West Ham left the south coast on Boxing Day with a huge sense of injustice having been denied 3 points by a goal that was allowed to stand by the referee despite it being both offside and handball and it being disallowed by the assistant referee. I am not a person who likes to lay the blame for any result with the officials it is an impossible job at times, on the balance of play a draw is probably what Bournemouth deserved but how the 2 points were lost will leave a bitter taste in the mouth of David Moyes. Bournemouth should have been down to 10 men in the first half when Simon Francis kicked Kouyate in the face right in front of the benches, what I find incredible about this decision is how its portrayed in the media, Kevin Kilbane on Match of the Day was talking about intent and how he felt a yellow card was the correct decision. Intent is irrelevant Francis foot in high and its dangerous play it has to be a red card no question, if we aren’t sending people off for kicking someone in the face then it could become a very different game.
One other things that raised its head was the subject of cheating, Manuel Lanzini was banned for two games for deceiving a match official following his dive for a penalty at Stoke, and to be honest I think he did dive so if we are banning people fo16r diving then fair enough. What is galling in the extreme is seeing Wilson who during a post-match interview was laughing about applying a touch of magic to the ball as it crossed the line and he will not face any sanction from the FA, It’s the lack of consistency that frustrates everyone in football at the moment we are saying diving is worse than punching the ball in the net both a deceiving a match official so surely both deserve the same sanction?
The most worrying thing for West Ham is the fact they have shipped 3 goals in their last two games to two of the League worst teams, while we can feel hard done by we should remember that had Ayew taken his chance in the first half Wilson’s goal would be a mere footnote in history.
West Brom are up next and West Ham should hopefully benefit from a slight longer break after quite a gruelling run of games. Under Pardew West Brom are yet to spark, but West Ham have struggled against the baggies in recent times and I can see it being a tight niggly affair again. Despite Pardew’s appointment West Brom are a side drilled by Tony Pullis and they will be hard to break down, Lanzini will have a big part to play in the game as West Ham will look to be more progressive against a team I expect to sit back and utilise the pace and strength of Rondon in attack.
Hopefully Mark Noble will be back in the side, the skippers influence should not be overlooked, and it’s not just how he plays but his organisation of either Obiang or Kouyate make them better players for the team as well. Despite the goals in the past 2 games I would keep the defensive unit the same and trust that the players who kept out Arsenal and Chelsea can do it again against West Brom.
In attack Arnautovic is fast becoming a fans favourite and has been outstanding recently, Antonio is always a threat and I think the mobility of out front line will cause West Brom problems. West Ham need a win here they should have enough to start the New Year off in the right fashion.