Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Baggies defeated but injury worries to Deano and Matty
Dean Ashton and Matty Etherington both picked up injuries against West Brom, Ashton after 20 minutes and Etherington in the warmup. Ashton had a hammie - not sure about Ethers. Hopefully they'll both be 100% fit for the final.
Thankfully the Irons ran out 1-0 winners thanks to a Nigel Reo-Coker goal before half time. According to the Guardian, "the goal was simply constructed and owed much to the pace of Zamora. The West Ham forward outstripped Steve Watson on the Albion left flank before stepping inside Davies and teeing up the West Ham captain. From around 12 yards Reo-Coker made no mistake, sweeping a right-foot shot emphatically beyond Tomasz Kuszczak's despairing dive for his fifth goal of an impressive first Premiership season."
Once again, Zamora has proven himself to be a great support striker. His link up play is superb. He has been pushing very hard for a start against Liverpool and is becoming quite an accomplished player; if only he could find a little more consistency. Reo-Coker is also clearly coming back to his best. Just in time...
This reader (peter101) of TEAMtalk had a good idea about the team shape for the coming matches (including the final): "I would be tempted to try a 3-5-2 over the next two league games. Konch (or Ethers) and Newton as wing-backs with Reo-Coker, Fletch, and Yossi as the 3 midfielders. At least Gabbs, Ginge, and Ferdy can all play in their best positions then, and Yossi can start in a central position. I know...this means dropping Ethers or Konch, but I think Konch wastes far too many crosses anyway."
This is definitely a good idea. Fletch can allow the other midfielders to play, and Konchy and Newton are natural wing-backs anyway IMO. We can bring Ethers in off the bench for 10K, and shift Yossi and Anton to the right to bring it back to 4-4-2 if required. Worth a thought IMO especially if Etherington is injured.
In other news Alan Pardew has said that he will be targeting world-class players by offering a footballing challenge rather than a fat paycheque.
The West Ham gaffer said: "Some of these world-class players are so financially secure that you think maybe the challenge of coming to West Ham would be greater for them. That is what I want. I don't want to tap into a player who we have to put ourselves at financial risk for. I want to tap into a world-class player who fancies the challenge of coming and inspiring some young players and taking us to another level. That is something completely different. We are not going into the UEFA Cup for the experience and to come out saying 'well, that was fun'. We are in it to win it. A lot of European teams would not fancy drawing us."