Sunday, August 23

Winning friends and losing matches

West Ham 3 Bournemouth 4

Luckily I'm on holiday in Salzberg, Austria, for this one. Spent the morning taking a very scary cable car ride to the top of Untersberg, an Alpine mountain that is 6000ft high. Only like the Hammers it seems I've peaked too soon. And now we've got a mountain to climb.

Matt and Nigel send various texts detailing us going 2-0 down pulling back to 2-2 and then losing 4-2 with Jenkinson getting sent off. "Both full backs have been abysmal," is Matt's verdict. There's even more shocks when Modibo Maiga scores to pull back a consolation goal. "That's how you get to be first on Match of the Day," suggests Matt. "If anyone tells you there were any positives for West Ham take it with a pinch of Salzberg."

This is worrying. Bournemouth are a confident side and Wilson who scored a hat-trick is a good striker; but after a great win at Arsenal we've lost two at home to lower level teams. Bilic said he's restore the West Ham way but this is more reminiscent of the erratic form of Ron Greenwood's sides post-1966, winning friends and losing matches. The team will take time to gel, but even so, this result suggests a struggle.

Nigel's player ratings say it all really: Randolph 6; Jenkinson 2, Ogbonna 5 (Tomkins 5), Reid 5, Cresswell 2; Nolan 3 (Jarvis 4), Obiang 4, Noble 5, Payet 5, Kouyate 6, Sakho 5 (Maiga 6).


mj said...

Sitting in the stand for the last 2, it's clear that wingers will cause us problems because the full backs have no cover, admittedly both were rubbish on Saturday but if it didn't work first half v Leicester why would it work first half v Bournemouth? Wide men keep their midfield occupied as well.

Mark said...

Hi Pete - I wrote a few weeks ago with my worries about Bilic. While I’m even more worried now, I think we hammers fans have to take some responsibility for the situation we are in. I think dumping Sam was hasty, particularly given then need to stay up this year before we move into the new stadium. WHU needed stability for another 12 months, not radical change. Frankly, I doubt the owners would have dumped Sam if it were not for the intense pressure we fans exerted to get Sam out. Also: can we please stop talking about the West Ham way? It’s so unhelpful and puts managers in a straightjacket from the get-go. Any new leader needs some time to adapt, build support, sort out the team etc.

I will say that Bilic made a big mistake in getting rid of Downing… he was a spark last year and still has plenty of quality left in him.

Love the blog.

Pete May said...

Agree Mark that Downing is a big loss as he would have been an alternative to relying all the time on Payet. Big Sam might have been unpopular, but he would have kept us mid-table and now we have replaced him with someone who has never been proven at PL level, though hopefully Bilic will come good. You're right, fans have to bear some responsibility for getting rid of Big Sam. And as MJ says, the Bilic midfield diamond seems to leave the full-backs totally exposed…