Zaman Siddiqui's Match Review
What a frustrating end to the match. Of course, the defeat is the main thing that we are upset about, but it is the manner in which it came, with Lady Luck teasing us along the way. For instance, I (like many others, no doubt) kept questioning myself as to whether we were going to win or lose this match. The number of changing outcomes (missed penalties, unexpected goals etc) within the match had me frazzled throughout. There were just 48 seconds between Bournemouth’s first missed penalty and West Ham’s opening goal. As it so happens, I briefly spoke to a friend online about the match as it progressed saying we deserved to lose when 2-1 down. So when we equalised, I said I didn’t expect the scoreline to change and was quite happy with the point. Then came my cathartic moment when King wrapped up all three points for the Cherries. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: being a West Ham supporter can’t be good for your health. That is, even excluding Pie and Mash.
How Bournemouth won, in spite of missing two penalties, is beyond me. Bournemouth are the first side to miss two penalties in the first half of a PL game since Aston Villa vs. Wimbledon in September 1998. With our long and proud history dating back to 1895, I can’t imagine that we have lost too many matches in which the opposition have missed more than one penalty in regulation time – answers on a postcard. Fortunately, there is another 1895 creation that we can always depend on when we’re down in the dumps – brunch.
During that time period, post-church meals on Sundays were highly sought-after. But for those nursing a hangover from the previous night’s partying and debauchery, the food on offer wasn’t particularly appetising. This is when a guy by the name of… well, Guy, penned a proposal about a meal that combined both breakfast and lunch – brunch. In it, he advocated a dining option that was lighter than the typical heavy meats and savoury pies typically consumed in place of a variety of pastries and other assorted starch-based foodstuffs. Rather unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for brunch to catch on.
I don’t think I’ve been this riled up watching a match in months. No doubt there were many Hammers drinking away late into the night drowning their sorrows. I think that we can all agree that 1895 was a memorable year for the two aforementioned reasons. Brunch has allowed us to be able to forget about matches that didn’t have a positive outcome. It is manna from the Gods that keeps us going. At the end of the day, it is worth keeping in mind that both creations go hand in hand in providing us warmth and that we should always support the team, much like the away fans did so at Dean Court. Oh, and if you’re opting for pancakes as part of your brunch today, do away with the Cherries. Also, during brunch, the churchgoers spoke about their wild and wacky Saturdays for a great deal of time (in other words, commence the commenting – haha).
Something that I take issue with Bilic is the amount of cronyism in our squad. The most pertinent example I can find is the gaffer backing Noble commenting: “Mark is our captain, he is our skipper and he has done really well recently”. Well, Slav is right about the first two points; not so sure on the latter. Obviously, whether one thinks he is good or not to play is subjective. But for a manager to back his skipper is ridiculous. Bilic and Noble get on very well. There is no need for the manager to create a public debacle where none exists. We only have to read the team sheet and watch the match to know what Slaven really thinks of him. For instance, Noble started in our previous two matches, but was also subbed off in both as well. That informs us that he is quite a valued member.
Cresswell is another player who has not been at the races recently, yet has kept his position in the starting XI. How Masuaku hasn’t been given a chance is beyond me. Just because he is a new signing this season doesn’t mean that he is only there as an injury back-up. As a matter of fact, I’m not so sure how much influence other staff members have on squad selection, but I feel that it is a possible reason why more or less the same players appear. This again is yet another possible form of cronyism. It was blatantly obvious with Big Sam and Kevin Nolan. It is now becoming quite clear between Bilic and Noble. His insistence on playing Lanzini wide and Kouyaté aren’t helping his cause either. On top of that, Ayew scored and Byram assisted having come off the bench – players that really ought to be starting.
That leads me nicely onto my next point. Whilst I didn’t want to have to talk about the manager this much, I feel like I have no choice but to continue. Bilic’s tactical nous, of late, has been atrocious. There is a reason why we have failed to win recently and I feel it bogs down to this. We have dropped 17 points from winning positions this season. Our defence was all over the place. It astounds me just how poorly we are playing with penalties being conceded left, right, and centre. But that isn’t even the main concern. Players are being left unmarked from set-pieces (Obiang with the second goal) with half-hearted defending at times (Fonte against King). In defence, we aren’t playing with a lot of confidence. It is genuinely worrying, as it is reminiscent of the early part of this season. Additionally, Carroll could do with a striking partner (preferably Ayew).
On my way home. Bournemouth 3 West Ham 2
We were well below par today 6/10 referee 7/10 West Ham away fans were at their best 10/10 dg
— David Gold (@davidgold) March 11, 2017
We have failed to get a win from our last four matches. This is a real cause for concern, as three of our next five opponents are in the bottom half. This has huge significance as we have only managed to beat one top half team in the Premier League this season – that was Southampton. Our next few matches against Leicester, Hull and Swansea could have big repercussions, given that we aren’t too far off from the relegation zone ourselves. At the moment, we are on track to get 45 points. You don’t need to be Sam Allardyce to know that is quite close to the drop with many matches to go. It is very probable that at least one of the aforementioned teams will get relegated.