Showing posts with label west ham united. Show all posts
Showing posts with label west ham united. Show all posts

Monday, October 29, 2012

Andy Carroll Back To Being "The Beast"

At Liverpool, Andy Carroll had to adapt his playing style. Then again, at Newcastle, Dalglish had been favoring a classic no. 9 already so the signing of Carroll for Liverpool should not surprise many last year. What was more disappointing was the lack of service for Carroll especially when Dalglish also bought Downing and Enrique to lay bombs on Carroll's head. For me, Carroll was not a flop at Liverpool, the supporting cast of Downing and Enrique let him down badly.

The move to West Ham, where Sam Allardyce plays the football that Andy craves, could not come at an opportune time. Andy Carroll scored arguably the best goal in the Euros and he proved that when it comes to heading the ball, he has no peers in the Premier League.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Demba Ba Effect Fail To Save Hammers

Demba Ba arrived from Hoffenheim full of promise and boasting a great scoring record in the Bundesliga. However there were skeptics out there who laughed at the wisdom of West Ham to bring in a striker who failed a medical at Stoke and therefore deemed questionable. Still 40 goals in 103 Bundesliga appearance meant that this was a striker who could make a difference at goal-shy Hammers.

And so it proved, seven goals in 10 starts, including a diving header against Liverpool threatened to give West Ham a lifeline that they did not deserve. Unfortunately, the desired "Demba Ba" effect could not keep West Ham afloat. The Hammers woeful defending put paid to any hopes of survival.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Der Hammer Poised For Hammer Showdown With Dalglish's Reds

There was an article in The Independent yesterday featuring Thomas Hitzlsperger. In that article, Hitz commented how much he enjoyed the English game and also how the fans are a lot more forgiving over here. He struck a note with me particularly when he said that the English gets excited with a good pass here and a great goal there.

It cannot be truer than that, and it is exactly this sense of quick gratification that lead to the English players always failing in major tournaments. The players believe in their hype much too easily and sad to say, us fans are guilty of over-hyping them as much as the media.

In an unrelated Daily Mail article, Jamie Redknapp said that a Hitzlsperger tackle left him a mark when the then-teenaged German was on trial at Liverpool. Even then, Jamie remarked that Hitz had everything to be a top midfielder.

Here's a reminder of what West Ham fans have missed since the start of this wretched season.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Scott Parker Brings Out The Best In West Ham!

Scotty Parker was one of the reason for West Ham staying up last season. Parker's goal against Wigan last season was the highlight of a personal desire to keep the Irons in the Premiership.

The other reason West Ham managed to stay up last season was because they won more points against fellow relegation strugglers. This season, they have been less fortunate, failing to win against Birmingham, Wolves and West Brom. Without those much needed points, the Hammers will find it extremely difficult to stay in the Premiership this time around.

Not if "Great Scott" Parker has anything to do with it. His involvement both in the dressing room and on the pitch has been well published and that's Scott Parker in a nutshell. A fighter, a braveheart, a loyalist and an all-action midfield dynamo. Parker is the leader on the pitch, the player that the team look towards for inspiration, much more now than ever.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hammers Carling Cup Win Is Great Way To Prepare For Spurs Derby

West Ham had the best preparation ahead of their Saturday clash with Tottenham Hotspur winning their 3rd round Carling Cup match. The fact that it was against Premiership opponents (Sunderland) and that the Hammers finally registered their first away win of the year will give Scott Parker and his team mates a massive boost in confidence.

Piquionne and Obinna finally opened their account for West Ham. With Carlton Cole struggling for goals, the Frenchman and the Nigerian will be relied upon to get the goals. Coupled with that well-earned draw against Stoke City, it has been a happy week so far for West Ham and Avram Grant. Psychologically, this win will do wonders for the player's confidence. And the performance levels have been steadily rising as well.

It is by no coincidence that the introduction of Manuel Da Costa has presided over better defensive displays. His composed and awareness on the pitch makes a difference to players around him. With the Portuguese, James Tomkins becomes a better player. Around the ex-Fiorentina man, Matthew Upson had less to do against Stoke. Surely he has done enough to warrant a first team slot at the heart of the West Ham defence.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Facing Stoke City Is A Welcome Change For The Hammers

West Ham played their first four matches against Villa, Bolton, Manchester United and Chelsea. All four can be considered as ball-playing teams. Matthew Upson and the frailties of the Hammers defence were exposed to dire effects by these clubs who attacked from all directions. Despite chopping and changing his defence, Avram Grant quite clearly still does not know his best defensive four. Come to think of it, Grant have not shown us that he knows what his first eleven should be.

Facing Stoke therefore, will be a welcome change for the struggling Irons. The Potters are a one-dimensional team albeit an extremely resolute one. Stoke have players who will fight but lacking the talent of the four clubs earlier. Stoke's game is built upon getting the ball early into the opposition's box. Even with West Ham's deteriorating confidence, the defensive quartet of Reid, Upson, Gabbidon and Ilunga will be happy to deal with high balls into the box all day.

It is great news that Thomas Hitzlsperger might be fit enough to start. The former Stuttgart captain will surely strengthen a midfield lacking in creativity and direction. For all the virtues that Scott Parker brings to the game, creativity is not what Great Scotts is about. Der Hammer if he plays, will bring a dimension of class to the West Ham midfield. The pace and close control of Barrera and Obinna will worry Stoke defenders immensely. West Ham must use these wide weapons to stretch and open up a well-drilled Stoke defence.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Error-Strewn Hammers Start To New Premier League Season

A solid pre-season, a string of "astute" signings and an experienced manager in Avram Grant would have filled most Hammers fans with renewed optimism. I was also pleased from reading reports about victories at Monchengladbach and thought that last season's poor showing will be forgotten.

Unfortunately, the same West Ham (bar Winston Reid) lined up against a managerless Villans and were made to look pretty much like what they were last season, utterly hapless. Watching the first-half performance could have made a grown man cry and the Hammers clearly could not settle into any sort of rhythm. Passes were terrible and the one West Ham threat, Carlton Cole was forced to come deep to collect the ball. The big Hammers striker did have one good run towards the Villa goal, outpacing Dunne but forced wide, Cole dragged the shot wide of goal.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

West Ham 2009/2010 Premier League Season Review

It was hard to find positives in a pretty disastrous season for West Ham. But hey, at least WE ARE STILL IN THE PREMIER LEAGUE!! That's cause enough for celebrations. Fortunately for the Hammers, there were three other teams which performed worse than us....marginally.

The 2009/2010 season was all about these five major incidents:
1. The Wolves away win
That opening win remains West Ham's ONLY away win for the recently concluded season. That match at Molineux was the only time that West Ham ever showed any real cohesion in attack, defence and midfield. Sadly, that win moved all West Ham fans to expect great things for the season. That faith appeared misplaced now as I look back at how much West Ham have underachieved in the 2009/2010 season. Perhaps the sale of Collins and injuries to Cole and Collison were valid reasons for the struggles.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

West Ham To Get Second Away Win At Craven Cottage?

West Ham look to build on a good result at Wigan last week with an equally good performance against Fulham. Roy Hodgson's team will be physically exhausted after a tough Europa League semifinal win over Hamburg.

A tight passing game maintaining possession will be a great strategy to wear down the Fulham players and allow West Ham to dictate the tempo of the game.

David Sullivan said that all except Parker has a price tag and therefore there is added incentive for the players to produce good performances in the last two matches before they are put in the shop window.

The excellent understanding between Ilan and Cole automatically makes them the preferred striking partnership for the last two Hammers matches.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Who Should West Ham Pick Up From Hull, Burnley or Portsmouth?

Hull, Burnley and Portsmouth faces the prospect of having to sell their best players now that relegation is upon them. Pompey and Hull, in particular, are facing financial problems and therefore will need to sell players to survive.

There are some pretty interesting players worth picking up, notably from Portsmouth. Newspaper reports are linking Kevin Prince Boateng with West Ham after his outstanding performances in the FA Cup especially. I have put together a Best XI from clubs in the bottom three.

West Ham Topped The Basement Four Mini League

West Ham's troubled season started out very promisingly back in August last year. An emphatic 2-0 win against Wolves remained the Hammers' only away win. That away form eluded us all season but it will be back against Fulham this Sunday now that relegation has been avoided.

One key advantage West Ham had in the relegation fight was the superb results against our fellow relegation strugglers. West Ham only lost once and won three home games against Hull, Portsmouth and Burnley scoring lots of goals in the process.

The Basement Four Mini League has West Ham at the top of the table.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Luis Boa Morte To Lead West Ham To Relegation Safety?

Luis Boa Morte joined West Ham in January 2007. He was signed by Alan Curbishley to help West Ham ward off relegation that season. I don't know if it is a coincidence but the return from injury of a "ready" Boa Morte at a crucial juncture for West Ham this season has a ring of deja vu about it.

I am sure that all West Ham fans know by now that Luis Boa Morte will be on the bench for this Saturday's home match against Wigan. To spice up tomorrow's big match further, Boa Morte's first goal for West Ham came against Wigan in a 3-0 win on 28 April 2007, almost three years ago!

The pre-injury Luis Boa Morte was a passionate, streaky, aggressive and pacy forward that could ruffle an opposing defender.

Deco Declared War For Premiership Title, West Ham Must Do The Same!

Wisely, as if on cue to rouse up the troops, Deco decided that it is time to go to war. He urged Chelsea players that to start fighting if they want to become champions. It has been a strange season in 2009/2010 with the top teams seemingly conspiring to gift Manchester United their record 19th title and fourth in successive seasons.

This is what Deco said as published in the official Chelsea website.

"First thing we need, we need to know that we are first,' he says. 'The last three games will be difficult and of course there is pressure in our minds because we need to win our games if Man U win theirs.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

West Ham Must Take Note Of Wigan's Dangerous Trio

Like everyone else, I watched the Wigan-Arsenal match and thought that this was the perfect game for the Gunners to capitalise and moved back to within three points of Chelsea. In the first half and three minutes of the second half, everything was going according to script for Arsene Wenger's team.

Perhaps it was confidence, perhaps arrogance, perhaps inexperience and indisciplined but what transpired was Arsenal allowed Wigan to take over and dominate the match at two goals down. Wigan duly obliged and smashed Arsenal's title hopes to pieces. The outstanding performers in the Wigan side were Ben Watson, Victor Moses and Charles N'Zogbia. It has to be THE comeback story of the 2009/2010 Barclays Premier League season!

All three will need extra attention this Saturday from the West Ham defence.

Putting The West Ham Anfield Loss Into Perspective

Thinking up excuses to explain West Ham's performances this season has become tiring and plainly annoying. Every time there were signs of a positive turnaround, West Ham's "resurgence" come crashing down again. This Anfield loss was again one of many examples throughout the season that just when there were some belief (among fans) in the players, the confidence come crashing down. Worse yet, the performance of the whole team did not look at all like a team fighting for survival.

There is no longer any doubt in my mind that Zola and Clarke will walk at the end of this season regardless of the outcome of this season. If West Ham were relegated, the owners will want a swift return to the Premiership and Zola-Clarke does not instill confidence at all. Should West Ham stay up, the feeling is that this horrible season should be banished into distant memory, hence Zola-Clarke must be replaced.

Liverpool totally thumped West Ham last night.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How Does West Ham Compare To Fulham This Season?

West Ham as a football club have officially lodged a complaint to the Premier League over Fulham fielding a weakened team against Hull City on March 27, 2010. Fulham lost that game at the Kingston Stadium 2-0 to Iain Dowie's Hull which put them level on points with the Hammers.

The question I want to ask is how does the West Ham squad compare with the Fulham squad as a whole? This is my assessment of West Ham against Fulham's squad this season.

Rob Green (WHU) is an England international and quite possibly England's no. 1 in the World Cup.

Mark Schwarzer (FUL) is Australia's no. 1 and will also be in the World Cup this summer.
Not much difference between the two in terms of goalkeeping strengths.

James Tomkins, Matt Upson, Danny Gabbidon, Jon Spector, Julien Faubert, Ilunga, Daprela (WHU) - All internationals. However, Spector and Faubert are suspect defensively and the fullback area is the weakest part of West Ham's squad. The right fullback position sorely need reinforcements. Gabbidon looks past his best, and strangely, Upson does as well.

Chris Smalling, Hangeland, Konchesky, Aaron Hughes, Shorey, Baird, Pantsil (FUL) - Smalling is the best young defender in England without a doubt. Fulham's defenders have the edge as they have the defensive toughness and the experience of top-flight Premiership football.

West Ham's Point Against Everton Was Full Of Relief!

After some heavy knocks to the West Ham confidence, gaining one point in the draw against Everton must really felt like a big weight lifted off Zola's shoulders. The jubilant leap after Ilan's superb diving header says it all actually. The fact that West Ham were much better organized and had urgency in their play meant that this draw was well-deserved. There was a time after Da Costa had scored the equalizer, I felt that three points could be possible. Never mind that Everton had not lost for six successive games at Goodison, I felt at that moment West Ham had the momentum. Until the sucker punch by Yakubu that is and yet the West Ham players refuse to let that late goal affect them and promptly was rewarded 60 seconds later.

It felt great to have come from behind and forced the draw. It was extremely wonderful to finally see West Ham play consistently throughout the match. Throughout this testing season, West Ham have played very well in the first half only to falter and fade badly in the second half. Against Everton, the intensity and concentration stayed high all through the match. If the Hammers can keep this up in their next five matches, we should have more than an even chance to stay up.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Everton vs West Ham Head to Head Stats - Preview

As Gianfranco Zola and Steve Clarke get back to the serious business (with owners' backing) of avoiding relegation, let's have a look at some key Everton stats at home and the head-to-head information.

Everton Key Stats:  
  • played last 3 matches with less then 3 goals.
  • won last 6 matches at home.
  • average number of goals 2.9 per match, scored 1.6 and 1.3 conceded.
  • played 11 home matches with at least one goal scored in a row. 

West Ham Key Stats:
  • lost last 6 matches.
  • lost last 3 matches at home.
  • lost last 4 away matches.
  • average number of goals 2.8 per match, scored 1.2 and 1.6 conceded.
  • played 6 matches with at least one goal conceded in a row.
  • played 5 away matches with at least one goal conceded in a row. 
Want to know who has scored the most headed goals since the 2005/06 season? It's an Everton to guess?

Reactions On West Ham's Losing Streak

Here are some quotes after the Stoke City defeat...

Ricardo Fuller had a mesmeric moment for Stoke against West Ham.

David Sullivan and David Gold.
Ever since they bought half of West Ham, the porn kings have had it in for Gianfranco Zola. But they have stopped short of sacking him. Could it be that they were trying to get him to resign to avoid paying him his dues? As his famous novelist namesake Emile put it over another frame-up: J’accuse (I accuse).


West Ham Down And Out?

Everything that need to be said has been said. Everything that need to be analysed has been analysed. And there are just no more excuses left. Gold & Sullivan had done their ownership part and tried to give the club's playing staff a kick up the backside. They have tried to put fire under the manager's and players' bellies in order to give them that motivation and desire to succeed in a relegation scrap. Unfortunately all that is in vain and the efforts have been futile.

Five successive losses were hard to take, especially losing to Wolves. That opening day away win must have felt totally unreal after that loss. It gets worse. Having that streak extended to six against Stoke has really knocked the stuffing out of the fans, players, managers and owners alike. The morale in the team must be feeling like a morgue right now.

And so three high profile striker signings on, West Ham are still within the spectre of relegation. The worst thing is the nagging feeling that West Ham will never get themselves out of this slump.

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