What a week it has been for us Hammers!! The mixture of the U21s & a few first team players being beat 5-0 then the horrific first leg at the Etihad on Wednesday was very painful for us BUT what a win it was away from home at Cardiff!
Three vital points that lift us out of the bottom three and hopefully a springboard to kick us on. I will be honest after Wednesday, I thought we would struggle but I will hold my hands up and say the whole team & Sam deserve a huge pat on the back. What a great 31st birthday present!
Not only did we keep another clean sheet but we defended a lead with just ten men after Tomkins was harshly in my opinion, sent off! Then we played really smart counter attacking football to score a second.
Firstly, I will say yes Sam got the three points, which I think was a must for him but I won’t be a fan. There is just too much water under the bridge for him to win me over! I tell you what if we get to Wembley which means beating City 6 or 7 nil Tuesday week, I will back him.
However, he is there now until the end of the season I think. So let’s go to the team…I am becoming a huge fan of Adrian. I think he has claimed the number one spot and think Jussi should be moved on at the end of the season. Adrian’s younger and just looks a better keeper to me.
The defence I thought played well, Demel I hope isn’t too bad, from what I hear it is just concussion so should be ok for next week. Rat played well without doing too much. Tomkins, as I say was harshly sent off. The first one was a foul but a yellow, not for me. Even if it was cos he had words with the linesman I still don’t think it was worthy of a card. The second was a joke. Ok high foot but he can’t even see Campbell and he wins the ball. He should be replaced by Ginge next week, who failed had a fitness test. Unless we sign someone I guess Relegation a Roger will partner him. I thought he was dreadful on Wednesday but he played a lot better against Campbell unsurprisingly. George was reliable at right back considering he is left footed. Diarra didn’t do enough to make me need to comment.
In midfield, I was very surprised he started with Jack Collison and Matty Taylor. I would have gone with Joey Cole and Mo Diame but both Jack and Matty played well. Yes they gave the ball away occasionally but with the confidence in the team that was to be expected. As for Noble, I love him. That simple! Is he good enough to play for England? Is Tom Cleverley? So yes in my opinion he is especially when he plays like he did today. He deserved his goal today and should be our captain for us without a doubt! Never stops running.
Wingers, I thought Jarvis was a good out ball, he offered some support to both the defence and the forward. Great assist for the first goal too. I think this was one of his best games for a while. As for Downing, I think he is starting to get used to our play and with the Geordie coming back he could go on strength to strength.
Now for Carlton, what a finish, he has really comeback fighting. I personally think he should get a contract until at least the end of the season. I would keep him, he is a good squad player to have. Which brings me onto the great news that Carroll got 20-25 minutes under his belt. Yes some of his touches looked rusty but what do you expect. He has been out for seven months!! Still he held the ball up at times and played a great ball for the Noble goal.
We are now out of the bottom three on goal difference but Newcastle at home are beatable at home. Yes they are a decent team but not the same force away from home and we really need to start making Upton Park a fortress again. With Reid on his way back along with Vaz Te, we are starting to get our players back. Which gives Sam no excuses then.
We are only 5 points away from Hull in tenth place. So have we all been too critical, I think no now but time will tell. The 11 teams from Hull downwards are not safe, there is always one team that drops very quickly and it could be them, WBA, Stoke or Villa depending on Benteke’s goals.
So with the win today and it being my birthday weekend, I’m going to be positive and say Fulham, Palace and WBA that will go down.
Now I come onto the transfer window, I think we will sign Traore of Monaco on loan subject to the work permit being agreed on Monday and perhaps another young forward. If we do sign two, it wouldn’t surprise me if we sold Maiga. I will be honest, I have warmed to Maiga since his goal against Spurs but if we were offered the money we paid for him, I would really consider it.
I don’t think we need any midfielders, I don’t expect to see Diame leave. Makes no sense to sell him. Ok he hasn’t been on fire this season but I still put that to being played out of position. As for Ravel, he isn’t going to sign for Fulham as some are saying. No chance for three reasons: one, why would you sell him to someone you are competing against? Secondly, not for £7m. We would want at least £15m in my opinion! And thirdly, he is having treatment that could need an op next week.
Which leaves me with the other position I think we need to bring a player in…a defender. I would go for Micah Richards on loan. He could play centre back or right back when Reid is back and he is great in the air too so poses a threat in the oppositions box too.
So I will leave you with the happy thoughts of a clean sheet, Andy Carroll’s return and a win which means we are out of the relegation zone!!