Is the glass half full or half empty? Is this a sort of momentum? Two points out of 21 is certainly not what we want, and one point at home gainst Pompey is not hilarious. Still the first clean sheet in 25 games is certainly something to build on. So it depends what kind of fan you are, if you're happy or sad Saturday evening - after a goalless draw at home against Portsmouth.
I'm not fond of the chances Defoe created. Which certainly told us that we are not like a iron safe yet. Three great chances that Green - our MOTM - had to save. The rest of the afternoon was very quiet for him. Bellamy had a freekick in the woodwork, Cole had a great opportunity, but James was even less tested than Green, even if we had more of the ball. Too often we held the ball instead of trying to create chances by doin just one touch with speed (When Bellamy and Collison tried that once each, it looked suddenly great) . So today was not a game to be remembered for its individual efforts. It was totally a team game. And therefore my report on our players is quite modest:
Green 8 - Three great safes, one truly a master. Not much else to do.
Neill 6 - Don't understand we he was given so much responsibility to play offensively. His crosses and passes are not good enough. Calmed us down in the defence quite good.
Collins 7 - Like him! His effort and willingness.
Upson 6 - Quiet evening. His running back looked to cost us once, when the rest of our backline had put Defoe offside.
Illunga 6 - Quiet day for the Congolese. No mistakes but not involved much forward either, which I think we need. Subbed, do not know why, maybe a bit injured.
Behrami 7.5 - I like his fighting spirit, the way he puts pressure and often wins the "second ball". I like his running forward as well, but made a few bad passes in crucial moments. Best of the ten out on the field.
Parker 6.5 - Not as good as against Everton. But still important to pick up loose balls, and work for the team.
Collison 6.5 - When he goes into the box from the midfield position he does something that has been very rare in the West Ham team. That's good. Worked hard. Made some bad passes and bad decisions as well, but young and I'm not certain Noble easily will put Collison back to the bench.
Sears 4.5 - Not Sears game at all, even if he run much and had some good ideas. Was easily closed down when he went too deep in midfield. Subbed after 45.
Cole 5 - Maybe a little bit rusty after the layoff. Fought well, but did not make a lot of his opportunities.
Bellamy 6 - Creater and destroyer. Made bad passes, even worse crosses, but still created some opportunities with his speed and splitvision. Takes responsibilty. Wonderful freekick in the woodwork. Just 2 inches... from being the hero.
Etherington 4 - Awful! Needs to find his right side soon or it's a waste of putting him on the field. What I liked though is that the team shaped up after he came on as he give us a width in the offence. And some speed, which make their defence more cautious.
Faubert 5 - Did OK, back as a RB for some minutes.
Mullins 5 - Against Everton Zola was questioned whe he did not take off Parker, as he was totally exhausted in the end. Now I don't know why he took him off. But when he did we all knew that a cleean sheet was the way Zola wanted it, as he put on Mullins. Bowyer had been the alternative. But I don't mind too much. Mullins did OK.