Playing an average Hammers side ravaged by injuries and short of form, I could hardly wait to watch us set about them. However, bar the first 5 minutes we were terrible. The style and standard of play was beyond belief. Out-numbered and outclassed in midfield we resorted to a sub-standard level of hoofball which served only to starve our attack and hand possession right back to West Ham. The amount of times they pinged the ball about and had us chasing shadows was embarrassing. I could not believe what I was seeing. Surely even with the injuries we had we were better than this?
What happened? Was it a failing of the manager to play the proper system? Perhaps shifting Phil Nev to midfield (I know!) and Hibbert to right back for Anichibe would have given us more structure? Was it a failing of the players to properly apply themselves to the game? There is no doubt Neville, Jags and Arteta were not at their best today. Was it the fact that West Ham were too good on the day and we could not cope? Ashton lead the line superbly and their passing was a joy to behold, yet they had a kid at the back and a severely under strength team.
Was it the fact that we were suffering from injuries and lacked options to change the game? Pienaar, Cahill, Yobo and Johnston are huge players for the club. Then again, hindsight is great.
Maybe it?s not that big of a deal? Sure we ended up drawing and after all a point is a point. Nevertheless the performance and the balance of clear cut chances left me feeling that we had committed robbery.
After so many positives this season I am more expectant, so when I witness two awful performances in a row the reality of the run begins to kick in hard. Injuries and loss of form at the worst possible time means we really need a result next week or we accept that 5th place will be good enough this time around. Let's be honest, 5th would still be a good achievement. After the consistency of recent months I wanted so much more but if offered our current position at the start of the season I may have taken it.
Can we make the next step up? Only time will tell. There is no doubt the midfield will have to improve, as will the style of play. Indeed the distribution from some has been scandalous, given that these men are professional athletes there is no excuse for what we see. Chipped aimless passes, crosses continually hitting the first man, launching the ball from back to front ASAP. This has to change.
As we continue to take steps in the right direction the team develops, learning lessons such as those dealt in recent matches against Fiorentina and Fulham. I hope that the players will come back stronger, shrewder and more confident for their experiences.
David Moyes and the players have given me cause for optimism and I don?t feel guilty for wanting more, yet when the going gets tough we continue to fall back on to our baser instincts. I am proud of the team and proud of the manager, yet I know we are capable of more than we have given recently. Come on lads! Onwards and upwards.
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 23/03/2008 at 08:23:07
2 Posted 23/03/2008 at 10:24:41
3 Posted 23/03/2008 at 11:04:13
4 Posted 23/03/2008 at 12:06:16
5 Posted 23/03/2008 at 13:35:11
6 Posted 23/03/2008 at 22:26:26
That goddamn manager of the month award is the kiss of fucking death. I wish they?d do away with it. Or at least give it to the Fat Waiter every month.
7 Posted 24/03/2008 at 02:30:57
8 Posted 24/03/2008 at 19:25:02
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment to Column articles, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and MailBag submissions across the site.