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West Ham Hammered


Guest Gary Loughran
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Guest Gary Loughran

I'm being kind here and concise, which is lucky for the players and my own well being, trust me!

In a game that had a 2-0 City win all over it from ten minutes in - ended up 3-0 as 10 man (and that is unkind to men in general) West Ham folded and showed the kind of creative vacuum for which Alan Curbishley is renowned...ask Claude Jensen

Green (7) - Not at fault for the goals. Pulled off a couple of excellent saves. A first half aberration which should have resulted in a City goal; when he should have made better decision

Behrami (4) - Torn apart by Petrov. I'd heard so many good things that I can't believe everyone is wrong. I hope not.

Davenport (3) - How is he a Premiership footballer? Truth is he isn't. Can't head, can't tackle, can't pass...and never could!

Upson (5) - Surrounded by this incompetence even Bobby Moore would struggle. Not to say Moore and Upson are comparable. Tried hard.

Neil (4) - After a first half in which his long punts represented our greatest creative force, he resorted to type in the second. Awful positional sense, destroyed by the legendary coiffed Ireland.

Faubert (3) - When West Ham steal a player from Rangers, the value of the player must be questioned. I'll hold back on a fuller judgement until he's fit - for today's performance see Davenport above (except the never could bit as I don't know Faubert that well!

Noble (1) - The great young hope?. Abysmal today. Devoid of all the things a centre midfielder needs. For example - patience, positional sense, distribution all missing. Not intelligent either, as evidenced by his sending off.

Parker (4) - A creative void all in himself - see Noble except add...lack of pace, enthusiasm, energy and more..not sure on the intelligence quotient as he's not really done anything overly stupid on the pitch.

Etherington (5) - Works tirelessly which all lesser talented players should.

Ashton (4) - Unfair to judge the forwards - whose necks must be sore looking up at the sky for the ball. Unfortunately Capello may not differentiate between lack of supply and ability.

Cole (4) - See Ashton - except he'll never make a goalscorer.

Subs - Pick any outfield player above and mix and match. Excepting Sears who was given 14 minutes in place of Cole. I'd hope the brain dead Noble will do something for Freddie by way of apology.

Curbishley - I refuse to score Curbs. He represents all that is bioth good and bad about West Ham, historically. Today it was all bad.

I have no doubt this team has what it takes to finish 10-12 in the league. Remembering of course that virtually every other team has stagnated and overall this is probably the poorest PL in a few years.

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I'm being kind here and concise, which is lucky for the players and my own well being, trust me!

In a game that had a 2-0 City win all over it from ten minutes in - ended up 3-0 as 10 man (and that is unkind to men in general) West Ham folded and showed the kind of creative vacuum for which Alan Curbishley is renowned...ask Claude Jensen

Green (7) - Not at fault for the goals. Pulled off a couple of excellent saves. A first half aberration which should have resulted in a City goal; when he should have made better decision

Behrami (4) - Torn apart by Petrov. I'd heard so many good things that I can't believe everyone is wrong. I hope not.

Davenport (3) - How is he a Premiership footballer? Truth is he isn't. Can't head, can't tackle, can't pass...and never could!

Upson (5) - Surrounded by this incompetence even Bobby Moore would struggle. Not to say Moore and Upson are comparable. Tried hard.

Neil (4) - After a first half in which his long punts represented our greatest creative force, he resorted to type in the second. Awful positional sense, destroyed by the legendary coiffed Ireland.

Faubert (3) - When West Ham steal a player from Rangers, the value of the player must be questioned. I'll hold back on a fuller judgement until he's fit - for today's performance see Davenport above (except the never could bit as I don't know Faubert that well!

Noble (1) - The great young hope?. Abysmal today. Devoid of all the things a centre midfielder needs. For example - patience, positional sense, distribution all missing. Not intelligent either, as evidenced by his sending off.

Parker (4) - A creative void all in himself - see Noble except add...lack of pace, enthusiasm, energy and more..not sure on the intelligence quotient as he's not really done anything overly stupid on the pitch.

Etherington (5) - Works tirelessly which all lesser talented players should.

Ashton (4) - Unfair to judge the forwards - whose necks must be sore looking up at the sky for the ball. Unfortunately Capello may not differentiate between lack of supply and ability.

Cole (4) - See Ashton - except he'll never make a goalscorer.

Subs - Pick any outfield player above and mix and match. Excepting Sears who was given 14 minutes in place of Cole. I'd hope the brain dead Noble will do something for Freddie by way of apology.

Curbishley - I refuse to score Curbs. He represents all that is bioth good and bad about West Ham, historically. Today it was all bad.

I have no doubt this team has what it takes to finish 10-12 in the league. Remembering of course that virtually every other team has stagnated and overall this is probably the poorest PL in a few years.

West Ham were terrible yesterday but you have been too hard on some players. For example, I thought Davenport was better than Upson. He cleared the ball off the goal-line twice whereas Upson was the cause of the first goal.

I don't think Cole did much wrong before his injury. He unsettled the Man City defence in a way that it wasn't after he left the field.

It is true that Ashton did not get much service. But why did they insist on sending high balls up to Ashton in the first-half? I don't think he got his head to any of these (in fact he rarely left the ground) as he was totally dominated by the two central defenders. However, he was much better in the second-half when they kept it on the ground. He needs to work the flanks more.

Neil was as bad as usual. He should have been dropped early last season. It is criminal the way he is selected every week. What about the time he put his hands up to protect his face? I am amazed the referee did not give a penalty.

Faubert frightened the life out of me. Twice he tried to dribble his way out of his own penalty area. He constantly gave the ball away. He is clearly not the player they thought he was.

Behrami seems to be a winger rather than a full-back. He has plenty of energy (unlike Neil) but gives the ball way too much to be an effective player.

Parker has been a huge disappointment this season. He is playing like he does not want to be there.

Etherington was hardly in the game. I can only remember him going on one run and the cross was terrible. He spent most of the time trying to protect Neil. A job he was not very successful at.

On that form today they will be involved in a relegation struggle this season. Given the fight shown by rival struggling sides such as Stoke, Hull, WBA and Fulham on Saturday, I am not sure we are going to be successful. If I am right about this, Curbishley will be sacked before Christmas.

Green (7)

Behrami (5)

Davenport (6)

Upson (5)

Neil (4)

Faubert (4)

Noble (4)

Parker (4)

Etherington (4)

Ashton (5)

Cole (6)

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Guest Gary Loughran

Hi John,

Very perceptive understanding of the game yesterday. I differentiated Upson and Davenport on past experience and future potential...perhaps wrongly in that the topic was about only one game.

You're exactly right about Cole, although I thought he had a couple of chances to pull the trigger in the opening stages and didn't.

I'll say nothing more about Lucas Neil...ever.

I actually felt sorry for Etherington who worked ever so hard to protect Neil. If only Faubert had been so team minded, especially when playing so poorly.

The midfield was pathetic yesterday.

I deleted my last paragraph before submission yesterday. which stated the same relegation fears only more forcefully. It is rare that I still seethe the day after a game, however today I would be even more critical of this spineless bunch than I was yesterday.

Whether Curbs is in a losing battle with the board, I really don't know. Not one player it seems even responded to Curbs post match lock-in. Lack of leadership throughout the team is maybe a bigger problem than I thought. I really don't see any leaders at the club as a whole; anywhere.

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You're exactly right about Cole, although I thought he had a couple of chances to pull the trigger in the opening stages and didn't.

I watched the game with my brother. After the second of these chances I commented that he is no longer a striker. His first thought is to get the ball under control and to pass to another forward. He does this fairly well but he has allowed this to overshadow his scoring instincts. People often complain that some strikers do very little in a game except scoring goals. This is because they have a one-tract mind. Probably, it is the only way.

There is a very good article by David Pleat on the game in the Guardian. He shows how Hughes exposed Curbishley's limited understanding of tactics. I thought it said a lot when Curbishley said after the game he asked his players to put their hands up if they thought they had a good game. I would have thought it was the job of a manager to explain where they got it wrong.

The really distressing thing was that the players seem to lack effort and commitment. Is it possible that he has lost the dressing-room.

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Guest Gary Loughran
I thought it said a lot when Curbishley said after the game he asked his players to put their hands up if they thought they had a good game. I would have thought it was the job of a manager to explain where they got it wrong.

The really distressing thing was that the players seem to lack effort and commitment. Is it possible that he has lost the dressing-room.

I alluded to this in my last post. Honestly, I'm not sure whether it is the manager or players responsibility in this case. I suspect Curbishley was at a loss to explain the apparent lack of effort and commitment (which ultimately is what has so angered many fans). He has asked the players and not one has constructively answered him. This is most alarming. A player who is a leader, I'd imagine, can and should hold his hand up and point out the deficiencies - normally starting with his own. In our Captain's case there is the real possibility the team would be still in the changing room :cheers. Even sparking rows can be productive in this situation. To say nothing is to abjectly surrender. Can you imagine being Captain (or a player who really cared) and not caning everyone for such a dismal performance.

No doubt Curbs can point to many examples of where it went wrong, of that I'm certain. The player's not knowing or not admitting their failure is frightening to me. I suspect though it is this meek subservience that Curb's looks for in a player. He has never really managed a top player before and doesn't really want to either.

Have you any ideas why West Ham through the ages that I've supported them have been such a weak, lily livered bunch. Dick's and Bond's are idolised for a reason and the reason is as different as night and day as to why Brooking and Moore are similarly idolised. Even in a handful of games Tevez endeared himself to the Boleyn faithful with his never-say-die attitude. In spite of his pouting Bellamy might be the man to spark something in the team, he surely wouldn't have accepted that performance from his colleagues.

As for losing the dressing room, I've nothing to base an informative reply upon. It could be argued that the sale of Ljunberg and Ferdinand (although I suspect he is too soft to go play up North and for Keane - if he does he will fulfil his full potential) - have undermined Curbishley. There also seems to be a drip feed of stories unfriendly to Curbishley in the press, I can only guess these are emanating from Upton Park somewhere.

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This is the average ratings for the game against Manchester City

Rob Green (5.50)

Calum Davenport (5.25)

Scott Parker (5.12)

Dean Ashton (5.0)

Julien Faubert (4.85)

Matthew Upson (4.85)

Valon Behrami (4.75)

Lucas Neill (4.75)

Carlton Cole (4.50)

Matthew Etherington (4.50)

Mark Noble (3.37)

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Guest Gary Loughran
This is the average ratings for the game against Manchester City

Rob Green (5.50)

Calum Davenport (5.25)

Scott Parker (5.12)

Dean Ashton (5.0)

Julien Faubert (4.85)

Matthew Upson (4.85)

Valon Behrami (4.75)

Lucas Neill (4.75)

Carlton Cole (4.50)

Matthew Etherington (4.50)

Mark Noble (3.37)

Good grief. Did they not see Faubert playing? The rest are so close as to be indistinguishable only 1 mark between best and worst. I'll try and figure out where Noble got his 3.37 from another day - but the Faubert mark stands out as an obvious blip. I've vowed not to discuss the West Ham Captain...unfortunately!!!!

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