May 21 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Kirk Blows writes each week for the Post about all things West Ham
It’s generally not the best idea to judge a team’s prospects for the season in their very first outing – but in West Ham’s case we’ll make an exception.
The Hammers secured a narrow 1-0 win against Aston Villa in a very tight but unspectacular affair at Upton Park on Saturday – and you get the feeling that there will be plenty of similar games over the next nine months.
Certainly, West Ham will need to make sure that they win those kinds of matches if they are to say clear of the relegation dog-fight in their first year back in the Premier League.
The Villa game wasn’t particularly pretty, but the Hammers showed defensive resilience and kept a clean sheet – and that’s just the sort of stuff that puts a smile on the face of manager Sam Allardyce.
West Ham collected less than half their points at home last term, but that won’t be good enough this season.
And so Allardyce, who struggled to get the best out of his players at Upton Park in the Championship, must formulate a system that works at home or face the consequences.
Of course, it was probably a good time to play Villa, as they struggle to understand the demands of a new manager.
West Ham’s next opponents Swansea are clearly in a similar boat – after all, they only put the five past QPR at the weekend…
It’s easy to be critical of referees nowadays, so a word of praise for Mike Dean who should be applauded for allowing Kevin Nolan’s goal against Aston Villa to stand on Saturday.
When linesman Simon Long raised his flag in the belief that Ricardo Vaz Te was offside in the build-up to West Ham’s winner, most refs would have instinctively followed his lead and stopped play.
But Dean knew the ball had been headed on by a Villa defender and that the goal was perfectly legal – and was quick to put his assistant straight.
Well done, that man!
Hammers fans were entitled to snigger when learning of QPR’s 5-0 home defeat by Swansea on Saturday – especially with Robert Green hardly covering himself in glory on his debut for his new club.
Green was a good goalkeeper for West Ham but you have to question the motives of somebody who stays when relegated and then leaves when promoted to play for a club that plays in front of just 18,000 fans. Nuff said!