Tuesday, March 21, 2006


It's the Semis

Alan Pardew has no doubt heaved a huge sigh of relief after seeing his West Ham team scrape through with a 2-1 win against 10-man Manchester City.

I thought the sending off was a joke and spoiled the game. But, no complaints - we're through. I must say I don't like the way we've played lately - all long ball and always too direct even when the ball is on the ground. Earlier in the season we were somewhat less direct (although still very pacey) but more importantly used Mullins and NRC when we had the ball. Today, our midfielders didn't see much ball in the middle third except at the feet of the opposition. I miss NRC's driving runs (although he did one or two today), Mullins' incisive passing, andYossi's dribbles. Really only Etherington got the ball at his feet and only in the second half - give the others a chance to get involved!

Anyway, it was a fine game as a spectacle and we played well as a team for a change. Unfortunately Man City had all the possession, but we took our chances.

Player ratings:

Shaka 6: Spilled it once and wasn't entirely sure of himself.
Konchesky 7: Good attacking play and defended quite well generally.
Gabbidon 5: Was it just me or did he go AWOL for long periods? Not a good game.
Collins 8: Superb. Many interceptions, tackles, headers and clearances. His only fault was failing to close the ball down on two occasions, and for one of those Danny G had gone missing so he was between a rock and a hard place. On this form he might take Danny's place once Anton is fit.
Dailly 7: Did well at right back. Knows his limitations. Shame he got injured.
Etherington 8: Did superbly when given the chance but those chances were too few. Defended very well.
NRC 7: Fabulous work for the goals. Battled hard but again little opportunity to strut his stuff in attack.
Mullins 6: Fairly good defensively but otherwise little contribution.
Yossi 7: Once again, fine defensive work and did well on the rare occasions he got the ball. Top notch assist.
Harewood 6: Fairly quiet. Not really at his best.
Ashton 8: Bonus point for that brilliant first goal and the leadup to it - possibly my personal favourite goal this season. Awesome. Otherwise fairly quiet but he certainly earned his pay. Pretty good holdup work though.

Scaloni 6 (on for Dailly) - Adequate.
Fletcher 6 (on for Mullins) - Little contribution.
Zamora 6 (on for Deano) - Little contribution.

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