Tuesday, August 21

Defensive errors see Cherries pick off Hammers

West Ham 1 Bournemouth 2

Thanks to Euston being closed and the consequent chaotic railway timetables we're still in Cockermouth for his fixture, wandering lonely as a cloud around Wordsworth's childhood home. The team news reveals that Pellegrini had shown his ruthless side, axing Antonio, Fredericks and Rice from both the side and the bench. Unexpectedly Robert Snodgrass gets his first start for a season.

The first half has me dreaming of intimations of immortality as the Hammers go into the lead through Arnie's penalty. Hernandez has been tripped after latching on to Anderson's fine through ball. But even in the first half there are warning signs with Fabianski having to pull off a couple of sharp saves.

The news worsens as we wander the garden listening to the "beauteous stream" of Wordsworth's childhood. The game turns on Calum Wilson's individual goal, where he beats seemingly the entire West Ham defence. The midfield is slow, Balbuena makes an ineffective challenge as does Zabaleta, with Ogbonna out of position and Fabianski letting the strike go through him. More defensive calamity follows, with Ogbonna giving away afee kick and then failing to look at the ball as Cook outjumps him to head home. New players, but the same frailties as last season.

Still, it's not as if anyone has travelled 12,000 miles as a Prelude to disaster. Well, apart from Matt's brother Adam that is. "Reasonable first half, terrible second" texts Nigel, while Michael reveals, "it was dire…" Mystic Matt writes: " It was JUST like watching West Ham and not in a good way. We played well for 20 minutes in the first half and were shocking in the second with two incredibly soft goals." At least Fraser hasn't organised a pitch invasion, though he must have been tempted.

You have to give some credit to Eddie Howe (who looks a nice young man, says Nigel's mum) and Bournemouth who have quietly established themselves in the Premier League and benefit from the continuity West Ham lack. 

Pellegrini is right to say that some home fans shouldn't be leaving ten minutes before the end. Manuel is still testing his squad, but more changes will have to be made. Can Wilshere and Noble play together in midfield? There's a strong case for bringing in Obiang or Sanchez in midfield and Diop at the back, while Yarmolenko, not yet fully fit, surely has to start soon. Arsenal away isn't an optimistic venue, but if the squad really has improved then we must get something at the Emirates.


Mj said...

No different, possibly worse than under moyes. I know there's new players but I long for some stability, some relief from this chopping and changing. Nice to see fellow season ticket holders again but the second half was worrying.

Mj said...

And while I'm on, what's the deal with the beer prices? Irons ale has gone up 40p, I'll get an extra one in the black lion before I get to the ground

Pete May said...

The price of Irons ale seems even worse than the game!