play in europe with added games etc but if you are successful you will have a large number of games in a season….and the reason you are successful is because you can deal with it.

    they are professional players who train almost everyday so i would expect them to be able to cope. we need europe so, as E1 says we can attract more players, advertise the club.

    wigan is a very winnable game on wednesday, i would play the same team, so noble on the bench or stanislas could start right, savi oleft and parker + collison in the middle. we havent seen much of collison in centre mid which is his preferred position, so god knows how good he is there!

  78. Goatygav says:

    Like many recent posters I find it difficult to understand the criticism of Carlton Cole. His was a heroic performance on Sunday. He’s gives the midfield (and defence to think of it) another option when we’re under pressure. I think someone said that he takes 4 touches to control the ball. This is complete nonsense. It’s not Subbuteo where you’re only allowed 3. If he comes away with the ball and lays it off to Collison, Parker or another midfielder then we’ve retained posession and may create a chance from it. If he puts it in the path of his striking partner then we’ve created a chance. We’ve also turned defence into attack and all of a sudden our opposition are under pressure and not us. Just because he doesn’t turn and shoot every time doesn’t mean he has no value to the team. On top of all this he slogs his guts out for us. We know he’s got it in him to score goals (was it 5 or 6 games in a row he found the back of the net?)

    So I’m finding it difficult to get to grips with the negativity about him. I understand that everyone’s got a favorite type of player and they might not like his style. Fair enough. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. But if you were to add up the times he’s retained posession and completed a pass then compared it to how many times he’s lost the ball I reckon you’d have about a 5:1 or 6:1 ratio (is that how you write a ratio headmaster?)

  79. Goatygav says:

    I’m a fan of European Football. It gives clubs the opportunity to step up a level.

    In the long term it’s good preparation for the Champions League.

    I love seeing us pit ourselves against the different playing styles from the continent.

    Ok the Europa League isn’t as prestigious as the Champions League but I’d rather be in it than not.

    A number of Champions League teams drop out and go in to the UEFA at the moment as well. So effectively you’re playing teams who’ve been used to playing in Europe’s premier competition. I’m not sure whether this will happen with the new Europa League so my last point may not apply but I’m still a fan of it regardless.

  80. E1 says:

    Berami’s scan was clear nothing broken or fractured will be assest over the next few days, that could mean he won’t be out to long (fingers crossed). He would have missed the wigan game anyway through suspention, so we were going to have to do with out him for that one. hopefully zola will start savio kovac and collison and keep noble on the bench to tighten it up WHEN WE ARE WINNING (please note I am not anti noble just think savio kovac and collison deserve their place in the starting line up and we need to be more attacking from the outset)

  81. E1 says:

    ********************* NEWS FLASH ******************
    WE could be playing Everton for 6th place on May the 16th. The fixture list for us looks good other than cheski,villa and liverpool the others are all winable IMHO or least worth a point.

  82. chris says:

    We must beat Everton! we never do!
    Positive vibes~~~~~Its our time!

  83. Ray Moore says:

    COLM al jazera sports shows all live premiership games, you need to find a pub that has the subscription.

    Pubs near me show west ham games all the time
    The Drill in Gidea Park
    Murphy’s sports bar in Brentwood
    The Cricketers in hornchurch

  84. E1 says:

    Ray Moore: are they all showing wed game ?

  85. Colm says:

    Thanks for that Ray but I live in Ireland, I know the channel your talking about and a pub that has it but its tough to get them to play a Hammers match in the pub becouse most people over here mainly follow the “Big Four”,the Man utd newcastle match will get priority.

  86. Goatygav says:

    More suspects/prospects/targets for Nani.

    http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11685_4995106,00.html

  87. E1 says:

    Certainly looks like we are trying to build a squad that will be together for a long time and carry the club forward. Counts ashton out then by the time he gets back he’ll be to bloody old lol

  88. E1 says:

    TIME FOR US TO PICK THE TEAM AGAINST WIGAN
    green
    neil
    tomkins
    upson
    illunga
    savio
    parker
    kovac
    collison
    ddm/ stanislaus
    cole
    4-4-2 diamond or 4-5-1
    whatever min 1 point

  89. thegeneralmuz says:

    can’t believe the negativity about the chance of european football,we are not yids,if you see it as ditraction we might as well pack in and drop down to championship.palermo was a terrible performance and a terrifying nite out but i wouldnt have missed it for the world a nite in rome and two in sicily,the inter toto run a few years back was fantastic iceland,holland,belgium,croatia and romania all in a couple of months was something to remember.i know the real fans out there will be praying for more of the same and if you dont perhaps you should try shite hart lane!!!!’thegeneralmuz’

  90. E1 says:

    Here we go again the only true hammer fan and premiereship manager has spoken (thegeneralmuz)lol

  91. Jackster101 says:

    looking at comments made to the uefa cup, i am suprised not many of you lot want us in it. what as a club are we aiming for? just mid table each year, it is very unlikely we are going to challenge for the Champions league, so as a club we should aim for the cup, do well and aim to qualify for many seasons after, putting our club back firmly on the map. Finish mid table etc each season or worse, will result in players leaving for the many more clubs with more ambitious fans than ours, and great players will have no intrest to join us.

    Uefa cup or as we have to call it next year the europa cup, is the start to success.

  92. Doc H Ball says:

    Yep I’m with thegeneralmuz on this as well.

    Screw being rational. If I was I wouldn’t go. One day up, one day down, that’s what it’s all about.

    By the way, check out the pic of darkspectacle earlier in this thread. I think I recognize you mate from Quest for Fire.

  93. E1 says:

    jackter101; well put and I think thats how the majority of us think we have to be in it to progress to higher things, and along the way I am sure we will ALL have doubts.

  94. Jackster101 says:

    a good friend of mine (albanian)dad is good friends with Behrami’s dad. Not 100 % sure if true, thought i’d let you know, but Behrami told his dad he is not good and fears he will be out for long. I hope it’s just a lie, or Behrami feeling pesimistic, as it would be a real shame.

  95. David the Yank says:

    The 5th place team in the Premier League (always) qualifies for Europa League (currently called UEFA Cup).

    The 2nd English side to qualify is the one that wins the FA Cup. Note that it appears the Europa League has banned the practice of allowing the Cup runner-up to qualify as well. (That is how West Ham last qualified for UEFA after ‘losing’ to Liverpool 3-3aet.)

    The 3rd English side to qualify is the one that wins the League (Carling) Cup. As Manchester United is almost sure to qualify for Champions League, the 6th place team will qualify for Europa.

    And with Chelsea & Man U still in the FA Cup competition (and the outside chance of Everton or Arsenal qualifying for champions league while winning the FA Cup), the 7th place side may get Europa as well.

    Of course, Man City could also qualify for Europa if they win the UEFA Cup!

    + England could qualify another side through “Fair Play”. (This is how City qualified for UEFA this year! As well as City in 2004!)

    dw

  96. hammeredCalv says:

    Agree with thegeneralmuz ! and thats a first !! lol , uefa cup would be great fun and excellent exposure for club !!

  97. supernumbersix says:

    Yeah let’s just settle for mid table every season and maybe a bit of a cup run and going on about how we lost but at least we looked good doing it!!

    Can’t believe some of the comments on here. We should be pushing for a Europa place EVERY season and ultimately, some time in the future (soon would be good but I am also realistic) a Champion’s League berth.

    I’m with thegeneralmuz 100%

  98. Ray Moore says:

    E1 they are all west ham pubs and they always show the games so wednesday’s will be on.

  99. Jackster101 says:

    does anyone know anywhere that will show the wigan around the romford/ dagenham/ hornchurch area. please.

  100. Daveip1966 says:

    Over here (KL) we’ve got mancs vs geordies on one channel and citeeh vs villa on the other, with spuds-boro and fulham-hull delayed after the first two. Not even showing us later in the day :o(

  101. Daveip1966 says:

    Oh, and regarding Terry Dixon, can we please, ffs, make sure his registration’s all in order? One club got shafted big time a couple of years ago because a player who’d wuit the game came back and didn’t mention his previous registration, so please let’s not fall into that trap.

  102. upton spark says:

    Ok,so a few mindless idiots are slating Carlton Cole.
    I for one have grown to like him as he does give his all for the team and he is a good target man who can hold off defenders and lay off balls to colleagues etc;he perhaps doesn’t score as many goals as some,but having said that his record is just as good as Emile Heskey who also manages to play for England and has played for some decent teams.Even if Cole is not scoring he certainly worries defences enough to give others in our team some chances.
    So,I say lay off Cole and give him your support and I’m sure you will see he will flourish with confidence,which has improved under the guidance of Zola.

  103. thegeneralmuz says:

    good evening gents,(and E1),glad to see that there are still a few likeminded proud hammers out there who believe we should be in europe in any form(uefa,europa or even the inter two bob)lets not get ahead of ourselves and talk about champions league just yet!i long lost nights in foreign places sampling local delicacies and then watching my team..win or lose?on the subject of mr.cole he deserved the stick he was getting but has turned it around so rightly should be getting the support he deserves!!!thegeneralmuz. ps E1 DONT MAKE IT PERSONAL

  104. hammeredCalv says:

    generalmuz– Ruffled someones feathers?? lol, cant believe some of the mupppets on here dont want european football, they probably dont know what upton park looks like !!!

  105. thegeneralmuz says:

    hammeredcalv think your mate e1 may not like my opinions but i guess some people on here dont have a clue?some of the european talk baffles me beyond belief?you were there in palermo..wot a nite..well we survived!!start saving your pennies because with a bit of luck and a strong finish we could get that european tour..oh please! ps. good luck with your daughter E1.

  106. hammeredCalv says:

    GENERALMUZ – im already saving for my body armour and tank !!!! lol

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