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Curbishley's Ratings Against Blackburn


John Simkin
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Curbishley did nothing wrong today. Nothing inspired but extremely competent. It made sense to keep the same team. I would have liked to see Noble in the starting line-up but I assume he is not fully fit.

Bringing on Ashton on was not a tactically change as Etherington had a groin strain. West Ham looked more dangerous with Cole and Ashton playing upfront together. I saw them playing together several times for England’s under 23 team. They will prove a handful for most defences.

The most encouraging thing about the performances is that they are playing well as a team. My only concern is that Neill gives the ball away too often when he advances upfield.

I don’t think Curbishley and West Ham have been given enough credit for their recent run. You always get the comment that Portsmouth, Chelsea, Blackburn, etc. did not play well. They seem to forget there are two teams out on the pitch. The Hammers are stopping teams playing well. We will know more after we play out two games against Everton but if we keep this up, we can end up in the top 6.

9 – my highest rating for Curbishley this season.

Green 8 – Once again showed he is the best shot stopper in the premiership.

Neill 5.5 - Gives the ball away too often when he advances upfield. Our main weak link at the moment.

McCartney 6 – Except for one sliced clearance had his usual good game. Played an important role in the goal.

Gabbidon 8 – My man of the match. Did not think he would recapture the form of two seasons ago but he has.

Upson 7 – Good solid performance. Developing a very good partnership with Gabbidon.

Parker 8 – Still not match fit but a class performer. I love the way he drives the team forward. Over-ran the ball a couple of times and was lucky not to get a yellow card with his late tackles but has the ability to dominate the midfield area.

Mullins 7 – Works well with Parker. He will rarely catch the eye but he covers well for Neill and Parker when they advance upfield.

Solano 5.5 - Couple of nice passes but I still see him as a luxury player. He is the sort of player you bring on late in the game to unlock a stubborn defence.

Cole 7 - Worked hard but was not so effective as he has been over the last couple of games. Linked up well with Ashton in the second-half and his good work set-up his fellow striker for what should have been a second goal.

Boa Morte 6 – Contributes a great deal by closing players down but does not pose too much of an attacking threat.

Etherington 5.5 – Seems to have lost his confidence again. He is reluctant to go past players at the moment. It is possible he is carrying an injury.

Ashton 7 – Clearly not fully fit but showed some good touches. Tremendous potential. He could turn out to be a another Shearer if he keeps clear of injuries.

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Guest Gary Loughran

Curbishley kept faith with the team that performed so well and were so unfortunate against Chelsea. Blackburn could justifiably have the same complaint today.

Etherington is markedly regressing each week; his one major plus is that he is a true left sided player and this helps balance the side. Boa Morte too often drifted inside and left Mullins to graft on his behalf out wide.

The defence, en masse, were again superb. Neill on occassion still thinks he's Cafu in his pomp, perhaps the result of playing in front of the seemingly impregnable Green. The bench today was used conservatively. Ashton was forced on due to Etherington's injury and with Boa Morte going wide, the teams balance remained. The delay in bringing on Camara (I'm aware of the communications fault between sideline and ref) might have been costly at a time when the fresher legs were needed. Have times changes so much that without electonics we can't make a simple substitution for 5 minutes.

Curbishley - 8.5 - Has the team playing as a team and with purpose. There is only so much a manager can do.

Green - 9 - My MOM. Commands the defence and at least two of his saves were top class.

Neill - 6.5 - Steady at right back. Can be dodgy going forward.

McCartney - 7.5 - Good left back and provides tireless runs in support of Etherington/Boa Morte

Gabbidon - 8.5 - Superb display. Won in the air and on the ground and his distribution is improving.

Upson - 8.5. - Superb again. Another team leader. Still prone to lose the odd header.

Solano - 7 - Steady performance. Tends to tire quickly. Otherwise provides great passing range and ball retention ability.

Mullins - 8 - One of those always touted for transfer. Again providing great cover for the defence. Dunn's substitution owed a lot ot Mullins play

Parker - 7.5 - Getting away with some dalliance on the ball - likely due to fitness. Like Solano, calm passer of the ball and helps the team retain possession.

Etherington - 5 - Won't drive forward and his decision making is, well, indecisive at best.

Cole - 7 - High energy performance - works the defence hard. Not providing much goal threat

Boa Morte - 7 - High energy performance - works the opposition defence well. Occassional flashes of brilliance.

Ashton - 8 - Even while noticeably off the pace, still a goal getter. Positional sense and use of the ball is international class. The likeness to Shearer is apt. I prefer a hybrid of the best parts of Sheringham/Shearer.

Spector/Camara - Not on long enough to do anything, probably just as well.

Edited by Gary Loughran
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Guest Gary Loughran

John I made some cosmetic, mainly grammatical changes to the above report. Could you use the new one.

Just in case you already copied the other over. No worries if this is extra hassle for you.

Thanks

Gary

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Guest Gary Loughran

I was speaking to Mal Donaghy about Cole last night. He thought he was more of a goal threat than I was giving him credit for. He also said he didn't like playing against such hard working, strong forwards. Lastly, he thought it was this hard work that prevented him buying the space and time in the box when needed to be a goal threat.

He liked our shape and performance that last two weeks. It's nice to get a pro's view on these things.

Some gossip -

He said the hardest man in football was Mick Harford. Mal is quite unassuming about his career, which was excellent, but when he does tell a story it's usually good. He spoke of many tunnel incidents where Harford smacked opposition players, before and after games. He also said Robson would tackle anything and was a superb player and drinker, but his reputation was also that he was very dirty.

He despises diving and said that, when he played, players on your own team would be embarrased and angry if one of them dived, feigned injury or asked for a fellow pro to be booked. Nor did they protect a team mate against retribution for something so silly. This wasn't a thousand years ago, times change quickly. it was also a time when any 'relationship' problems were sorted out on the training ground. I get the feeling he's disenchanted with some aspects of modern football, whilst enjoying the higher technical aspects etc.

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Curbishley got an average rating of 8.6 against Blackburn. This gives him an overall average rating of 7.1. It is interesting when you compare his average score with his players:

Alan Curbishley (15 games) 7.1

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

Rob Green (15 games) 7.1

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

Dean Ashton (9 games) 6.8

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

Matthew Upson (15 games) 6.5

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

Craig Bellamy (7 games) 6.5

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

Kieron Dyer (2 games) 6.5

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

Mark Noble (11 games) 6.4

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

Lee Bowyer (10 games) 6.4

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

Danny Gabbidon (9 games) 6.4

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

Scott Parker (4 games) 6.4

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

George McCartney (15 games) 6.3

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

Carlton Cole (11 games) 6.3

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

Hayden Mullins (14 games) 6.3

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

Matthew Etherington (13 games) 6.3

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

Nolberto Solano (7 games) 6.3

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

Lucas Neill (12 games) 6.2

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

James Collins (2 games) 6.2

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

Luis Boa Morte (11 games) 5.9

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

Anton Ferdinand (7 games) 5.8

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

Jonathan Spector (6 games) 5.8

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

Fredrik Ljungberg (5 games) 5.8

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

Henri Camara (4 games) 4.9

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

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I was speaking to Mal Donaghy about Cole last night. He thought he was more of a goal threat than I was giving him credit for. He also said he didn't like playing against such hard working, strong forwards. Lastly, he thought it was this hard work that prevented him buying the space and time in the box when needed to be a goal threat.

He liked our shape and performance that last two weeks. It's nice to get a pro's view on these things.

Interesting. Good point about Cole. He also draws the central defenders out to the wings leaving gaps for others. It is a shame that Noble and Bowyer have been out of the team in recent weeks. One of the problems for West Ham in recent weeks is that Boa Morte has not been able to take advantage of Cole battering the central defenders. It is a long time since I have seen John Terry get such a rough time. (According to a report posted on KUMB Cole has committed more fouls than any other West Ham player so far this season.) I am really looking forward to Cole and Ashton playing together. They had some really good games playing together for England's under 23s.

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