Harald sent me a text on the signal: Peace of cake! We can also see that it takes some hours to bake that cake. Steve Clarke has built one now. With help from James Collins, Matthew Upson and Yo-Yo. But after the good result, 0-0 against the PL-leaders on Anfield we can also see how much we lack a strong influence in the middle of the park.
I would say: Give Appiah a contract tonight!!!
It was not a beautiful game from our side, and we had some help from Pool - without Torres - and their misdirected shooting.
Still we can be proud to have taken four points from our two latest games, both away.
During the first 15 minutes we played some promising ball while Liverpool thought they were in Italy or Turkey and started to shout at the judge at every opportunity. Stupid. But after that... it was a long day's journey into night... West Ham, most on their backheels, just created two good chances in the whole game. The first a Bellamy shot from 25 yards that struck the inside of the post but went out (with no chance for Reina) and the second a strong header from Cole just over the crossbar. Even if Liverpool (67 percent of the possession!) created some good chances - and it's hard to understand how Green could save the shot from Benayoun who couldn't believe his eyes either - the were not that many open opportunities for Gerrard's team either.
Green 8 - More than excellent save on Benayouns shot, two other important saves. Three games without letting'any in. Goood.
Neill 7 - Well, the Liverpool guys can do slalom skiing on their left, still Neill made some good stuff tonight too.
James Collins 8 - Hardly no mistakes at all (well maybe one when he sold himself a bit easy when he took a step up from the box), very important for us!
Matthew Upson 7.5 - Great game as well. Played quite beautiful defending, but lost two important headers (Hyppia and Kuyt respectively).
Yo-Yo Illunga 7 - Oh I like this man. Few mistakes, good defending and again his Hammers companeros seemed to have him as the main man to take us from defensive play to attack. Gave away two freekicks when Liverpool again and again tried to hit his arms. It looked like they really did it with purpose and the Benayoun flick was awful. Luckily the former Hammer had nothing.
Julien Faubert 5 - Bad game. Bad crosses, bad passes, bad runs - mostly. Became better during the game when he was given the ball. Showed some defensive skills in every second challenge. Must grow sooner than later now if he wants to show his potential. Subbed late.
Scott Parker 5 - He needs to be our main character on our midfield. He was not. Was quite invisible. Collected some loose balls, but did not offer anything forward.
Hayden Mullins 5.5 - It may be so, that I don't understand football, but for me it's hard to see why we have a man that has a main task to cover ground - as long as noone else is there. As soon as a Liverpool guy goes into Mullins area he backs off, or if in front, he slowly jogs back. Well he had some decent moments as well and if he does what the coach want, he certainly does it.
Valeron Behrami 7.5 - This is something different. He offers hard work, challenge his opponents all the time and makes it hard for them to create anything. Sometimes these kind of players can be painful for the own team as well, if he won't be able to stop his player. He stopped them all night! And offered - even if few - some good offensive moments together with Illunga on our left.
Carlton Cole 6 - Once more a really ungreatful task. Good header and some good moves (specially when he was wrongly stopped by the linesman), but was never able to have any big influence on our game today. I would really have liked to see Tristan for the last fifteen minutes.
Craig Bellamy 7.5 - Also had a hard task, but still one of his best games in a West Ham shirt. Lively, good in defense as well as in the few attacks that was. Influential. Guess he loved to play against his old team. But sorry not to score.
Sub: LBM - on for the last ten. Had a great opportunity but totally lacked confidence in his effort. Did some good defending.
Nonused subs: Lastuvka, Davenport, Noble, Collison, Tristan, Di Michele.
Good to see Noble back, even if just for the bench. Sears and Ethers were left out, I guess mainly because of the opposition. Please, let us give Tottscum even harder times than this!