Monday, October 30, 2006


Three points at last!

Well, they've broken the duck, and done it quite well I thought. I hadn't seen the Irons play since the second Palermo game, but my impression against Blackburn was that they played quite well as a team generally. There were some defensive issues, but there were a lot of positives.

For a start, West Ham played with some conviction, like they really wanted to win it. Both fullbacks, but particularly McCartney, got forward on many occasions - in fact I think each put in more crosses than the winger in front of them (or behind them, I suppose).

As dubious as I was having seen NRC line up as captain, he acquitted himself fairly well with an active display. Both centre halves played well, particularly Ferdinand who I thought had an excellent game. The goalkeeper situation is looking better with Green between the sticks, and Teddy Sheringham did a fine job even without counting the goal.

Most importantly they (and Pardew) seem to have the strength of character to pull themselves out of the slump, and they are sticking together and working well as a unit. There is a lot of work to be done yet but I'm quite encouraged by this game.

Player ratings
Green 7 - looked comfortable. The commentators were critical of him for their goal but I think he was caught out by the swerve and was a bit unlucky for the followup.
McCartney 6 - probably a 5 defensively and a 7 going forward, so average of 6, although he does need to remember his first job is as a defender.
Ferdinand 7 - very good, read the game well.
Gabbidon 6 - had some off moments but otherwise looked better than the last couple of times I'd seen him.
Spector 7 - looks the goods to me, although I'd like to see Paintsil back.
Etherington 6 - fairly good with the ball at his feet, and good links with Spector, but crossing and some passing was poor.
NRC 7 - starting to graft a bit better.
Mullins 6 - seemed caught behind the game sometimes, but got a goal.
Yossi 6 - great dinked pass onto Teddy's head for our first, otherwise was anonymous at times.
Zamora 6 - tried hard and did do some really good work, but should have scored (or got an assist) with a glorious opportunity.
Sheringham 7 - great link play early on capped by a wizard goal. Got tired.

Subs - all get 6.

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