Bobby Orangeboom wrote:This is why Swansea ripped us apart earlier in the season,and T*ttingham too.
Happened a few times last year too, bit of pace the defence seems to collapse.
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Happened a few times last year too, bit of pace the defence seems to collapse.
Its a fine line though isn't it. We don't have the biggest squad and have already suffered key player injuries. The priority is staying in the PL and with 15 games to go we need 13 points a similar position I think to Blackpool who actually went down. If you risked playing your best team every game every week how soon before you were left a depleted team in games you should win rather than hope to?
Management isn't just about picking the side and tactics it is more about managing resources, team development, strategy. Its both an art and a science and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't but you have to make difficult decisions, according to your strategy, and live with them. With a small squad, players injured, some coming back from injury or lack of games (Diame, Diara, J Cole) you have to try and manage your resources. Reid, I understand, has a slight (I hope) groin strain which could mean both of our main CH's are out. Jarvis has a knock that they are managing. What would you do if your job (and other people's jobs) and reputation depended on it? Its easy for us armchair managers without the responsibility of actually doing it be critical and of course we are always right because our opinion is usually after the event and/or without real consequence.
Lets be honest, apart from the embarrassment (which we should really be immune to by now) losing 1-0 or 5-1 is still 0 points! Did SA make any error of judgement? After the event, probably, but he also probably learned more about certain individual players (or confirmed suspicions) that will influence his long term view of their tenure with WHUFC whilst he builds 'his' team rather than the patchwork quilt he has currently.
Personally I believe that SA sees his best side (and chance of staying up) is a fit Carroll available for the last 12 games or so with Cole and Jarvis supplying him and Nolan. That's why I think he was not taking chances on J Cole and Jarvis and why his priority in the transfer window is defenders. I fully expect to see the cash splashed on a CH and LB before the window closes. And I think Diame will stay. But what do I know?
Last night was a massive reality check. We dealt with Arsenal effectively for the 1st 45mins bar the wonderful strike from Podolski. In fairness most mid table/bottom half sides would have crumbled after that assault in the 2nd half. Demel looked woeful after signing a new contract which is slightly worrying. However once again this game highlighted the lack of flair and imagination that we have in our team. If Nolan isn't scoring goals his overall contribution to the side is limited to his leadership credentials. Would have much rather had Joey Cole in the hole threading balls through and testing arsenal backline than Nolan looking for second balls and feeding off scraps, but appreciate he isn't match fit yet. It appears that he is untouchable in this team which is massively frustrating. Whilst i believe we will still avoid relegation we are on a precarious run that needs addressing. We need to get some from the game at Craven Cottage next week.
His injury notwithstanding as it couldn't possibly be foreseen (get well soon btw Danny), did anyone else think that putting the inexperienced Potts on to face an Arsenal side in that mood wasn't one of Sam's best ideas? Had they continued in that vein that would syrely have knocked his confidence badly, and it's not as if we didn't have other options/formations open to us...
I am still happy with our back 4 despite the scoreline.
When there is little cover from the midfield,wave after wave of attacks will generally eventually penetrate the best defence, although there have been occasions when the tackling and blocking has against all odds kept a clean sheet .
Where is the defensive quality,or tackling ability in last nights line up apart from Noble.
A defeat was easily predictable.
Odds of 5 - 1? That means we might win there about 1 time in 6 games..sounds about right.
Some of them don't have a first touch! Taylor needs at least 3 just to get control of the ball. I mentioned it last night, but we are a side that looks very comfortable out of possession but not when we have the ball at our feet. For me this is a symptom of the defensively minded (you could read: negative) setup where everyone knows what they are doing defensively but not the other way round. Its the side of our game that looks neglected to me and needs a big improvement imo as we are starting to get found out. Not playing our most mobile midfielder in Diame does not help.
Regarding Noble I'm surprised you've only just noticed this - he tends to takes too long on the ball and slows down play unnecessarily by going backwards or sideways frustratingly often.
This is usually made worse by the lack of movement in midfield so there are no options to play to (except lump it), but even when we catch teams on the break there is a lack of willingness to go forward quickly.
I think our midfield is and has been a problem for a while. Without Diame we have no engine or movement whatsoever. Taylor is simply not good enough and Nolan has been a passenger in an offensive sense for a while now. Add to that their massive lack of pace (along with Noble) and you have a chronic problem. For me Noble is the only one who starts out of the three (on current form, imo). With a fully fit team I would play Diarra as the defensive anchor, Diame as the box-to-box engine, and Noble as the attacking mid. He will be able to find the killer balls when playing further up the pitch and will do just as well as Nolan does defensively when we are out of possession.
You make a good point. There was a real lack of pace in our midfield last night. None of Collison, Taylor, Noble or Nolan have a turn of pace in them. Vaz Te probably can run, but doesnt seem interested half the time.
Exactly...surely none of us are in this for the glory?!
Anyone who has supported west ham for longer than 5 minutes will be completely used to this kind of thing, so just roll with it. No need to be embarrassed by it, we scored a great goal and were defeated by 15 mins of great football from a top team at home.
End of the day, which set of fans do you think will finish happier this season - West Ham or Arsenal?
i see, but how far does this go?
PL is priority, so it is good we're out of the cups.
PL is priority, so it is good to not have a go at the big guys.
should we only field our best team only against the bottom ten?
as a paying fan I am disgusted that Sam has players available that he doesn't use. But, I knew he could always palm J Cole and M Diame off as being unfit / just coming back from injury. Not a leg to stand on as fans asking for them to play.
Whilst I agree that there is often an alarmimg lack of pace in our midfield, it is only going to be a real problem defensively against a handful of teams.
The bigger problem is ball retention, we simply have to hold on to the ball better, especially against teams who can obviously do us damage.
I don't watch all other clubs, but I am staggered at how often we give away possession when we are in control under no pressure, a mishit pass is one thing but we just gift the ball to the opposition. You don't want to encourage certain teams.
I lost count of the number of times we surrendered possession in the first half last night when we were in a reasonable position. Fortunately we were reasonably organised at the time, which made the shambolic start to the second half all the more strange.
I went last night and my lad did his stint as the mascot. He had a great time and a big thanks to the Arsenal staff and the West Ham party. He met all his heroes (actually the whole squad which is the way when you are 8 years old), passed a few balls around with JackC and our captain and even shook hands with Arsene Wenger (I know). When the fifth goal went in he turned and said: "I've still had a brilliant time dad, shame about the result". I know what he means.
Historically, and at present we are a lower to mid table team and therefore would expect to lose more games than we win. As with all teams, we will from time to time take a hiding. Over the years we have suffered at the hands of Arsenal (6-1) when they were mid-table, Sunderland, Oldham and QPR by 6 goals when they had no right, ManU (6) because they were quite good and Newcastle putting 5 past us because we were bad. The same applies to Ipswich a year ago. There will have been others... On the upside, there were results like the other season when we stuffed ManU and beat Spurs and Liverpool. Personally, this season the feelgood factor from dismantling Chelsea far outweighs any disappointment last night losing to one of the best (yes) teams in Europe - on their day.
I don't believe following West ham is all about the football. It is about belonging and sharing the disappointments alongside the occasional high points. There is the cameraderie seen at Sunderland singing non stop 'Claret and Blue Army' when the game was lost or the self deprecating humour of were gonna win 6-5 shown last night. In fairness, this is the same at many 'lower' clubs but certainly something that is lost to the top clubs. Spurs fans should be careful with what they wish for. As should we...
With regard to last night, had Arsenal put in that 12 minute 'power performance' against any of the other clubs in the premier league, they could well have got the same result. One thing's for sure, Arsenal have had their own low points this season which was highlighted by the abundance of empty seats around the Emirates last night. We've just had ours and we have still have a couple of high points due between now and the end of the season.
Keep the faith...
It Is pace(as well as other qualities) that is lacking. You need to make space for yourself to do anything with the ball with pace or as Parker and Noble have learned ,by rapidly .changing direction !
Yep, and this comes from being confident in possession, head up, on the front foot, moving quickly and with purpose. Even teams such as Reading or QPR do this far better than us. Our midfielders get the ball and stand still looking for options. Our midfielders off the ball don't move or offer themselves up for the pass. Is this because they are not confident with the ball or is it because they don't want to move out of their ascribed position? Probably a bit of both, but either way it makes us very easy to defend against on the deck. Apply a tiny bit of pressure and the ball goes backwards
There's the dilemma and what the Manager gets paid for. Diffficult isn't it. In some ways damned if you do and damned if you don't. It depends on all sorts of things, quality and size of squad, stage of season, league position, injuries, player/team spirit etc. etc. All I would say is that I have never seen a Manager sacked for not winning a domestic cup or not beating better teams. If it were you and your job was on the line would it influence your decision making?
I don't believe SA wantonly throws matches, even cup matches, but I do believe he prioritises matches and manages his resources according to his years strategy and priority, as do all good managers. I'm not saying I am always happy with it but I do respect his position, that he has more experience than me and I am not the one whose arse is on the line.
You can't please all of the people all of the time.
i dont really understand the squad choice, wasnt it exactly the team we had in the championship final except jussi was on instead of green? I enjoyed the first half and thought we did ok, we had a good go even though they had majority of possesion ( as expected )
no idea what happened in those 10mins but was dissappointing considering how we did in the first.... the past 5 or so games really have been games of two halves for us... we can't seem to play 2 good 45mins which is pretty frustrating
A true Hammer in the making, credit to you HOTD, glad your lad had a good time and thanks for your post, I hope it helps those knee jerkers realise that a season is more than just a game
I totally agree with all of that
I agree that apart from Diame we lack pace in those in front of the defence. the players who should be tracking those quick runs from deep... But as you say, it's only against a few sides that it is a major problem
But I fully agree with your point about gifting possession. I mentioned on another thread how it is kind of pointless setting up with a big target man if you don't give him the support to play his part. All too often we go long to Cole (or whoever is playing there), often when we have other options, but if we don't have the support around him to compete for the ball up to him, we might as well just boot it up to their 'keeper, for a bit of a breather, as the end result is pretty much the same.
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