Sunday, October 5
Comfortable win over WHU Old Boys
West Ham 2 QPR 0
Pre-match we join the large queue outside the Newham Bookshop to buy a signed copy of My Life In Football by Sir Trevor Brooking. Trevor is as avuncular as ever as he dedicates his book, asking where we live and having a word for my daughter Nell as we pose for a photo. Nell is impressed that she’s met someone from the “olden days” who scored an FA Cup Final winner as long ago as 1980.
Then it’s on to Ken’s Café where Michael the Whovian explains to new Whovians Matt and Lisa why he can’t watch Who under the Moffat regime and my old mate Chealy, a QPR fan turns up to reveal that he never doubted Bobby Zamora (much). Nigel is away in Glasgow watching the game from the Crown Place Bar.
Robert Green gets a nice round of applause as he takes his place in front of the Bobby Moore Stand. Should have stayed with a big club though. West Ham take the lead after five minutes. Downing’s corner drifts over the Rangers’ defence with Green stuck on his line. The ball bounces in off Onouha’s knee, who is under pressure from Sakho. Robert Green wears the expression of a man at a bus stop who has seen a bus drive straight past him, appealing for handball against Valencia.
FIVE IN FIVE FOR DIAFRA
West Ham continue to press for mist of the first half with Song dominant in midfield and Downing spraying some lovely passes out to the overlapping Creswell. Jenkinson makes an impressive debut on the right too. Valencia pokes wide after good work from Sakho on the left. Zarate whips in a lovely cross that Reid flicks on and Valencia can’t quite head in. The ageing Rio Ferdinand is troubled by the pace of Sakho and Valencia. Rangers only have one effort, as Austin wriggles away from Tomkins and tests Adrian.
QPR look better at the start of the second half. Substitute Bobby Zamora crosses for Austin to flick just wide in the early seconds. But a promising ten minutes for QPR are undone by conceding a second goal from a corner after 58 minutes. Amalfitano’s shot is blocked and Tomkins turns quickly to loft the ball into the box for Sakho to head home his fifth in five games. Just hope Tomka doesn’t celebrate his assist in Sugar Hut.
CHEER UP ROBERT GREEN
“Why does Robert Green always lets goals in?” asks Nell.
Remarkably West Ham pass the ball short for the rest of the game and never look in real danger. It’s unrecognisable from last season. Adrian produces a good save from a Krankjar free kick and Taarabt shoots wide and that’s it from Rangers.
West Ham should have a third as Nolan doesn’t get enough power in his shot after good work by Downing. We go above Arsenal into seventh. Ten points is a promising start. Philip Neville says it’s the best West Ham team for ten years on Match of the Day. Early days, but it’s a long time since we had a comfortable home win and this is a promising start. While Sir Trev would have enjoyed West Ham United playing on the floor.
TEAM RATINGS: Adrian 6: Jenkinson 6, Tomkins 6, Reid 6, Cresswell 7; Amalfitano 6, Downing 7, Song 7, Zarate 6 (Nolan 5), Valencia 6 (Jarvis 5), Sakho 7.