And even if we have had a tremendous campaign after the stupid Villa game, I all of a sudden begun to sing "Some people have all the luck". And I'm not thinking of the boys from East end this time. Individually we may have met a team better than us, but I would say that we matched Manchester United most of the time (as all the statistics also - but corners - tell us). And for us playing an even game against "The world champions" has to be stamped with more than an OK.
But it took just one second, a sea of space at Neill's right side and a very lucky goal (under too many feet to be satisfied) from the oldest teenager in the game: Ryan Giggs, to close a very tight game and let ManU go for another win.
I think we can be proud of the way we played. But losing is very dire, when you think you don not deserve to, against a team like ManU. A draw had been more in response to the game. Hopefully we can remember this game during the rest of the season. And even if ManC may catch us with ther game in hand, we are still fighting for a place better than last year.
Green 6 - Was as unemployed today as he was last weekend. Did one terrific save on Ronaldo's deflection, but I guess he actually did not have to.
Neill 6.5 - A weak link again, but it must have been a year or two since I saw him this much in our offence. With the help of Behrami he was better than expected, having the most silly player in the PL - Ronaldo on his share. Were lost when Giggs scored.
Collins 7.5 - Another good game, blocked well and took care of some important headers. Tried to make a mark in the offence as well, but... not today.
Upson 8 - Solid as a rock. But as I always state, want him to affect the team even more. Maybe just because we know how much we can expect from him. Marvelous block on Ronaldo's shot.
Ilunga 7.5 - Once again, one of our main weapons goin forward. Should hav had the ball even more when he so often is in a position on the left flank ready to deliver a cross. Solid at the back.
Behrami 7 - Some may call this a low mark for his maximum effort, but even if he is very important for our defence and sacrifices himself totally, I can get irritated when he has the ball to get forward and just stops to play. We know how much our favourite man can run sideways and backwards, why can't he do it forward?
Parker 7.5 - Instrumental in all his tackles. Our hub in the team. Were the best man in midfield, even compared with Carrick and Scoles. Missed some stupid passes though.
Noble 6.5 - Fought as the true hammer he is. But I'm still waiting for a game where he actually raises over the rest and affects the team's display with something extra. At least his corners could be topnotch? Is that naive? (well, all of our setpieces have to be something special a night like this).
Collison 7 - I love the way he plays, with absolutely no respect for the more famous name's of the opposition. Should have dared to shoot when free though. Leaves his flank a little bit to much, we lack width when Ilunga is our only player to go close to the white line.
Di Michele 5 - Can do some tricks but loses the ball far to easy. Should have been able to support Cole much more.
Cole 8 - My man of the match. Allright, one time in the box he turned the wrong direction, but otherwise very impressed with the way he gave everything, held the ball on his own against the world class opposition. For instance, the way he nearly closed down Ferdinand, the chip was maybe not world class, but still.. how he did it. So immense, strong... and (believe it or not) skilful!
Savio - Wanted too much, so tried too much, but we could see that he is a real footballer who just needs some time to grow into this league. Still; Having been here for just 14 days and already shown that he has no excessive respect towards teams like Arsenal or ManU is really good.
Tristan - Had just a blink.
Nonused subs: Lastuvka, Spector, Kovac, LBM, Sears.
With this team we should be able to win next Saturday, shouldn't we?
I'm proud to be a Hammer today, despite the loss. Last year we won, but we played better today!