Saturday, February 14

Valentine's Day massacre

West Brom 4 West Ham 0 (FA Cup)

It's off to the Famous Cock Tavern where Matt and Lisa are on a romantic Valentine's Day date, having missed out on tickets to West Brom and a boutique hotel in the Black Country. Matt seems very amused by my ordering of a coffee at 12.45pm when he's already presumably had six pints and is straight on to the Tribute. We remember that it's the 25th anniversary of the 6-0 Valentine's Day massacre at Oldham when Nigel was eventually dumped by his then-girlfriend for watching the game. Well rid of her Nigel, not fit to lace CQ's boots.

BREAKING BAD
It's a scrappy start to the game with Gardner shooting just wide (remember him from the Birmingham League Cup semi-final defeat?) and West Ham wasting two decent free kick opportunities with Cresswell and Valencia shooting over. West Brom take the lead after 20 minutes. Cresswell commits himself and completely misses the ball and man on the left. Dawson scampers down the flank and crosses for Brown Ideye, looking marginally offside, to lose Kouyate and score from close in.

After that we just don't look up for it  and come second, third and fourth to every ball in midfield. Gardner strikes the bar from 35 yards, but we don't react. It's two when Noble dawdles on the ball outside our box and is robbed by Morrison, who fires in an unstoppable shot. Sod coffee, I'm off the bar for a pint of Tribute.

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN
It's a poor poor performance after the draws against Man United and Southampton, but Allardyce fails to make any substitutions at half-time. I predict, correctly, that he won't make a change until we're 3-0 down. Twelve minutes into the second half Sessegnon gets into the box and crosses and despite being surrounded by four defenders, Ideye is allowed to head home completely unmarked.

Finally Big Sam takes off Nolan for Amalfitano. He might be a good captain but Nolan just isn't good enough at this level anymore and has to become a bench player at best. Almafitano at least runs around a bit. Cresswell gets in a decent cross at last and Sakho heads straight at Foster. A good reflex save, but Diafra should score.

CONCENTRATING ON THE LEAGUE
Just when you think it can't get worse, our not-so super sub Amalfitano fouls Chris Brunt and then raises his hand into his face. Red card and absolutely stupid. Cole and O'Brien come on for Song and Sakho but it's four after 72  minutes when Berahino beats Adrian at his near post. Poor from the West Ham keeper. Lisa says she'll be happy with a replay now. Adrian has to produce a great save to prevent a fifth.

It's almost sublime in its awfulness. I'm reminded of the 4-0 FA Cup defeat at Blackpool in 1970, but at least the lads had the excuse of a night out in an illicit nightclub then. We played on Wednesday, but then Albion played then too. Good players have never got going at all.

As Matt says, if you had to name a West Ham man of the match there would be no contenders. Maybe Tomkins by default. So much for giving the Cup a real go in front of 5500 away fans. Tony Pulis teams don't do concentrating on the league. This is an awful showing from WHU and the players now owe us a big performance at Tottenham.

7 comments:

Steve Murray said...

West Brom played on Wednesday too, not Tuesday. And on the Sunday before, just as West Ham did.

mj said...

Sakho and Valencia was the front line everyone wanted, Nolan Off,Amalfatino on is what some wanted. This is down to the players NOT Sam.

Pete May said...

Yes, you're right Steve, West Brom played on the Wednesday, which makes it even worse! Agree MJ, down to the players. Some blame to Allardyce for selecting Nolan, but he can't legislate for good players suddenly performing like that.

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