Dawud Marsh's Photo Diary

Battling Hammers Suffer Defeat Against Liverpool


David Hautzig's Match Report

West Ham 3, Brighton 3. It's Inevitable Now.

“Think we stay up or go down”? That’s what I asked Nigel Kahn the other day, after West Brom’s reserve team handled us with relative ease.

“Ask me after Brighton” was his reply. I cannot say that filled me with anything other than more nest and anger because Brighton have been a bogey side for us.

We are truly a train wreck, quite possibly the worst run top tier sports team on the planet. I’ve had arguments with some who say the New York Knicks of the NBA are worse. But being in the top two of that league is an even worse position to be I than our current spot in the league. Me? I think we are 50-50 at best to retain our top flight status. If going down is what it would take to get rid of Sullivan, Brady, and Gold, I’d be tempted to take that deal with the devil. It might be a deal we have no choice but to consider.

And as I sat down to proofread and then post, I made the choice not to add pictures. I didn’t want to look at them to be perfectly honest.

It only took until the second minute for Brighton to show how truly shambolic we can look at times on defense. Brighton broke down the left, and with Mooy and Hammer killer Murray in the box it looked like we were doomed. Montoya crossed, and if Mooy had put his header on target it would have been a very early goal for the visitors because Fabianski was beaten. Moments later it was West Ham on the attack, with Haller rolling a pass to Fredericks while flat on his back. The Hammer’s right back floated a ball into the box that Montoya put out for a corner. A minute later Soucek directed a free kick from Noble that Ryan did very well to save.

Pace. We have almost none in the squad, with the notable exception of Antonio. Numerous time early in the match he began runs that Montoya could not handle. I could see Antonio begin his run, and Montoya still lost the race. He won a corner making such a run, he won a free kick making such a run. Oh to have more of that. And two healthy hamstrings on the one that does have it.

Brighton had another chance to take the lead in the 25th minute when Fredericks and Diop simply fell asleep at the wheel, allowing Trossard to run in between them and get onto a pass from Stephens. All alone in front of Fabianski, his shot went straight at the keeper. A minute later West Ham won a corner when Webster put a cross from Antonio. The Hammers went short and got nothing out of it. A moment later Noble won a free kick. But whatever the plan was between the captain and Snodgrass it didn’t work when the eventual set piece flew over everyone, with Haller very offside anyway.

The pace I mentioned earlier came to the forefront again in the 30th minute when Antonio again beat Montoya and won a free kick. Snodgrass put a good ball into the box, and Diop directed it behind Ryan for his second goal in the past three league matches. Maybe he should play striker as his defending has been suspect of late.

West Ham 1
Brighton 0

West Ham countered in the 36th minute, but instead of crowd noise the best soundtrack for what occurred would have been the theme from Keystone Cops. Noble sent a low pass for Ogbonna to run onto in the box. He couldn’t get a shot off, and tried to tee up Noble in the box. But our esteemed servant completely missed his shot and fell over himself. A minute later Fredericks sent a cross that Antonio hit perfectly on the volley but Montoya blocked it. Moments later Antonio took a long crossfield pass from Rice, cut to his left and tried one of his usually poor long range shots. At least this one was on target, albeit right at Ryan.

West Ham was on the attack again in the final minute of the opening half with Snodgrass on the run. He slowed down enough to let Fredericks overlap, and the Scot rolled a pass for the right back to get to. Fredericks looped a pass into the box that was initially cleared, but right to Snodgrass. The one time subject of the inept owners bullying fired a shot that took a deflection off Webster and into the net.

Halftime
West Ham 2
Brighton 0

In the opening moments of the second half Brighton won a free kick from a dangerous position when Snodgrass took down Bernardo. The free kick was sent out for a corner, and that’s when the Keystone Cops music started again. Fabianski came out to meet the corner, but his attempted punch came right out of the Roberto playbook and hit Ogbonna in the head and bounced in for an own goal. Comfortable to Panic Stations in the blink of an eye.

West Ham 2
Brighton 1

West Ham won a free kick in the 51st minute when Antonio refused to stop running. After two attempts, Stephens finally took him down. But he stayed down. With his brittle body, from shoulders to legs, it was a sight nobody could say they were shocked by. He was able to continue, but the additional worry was there.

Despite the pain, Antonio went on yet another marauding run that ended in a corner. Cresswell’s delivery was headed clear, but right to Snodgrass. In a scene eerily reminiscent of his first half goal, Snoddy struck the ball very well on the volley. This time, however, the deflection was courtesy of Bernardo. Ryan was helpless.

West Ham 3
Brighton 1

In the 70th minute, Antonio decided that Montoya had suffered plenty and wanted to share the pain with Webster on the right side. He crossed the field and got on the end of a rolling pass from Rice. His shot, however, didn’t trouble Ryan. Two minutes later Cresswell conceded a corner after a head to head battle with Brighton substitute Schelotto. The initial delivery was handled, but the ball went to March and he let loose a rifle shot that Fabianski did well to save.

A minute later, the farcical nature of West Ham’s defense was beyond pathetic. I don’t even know what to say to be honest. I blame Diop more than Ogbonna, because it was Diop who just stood there and watched a ball in front of him. Gross didn’t really do much other than put his body where the ball was. And it bounded off him and behind Fabianski for a slow, painful roll into the net.

West Ham 3
Brighton 2

A minute later, Propper sent a cross into the box that once again nobody on West Ham dealt with. It looked to hit Murray on the arm, but as it turned out it was his chest and the comeback…and possibly West Ham’s relegation…was complete.

Final Score
West Ham 3
Brighton 3

The last ten minutes were a bit of a blur, mostly because I decided not to sit in front of the TV anymore and got up to keep busy and move around a bit. The shambolic way in which our defense blew these vital three points was enough for me to throw in the towel. I cannot see a way back, but if that means the absurd way in which the current board have found fit to run this club will come to an end than maybe it’s worth it in the very long run.


Match Thread

West Ham v Brighton & Hove Albion

West Ham v Brighton & Hove Albion
FA Premier League
London Stadium
KO: 3pm
TV: None
Radio: WHUFC.com

Please use this thread to comment on the match as it progresses.


Dan Coker's Match Preview

Match Preview: West Ham v Brighton

Blast from the past

Today’s blast from the past features a 3-1 victory at Upton Park against this weekend’s opponents, Brighton. It arrived just over 109 years ago, on 5th November 1910 in front of 14,000 spectators. H.H. Asquith was Prime Minister and Henry Dunant, the Swiss co-founder of the Red Cross, had died six days earlier.

Legendary Hammers goal-getter Danny Shea (pictured) was on the scoresheet the day before his 23rd birthday; Shea would end the 1910/11 season as the Irons’ top scorer with 28 goals in 39 games. Irons goalkeeper George Kitchen, a penalty-taker and scorer of six goals in his 205 appearances for West Ham, was also on the scoresheet – it turned out to be his final goal for the club. 19-year-old centre-forward Bill Kennedy, a new signing from Northfleet United, scored on his debut to round off the win for the hosts – it was his first of ten goals in 23 appearances for West Ham United.

Grays-born Kennedy saw action in the First World War serving the London Scottish Regiment at Loos as part of an offensive on the Hohenzollern Redoubt and was killed in action in France on 13th October 1915; his brother, John, was also killed during the conflict. Both are commemorated at the Loos Memorial.

Syd King’s Hammers ended the 1910/11 season in fifth place in the Southern League First Division; Brighton were to finish third. Swindon won the Southern League First Division, Manchester United won the league title and Bradford won the FA Cup.

West Ham United: George Kitchen, Bill Lavery, Bob Fairman, Bob Whiteman, Frank Piercy, Tommy Randall, Herbert Ashton, Danny Shea, Bill Kennedy, Fred Blackburn, Tommy Caldwell.

Club Connections

Players who have appeared for both clubs include:

Goalkeeper: Harry Medhurst.

Defenders: Len Young, Dennis Burnett, Mauricio Taricco, Tommy McAteer, Matthew Upson, Keith McPherson, William Kelly and Wayne Bridge.

Midfielders: Sebastien Carole, Bertie Lutton, John Payne, George Parris and Tony Stokes.

Strikers: Greg Campbell, Bertie Lyon, Brian Dear, Tommy Dixon, Justin Fashanu, Sam Jennings, Sam Small, Bobby Zamora, Dave Sexton, Mike Small and Paul Kitson.

In addition, ex-Hammers Archie Macaulay, Liam Brady and Chris Hughton have managed Brighton. Alan Curbishley played for both clubs and managed the Hammers.

This week’s focus though is on a player who spent a season with the Hammers before later spending four years with the Seagulls. Sam Baldock was born in Buckingham on 15th March 1989 and started his professional career with MK Dons, where he played under former West Ham midfielders Martin Allen and Paul Ince. He made two appearances for England Under-20s in 2009 before signing for Sam Allardyce’s West Ham United for £2.5m in August 2011.

The 22-year-old striker made his Hammers debut as a substitute in a goalless draw at Millwall on 17th September 2011. He scored his first goals for the club on 15th October 2011, bagging a brace in a 4-0 victory over Blackpool; he notched another double in his next home game two weeks later in a 3-2 win over Leicester. Baldock scored again in a 2-0 win at Hull on 5th November 2011, a strike which was his fifth goal in his first six starts but was also to prove to be his last in claret and blue.

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Injury kept Baldock out of the side in the run-up to Christmas and the club’s signings of Nicky Maynard and Ricardo Vaz Te in the January transfer window restricted his first-team opportunities. He made his final appearance for West Ham in a 2-1 home win over Hull on 28th April 2012. He joined Championship side Bristol City in August 2012 for £1.7m – he had scored five goals in 24 appearances for West Ham United. All five of these goals can be viewed in my video below.

Bristol City were relegated at the end of Baldock’s first season but he won the League One Golden Boot in 2013/14, scoring 24 goals. After two years at Ashton Gate, Baldock returned to the Championship by signing for Brighton in August 2014 for a £2.2m fee. The 25-year-old made his Seagulls debut in a 2-2 home draw with Charlton on 30th August 2014 but had to wait just over two months to score his first Brighton goal, in a 3-2 defeat at Bournemouth on 1st November. He scored only three more goals in 2014/15, although one of them did come against Premier League opposition in a 3-2 home defeat to Arsenal in the FA Cup fourth round.

Embed from Getty Images

Baldock again struggled for goals in 2015/16, scoring four times in 33 games as Brighton reached the Championship Play-Offs. The following season was better for both Baldock and Brighton – he scored 12 goals in 34 matches as the Seagulls won automatic promotion to the Premier League in 2016/17. Baldock made only two appearances totalling 30 minutes in the top flight in 2017/18 as calf problems restricted him to playing only five games in total during the campaign. His final goal for Brighton had been scored in the Championship in a 3-0 home win over Derby on 10th March 2017, with his final appearance for the club coming in a 2-0 home defeat to Leicester in the Premier League on 31st March 2018.

After four years, 94 appearances and 20 goals at Brighton, the 29-year-old Baldock returned to the Championship to sign for Reading in a £3.5m move in the summer of 2018. Now 30, Baldock is still at the Berkshire club and has scored four goals in 16 appearances for fellow former Hammer Mark Bowen’s side this season.

Referee

The referee on Saturday will be Michael Oliver. He has refereed 22 of our matches, officiating in five wins for the Hammers, five draws and 12 defeats. Oliver has refereed the Irons three times this season, in our 2-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace in October, when he awarded the visitors a match-levelling penalty, for our 3-2 home defeat to Tottenham in November and, most recently, for our 1-0 defeat at Sheffield United a few weeks ago.

Embed from Getty Images

Oliver also refereed our 1-1 draw at Leicester in October 2018, when he sent off Mark Noble. His only previous red card issued to a West Ham player came six seasons ago, when he sent off Kevin Nolan in our 4-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield in December 2013. Oliver also refereed our 3-1 home win over Manchester United last season.

Possible line-ups

West Ham United are without the injured Ryan Fredericks, Jack Wilshere, Andriy Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson while Michail Antonio is a doubt. New signing Tomas Soucek is likely to be involved. West Ham have never beaten Brighton in the Premier League, drawing twice and losing three times – the Hammers’ last triumph over the Seagulls was a 6-0 home Championship victory in April 2012. The Irons’ tally of seven Premier League home defeats in 2019/20 is already more than in either of the previous two seasons.

Brighton are without centre-backs Shane Duffy, Dan Burn and Leon Balogun, but Jose Izquierdo could return. The Seagulls have lost three away games in a row – only bottom-of-the-table Norwich have a longer run of away defeats in the division.

Possible West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Snodgrass, Rice, Noble, Fornals; Lanzini; Haller.

Possible Brighton XI: Ryan; Montoya, Webster, Dunk, Bernardo; Bissouma, Propper; Mooy, Gross, Trossard; Maupay.

Enjoy the game – Come On You Irons!

Follow @dan_coker on twitter.


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