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Curbishley's Ratings Against Sunderland


John Simkin
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Gary, are you interested in rating Curbishley’s team selection, tactics and substitutions out of ten against Sunderland?

His scores so far, based on KUMB members and the national press, in rank order, are as follows:

Reading (8.4)

Middlesbrough (7.7)

Birmingham (7.1)

Arsenal (6.6)

Wigan (6.5)

Aston Villa (6.0)

Newcastle (5.1)

Manchester City (3.7)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/07WHcurbishley.htm

Given the injuries it would have been the team I would have picked. It soon became clear that Kenwyne Jones was winning everything in the air. Upson and Gabbidon could not cope and so I thought there was an argument for bringing on Ferdinand in the first-half. Yet this change only took place in the 85 minute. I was also surprised that Cole was not asked to mark Jones at set-pieces. Curbishley should also have brought Solarno on earlier. We desperate need a midfielder who can supply the passes for Bellamy’s runs. After the game Bellamy claimed he had been lobbying Curbishley to pick Solarno. As it happens it all worked out alright at the end. However, Curbishley only deserves 6/10.

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Guest Gary Loughran
Gary, are you interested in rating Curbishley’s team selection, tactics and substitutions out of ten against Sunderland?

His scores so far, based on KUMB members and the national press, in rank order, are as follows:

Reading (8.4)

Middlesbrough (7.7)

Birmingham (7.1)

Arsenal (6.6)

Wigan (6.5)

Aston Villa (6.0)

Newcastle (5.1)

Manchester City (3.7)

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/07WHcurbishley.htm

Given the injuries it would have been the team I would have picked. It soon became clear that Kenwyne Jones was winning everything in the air. Upson and Gabbidon could not cope and so I thought there was an argument for bringing on Ferdinand in the first-half. Yet this change only took place in the 85 minute. I was also surprised that Cole was not asked to mark Jones at set-pieces. Curbishley should also have brought Solarno on earlier. We desperate need a midfielder who can supply the passes for Bellamy’s runs. After the game Bellamy claimed he had been lobbying Curbishley to pick Solarno. As it happens it all worked out alright at the end. However, Curbishley only deserves 6/10.

No problem. I'll post it here - Is that how it's done, then you transfer to Spartacus??

WHUFC V Sunderland

From the players available the team pretty much picked itself, with Gabbidon holding his place, likely and hopefully, due to a lack of recent matches by Ferdinand. A complete inability to secure and maintain possession remains an alarming facet of West Ham's play all season especially when linking midfield and attack. In the few minutes of playing time, Nolberto Solano perfomed well; doing much of what West Ham have missed all season (notable exception Ashton), constructive, simple, possession based passing. I am unsure if it is a deliberate strategy by the manager to construct a team which plays only on the break, if so this would explain the lack of possession football in favour of long and swift counter attacks. Keane won the tactical battle easily making 2 attacking half-time substitutions and turning the game in Sunderland's favour. The lack of a tactical reply from Curbishley was startling and when he did ring the changes even the Upton Park faithful were unsure if he knew what he was doing. However, these changes won the game. Whilst awaiting the return of the many injured players, 3 points was a good haul from a game where for long periods 1 point would have been a bit of an escape. For the impact of the substitutions, by luck or by design, Curbishley's rating has been boosted to a mid table 5/10.

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From the players available the team pretty much picked itself, with Gabbidon holding his place, likely and hopefully, due to a lack of recent matches by Ferdinand. A complete inability to secure and maintain possession remains an alarming facet of West Ham's play all season especially when linking midfield and attack. In the few minutes of playing time, Nolberto Solano perfomed well; doing much of what West Ham have missed all season (notable exception Ashton), constructive, simple, possession based passing. I am unsure if it is a deliberate strategy by the manager to construct a team which plays only on the break, if so this would explain the lack of possession football in favour of long and swift counter attacks. Keane won the tactical battle easily making 2 attacking half-time substitutions and turning the game in Sunderland's favour. The lack of a tactical reply from Curbishley was startling and when he did ring the changes even the Upton Park faithful were unsure if he knew what he was doing. However, these changes won the game. Whilst awaiting the return of the many injured players, 3 points was a good haul from a game where for long periods 1 point would have been a bit of an escape. For the impact of the substitutions, by luck or by design, Curbishley's rating has been boosted to a mid table 5/10.

That is a good point about swift counter attack football. It is no coincidence that Curbishley's tactics has improved West Ham's away record. However, this does not really work playing against less gifted teams at home.

What would you have done to cope with Jones on Sunday?

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Guest Gary Loughran

Jones is a new player for most Premiership defences to face and I think he's benefitting from the first season syndrome; he has the great attributes of raw pace, strength, skill and aerial power - oh and it looks like he can score goals, as well. He may be better judged after he draws a few blanks and his confidence gets knocked a bit.

Recently and notably, Viduka performed quite similarly to Jones in that both were able to bully their markers, some MOTD pundits called Jones unplayable on Sunday. Harry Redknapp used that term quite a lot to describe Hartson in his heyday and there are similarities. What do you do when a player is having a day like that and seemingly often against us?

If you can't win the ball in the air (and this is what I'd have done with Jones on Sunday) the priority should be to pick up the second ball/knock ons and track midfield runners - something I will note again, our midfiled and team in general is awful at. I will also say that Tevez's workrate was better than any player I've seen at West Ham since Billy Bonds and it made a massive difference in games especially in it's effect on the crowd and other players.

Sometimes you've just got to accept you're losing the aerial battle - when a defender doesn't accept this he tends to make attempts to win balls for which he has no right and ends up committing silly fouls in dangerous areas.

I wouldn't have brought Cole back to do the job at corners, only because I prefer centre halves to mark the men they've marked all game. Neill should tuck in for Bellamy's man if he goes up and Cole should come back with his man. Not sure if Curbs plays zones at set pieces or not. Do you know??? I ask because Upson whilst nearest Jones for the header never looked like he was actually marking him in the lead up (looked like marking zone/space to me). Jones never made any creative or clever run for the goal - he just moved, jumped and headed.

Ultimately though, I think our centre halves are fine pretty much across the board - full backs can be inconsistent. I'd look at sorting out the midfield at the moment, injuries etc. have led to a lack of consistency. More cohesion seems needed.

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