Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Watford make a point against West Ham

West Ham were lucky to come back from Watford with a point after a lacklustre display this morning.

Pardew's 5-3-2 formation left the defending too late and by the time Gabbidon was brought off for Benayoun, the game was at 1-1 and Watford were looking dangerous.

I won't give a full match report here but Pardew took far too long to react to the game. Five at the back just didn't work - that sort of formation needs the wide pair to get forward much more than regular fullbacks and Konchy and Paintsil weren't pushing up nearly enough, leaving the midfield outnumbered and with no width. Watford were pressing heavily for much of the game and our tactics helped them dictate the play. Once we went to the 4-4-2 the game opened up more and I think if we'd done that in the first half the result may have been different. On the other hand, full credit to Watford who came out looking for all three points and they did play very well, and only missed out due to some profligacy up front.

There were some positives to be taken however. Our passing in tight spaces was brilliant at times, and Paintsil really looks sharp.

Player ratings
Carroll 6 - not confident but did a good job. No chance with their goal.
Konchesky 6 - often out of position, but did pretty well and put in a cracking cross for our goal.
Gabbidon 5 - out of sorts again.
Ferdinand 6 - hot and cold, nearly got an OG.
Collins 6 - steady.
Paintsil 7 - defensively sometimes caught out, but otherwise very good - top class distribution.
Reo-Coker 5 - missing.
Mullins 6 - some good passes in the first half but faded and was caught out once or twice.
Bowyer 6 - showed some class at times.
Harewood 5 - not at the races generally, but held the ball up well and is a good man to bring the ball out from defensive set pieces.
Zamora 6 - another goal and a hardworking performance.

Sheringham 6 - the right substitution to make and put some good balls about but it didn't really come off for Teddy today.
Benayoun 6 - got some chances to impress but didn't quite get a feel for the game.
Cole 6 - not much time to do anything.

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