Thursday, April 20, 2006


Will You Sing at Villa Park???

A silent home support at the Riverside prompted the amusing chants form the West Ham faithful "Will you sing at Villa Park". Although the Boro fans would have the last laugh on this occasion, the 2-0 result only tells half a story as a Hammers side stripped of a couple of familiar faces showed plenty of endeavour during this strange encounter at the Riverside Stadium. I say strange as neither teams could honestly look themselves up and down and say they were focused on the outcome of this match. However the Hammers started brightly, showing an intent to make something of a game they could've turned another cheek towards.

Despite West Ham having the better of the first half, it was Middlesbrough who would go in at half time a goal to the good. Paul Konchesky yet again caught out too far up the field was beaten to the byline where the ball was laid back into the path of Jimmy Floyd Hasslewank, who does not tend to miss with the goal at his mercy in this manner.

The Hammers began the 2nd half in as exuberant a manner as the first and immediately put the Boro goal under pressure winning a series of corners in the process. Boro having weathered this onslaught began to launch an attacking endeavour of their own. West Ham were made to pay for the lack of goal scoring prowess as Boro were soon awarded a penalty which was cooly converted by Massimo Maccarone. From the other end of the pitch it was hard to asscertain if the penalty was justified but what I did see in the 2nd half was 2 blatent handballs in the Boro area which were denied by the rather home biased referee.

I don't think this performance can really be critisised. Pardew could have rested far more players than he did and the players out there put in efforts that deserved a greater reward than a 2-0 loss. The atmosphere from the away fans was electric and is a sign of intent that we will attempt to sing West Ham to the FA Cup final on Sunday afternoon. The battle of the crowds in my opinion will be easily won, however what remians to be seen is whether the players can match the commitment of the fans and push this club towards silverware which it so desperately craves.

Player ratings

Shaka Hislop 7 - good saves
Lionel Scaloni 6 - Better performance but I think this was more through lack of exploitation of his weaknesses than an improvment from the player himself.
James Collins 7 - Really looking the part in the absence of Ferdinand
Danny Gabbidon 7 - Consistent performer.
Paul Konchesky 6 - needs a kick up the arse and told how to defend!!
Shaun Newton 7 - Perforing well for a bit part player.
Nigel Reo-Coker 7 - good first half performance faded a little in the 2nd.
Hayden Mullins 6 - Fairly average performance, nothing of note.
Yaniv Katan 6 - Don't think this kid is up to it TBH.
Marlon Harewood 6 - Not Marlons best day although chased down a couple of first half lost causes.
Teddy Sheringham 8 - Showed great presence and came close twice in the first half to putting the Hammers into the lead including a well taken free kick. Surely must soon become the first 40 YO to score in the Premier League.

<< Blog main page