Sunday, March 26, 2006


Hammers Steal 3 Points

Once again West Ham have come out smelling like roses despite a rather poor performance, thanks to a last-kick victory against rivals Wigan last night.

That's not to say the Hammers didn't put in the elbow grease - they fought hard till the last second (literally) and showed a lot of character. It's more a criticism of the style of play.

We have become a very average team and we're riding on the coattails of the forwards' talent (along with early season performances). Luckily for the Irons, on the day when Ashton was off form, Harewood and Sheringham brought glimpses of brilliance and helped bring the points back home.

As is their recent habit the Londoners let the opposition pressure pile up and were consistently choosing the wrong option: going long, back to Shaka, or attempting something fancy, when a sideways pass would be better. Because of this, Wigan kept finding the ball too easily and the Irons were left with a lot of work getting it back again. This time, however, the left side was underused, mostly due to Konchesky's over-willingness to come forward, meaning that Etherington was not as free as he usually is in making his runs. Yossi was the outlet but he failed to produce anything of note.

Player ratings (2nd half only - thanks a lot Fuxtel!)

Hilsop 6 - some good saves but still doesn't look entirely solid.
Konchesky 6 - too hungry, and poor passing. Too quick to go long ball.
Gabbidon 5 - What's happened Danny? Made one vital interception which was world class but otherwise pretty ordinary. Could have given away two goals.
Collins 7 - Good. Looking forward to Anton coming back though - the defence, including Danny G, is much more reliable with him.
Scaloni 6 - Did his job reasonably.
Etherington 6 - Quiet. Not given much of a chance though.
Mullins 6 - Didn't notice him much.
NRC 7 - Nice finish, but along with Muggers needs to find space when off the ball.
Yossi 6 - Lots of ball, little end product. Seems to have lost his spark unfortunately. I'd still play him though - we all know what he can do.
Harewood 7 - Class wherever he plays, and a well won goal.
Ashton 5 - An off day for Deano, poor ball control.

Zamora the Enforcer 6 - no impact aside from hacking every Wigan player in sight.
Teddy 7 - Lovely turn and pass for the goal. No impact otherwise but what an important 3 points he and NRC have got us.
Newton 6 - didn't touch the ball for the 5 seconds he was on the pitch. What's with the Sky Sports vote rating - 7.5 for that? Bloody hell!

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