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Curbishley's Ratings Against Portsmouth


John Simkin
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Anyone interested in rating Curbishley’s team selection, tactics and substitutions out of ten against Portsmouth?

His scores so far, in rank order, are as follows:

Reading (8.4)

Middlesbrough (7.7)

Birmingham (7.1)

Sunderland (6.8)

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

Personally, I think it was Curbishley’s best performance of the season. True, the defence looked fragile in the first 15 minutes but after that the Portsmouth attack rarely looked dangerous. Cole did a great job playing up front on his own. The only real problem was Bellamy who was not carrying out his defensive duties. The situation improved in the second-half when Etherington replaced Bellamy. My only complaint about Curbishley’s decision-making is that it could be argued that Solano should have been brought off earlier. It is unfortunate that the best two chances fell to Solano but on last week’s evidence, he deserved a start. If we play as well as this we could give most of the top teams problems in away games. 8/10.

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Guest Gary Loughran

Watched the game in a noisy bar with the sound turned down - No commentary, so I might differ from Setanta's experts on shape.

Added on edit - Just read your piece John - I am certain Bellamy was injured: around 30 minutes or so he pulled up with what looked like a hamstring and/or abdominal, hernia type problem. I could be wrong though as I could hear nothing in the bar!!!

Curbs V Portsmouth

In a break from type, it seems Curbishley employed tactics from the beginning tonight. West Ham played 4-5-1- with Cole on his own upfront and Bellamy and Boa Morte coming off the wings in support. The plan being to stifle Portsmouth's 4-3-3 and it worked. After weathering the storm in the opening exchanges West Ham found room in the middle of the park and were particularly effective on the left. Bellamy's injury around 30 minutes should've warranted an immediate substitution (the main tactical error); continuing to play allowed Portsmouth to regain some composure before the break. Amongst many good performances - Notables were Green, Neill and McCartney. A very effective and surprisingly good West Ham performance: passionate, energetic and fluid. Tactically sound 8/10 (1 mark off for Bellamy effect)

Edited by Gary Loughran
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Watched the game in a noisy bar with the sound turned down - No commentary, so I might differ from Setanta's experts on shape.

Added on edit - Just read your piece John - I am certain Bellamy was injured: around 30 minutes or so he pulled up with what looked like a hamstring and/or abdominal, hernia type problem. I could be wrong though as I could hear nothing in the bar!!!

Curbishley confirmed that Bellamy suffered a slight strain (groin/hernia again). However, I don't think it is serious. Curbishley did not seem too upset by the injury. According to the commentators, Bellamy was giving Curbishley grief about having to play on the right wing. Curbishley also told Setanta in a live interview before the game, that he was going to play 4-4-2 with Bellamy and Cole upfront. The two "experts" both said they did not believe him and that in reality he would play one up front.

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Guest Gary Loughran
The two "experts" both said they did not believe him and that in reality he would play one up front.

Les Ferdinand and Tim Sherwood it looked like - 'experts' indeed. Just going to waffle a bit about the game now.

Soft pen decision by Dean, justice prevailed though. You'd think McClaren is coming down with goalkeepers to select from. Green has been in imperious form all season.

Couldn't believe Solano missed the first header. Imagine if it was Ashton? ;) - Carlton Cole looked good up front as you rightly say. A thankless task well performed. I thought the centre half as striker days were over, thankfully Ferdinand only was on for a few minutes though. Camara must be worried!!!

Thought we looked good in all positions tonight. Neill and McCartney worked hard on and off the ball and looked impressive from my viewing. Noble looked lively, no pie and mash before kickoff I presume.

I see Jones scored again for the Mackems - good spot by Keane (at this early stage anyhow). Do you rate him??

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I see Jones scored again for the Mackems - good spot by Keane (at this early stage anyhow). Do you rate him??

Very highly. He was injured on Saturday and Keane took a risk keeping him on the pitch. Despite this, he was still good enough to get the goal to give Sunderland a draw.

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Curbishley received his highest rating of the season (8.7). He far outscored the average player rating (6.3):

Portsmouth (8.7)

Reading (8.4)

Middlesbrough (7.7)

Birmingham (7.1)

Sunderland (6.8)

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

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/MRportsmouthA.htm

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