Last week I wasn’t best impressed with the general performance of the team.
I was particularly unimpressed with Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tiote – a sentiment that appeared to be unshared with the majority of you. I also hinted that calling the idea of putting 11 men in the box an actual “tactic” was pushing the concept a bit.
This week, I have to say that, come 3 o’clock the fridge was a little lighter and I was in much better fettle. Obviously both Cabaye and Tiote took note of my comments and tried a little harder. See, all they needed was a one of my famous motivational speeches. Apart from an apparent uncontrollable urge to beat the crap out of our own players I thought we were much improved over the first two weeks.
But why does it take us so long to get going?
I have to say that I can’t remember any team being on the wrong end of possession figures of 29%-71% and then winning, but lets face it – we are special.
At times it was a comedy of cock-ups and I couldn’t decide which was the funniest. Was it Taylor laying out Tiote, Lovenkrands chinning Best, or was it Tiote trying to persuade the ref that he’d only committed 3 fouls all game, when there were still 7 people laying on the ground behind him?
In actual fact it was probably Yohan Cabaye seeing Peter Lovenkrands go down like a sack of shit but then choosing to ignore him and go on celebrating the goal. Maybe we don’t have that “brotherly love” thing up and running yet between the French and the Danes.
Tim Krul – 9
Three first class saves kept us in the match and made the difference between winning and losing. If you are going to criticize him for the goal at all then you also have to look at Coloccini and Tiote who were immediately behind and in front of the scorer.
My Man Of The Match
Danny Simpson – 7
Not at his best on the day but getting better. He gets forward a lot quicker than he gets back leaving the right side of defence with a big hole in it.
Steven Taylor – 8
Good solid all round performance. He does a pretty good impression of British Rail, making sure that the opposition don’t get to where they are going. And in some cases some of our players too. As long as he gets away with it then it’s not a problem.
I’m actually surprised he didn’t get a yellow for twatting Tiote. Not sure for what, but lashing out like that and laying someone out cold has to be an offence somewhere along the line, even if he is a team mate.
Fabricio Coloccini – 8
Good all round performance from the other Centre Back– good to see him getting forward. Nearly took out both of our forwards in the celebration but hey, can’t get everything right.
Ryan Taylor – 7
Thought he had another reasonable game but I get a bit concerned about his tackling. On another day with another ref we could have been down to 10 men fairly early on.
Gabriel Obertan – 7
Could have been an 8, but I reserve the right to allow him a little breathing space. For the first time in a while we are going into games being able to attack on both flanks.
I think I might get to like him.
Yohan Cabaye – 8
If, as was suggested by a few of you, I had given Cabaye an 8 or a 9 last week, then I’d be looking at giving him 11 or 12 this week, such was his improvement.
I realize he’s a different player to Barton, he’s talented to start with, but he certainly makes Barton’s departure more bearable.
His short passes in congested areas put pressure on us at times when we could have done without it. He needs to figure out that some of his team mates are just not that quick.
Cheik Tiote – 8
Whether it was lack of fitness or illness that slowed him down last week, the lad was back and back with a vengeance.
A committed performance and all done without the ending up in the refs notebook, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how.
Unfortunately he doesn’t have the kind of face that makes you feel sorry for him when the refs giving him a bollocking.
Jonas Guttierez – 8
A good performance from a player who seems to be able to cover every inch of the pitch and, for a change, mostly in an upright position. He defended well and was much more adventurous in attack. Wouldn’t be surprised if he knocks one in soon.
Leon Best – 7
At the risk of waking up the bug that’s been kipping up some of your collective arses, as I have said in the past, scoring goals doesn’t impress me as much as what else they do during the time between the goals going in. And Best didn’t do a lot. Yes, the goals were not bad, from 3 and 4 yards out, and he was involved a bit – that’s why he got a 7 – but personally I still think he’s not a Premier League striker.
Peter Lovenkrands – 3
I don’t think that I have ever given a 3 before. I would suspect that only not showing up or scoring 3 headed own goals from outside the box could merit a lower score. He reminded me of the kid at school that was so bad nobody would pass to him.
47 minutes into the game he actually kicked the ball for the first time. 52 seconds later, during the celebration of the first goal, he accidentally nutted Best then fell to the deck.
Between then and the 61st minute, when he was replaced by Ba, he headed the ball once.
And I thought Ba was crap against Arsenal…..
Demba Ba – 6
Better than previous appearances but still don’t see what West Ham fans were raving about. Had only one good shot in 30 minutes and his cross for the second goal only got to Best courtesy of a deflection off the first defender.
I would normally say something like at least he’s better than Ameobi, but suppose I’ll have to be careful now with Sammy on the scene.
What can you say about someone who comes on in the 78th minute and gets injured in the 82nd. Do we have a replacement for Michael Owen?
5 minutes doesn’t really warrant a rating but it’s a long time since Smudger impressed on the field.
Must try to be more positive.
Errrrrr…….His hair was nice!
Alan Pardew – 7
Nice to get two or three players out of our box this week and while I’m happy to see the backs moving forward we end up with a lot of pressure on Coloccini and Steven Taylor on the break Obertan is a welcome breath as he can go wide or cause just as much trouble coming inside, a welcome change to Jonas who, only having one foot, becomes predictable after a (very short) while.
I was not impressed when I saw the starting forwards but I suppose Vukic and Sammi can’t play from the start without a note from their parents.
Why does it take us so long to settle down at the beginning of a match? Are we just waiting to see how they are going to play it, and then we ad-lib from there?
We appear to be heading towards a balanced team. Is Pardew going to pull through or is the transfer window going to be the death of him like so many others?
I was happy with the result, and they are positive numbers (for me). There will come a game some time soon when it all slots together and those of you who are giving out 9s and 10s now have nowhere to go.
Good grief – I almost feel happy!