Friday, September 15, 2006


West Ham v Palermo

Man, am I tired - but I guess I can find a few minutes to sum up what I thought of the match.

Overall I thought we played well, but again lacked width and, very much unlike the West Ham I'm used to, were too slow in attack. Time and again we allowed Palermo to regroup and crowd the area in front of the 18-yard box. At first, we tried to draw them out by passing it around the back, but clearly the Sicilians were used to this and knew not to push too far forward. West Ham's reaction was to lay siege to the Palermo goal, and with so many bodies in a relatively narrow area in front of the goal, it was never likely that we could score. The few occasions that we did draw a scare was when someone sent the ball wide, such as Zamora's fantastic cross for Tevez to almost convert. Yeah, we were unlucky, but we were also profligate and - dare I say it - a little naive.

But at times we played with great verve and style, and only going down a single goal isn't bad against our Serie A counterparts. Bresciano had a fantastic game for them in midfield and most of their good moves came through him. Their right-back was in good form as well.

I'm not too concerned about going to Palermo needing to score. A win would have been much nicer of course but it wasn't a bad foray into European competition.

Player ratings

Carroll 6 - erm, some brilliant stuff and some very dodgy stuff. Plucked one ball out of the air like he was a fireman catching a baby, then spilled the next.
Konchesky 6 - Defending well, but not effective coming forward. Konch, will you please stop taking free kicks, ta.
Gabbidon 6 - Cleaned up pretty well most times but was caught out once or twice.
Ferdinand 6 - A shaky start, then improved - then gave a goal away.
Mears 6 - I think he's improving. Seemed to be more confident.
Mascherano 6 - Poor game I thought, apart from one or two really great tackles. Just seemed to let opposition players straight through his area for Gabbs and Anton to deal with. Some good passing though.
Tevez 7 - Classy and hardworking, but faded in and out. Some magnificent touches.
Reo-Coker 6 - Frustrating. Poor end product. Needs to step up.
Yossi 7 - Once again, heavily involved but slow to shoot. Pull the trigger now and again mate.
Bowyer 5 - Practically absent but had one excellent chance.
Zamora 7 - Still in fine form.

Etherington 7 - Looks much better and gave us much needed width. Must start next game.
Cole 6 - Unimpressive.
Harewood 6 - Unlucky not to score.

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