We were beaten by Tottenham in the Bejing cup with "kind" 0-1 - and that from a rare mistake by Robert Green - just 25 days we'll meet them again in the PL start at home. But the result was really flattering for West Ham who seemed far, far from the form they are expect to show us the 15 of August. Tottenham seems to be far better off in preseason.... The worst with the loss was that LBM was the next man to have a serious (as it seems) knee injury in our team. A real backlash... again for Hammers. Against the thoughts of most fans - I guess - I think he could have played an important part for us this season.
Green 5 - The shots from Tottenham were many, but Green could just stand and see them fly wide all the time. So not much to do for the England keeper, except an excellent save when Modric came through. But looked a bit clumpsy when he lost control of Defoe's winner.
Faubert 5 - Well, our Neill-cover-up is still not sold and it may be the french guy we'll have to see as a RB against Wolves as well. I was not very impressed this time either, it looks that he don't care which I guess he does, but there is a spark missing. Changed to midfield in the end of the game.
Collins 8 - My MOTM. Great work, good challenges.
Upson 5 - Hm. Where was he? It looked that his season hasn't start yet. Once I (from the telly) shouted at Faubert, becuase he let his opponent so easily just walk through. Afterwards I saw it was Upson and I do not expect that from him. Not his only mistake either. I hope he doesn't have his mind somewhere else...
Ilunga 6 - OK, but a bit whiny wasn't he? You did not see much of his silent energy (which can spark the whole team) today. The left flank did not look like it uses to do, but Ilunga was left on his own to often.
Collison 5,5 - OK, but did not use his speed and lost to many second-balls.
Jimenez 5 - Has the ability, but looked a bit confused on the field today and was easy to tackle down the "british way". Well, found Cole a couple of times and The Wizard was the one closest to score in a tiny collaboration with Cole.
Dyer 4 - Where has his pace gone? Maybe he slow'd down he play because Zola has told him to. Was to play the man in the middle where everything should circle around but failed and played some very bad passes which could have cost us. And too slow. Well, from here you can only improve... In the end of last season he had some minutes coming back from hiss horrible injury, soon it's time to deliver again.
LBM - Injured himself seriously (knee) after just some minutes and will probably be out for months. Sorry for him and West Ham.
Stanislas 5 - Shaked his head when substituted, and you could understand why. Nope, not so influential as I guess he expected and wanted to be.
Cole 6 - Had a very hard task. I don't know how many times he had to cope alone with five-six Tottenham defenders. I guess this wasn't the way we wanted to play 433?? Showed at least power and som energy and some moves... even if he missed passes like the rest of the team.
Noble 6,5 - Came on earlier than he expected than he thought I guess (when LBM got injured) and began to make the most stupid pass of the game which led to a counterattack. But then he really took responsibility and I liked what I saw. Good game.
Parker 6 - came on and had some influence on the game.
Savio 4,5 - Do still want too much and should start every game to play much more simple...
Spector and Hines had some minutes as well.
What also worried me that you couldn't see the ideas of Zola's play. We created far too little and had far too few men up in attack. It was not 433 but more of a 451. The players looked worried and few really looked like they wanted the ball. It's preseason, so do not count to see this restless way of playing later but... it worried me a bit. Tottenham knew that we (nowadays) want to keep possession and have some neat passes before we go for attack. So they just put eight players behind the ball and we couldn't create anything but a few balls to a lonely Cole or back to Green to have a longkick. We have to be able to play much faster à la the Sunderland-goal last year...
Tottenham's play was torrent, had ideas and they used speed and flanks.... and saw our weak sides. They have met much harder opposition in their training, and that was pretty useful I guess for them today, but that doesn't matter as we do all start the 15'th.
The press report that Stanislas was given shirt no 9, which should mean that we have seen the last of Ashton. Probably a solid observation. Edit: The rules in China states that the players should wear 1-24, so editing my former statement; This was not a solid observation.
But: Even if LBM haven't scored since he was 11, his injury means that we looks even weaker goin forward. I do not know if it's the right time to sell Ashton then? Our team do not possess too many goalscorers. On the other hand, if not fit, how long can you wait??
I do really long for the PL-season to start, but this game cooled me down some degrees... I must admit.