After Wednesday’s cup win at Spurs, I was perhaps dreaming that maybe playing Manchester United at Old Trafford might be easier than normal.
They were sitting surprisingly more mid-table than near the top. They had Robin van Persie out injured and the horrible, watch my words, Wayne Rooney was doubtful. The only problem that they have is that they have four quality strikers to choose from, so if their numbers one and two are out, that only leaves them with numbers three and four to choose from – Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez, who could probably be any rivals’ first choice striking partnership. Oh how I wish we had their problem!
With Andy Carroll still out (who knows when he might be ready to make his first appearance since signing as a Hammer) – it makes me wonder, what did the Liverpool medical people know about Carroll that the west Ham team doctors could not find? Did he have an ongoing injury/weakness in his ankle last season before they loaned him to us?
While Modibo Maiga has yet to score all season in the League, although he has to get at least one sooner rather than later. He seems to be Fat Sam’s lone striker of choice at the moment.
Carlton Cole is a strange story, though. How could a player, who knew he would be a free agent in the summer, let himself get so out of shape? It has taken nearly five months to get him back to near match fitness? Can he not play a full ninety minutes now? Is that why he is continually a substitute? Or has he had a major row with our manager?.
He does not have a great scoring record for the number of games he has played for us but, this season he has managed to get two goals from his one full start and a few substitutions. And based on those games, he is the best of our strikers.
Our other Cole, Joe, seems to be going through the motions and can’t play ninety minutes anymore! We sold him before he peaked and got him back past his prime. The list of such players is ever increasing. I’m sure all football agents are getting ready to offer West Ham some player seeking one last payday before they finish their careers.
The cup win at White Hart Lane gave all of us a sense of pride and false hope. Maybe it would be the final turning point of a disappointing season? Maybe the team could come together and see what it means to all the fans, to have pride in playing for West Ham?
But that was short lived with a trip up north just a few days later.. Back to reality. With a game against a team “struggling” by their own high standards. I thought we would go up there and have a real go but, as it turned out from the stats that were flashed on the TV after the game, we only had one attempt on goal. That was Carlton’s goal. We were attacked from the left, right and centre, our midfield never created that many chances.
Our travelling fans again made so much noise. Our anthem, Bubbles, was heard for most of the game along with some other clever ditties.
Ravel Morrison is the one English player at the moment (do you hear this, Andy Carroll?) that stands a chance of getting into the World Cup squad. He has the ability, but he alone can’t do everything, He is playing too deep. We had a player several years ago, Alan Devonshire, who had similar skills to Morrison’s and again he was played too deep. At least Dev had a reason; he had to cover the left back position of Frank Lampard (senior). So when Dev got the ball he had to run twenty/thirty yards to get to where he should have received the ball.
Our next match is at home to Arsenal on Boxing Day and a home win will be the perfect Christmas present to all us fans. I hope Santa brings us goals, goals and more goals from all our players until the end of the season
Thanks to anyone who has read my updates from California and all the best to you and your family for the New Year.