Thursday, February 2

Jesus punishes West Ham for defensive sins

West Ham 0 Manchester City 4

After two wins we enter the London Stadium dreaming of vengeance for our 5-0 FA Cup defeat. Fraser has ten cigars, just in case, Alison has ended her strike and returned to the fold, while we’re also joined by Michael and Lisa. Though Nigel has had a narrow escape, as he misses the match through being tied up with Theresa May and Brexit.

West Ham start off fairly well and win several second balls. It takes until the 17th minute for the gentleman behind us to come out with his first, “Get up you tart!” The ref does seem to be treating City with too much respect.

But it all starts to resemble a rewind of the Cup game when Cresswell plays a terrible pass inside to De Bruyne. The lino misses the fact Cressy is fouled trying to get back, but De Bruyne punishes the error by playing a one-two with Jesus and strokes home the first. Four minutes later Sane nutmegs Byram, powers past Fonte and crosses for Silva to score. It’s all over by half-time as Obiang’s poor ball to Feghouli is intercepted by Sane. He plays in Sterling, who lays on the cross for Jesus to score as the Hammers claim offside.

The Hammers’ only chance comes when Carroll does well to find Cresswell, only for the left-back to scoop over the bar. City have dropped Aguero and their young front line of Jesus, Sane and Sterling have been sensational, but it’s still far too easy for them. There are huge gaps between our exposed full-backs and the centre backs and this was surely a game to revert to a back five rather than 4-4-2.

We’re joined at half-time by an irate Matt who is complaining about another wasted transfer window. Not even the news that Vera Lynn has a new album out can boost him, though he does suggest that at 100-years-old she is in the age bracket that might appeal to our owners.

Fonte fouls Sterling in the box and Toure nets the spot kick after 67 minutes and then it's just a case of can we avoid another five-goal defeat. Still it’s not as if anyone has to follow this with a night train to Cornwall — apart from Steve the Cornish postman that is.

Michael suggests that we have become the Premiership’s low-grade bullies; great at giving Hull and Palace a Chinese burn, but meekly handing over our dinner money whenever confronted by the big boys. Alison says she’s once again in a room full of really angry men and wonders if, having missed the Chelsea and Palace games, she’s a bad weather supporter.

The only slight positive is that Antonio keeps trying and Snodgrass comes on and gets in a decent cross or two. And the fans appear to be getting used to the London Stadium. There’s a rousing “We are West Ham’s claret and blue army!” at 4-0 down and some gallows humour “oles” as we put together three passes in the 94th minute.

So it’s off through the Tunnel of Doom to the King Edward where we’re greeted by a terrible karaoke singer doing I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues. “Just when you thought the evening couldn’t get any worse…” mutters Michael. We’re joined by a moribund Gavin and things are so bad that despite the karaoke Fraser, Michael and Gav decide to stay for a third pint at 11pm and risk the night bus. The only consolation is that we don’t have to play Man City again this season.

PLAYER RATINGS: Randolph 5, Byram 4, Reid 6, Fonte 4, Cresswell 4; Feghouli 4 (Fernandes 5), Noble 4, Obiang 4 (Snodgrass 5), Lanzini 5; Antonio 6, Carroll 5 (Fletcher 4).


Rob Graham said...

A fair review of the game Pete, I never thought we were going to win but was hoping for a 2-0 with good performances from the team and the new guys if they were picked. as it turned out we went for it to win the game and got skinned. One missed placed pass each time equals goal conceded, that wont happen ever week ( thank God! ) and we will find our natural place in life at 12th. Disappointed but not devastated! COYI

Pete May said...

Cheers Rob. Yes, mid-table is our aim now. We got caught on the break again, just like in the 5-. But City do always look brilliant when they play us and we're up against players like Jesus who cost £27m. Saints and WBA should be more our level. Got to hope next season we can start giving big boys a decent game again. COYI

Phil Nichols said...

Can anyone explain what was happened to Creswell. Since his return from injury he has been woeful. Last night he was a complete liability. He seems to spend entire games (watch him) giving hand signals as if to say 'I don't want the ball'. Maybe he's doing a Payet and wants to get back home to Merseyside.

Pete May said...

We were saying the same in the pub. Maybe his injury was worse than we thought… it was a bad knee injury in pre-season. Certainly taking him a long time to get back up to speed.