Sunday, May 04, 2008

Hapless Hammers

Apparently the West Ham players will receive a £10k bonus if they finish in tenth spot. Perhaps that might spur them on a little at home to Villa next week. If the thought of an extra ten thousand doesn't work, then reading the reports of yesterday's game should help them to realise they have to win back a little pride next Sunday.

The Sunday Express says that the "Hapless Hammers ... yesterday raised the white flag of surrender." The paper is obviously thinking of time-travelling back to the first world war because they also say "You wouldn’t want this West Ham side in the trenches with you." Me neither - I think I'd choose a few soldiers instead.

The Mail's relentless campaign against West Ham has rarely been expressed so openly as today. They say West Ham are a team "we have come to know and loathe, who lose heart at the first road sign saying 'The North'. Ah, The Daily Mail, the feeling is mutual, we loathe you too.

The Mail also call West Ham an "indolent, inadequate London team." I call The Daily Mail 'a tired, sad excuse of a newspaper.'

The Daily Telegraph say West Ham "went down like lambs" and that "Curbishley was too embarrassed to turn up for the post-match press conference."

The Guardian say that West Ham showed "a marked lack of appetite" but don't see anything dodgy in this because "West Ham have shown a marked lack of appetite since around Christmas."

The Independent are the only newspaper to acknowledge that West Ham were "missing ... six central defenders, including Anton Ferdinand and Matthew Upson." The paper therefore conclude that West Ham were never likely to trouble Man Utd.

The Times says that "West Ham were so feeble that the outcome was never really in doubt." They note that "playing against 10 men for the second half, West Ham ... failed to muster a single shot."


At 7:12 AM, Anonymous portugal said...

Good shout on the Mail. A third rate ,low-rent publication written by mugs for mugs.

That said,the "surrender" alluded to by the various papers can t be denied. A 4-1 scoreline,playing 11 v. 11 ,in which we at least had a go, would be one thing. But playing against 10 men and still not coming close to making a game of it ,is something else.

Missing 6 central different defenders ,including Upson and Ferdinand,and having to play a 19 year old center back ,was always going to make it an uphill battle. But it isn t the scoreline here that grates ,as in truth ,it cud have been a lot worse. What grates is the way in which the result came about. We just looked spiritless,unmotivated, and completely uninterested in taking the lifeline given us by the sending off.

This match should have been important enough to the club not only to try to maintain our top half position ,but to put to bed the idea that we can no longer cope with big clubs ,following the 4-0 defeats to Liverpool and Chelsea.

I don t see how you can avoid looking at yesterday as a true measure of exactly what this season has brought us. So we re assured a finish no worse than 12th ,and a points total no worse than 48, as compared to 15th place and 41 points. I don t think that represents that much of an improvement. It is an improvement,but I don t see it as enough ,considering the money we spent. And as bad as the injury situation has been, there is a limit to how much that can be wheeled out an excuse.

A lot needs changing at West Ham ,at every level ,at the club,otherwise this team will struggle to do any better next term. And if that strikes some as too negative ,or overly critical, then so be it.

At 9:09 AM, Anonymous greendressinDUBLIN said...

i have to agree with portugal that yesterday tells a tale of how the entire season unfolded. i looked at the table yesterday and realized that if the spurs win next week and WH loses, the spurs could conceivably finish the season at 10th.

the defense seems to not know the meaning of the word. two of manu's goals were scored respectively from 35 years out and from 40 yards out. do we have a holding mid-fielder? why would you start the game without the player that has the most assists? he does happen to create opportunities to score. or maybe i am just reading that situation wrong.

you could sense the fear on the pitch yesterday.

i hope they don't get that bonus. why? they haven't earned it.

At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With LBM starting what did you expect. Would have done better putting the reserve team manager in charge for the day, there would at least have been some motivation. Will try and renew season ticket for 1st half of year only if Curbs still there next year, it's the only half he is interested in as at Charlton so why not me too?

At 1:17 PM, Anonymous portugal said...

Regarding the response from 10.03, I too was abit surprised to see LBM start . Ironically though, I felt that Boa Morte actually was one of the only WHU players to have a decent game. He earned a number of free kicks ,and made a few good tackles ,yet did not commit many fouls . Although for parts of this season he has been well below par, I actually think that in the last few games he s been useful. He hasn t given up , which I think is creditable given the abuse he has been taking from supporters. That said, I d prefer to see Solano on ahead of LBM,despite the fact that Solano is nearly 33.

At 8:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keir, I love the work you do on this website but you've taken The Mail's words completely out of context. The actual article stated;

Chelsea's worst fears were confirmed. The West Ham who turned up at Old Trafford were not the side who did the double over Manchester United last season or who beat them at Upton Park in December. Instead, they were the ones we have come to know and loathe, who lose heart at the first road sign saying 'The North'.

So they were saying the performance was one to loathe, rather than the club.

At 9:27 PM, Anonymous portugal said...

What s the excuse for the Mail s description of WHU as an "indolent,inadequate" london team then? Or has that been taken out of context as well ? I doubt it. The negative attitude of the Mail towards WHU has been prevalent for a long time ,and this is no exception.

As for describing a team in London as indolent and inadequate ,I cud think of a couple of others ,both in and out of the Premiership ,to whom that description might apply more aptly than it does to West Ham.

I m the first to say that West Ham have under-achieved this season,even taking into account the injury horror show, and that there have been several matches ,including at Old Trafford ,when the team s workrate has been unacceptable. But the Mail took the biscuit with its cheap shots ,although it has to be said they weren t the only publication to do so today.

At 10:54 PM, Blogger Keir Clarke said...

I admit I used a bit of poetic licence against The Mail but I only did so as I felt it was in the fine traditions of their style of journalism.

OK - I exaggerated for effect but sod 'em.

At 12:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree entirely with Portugal but would add that as long as Curbishley is manager we'll never be anything other than a mid to low league side. He's mediocre and was just a plodder at Charlton but come on, if the club is to elevate itself in the way they, or we, aspire to, we need a world class manager; one who can motivate, doesn't name drop to curry favour or slag off individual players publicly - now that's what you call bad form.


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