WBA Match Report: Missing Cole Already

Rate the players’ performances HERE

I was very tempted to skip this match and watch it on TV. But you know me… Wrong decision every time. It was the worst match I have seen at Upton Park since, well, the last one – probably Spurs in December. Frankly, there are very few positives to pick out from this game, but I’ll do my best.

Firstly, the debut of Junior Stanislas promised much. He whipped in a couple of excellent crosses, which, had Cole been playing, he would have been on the end of. He also showed some neat trickery on the left and seemed at home from the word go. In fact, in 20 minutes he looked more dangerous than Savio had in the previous 70. Which wasn’t difficult. More on Savio in a moment.

The second positive was the solid performance of Radoslav Kovac. He seems to improve with each game. He won some excellent tackles and was the only West Ham player to win any headers. I’d say he was Man of the Match.

James Tomkins had a busy and solid game, as did Lucas Neill. Otherwise, dear oh dear. Upson was stretchered off – it seems we lose one player a game at the moment.

Ilunga had a complete off day, losing the ball on countless occasions. As did Mark Noble, who looks a shadow of his former self. Even Scott Parker had a spate of giving needless balls away, although otherwise he had a reasonable game.

Savio showed the occasional neat bit of trickery but far too often lost out when in possession. He is shoved off the ball all too easily. I still think he is being played in the wrong position, though. He needs to play behind the lead striker in the centre. I just don’t see him on the wing.

Up front Di Michele had a few mazy runs which amounted to nothing. He was busy but ineffective. Sears looked brighter than in previous games but didn’t have a serious shot in the whole game.

All in all, you have to give credit to West Brom. They came to do a job and they did it with relative ease. They shut us down brilliantly and allowed our midfield very little time on the ball. They won everything in the air. Their only problem was that they had nothing up front either. They squandered two golden chances. It pains me to say it, but they were the better side. But let’s put it in perspective. We were without our leading striker, two of our three best midfielders, our first choice centre back and played half the game without the other one.

It’s two points lost, but I can remember many similar games when we’d have lost a game like this.

Green 7
Ilunga 4
Spector 5
Upson 6
Tomkins 7
Noble 4
Parker 7
Kovac 7
Savio 5
Stanislas 7
Di Michele 5
Sears 6
Rate the players’ performances HERE


62 Responses to WBA Match Report: Missing Cole Already

  1. Jaime says:

    The only good thing about this match was Junior Stanislas. I would give him a lot more football this season with a view of bringing him into the side as a first team regualr next season

  2. CC says:

    1) We didn’t lose
    2) We got 40 points
    3) We didn’t lose

    Average were; Parker, Tomkins, Neill, Spector, Kovac (my first time seeing him play a full game, not bad), Zola, Result against the worst team in the league (who could, and maybe should, have won).

    Crap were: Savio (seems to need to introduce his two feet to each other every time he runs), Sears, DDM, Noble, Illunga, Performance, Work Rate, Skill Factor, The game.. it was dire from start to finish.

    Still… we didn’t lose…

  3. Cliff Hammer says:

    Thanks for another good piece of writing, marred only by a rare grammatical error!

    “There only problem was that they had nothing up front either.”

  4. Ollie says:

    Dire game.

    Only bright spots were Green, Neill and above all Tomkins. I thought the midfield never got up to support the front two. Noble was the creator of our best moves which were few and far between.
    Can’t agree with Kovac MoM? Not impressed with him so far, he’s like a poor man’s Hayden Mullins.

    Definitely missed Cole, JC and Pepperami.

    Maybe all the Cole boo-boys will realise that he’s only hope of scoring the goals to get us into Europe and get behind him.

    Green 7
    Neill 7
    Ilunga 4
    Spector 6
    Upson 6
    Tomkins 8
    Noble 6
    Parker 6
    Kovac 5
    Savio 4
    Stanislas 6
    Di Michele 4
    Sears 5

  5. Paul B says:

    I think that was the worst game I have seen all season. Both teams were hopeless. Junior Stanislas was the only high point and Rob Green did what he had to do (keep a clean sheet) but we have been so much better than that. Well, at least we did not lose and we have 40 points but that was painfull to watch.

  6. Ian Bishop's socks says:

    It’s all Lawro’s fault for predicting a West Ham win …

  7. MickeyN says:

    Agree with a lot that has been said. This felt like the Boro replay – huge anticipation followed by frustration and disappointment. However, we did not lose and we should remember that we fielded 4 teenagers (I think Stanislas is 19?) and WBA played well. The 2 missing JCs, CC and VB plus Upson are all class and form players whom we were bound to miss. By the way I thought the elbow on Rob Green (by their no 26), which allowed WBA to hit the bar, was outrageous and cowardly. The man should play for Sheffield Utd. COYI!!

  8. chris says:

    9m for savio no way!
    pleased with a point,even me the negative one thinks that 40’s enough,cant see stoke getting 5 wins.
    Come on guys a draw’s a good result,there were only five prem players on show here…green upson parker ilunga kovac.maybe stan!!!
    Cant see us getting another point all season no way.
    Maybe when coles back,, just maybe.
    felt sorry for Noble,you cant play him out wide hes to slow.
    Oh by the way,Dyer suffered a setback today in training,sounds familar.

  9. chris says:

    positive note…..didn’t stan look good real class!
    or had the pace gone from the game.

  10. P says:

    Negative: We struggled lamely against the worst team in the league yet some of you see it as a result? The majority of clubs could have (and probably did) fielded their reserves and still beaten the worst team in the league.

    Positive: Stanislas. With youth teams the best player (Sears in this case) doesn’t necessarily succeed in the top flight. Usually other players will eclipse them and become greater players while the star youth teamer languishes in some teams reserves or as a journeyman in some lower league (Carrick turning out better than permanent Chelsea sub Cole for example) Stanislas has long impressed me, and I’ve always felt he would become the star player compared to the rest of his comtemporaries.

  11. geoff says:

    How badly does DDM have to play before he’s taken off. He shouldn’t even start. Poor performance tonight, but keep looking for positives. Rob Green made 2 great 1 on 1 saves. Tomkins looks more assured and Lucas Neill played well. Complete lack of atmosphere at game though, that didn’t help either.

  12. Big_Casino says:

    Poor, poor, poor…. Only Tomkins, Neill, Sears and Parker get 5 or above for me.

    I do not share your opinion of Kovac at all Iain. A similar player yo Steve Lomas except not quite as good, and Lomas was average at best.

    I’m fed up wasting my time writing about what an inadequate player DDM is… other fans must be watching different games to me… and so I won’t even go there…

    We need to get back on track at Blackburn.

    Although this performance was poor, there has only been a handful like it all season (Man City away, spurs home, boro in the cup away, and maybe bolton at home) – so I trying not to be too downbeat (were we pretty shocking tonight though!)

  13. SJ Chandos says:

    A very inept performance, but lets hope it is a one off. We need to regroup, refocus and get the result against Blackburn Rovers. We needed at least eight points from WBA, Blackburn, Sunderland and Spurs. 1 point in the bag, 7 to go. Keep the faith, COYI!

    Nice to see that there are some constants in this world, one being Neil Warnnock’s failure to take personal responsibility and blame everyone but himself. Check out the following link:


  14. HammersWest says:

    Positives, Stanislas, did well and made a difference, I agree with Iain I thought Kovac was strong. Poor performance, but in their defense it was hardly a first choice team, and they probably haven’t played as a team before, so some lack of cohesion was to be expected. I also thought that West Brom closed us down well, they’d done their homework.
    That elbow to Green should have been a red card, the commentator felt it was deliberate and the Brom player definitely knew Rob was there. scary moment. Hope Upson is not too bad, it sounds like he may be OK.
    So onwards and hopefully upwards COYI

  15. SJ Chandos says:

    The Independent seem to think that the FA/PL joint inquiry will not lead to further action against the club. This is reassuring, as Jason Burt is an extremely reliable source. For your consideration and ease of access:


  16. SJ Chandos says:

    Just seen coverage of that elbow assault on Rob Green. There is no place for that type of violent conduct in the game. Green was lucky, it could have resulted in him receiving a similar injury to Barnsley’s Ian Hulme. The FA need to take retrospective action against the WBA player in question.

    I wonder if the Daily Mail will be launching a moral campaign a la their coverage of the challenges in the Wigan match? Probably not, they do not have an axe to grind with WBA, do they?

  17. SJ Chandos says:

    WBA are pretty ineffective in the strike department, but try to play some neat passing football. They are definitely better than the likes of Stoke City and Middlesboro and deserve to survive. Hopefully they will. If Mowbray is the decent fellow he seems (being an ex-Hibs man he must be ok) then he will look at the challenge on Green and voluntarily discipline the player responsible.

  18. Mark from Kildare says:

    First the good news:Was on the WHUFC website on Saturday and came within one keyboard stroke of confirming the purchase of two tickets for tonights game. With airfares and hotel this would have cost >£500. Glad I didn’t. The bad news: a 0-0 draw was available from Paddy Power before kick off at 17-1 I was one keystoke away from placing a bet. We had no strike force by the form book and neither did WBA. I seem to always jinx our games by betting so I didn’t. Stayed at home in Ireland at wtached the Satanta coverage.

    I hope Upson’s injury is only a calf strain as reported. Not a good game. I thought Parker was once again our best player in what was poor performance all round. Other highlights; Sears was better than I thought he would be but still not up to prem standard. Thompkins had another solid game. I have been a supporter of DDM but tonight he was way off. We were so desperate we brought on LBM – no impact apart from one defense tackle on the break. Ray of light was Junior Stanislas, a promising 20 mins with a few good crosses. If Dyer is fit for teh weekend then maybe we should play him just off a lone striker. Dyer? could not get worse than tonight…

  19. clack says:

    This is the highest WHU have been at this stage of season since promotion. Infact it’s the highest we’ve been at this stage of season for 10 years.

    Yet, it was our lowest league crowd since promotion.

    Not attractive opposition admitedly, but if we can’t fill current stadium when the team is 7th and pushing for Europe, then it just goes to show what a pipedream the idea of a 60,000 stadium was – can you imagine how f***ed the club would be now if planning permission had gone ahead, and building had started before Gudmundsson went bust?

    Poor match. Did either side manage a shot on target throughout 90 mins?

    Noble and our midfield rarely get forward and into the box – but then that’s also one of the reasons why we’ve been quite solid defensively in midfield this season I suppose.

    With so many youngsters in team, still trying to play a passing game, the future is still promising in my opinion (providing Gudmundsson is able to sell club ok and we don’t go into admin).

  20. clack says:


    JB does have an excellent source when it comes to transfer spec and inside goings on at the club, so long as you’re aware that it’s a very pro-WHU board spin on issues.

    Personally, I thought the way the paper was used to dish the dirt on Curbishley at the time of his resignation/ pushing out was a tad distasteful.

    (I did reply to you on Tevez thread).

  21. Wavid says:

    It is difficult, admittedly, to be positive about this game, but still 7th, on 40 points, kept a clean sheet and on another day we would have lost with such a team on the pitch. I agree about Noble, he is such a shadow of his former self, what has happened? Kovac is an improving player and I feel he will play a key role next season. It is nice to see the youngsters out and glad that Zola shows faith in the academy, although we have little choice considering our injury list. But, do we not agree the future is bright? There are some tough games coming up and this wil be a difficult period, but not an excuse for doom and gloom. There are some winable games too and the team will need to show their worth. Keep the faith, COYI!

  22. richo says:

    Summed up perfectly Iain. 1 point is better than nothing.

  23. Roymondo says:

    I hope that all those who have knocked Carlton Cole so much now realise how important he is to us. I think that he would have made the difference last night as he would have held the ball up and put pressure on their centre backs – something that didn’t happen all game.
    Yes, it was a poor performance but these come along and we were missing more than just Cole. Clean sheet and a point is, I suppose, better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.
    On the subject of player marks; if 6 is an average performance then how can anyone get more than that? I thought Tomkins was our best player but a 6 is all he’s got from me along with Green and Stanislas for his effective cameo. All the rest were 5s and 4s.

  24. Per3z says:

    I think this game exposes a few considerations for transfers next season. Cole seems to get injured/suspended/niggles here and there, so we really do need a backup striker who’s big and solid. If Zola and Nani can bring in a youngster who has similar attributes, Cole can mentor that kid. Cole is rapidly becoming world-class in terms of targetman techniques, and I am sure the mentoring will help not only the new guy, but also Cole, to move more into leadership roles.

    Otherwise, Tomkins is looking better and better with each game…

    if we have a fit squad, the addition of the backup targetman gives us 2 players in every position (oh. we need a second leftback too)

  25. Dujon says:

    Sure Savio might have had a bad game, but that means nothing. He has been a consistently good player in our last few games, and please remember he is from Serie B. Quite a step-up to premier league. This is his first bad game and the fans should really get behind him, it’s not hard to see he is a natural talent.

    Junior Stanislas. For a long time ive believed he’s deserved a first team appearance and glad he took it and played exceptional. Same with Tomkins, he’s a really good sign for the future- similar to many of our other players.

    Likewise i don’t see where a goal will come from in our next match. In fact i didnt see where a goal would come from in this match. If Zavon Hines is available i would really look to play him. He seems to be a very good player, with ample speed (which we can work around easily).

  26. Dujon says:

    Off topic.


    In Summary frmo what i’ve read, former Sheffield Boss wants compensation from Westham as he believes he would have retained his job if Sheffield Utd had not dropped.


  27. Goatygav says:

    I think we should all bear in mind that, for the most part, we’ve played some really good stuff this year. To say European qualification is beyond us is very pessimistic. We’re 7th on merit – the league doesn’t lie.

    I hope that the crowd doesn’t turn on Savio. He’s a young lad who’s confidence will be crushed if that happens. A bit like the “Respect” campaign video where Ray Winstone plays the dad having a pop at his son (http://www.thefa.com/Respect_ParentGuide.aspx) doesn’t do anyone any good. Our opposition rub their hands at the prospect of us running our own players down.

  28. Tell you what, though… when it’s a poor game and there are a few of us on here having a chat about everything and nothing, it doesn’t half help the time go by a heck of a lot quicker.

    Two things made me smile:

    Our shooting was so bad last night, that even the fans were affected. Some jerk in the North Bank tried to throw the ball at Brunt from about 2 yards… and he missed!

    John Motson, when LBM came on, said: ‘He’s still a popular figure in these parts…’

    Had to smile at that.

    Can’t believe we’ve dropped five points to WBA this season.

    Just have to put it down to ‘one of those games’ I suppose… inevitable with so many first-choice players out and so many of the replacements still finding their way.

  29. Basildon Bob says:

    Very poor game, desperatley lacking a creative spark in the middle. Both DDM and Sears struggled without having a big man to play off of. Sears in particular is a worry, he hasn’t progressed since last year, needs games and confidence (perhaps a loan to a CCC club?)

    The silver lining was making 40 points with 9 to play. Roll on Blackbrun

  30. jon.london colney says:

    far to many players playing out of position for me,noble has to play down the middle as he has no pace to do anything on the right.savio looks lost on the left,hes a front player or nothing!as for the 9 mill we are amounting up 4 him thats a big weight to carry at 19 so give the guy a break(not literaly).
    personaly ide let sears go out on loan and get some matches under his belt,hes struggling to get a game and when he does looks a little lost.overall a shocking game and a point is better than bugger all.just soooo glad weve got the points on the board as with all these injuries that could be almost it!!
    ian,please can we have a free run at mr warnock with an age warning b4 you open the thread? i need to get some f words of me chest so to speak!!!

  31. DevoDevo says:

    The only players that could have walked off satisfied with their performances were Green & Tomkins. Stanislas did well on his introduction and deserves a run either left or right.

    Neill looked better in the centre and Spector blew any chance of taking the RB berth. Ilunga started well and at leat tried to get forward. Savio didn’t play as bad as many are suggesting on here. Yes, he wasn’t great but still showed glimpses of pace & skill. Di Michele is an embarrassment and would struggle in Sunday league football. I felt sorry for Sears playing alongside this idiot, with a midfield that from memory only got in the box once, when Noble once more inexplicably passed the buck.

    I do hope that nobody on here will argue again that Noble is better than Collison? He has gone so far backwards this season and once again our delivery at corners and free kicks were abysmal. Surely someone of Zola’s ability can remedy this?

    I can see the rest of the season being a bit of a struggle without Behrami & Collison. Cole will need big shoulders to carry the attack as it stands.

    Kovac will be a useful addition for us and like Ilunga he started well. He does, however, seem to give the ball away a little too often.

    One of the worse games I have ever seen, the worst part of which was the sight of about 15 premiership players all within 4 sq yards – just like watching an under 8’s match over the park.

    I’ve finally decided that I have no wish for us to qualify for the Tinpot Europa cup as we don’t have the strength of squad. It will only undermine any thoughts of challenging in the Premiership next year.

  32. E13 says:

    Happy with a point as we had the main men missing. That game proved Cole’s value to us.

    Worrying that with the our best players out, Noble was still unable to come into his own and step up to the plate.

    Stanislas already looks technically more gifted and put in some great crosses.

  33. Paolo says:

    What a painful 90 minutes. Still, we’ve not had that many bad games this season so I guess everyone has an off night every so often.

    The main concern to come out of the game for me is how weak our squad has now become beyond the regular first team 11-13 players.

    Sorry Iain but I can’t agree with you about Kovac, I thought he was poor, maybe average at best. He does appear to have class though so maybe with a few more PL games he’ll improve. I would have much rather had Mullins last night instead and I’m starting to think that the clearout in Jan was a little over zealous.

    Sears is becoming a genuine worry now as well, I hope I’m wrong but he seems to lack something. I know we always overhype our academy boys but he just seems to struggle to make any kind of impact on games. Collison, Tomkins and even Stanislas all appear to seem more comfortable with the pressure but Sears seems to be lost and on the periphery.

    Noble is also a worry. He looks like he’s getting slower with age. In the first half he was all over the place. He didn’t seem to know what position he was meant to be in. Perhaps he had a free role but I very much doubt it.

    I thought Tomkins had his best game so far last night. The best compliment I can pay him is that I forgot that he was such a young player as he looked so comfortable. In his first few games I wasn’t convinced but thought he was solid last night and seems to be improving after a run of games.

    Maybe if Sears gets a similar run of games he’ll settle down too and become the player we’re all hoping he can be…

  34. Paul M says:

    Ok, it was poor and without key players in the next few games i’m not too optimistic, but,we are safe and should now ‘blood’ more of our youth players to see if they have what it takes.
    Last night we were missing the battling & chasing in midfield we have seen in the last 3-4 months and the midfield also failed to push up on the front line hence we had no penetration (ohh missus) Did we have a ‘clear’ shot on target? Forget it now its done, time to move on to the next game.

    Agree Freddie needs a year out on loan and on last nights performance so does Savio!! is he the new Faubert? lost count of how many times he gave the ball away!
    Tomkins looked assured at the back and has proved he is worth his place, definately going to get better too, could be England player within 2-3 years!
    Stan looked OK too when he came on and looks ready for more cameo roles from the bench.
    Noble, not sure what has happened to him! nowhere near the player he was over the last 2 seasons, perhaps a rest is needed, jury still out on him.
    Di Mic, no thanks for next year, end of.
    Kovac, squad player at best, no better than Hayden.
    Parker, player of the year, no doubt.
    Boa, bye bye mate, gotta go in summer.
    Spector, another squad player at best.
    Upson, solid all year.
    Illunga, rarely gets it wrong, forget last night.
    Green, top class, 2 outstanding saves at point blank.
    Neil, gets better but not good enough for next year.

    Now then I would like to see Payne, Hines & N’gala given a look, not at the same time though!! also keen to see Widdowson although on loan so not sure if he is back before the end of the season.

    onwards and upwards lads, we are safe so it could well peter out now til the end, still rather like that than last year !!!!


  35. mokumhammer says:

    Pick a ‘man of the match’ from that shower………

  36. Richard says:

    I listern on 5Live. Yes it was a poor game. But lets remenber we are in 7th position. A few months ago we were all worried that Zola might not have a first team to use, once the Jan window opened.
    Yes 3 points would have been great!. But we didn’t lose. Hopefully three points in the next game.!!

  37. Paolo says:

    Just read a few more comments above and I really can’t understand why some fans wouldn’t want us in involved in the Europa cup???

    Sure, the PL is always going to be the priority but our players can only improve by testing themselves against different types of players from other leagues. It will strenghten the squad not weaken it.

    Also, if we’re trying to attract better players from around the world our involvement will raise our profile for that purpose and also facilitiate better opportinuties for scouting across Europe.

    We’re not exactly going to win the league anytime soon are we so realistically, our best chances of any glory are:

    Carling Cup
    FA Cup
    Europa Cup
    Dare I say it, pushing for 4th place and a CL spot (OK that’s pushing it a bit far but you’ve got to be ambitious!).

  38. mokumhammer says:

    I love the ‘eternal optimism’ from some on here.

    Many parts of the game it was difficult to distinguish the whipping boys of the premier leaue, between the ‘potential’ uefa cup qualifiers, & home team.
    The honeymoon period for over as of last night for Zola.
    Away games fast approaching at villa, $pur$, everton, blackburn & stoke, & the little matter of chelsea & liverpool at home. Trouble ahead.

  39. LJ says:

    That was an ordeal. There have been a few this season. We’ve even had a debate on the worst game we ever saw. Well, that was a contender.

    “Bring back Faubert” shouted TBBM. I think he was joking.

    To be fair the baggies came for 0-0 with the option to steal. We had to keep going backwards because there were no routes forward – admittedly due to our lack of movement mostly.

    The foul throw by Ilunga where he lifted his foot up summed up the lethargy really. Amateur night.

    Talk of Europe at any level seems, like talk of relegation did, absurd. We’re not good enough and it would stretch us next season beyond breaking point. It’s bad enough spending our weeknights watching WBA, letalone Dynamo Ljubljana or whoever.

    If we stay top ten I’ll be happy. In the Prem, sustained mediocrity is an achievement in itself.

  40. Gav Hammer says:

    Not sure I agree, we just didn’t have an out ball which in the past has been a ball up to Cole or a ball in behind to Bellamy. I think 5 for Sears is very generous … but I couldn’t bring myself to give a west ham player 3. He was off side every time we got free.

    I agree with Stanislas … every bit as good as Savio …

    Can’t wait until Cole is back … Faubert & Boa Morte would have been better in the team than the tosh we saw last night.

  41. Phil F says:

    It was painful watching (although sitting at home with a few beers made it easier – feel soory for those who paid money).
    Tomkins was the only bright spot with Green and Neill the only other players who were up to scratch.
    DDM – oh dear. Sears and Savio – very disappointing.

  42. Paolo says:

    Talk of Europe is not absurd at all. If a top 6 club win the FA cup (which is looking very likely now) then 7th place will be enough to qualify for the Europa.

    We’re already in 7th with a small 2 point cushion and only 9 games to play so my cup is defintely half full. Sure, we’ve got some bad injuries and some tough games coming up but we’ve also got players to come back from injuries and suspension so yes, it will be tough but it’s definitely achievable given our current position and we should be goiong for it not hoping for top 10 sustained mediocraty (why should we?).

    It’s 3 clean sheets in a row now and with a very young inexperienced centre back in the team. We can be hard to break down and are a good match for any PL team.

    We played very poorly last night (it happens) but have also played really well for large parts of the season so we’re more than capable.

  43. Paul O'Decanyo says:

    Just to add to the comments above, it was a truly shocking performance last night. Green was solid, defence looked OK but vulnerable on a couple of occasions to a pretty lame Baggies attack, midfield buzzed and passed the ball square a lot – Kovac I think is struggling at this level, certainly not man of the match by a long shot. But a lack of pace, no target man and rubbish shooting skills rendered the forward line completely useless. It was hard last night to spot which club was at the bottom of the league. Agree with LJ, on that performance Europe is a dream. I read in one of the freebie papers on the way to the ground that GF is only at Upton Park for the football (doesn’t need the money) and if they stop playing his way he’ll be off. I hope someone knows where his passport is…

  44. Liam says:

    It was basically our second string team when every one is fit. Green, Neill, Illunga, and Parker were the only starting XI players that ended the game.

    Remember we had Deano, Dyer, Cole, Collison, Behrami, Collins (and later Upson) missing. That’s a good team when everyone’s fit.

    Agree it was hard to watch, but it reminded me of the Championship season’s when teams just came to defend and we often couldn’t find a way past a five man midfield.

    Savio will come good. Surprised me with his work rate and strength last night.

  45. Dujon says:

    I can’t believe some of the negative comments you’re giving Savio.

    How many games has he played for us. Now how many bad performances has he given?

    The answer is about 5 and 1. Hardly conclusive if you ask me.

  46. Paul M says:

    Liverpool have played some $hi* games this year too!! they have also gone out and beaten Real Madrid and Manure within a week. The point is all teams have bad days, lets hope we can lift our game and finish with a bit of style, and say another 10 points.


  47. Roymondo says:

    All teams get bad days and this was ours. Somebody mentioned that the honeymoon period for Zola is now over. Whilst always being accepting of other peoples opinions, I have to say that this is a ridiculous comment. He has done a great job so far and, I am sure, will continue to do so. Did Saturday’s result make Manure a bad team? I don’t think so.
    The three main players we were missing last night (Behrami, Collison and Cole) have been fundamental in our good run of results lately. Any team would struggle to lose three such influential performers but it does show areas where we lack strength in depth and that is something, I am sure, will be addressed in the summer.
    Behrami and Collison have both pace and purpose. Last night, Savio had pace without purpose and Noble had purpose without pace. Cole has lots of attributes, DDM has few. Makes a big difference.

  48. P says:

    I seriously hope we don’t qualify for Europe, I’d be more than happy to finish 8th, 9th or 10th. We’re not anywhere near being good enough for European football, full squad or not. With up to 15 extra games we haven’t got the squad needed for such a task and our league form will surely suffer. I can fully understand why the likes of Martin O’neill couldn’t wait to be eliminated from this years competition. Let’s be honest here, there’s only one European trophy that actually means anything and we’re not exactly going to be qualifying for that anytime soon without some major transfer action.

  49. D. McCailey says:

    Well it was a rubbish performance. But let’s put it into perspective.

    1. We didn’t lose, and as Iain says I can remember when we could have lost that game.
    2. We defended reasonably well.
    3. We have an amazing amount of injuries. If you think that, fully fit, our first team would be something lie Green, Neill, Upson, Collins, Ilunga, Dyer, Parker, Behrami, Collison, Ashton, Cole – then 6 of those were missing and a 7th went off halfway through!
    4. This is giving all of those youngsters valuable experiences that will only make them better for next year – Tomkins looks good already, Savio, Sears (providing he beefs up and I agree needs to go on loan), Stanislas and even Noble and Collison are all developing and will all be better players next year. I could even throw Cole’s name in there too.
    5. We’ve got 40 points
    6. We’re above Spurs
    7. We’re still 7th and if we keep that we’ll be in the Europa cup next year.
    8. The Sheff Utd thing is sorted. I don’t think the wages thing will make it to court.

    We do miss Cole and need a new striker or two in the summer, along with a new full back, but I still maintain we are building for the future and this game was a slight drop on a generally upward trend.

  50. D. McCailey says:

    And if we don’t manage to qualify for Europe, is that the end of the world? I’d like to qualify but won’t cry if we don’t given everything else this year.

    and I should have added…

    9. We’re trying the play the right way at last.

  51. Goatygav says:

    Great comments all D.McCailey. Let’s be positive about this season – it’s a marked improvement on last year and is going in the right direction. Last night was a blip and I expect us to play much better vs Blackburn.

  52. Goatygav says:

    Liked your comments too Roymondo. Especially the Man Utd one. On that point, though, two thirds of the home fans at Old Trafford seemed to think so.

    What a prawn sandwich eating, corporate fan disgrace they truly are. A poor excuse of a support. I know football fans are fickle, and that it’s a long way back to Aldershot and Reading from Old Trafford, but they should be ashamed of themselves.

  53. Rob says:

    europe is still very much within our own hands and some teams like spuds have a very difficult run in now.

    the match was woeful, theres no two ways about it, and DDM is the worst player i think i have ever seen! He does 10 bad things for every 1 good thing, on a good day!

    i agree that stanislas showed potential but he needs more time, we cant expect the best out of him in 20 mins i think he had a case to start as noble really doesnt look the quality i was expecting a few years back.

    sears had a good game i think, and i also think he proved tonight he could make it as a prem player as he had a good touch most of the time and constantly harassed the defenders, would probably do fairly well with either cole or ashton.

    The Problems:
    Quite clear we lacked our creative midfielder and i think that has been colly since zola arrived. also behrami does seem to be missed more than i expected. if we can get dyer in the team and keep him fit for at least this season he could add pace and creativity.

    i think all in all zola will have said forget about it to the players, move on to blackburn and if we play half as well as we can we should clinch 3 points!

  54. Roymondo says:

    Well, Goatygav, Manure fans are not like fans of most other clubs. The majority are just “pot hunters”, have very little understanding of the game as a whole, can’t understand when their team loses (and Ferguson’s comments that they were the better team on Saturday helps them to think it is a travesty), don’t want competition – just a monopoly- and all come from Surrey and Exeter anyway.
    And they wonder why they are not liked!

  55. Goatygav says:

    Yup – bang on fella. To be fair though there are a number of sensible ones. Truth is that most of them stopped going to games many years ago and have been replaced by those who you describe so accurately.

    The ones that I know, who supported them during the leaner Dave Sexton, Ron Atkinson and early Fergie days now generally watch their team from the pubs and their homes or have gone to watch FC United.

  56. Keith says:

    This is like the comments after Middlesbrough. Football is not one endless upward curve – there are ups and downs on the way to improving. I actually thought we passed the ball quite well last night – we were always going to struggle up front where we are lightweight.If we finished 7th this season it would be an amazing achievement – so lets all get real and quit the knee jerk reactions – good or bad!

  57. D&G says:

    This was one of the top 5 worst performances ever imo and Iain you have given four 7’s !?

  58. mokumhammer says:

    Too many optimists on here………………

  59. thegeneralmuz says:

    my god what is it on here,yes it was bad last night but lets get it right..we were missing possibly half our starting eleven,we had four 19yr olds in the squad and were playing a team fighting for there lives(not that they looked like it).we are seventh in the league yes 7th!!! for f…s sake 3months ago we were looking like relegation material, we have a great management team in place a good young squad tevezgate out of the way and new owners around the corner. wot is wrong with you lot?wot do you expect top four finish,fa cup winners???? WE ARE WEST HAM!!!! things will always be up and down thats the beauty of it.please lets get behind the team and zola/clarke we are down to the bare bones and europe is gonna be a sruggle but if anyone can get us their our italian/scottish connection can!!!!!!!!!!!’up the hammers’.’thegeneralmuz’

  60. D. McCailey says:

    Well said Generalmuz!

    Don’t know if anyone else listened to Wrighty and Durham on Talksport drivetime today, but they seemed strangely uninformed about the whole compensation situation. And Durham was doing his usual impression of a cow’s backside.

  61. Goatygav says:

    No – didn’t hear them D. McCailey. I generally end up laughing AT them during their rants (Adrian Durham especailly). He’s a wind up merchant who’s paid to boost Talksport revenues by getting people to phone in.

    Mokumhammer – in your profile picture your head’s down fella. By the sounds of your comment your spirits are the same way. Head up mate – have a look at the league table. It’s making me optimistic.

  62. SJ Chandos says:

    Clack, yes I have belatedly seen your posts in response. Thank you very much for the information and your take on the issues raised.

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