Please CLICK HERE to rate the performances of the West Ham players who played against Stoke City.
Well that was a bit deflating wasn’t it? After the optimism we have all felt, this game brought us down to earth with a very big bump. i can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a game less. It was a terrible performance from us with virtually no redeeming factors. We lacked bite, possession and had a powderpuff attack. If Sam is truly happy with our attacking lineup, then I’m a Dutchman. Modibo Maiga should take a good look at himself in the changing room mirror. He was an utter, utter disgrace today. He’s had three games to prove he can be Andy Carroll’s deputy and he has put in virtually no effort at all. He is an embarrassment and not fit to wear the claret and blue.
I don’t want to see a performance like that again this season. We were as bad as Newcastle were last week. And the terrible thing is, if we had won today, we’d have gone joint top with Chelsea, or even top on our own if we had won by two goals.
Let’s admit it. Stoke outplayed us. I’m told they had 64% of the possession, but it’s worse than that. We were second to every ball. we barely won a header throughout the whole game. Our tackling was half-hearted at best. Player didn’t back each other up. The team spirit we have been used to was absent. You can do nothing but conclude that Mark Hughes got one over on Sam Allardyce.
Defensively Reid and Collins were fine. Collins got man of the match and it was probably deserved. O’Brien looked bright too. But that’s about where the positive remarks end. Mark Noble was the best of the midfielders. He gave the ball away too often, but he won the ball more than any other West Ham player and he was an 80% pass conversion. Nolan was far too anonymous and didn’t threaten the Stoke goal at all. Diame flattered to deceive. Jarvis put in quite a few crosses to absolutely no effect, and Downing was simply appalling. Ravel Morrison looked bright enough when he came on, but looked a little lightweight.
Let’s just say, though, the free kick which led to Pennant’s goal was a very soft one and in my opinion should never have been given. However, the wall didn’t do its job, and neither did the goalkeeper.
If we don’t bring in one or two strikers before 11pm on Monday we might be in for a very difficult season. I am beginning to feel that the return of Carlton Cole may be quicker than most people might imagine.
UPDATE: An honest reaction from Allardyce after the game HERE