31/01/2009

0-0 - O what a relief!

Just give you two words: "Team spirit"! I could also give you "Zola Clarke" or "Collins Upson". 0-0 against Arsenal was not our most ingratiating performance this year. We hardly had the ball, but if we just created one good chance in the whole game, that could be said can about Arsenal as well.  So as a defensive display this was topnotch. 
It looked like many games against Wenger's team usually do. They dominated with emphasis, but created not much. But this was not just our luck, it was neither a performance- of-his-life by Green: It was a team performance signed by Zola and the confidence he has given the players and how they work together, but of course our back four stood out. And most of them our ginger man James Collins! What a game he had! 
It was, if I read it correctly, the first time since 2006 Arsenal goes from Emirates without scoring a single goal. Great performance from the men who did exactly what Clarke had told'em - I guess. This makes it seven games away from home without losing! In a row! According to Sky that haven't happened for 23 years! 
270 minutes without conceding is not ordinary for West ham either.

Also knowing what a hell of a team we have, as Real Madrid's Faubert wasn't able to be a starter for West Ham! So at least we do have eleven better players than those at Bernabeu. :-D

Green 6 - can only remember one serious save in the whole game actually, even if he had some punches. Saved Adebayor's quite weak, but not easy, header.
Neill 7 - Has improved a lot lately. Good game today as well, even if I must wonder why Arsene did not put him under more pressure with the fast runners he do possess.
James Collins 9 -  There's only one James Collins! Man of the match! The Welsh defender did everything right, was everywhere - at least everywhere the ball was. Was the keeper Green did not have to be today. Found often unconventional ways of protecting the goal. Saved on the line, and had our team's best chance with a header as well.
Upson 8 - Plays very wise. Did it today as well. I like the way Clarke has told Collins/Upson to push forward and challenge the opposition early on, as soon as there is a possibility. Has a good understanding with Collins.
Ilunga 8 - No offensive excesses today, but did not do a single defensive mistake. Plays very well. hardly ever looses the ball when he has control of it.
Behrami 7 - Even Behrami looked a bit tired today, even if he kept on running as always. But even if he rightly has been honored byt the fans lately, he showed, a couple of times, today what he still miss in his game: the good pass forward.
Noble 6 - Seemed tired but did what he had to do to stop Arsenal's midfielders. Subbed late on.
Parker 8 - His hair-style is irreproachable, so is his play. Couldn't challenge goin forward, but didn't let any of the home players to go forward either. Very important today.
Collison 6.5 - Was not able to show his tricks. But surprised me with a good defensive display.
Di Michele 5 - He may have been our man of the match last Wednesday, today he should have been subbed much earlier. Gave the away the ball to easy on a couple off occasions. At least in two of them the home team created teo of their best chances. We all like his tecnical skill, but he has to protect the ball better. Helped the midfield.
Cole 6.5 - Was not able to make an impression today, and was never close of scoring, but helped the team a lot anyway. Some few good moves. 

Subs: 
Savio 6 - Not many minutes but was never afraid to challenge the famous opponents. We could see that he needs a bit strength to be to compete with the PL's hard CB's, but also that he has some magic in his feet and a good overview of the game.
LBM - played just a few minutes.

5 comments:

Farbror the Guru said...

"West Ham have made inquiries about bringing 37-year-old former Sweden international Henrik Larsson, currently a free agent, to Upton Park. The club face competition from Bolton. (Independent on Sunday)"

Any other sources?

Prince H said...

Well. I doubt it very much. Henrik Larsson has not been training football at all the last three-four months. He just started again, but will be far from in good shape. Yet. And if we do need a new striker - which I doubt as well, as we now have Savio, Sears, Tristan, Di Michele, Cole and even Hines here, I think we would like him to be starting right now. can't see us buy a 37 year old man - even if exceptional fit for his age and a tremendous player - to be with us next season. Tristan and Di Michele are both over 30, so the Quota is full! And by the way, Henrik Larsson will be stubborn enough to stay with his Helsingborg and his family there. Quite certain, but OK, I couldn't see Faubert goin to Real Madrid either. ;-D
If we are looking to bring in another man it must be to replace Faubert. Maybe Joe Ledley.
Expect us to keep LBM, but lend Davenport to a CC team before the door closes.

Joppe - said...

What Prince H said, + he apparently already turned down a very lucrative bid from France.

Sometimes one wonders where these rumours comes from.

Hakan said...

I agree that Collins was MotM (although he came perilously close to an own goal), but the whole team contributed to an impressive defensive performance.
Personally, I think that Faubert to Madrid is an even more bizarre story than Larsson to West Ham would be.

Prince H said...

The way Collins managed the sequence where he had a header in the woodwork was brave. And I would say that braveness - not the same as sillyness - makes him a good defender. And Yes, Faubert. It would be nice to let Madrid make him the player he could be, and then see him return to us!