Hammers on song with a 3 nil win over Fulham

andy carroll debut for hammers

I’m sure Hammers fans everywhere were singing to the tune of I’m forever blowing bubbles after their win yesterday against Martin Jol’s Fulham. It was meant to be a tough match especially after West Ham have not got out of the starting blocks as quickly as we have liked.

And Andy Carroll, our latest signing on loan from liverpool, set up two of the 3 goals that left Fulham reeling and licking their wounds. The first goal came with just a minute on the clock when Carroll laid off a nice header for Vaz Té to tee-up captain Nolan to poke the first one in – nice.

Then it was Winston Reid’s turn to score by putting away a free header on 29 minutes. It was the perfect start to a match and Carroll was dominating the Cottagers defence and running wild. Just before half time, Carroll also had a hand in Matt Taylor’s strike to make it 3 nothing and making it back to back home wins for the irons!

The big man hobbled off at 68 minutes to a well deserved standing ovation from the West Ham crowd with a hamstring problem which looks like causing Roy Hodgson problems for the next few England games against Moldova and Ukraine.

Andy Carroll had lifted the Hammers and the match was put to bed effectively in the first half with the home side running riot. The big guy has an arial presence that is sublime and Big Sam has provided his side with a player that can provide a platform for the likes of  Matt Taylor, Mohamed Diame and Ricardo Vaz Te so they can run at defences and cause upsets.

Fulham had little response to the first goal from Nolan and things just got worse for them. With Carroll’s arial ability and Ricardo Vaz Te’s ability to run at his opponents, a cracking game of football was always on the cards and the crowd were loving it.

Fulham boys Damien Duff and Steve Sidwell had a few long range shots that were easily dealt with but they posed no serious threat to a West Ham that was growing in confidence.

Defensive errors from Fulham

Martin Jol lamented Fulham’s inability to deal with Carroll’s superb arial ability:

“If you are 5ft 8ins or 5ft 10ins tall maybe you have got a problem but we should have coped with it.

“Every game you see him, in the European Championships, you see he is good in the air, he is probably the best in the Premier League but I still feel there are a few answers for that but we couldn’t cope with that.

“The only positive for today was to see Dimitar Berbatov again and to see his class and quality, I have missed it.

All in all, Fulham had slightly more ball possession than the Hammers but it really didn’t matter. If you can’t put the ball away then something’s amiss, isn’t it? I’ll give you the example of the excellent Barcelona – what’s the point in achieving 68% ball possession when the other team wins – something’s not quite right. Don’t get me wrong, Barca is still the best team in the world but their continuous passing around and trying to wear opponents out is wearing a little thin for me. How about you?

West Ham beat Crewe 2-0 in Capital One Cup

West Ham are through to next round of the Capital One Cup after goals from Nicky Maynard and new boy Modibo Maiga helped the Hammers ease past Crewe 2-0 at The Boleyn.

Maynard, who is a product of the famous Crewe academy, opened the scoring for West Ham with a sweetly struck volley from inside the box and in front of the travelling support, Maynard however refused to celebrate in front of the fans of his old club.

Maynard, 25,  joined Crewe as a seven-year-old and scored 35 goals in 67 appearances for the club before moving to Bristol City in 2008.

Maynard & Maiga Celebrate

Modibo Maiga marked his full début for West Ham by doubling the Hammers lead from close range after the half time break as we eased into the third round.

Sam Allardyce made 10 changes from Saturday’s 3-0 Barclays Premier League defeat to Swansea, with club captain Kevin Nolan the only player in the starting eleven to feature from that defeat.

Maynard’s future has been uncertain of late with some corners saying he could be sold, however West Ham No 2 Neil McDonald disagreed with this in his assessment of Maynard after the game:

Nicky Maynard needed a game and he scored against his old team. He has put in a decent performance and that is all you can do – a decent performance and a goal.

He is certainly a goal-scorer and he took his goal very, very well.

He is an important member of the squad and he has put in a good performance today and given the manager something to think about, that’s for sure.

Modibo Maiga also had a very lively game and Sam Allardyce will be scratching his head wondering how Maiga only scored once, the Mali striker was denied by Crewe’s goalkeeper from distance twice, sent a volley over from close range and also headed wide from a good position.

A few markers were put down by players pushing for inclusion for our next league game against Fulham on Saturday, but a win and a clean sheet was just the tonic after the self destruction against Swansea at the weekend.

West Ham United lose 3 nil at Swansea

Michael Laudrup’s Swansea boys gave our lads a thrashing today and we helped them out with a couple of defensive mistakes, too.

Ok, so the Irons came through on the first game of the season and now we’ve been done by 3 goals. Swansea have also scored eight goals in two games and that just rubs it in, doesn’t it?

Two defensive mistakes by West Ham were punished effortlessly within 30 minutes by Angel Rangel and Miguel Michu.

West Ham tried to get their groove back in the second half but their efforts were wiped out by Swansea’s Danny Graham on 64 minutes. That basically put the game to bed and the Hammers were left picking up the pieces.

Hit man Miguel Michu

Laudrup has found his new hit man in the form of Spaniard Miguel Michu – who is quite the striker at the moment.He came from Spanish side Rayo Vallecano and has only made two appearances for the Swans. Apparently he is the talk of the Spanish press at the moment and the premier league may have a new hero.

All seemed to be going well for the Hammers and Swansea were only just ahead before Rangel’s cross-shot slithered under West Ham’s new keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen. Just nine minutes later James Collins miss hit his back pass enabling a nimble Michu to sneak in through the back door and put it past Jaaskelainen who was rushing out to meet him.

The Hammers were offered some hope in the form of new boy Matt Jarvis who had some nice touches but nothing came from them. One of his best chances was a nice volley that kept Swans keeper Michel Vorm on his toes.

All credit goes to Swansea for an impressive display that takes them top of the league with six points. No one said the premier League was going to easy, did they?

Match Report: West Ham 1 Aston Villa 0

West Ham captain came to the Hammer’s rescue yesterday with a decisive goal that has got the irons out of the Premiership starting blocks with a win over Aston Villa.

Kevin Nolan came to West Ham’s rescue yesterday against Aston Villa and got us off to a great start. it happened just after 40 minutes when the West Ham captain found Ricardo Vaz Té’s cross and all Nolan had to do was guide the ball into an open net. Nolan’s goal get’s the Hammers off to a flyer – that all important first game of the season, too!

Big Sam Allardyce had this to say of his captain after the game:

“Kevin’s a goalscorer. A lot of people look at him as a midfielder.
“But he is a David Platt. He gets on the end of things, ghosts into the box without people understanding how he got there. It was through instinct he found that chance. While all the other players are standing watching, Kevin is on the move and he pops it into the back of the net.
“Kevin is as good as any striker in the box. He’s a great finisher and that’s his outstanding quality, proven over many years.”

Nolan’s goal caused a bit of a stir, too. The linesman raised his flag as he thought Vaz T´was in an offside position from Mark Noble’s free kick up the right side of the box. Vaz Té kept a cool head as Ref mike Dean over ruled the linesman and found Nolan running toowrds the net to slot home the only goal of the match.

The controversy was later extinguished as video footage found the ref to be totally correct in his decision. Before Nolan’s goal the Hammers were pretty poor and many a fan could be heard complaining about Allardyce’s long ball game. it’s early days yet lads, let’s see what Sam has got in store for the season!

West Ham had more chances than Villa and although the Brummie outfit had the greater possession they never looked like bothering West Ham too much.

So that’s round one over and West Ham have a win in the bag

West Ham Beat Southend 3-0

West Ham today won their first game of the pre-season with a 3-0 win over Southend United.

Nicky Maynard headed in a wicked Matty Taylor corner kick in the 22nd minute to give the visitors a 1-0 advantage.

Jordan Spence then doubled the lead as he romped clear of the Southend defence to fire home, and Sam Baldock came off the bench to score his 3rd goal in as many pre-season games to give The Hammers an emphatic victory.

After a loss in Austria and a draw to Boreham Wood it was nice to taste victory, lets hope the pre-season gets better and better for West Ham.

West Ham Back In The Premier League

What an awesome way to end a season! West Ham United are back where they belong – the Premier League. Blackpool came to Wembley with one thing on their mind and that was to snatch a victory and deny the Hammers their legitimate right – The Prem.

I still can’t believe it as I type up this report that West Ham are back in the big time, back in the Premier League. There is certainly going to be some bubbly uncorked tonight in London’s East End I can tell you. Not the cheap Spanish Cava but a few bottles of the good stuff!

Blackpool “brought it” to Wembley and it showed. They gave West Ham a tough time and it had to be Carlton Cole the man to break the deadlock just before the break. That was a great moment, going into the break with a one nil lead at Wembley – the hallowed turf.

After the break, Blackpool surprised the hammers with a goal and it showed they meant business – the Tangerines wanted this as badly as the Hammers and now they had the bit between their teeth.

West Ham showed great resilience though and it was an awesome match with end to end stuff. Blackpool managed to frighten the Hammers on a few occasions but they soaked it up. Stephen Dobbie was particularly good for the seasiders and he wanted this more than anyone. The irons played like warriors this afternoon and Allardyce’s men were in for a treat. The Hammers toughed it out and the clock was ticking. Who would be able to break the deadlock between these two teams who were chasing Premiership glory?

It was our man from Portugal, Ricardo Vaz Té who sealed the deal for the Hammers! West Ham do not win many matches close to the final whistle but this was sublime. Vaz Té’s goal will go down in history and will be remembered for a long time, I can assure you of that lads!

The boys played their hearts out like true lions and they have reaped the spoils. I’m a great believer of what you put into something is what you’ll get out and the Hammers did that today. They played a great game of football and now they have got what they deserved – premiership glory next year.

Well done to Sam Allardyce and his boys. Sam has turned the club around and put them back on the right track – he knows what he’s doing, even if we did have a few scary moments this season!

So that’s it lads, we are back to the Premier League and the boys deserve a decent rest – but only after a champagne celebration of course!

West Ham Going To Wem-Ber-Ley

West Ham booked their place in the Championship Play-off final at Wembley on May 19th after a 5-0 aggregate thrashing of Cardiff City.

After Malky Mackay’s recent comments about 2-0 being a very dangerous score line for West Ham, it turned out to be the platform for a great victory with The Hammers running out 3-0 winners in front of a packed house at The Boleyn, which was watched by former stars Trevor Brooking, Martin Peters, Tony Gale, Tony Cottee and celebrity fan Russell Brand to name but a few.

West Ham haven’t been to Wembley for 31 years so it could have been a nervy affair , but after a bright start from Cardiff and a possible penalty turned down it was The Hammers who took the lead in the 15th minute, Kevin Nolan heading in from a yard out after another wonderful corner from our set piece expert Matt Taylor.

After that it was one way traffic with Cardiff resigned to defeat being 3-0 down and needing to score 3 goals against an inform West Ham team. Just a few minutes after the first goal we nearly scored again, with two-goal hero from the first leg Jack Collison sending in a lovely cross which Gary O’Neil connected a volley with which hit the bar.

O’Neil then hit a beautiful curling shot from outside the box after a cutback from Vaz Te, which forced a fantastic save from Cardiff keeper Marshall who pulled off some great saves over the two legs.

Just before the break though West Ham double their lead in style from the in-form Ricardo Vaz Te who was played into the box and hit an unstoppable powerful strike across the keeper into the roof of the net. It was celebration time for The Irons!

Second half the game lost a bit of it’s energy and fluidity, not surprising as the tie was well and truly over, however Nicky Maynard managed to have the final say with a beautiful strike into the top corner after being played into the box by Henri Lansbury.

Only down side to a perfect day was Jack Collison injuring his shoulder, which I believe popped out and then popped back in again after a challenge near Cardiff’s corner flag. Let’s hope he is OK for the final as he has been in great touch for us recently.

The crowd thoroughly enjoyed this game, including me, and the bellows of “We’re going to Wembley” are still ringing in my ears this morning!