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John Simkin

Martin O'Neill: Manager of West Ham

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That was a poor decision substituting Sears near the end against Everton. It left us with nobody up front to compete for the ball and invited Everton to press forward at will. 2 points lost.

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That was a poor decision substituting Sears near the end against Everton. It left us with nobody up front to compete for the ball and invited Everton to press forward at will. 2 points lost.

Especially as Reid made the mistake that led to the goal. It is poor decisions like that one that will get us relegated. On a brighter note, with Parker and Noble playing in central midfield, we don't look a bad team.

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Well... that's torn it !

Once again Grant failed to respond to the tactical changes made by the opposing manager. This has happened so many times this season, including the first leg against Birmingham. The first ten minutes of the second-half clearly showed he needed another body in midfield. He should never have started with Hines who has trouble holding the ball up and is very poor carrying out his defensive duties. I cannot understand why he played Hines instead of Sears. He gives good protection to his full-back and is good going forward. In my opinion, Hines was to blame for the first goal. He was standing close to Bowyer but completely failed to react to Upson's poor clearance. When Grant belatedly takes off Hines he replaces him with Dyer, who has the same deficiencies as Hines. It was no surprise that Dyer gave the ball away for the winning goal. He also missed our best chance in the second-half.

Maybe they will now sack Grant (I suspect they felt he had some magical powers in cup matches). Top managers will not of course accept the job as they will not be in a position to bring in their own players. However, it might be possible to recruit Chris Hughton. The only problem with that is Barry Silkman is not his agent.

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