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Curbishley's Ratings Against Spurs

John Simkin

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

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

Derby (9.7)

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)

Bolton (5.9)

Newcastle (5.1)

Manchester City (3.7)


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

Hi John,

Curbs started the game with the in-form Cole retaining his place ahead of the newly fit Ashton. Parker also could find no way into the starting lineup, both justified decisions. West Ham fashioned 3 great chances in the first half, all reminiscent of the flowing football we're famous for.

Cole scored - again - and was a handful all game, despite being on a yellow card for a poor refereeing decision. Green might have done better for the Spurs goal but more than made up for it with another penalty save. Curbs substitutions, for the most part, were like for like and worked as well as could be expected - with Ashton unlucky not to score. There was nothing negative tactically nor was there anything suicidal. The ref Riley was the poorest performer on show - every West Ham challenge, particularly in the air was met with a whistle. 33 fouls, 3 yellow cards - Spurs had around 5 fouls and 4 cards.

A great game and I'll give Curbs a 7.5.

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There are two schools of thought about how you bring back players who have been off injured. For example, Benitez started with Kewell on Saturday even though he had not played in the first-team for 18 months because of injury. He was brought off after 58 minutes. Curbishley obviously favour the idea of bringing in top players like Ashton off the substitute bench. Personally, I would have liked to have seen Cole and Ashton playing together from the start.

I would have also brought on Ashton earlier. In fact, to be precise, in the 54 minute when Ramos took off Kaboul. When he eventually arrived Ashton and Cole caused Dawson and Chimbonda a lot of problems.

Even so, after a worrying first 15 minutes, I thought the West Ham team performed well. The defence is clearly much better organized now. I liked the way the midfield closed down the Spurs’ players. Neil remains my only concern. I was very unhappy about the way he gave the ball away in the Spurs’ half in the 29th minute and then trotted back leaving others to race back to stop the counter-attack. I was also unimpressed with Neil pulling the shirt of Defoe in injury time when he was clearly going nowhere.

Overall, I would give Curbishley 7. I think he is overly conservative in his tactics but I believe he is building a really good team.

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