Often Partisan

Two points denied; West Ham Match Reflections

Here are my reflections on the game against West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground. Please note that I watched it on Sky.

1) The Result

Two points dropped? Probably – but for West Ham it’s two points denied. Blues went into this match under considerably less pressure and I think it showed as West Ham looked shaky despite having the majority of possession to begin with before conceding twice. Even though Blues couldn’t hold on to what would have been a brilliant win in East London the draw was a good enough result; one that I would have taken beforehand at any rate. West Ham still haven’t won at home in seven and they only have two games to rectify that before the play-offs. I’m convinced West Ham have blown automatic promotion now; if Zigic hadn’t headed wide when he had the chance to make it 4-2, it could have even been possible Blues could overhaul them in the run in.

2) Jordon Mutch

I think we’ve once again found the player Jordon Mutch was promising to be. The first two goals came about because Mutch won the ball in the middle; the first time he strode forwards and buried it in the corner; the second time it broke forwards for King to beat the keeper one on one. Both times there didn’t seem to be much threat until Blues were on the edge of the box and then boom, goal. He did tail off in the second half but in fairness that was just an onslaught from West Ham as the desperation from Allardyce to not lose showed as he threw everyone forwards.

3) The ref

I’ve seen some complaints re the penalty online, and I wanted to put my own viewpoint forwards. When I look at opposition penalty appeals, I think about how I would feel if they were awarded the other way. Whilst the Burke handball might seem harsh, I’d have expected it to be awarded if we’d have been on the attacking end; indeed, as pointed out in the ref watch preview we benefitted from something similar from this ref against Peterborough. Likewise, I thought Blues were lucky to get away with the Ramage incident although I will agree the Caldwell one wasn’t so clear-cut.

4) Guriane N’Daw

As much as N’Daw infuriated me at times with some of his tackling and examples of needlessly giving the ball away, I think his going off hurt us badly. Without N’Daw on the pitch Kevin Nolan was a lot freer to attack for West Ham and as a consequence they were much more of a threat. Whilst his replacement could have won it for us, I don’t think Ziggy gave us that much of a threat or a presence up front; however, I don’t see how else Hughton could have changed it realistically – I am curious as to why Gomis wasn’t on the bench though.

All in all, a tough point – a really tough point but it takes us up to seventy now and pretty much secures our place in the top six. Our next aim has to be to finish third or fourth so we have the all-important home leg second; I can also agree with commenters that we need to hope we avoid West Ham in the play off semis because of the atmosphere that they can generate at their grounds. For this same reason I hope Cardiff’s challenge dies away. As it is, Blues now have five days until the next game at home to Bristol City to lick their wounds and to bounce back. I’m still very much optimistic right now though.

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20 Responses to “Two points denied; West Ham Match Reflections”

  • DoctorD says:

    Thanks for the post Almajir. I’m not counting any chickens etc but it does look promising, particularly with other results going our way. Bristol City have dropped David James and, by all accounts, their new keeper is playing a blinder. So it won’t be a walkover next Saturday by any means.

  • Gareth says:

    Don’t take this as knock on Hughton, because the guy is a miracle worker, but we were definitely lacking in the second half, and IMO, he got his tactics wrong for the first time I can recall. It was like watching the blues of last season.

    First half we at least showed some willingness to break away. It was obvious that the game would end as it did when we couldn’t string together 2 passes and seemed addicted to needlessly giving away corners. It’s a shame, as you mentioned, Big Zig could’ve put the game beyond doubt, but just sitting back and letting them batter us was never going to end well, as we saw last season.

    Probably the first time this year I can say I’ve been disappointed with Blues. Yes, I would’ve took a point before the game, definitely, but being 3-1 up kind of gives one the impression we should’ve won this one. Had we won, and the outcome of the Southampton – Reading game gone in our favour, with Reading on the last day, we still had the slimmest chance of automatic promotion. Not anymore, and I guess we can only hope with the lottery of the play offs! KRO!

  • andy says:

    No game in this League is a walkover and to be honest Blues have pulled off an incredible 10 points from 12 with 7 of those points away from home. My only concern was the way West Ham bombarded our penalty area and eventually extinguish our two goal lead. Its a good point though and one we should be satisfied with. To be honest we should also be satisfied wherever we finish in the top 6.

  • Gary says:

    I was a bit disappointed with the second half but then reflected that Blues have played probably half a dozen or more matches than Wet Spam and they had an extra 24hrs to get over their previous game. Maybe the lads were a bit knackered in the second half thats why no body could hold the ball up enough. Good result over all.

  • BowThai says:

    It was like pulling teeth in the second half!Great point won IMO.Shows that a long,long season has taken so much out of our tank.Keep an eye on Liecester.If they come 6th,play westspam they will beat them.So,its 4th for Blues and our season goes to the very last day(on a sunny day in London!) KRO

  • Jackal says:

    We’re on a great run at the right time and should have done enough for the play offs now.

    Clinical finishing in the first half should have won the game. We were under the cosh and didn’t look like holding West Ham off in the second half – perhaps this is what we needed though. It proves that we can’t approach a play off second leg with that set-up if we’re defending a lead. Any team we face that is playing for promotion will throw the kitchen sink at us like that and we need to be ready for it. We didn’t deal with it yesterday, but I’m sure CH will be planning for how to address this when it matters in May.

  • Graham Woodward says:

    The only team I wouldn’t fancy in the playoffs (semis or final) is West Ham

  • Matt says:

    For me Zigic cost us the 2nd goal, he was nearest/marking Cole (why I don’t know?) but backed off him to give him the space to score.

    Great game though, lots of positives, just wish we could’ve showed a little more composure when we did get the ball in the second half, relieve some pressure and build a decent counter attack or two.

  • RichardW says:

    Surely it’s well done to Chris and the team for mustering their flagging resources to repel a WHU onslaught in the second half. If Zigic had nodded that one in it might have been a different story as it might have been if N’daw had stayed on but what a season !!!

  • Gareth says:

    RichardW, not sure I’d call letting a 2 goal lead slip “replling an onslaught”!

  • mitchell says:

    Gutted to have lost 2 points and any faint hopes we had of second ( if reading lose tonight, the child in me will still beleive its possible!), but ( I know this has been said a million times), we were expecting the worst this season; possible relegation, at best mid -table boredom and now look at us.4th with a 7 point gap and 4 games to go.

    Granted we played too deep and only started to play footbal again at 3-3; but scoring 3 away from away home, again, and no one will fancy playing us in the play offs.

    Keep the faith.


  • Julian Glass says:

    I believe we met our nemesis yesterday. When we meet them next they know what tactics to employ and that we don’t know how to counteract it. My hope is that they get beaten by Blackpool in the semi because I fancy us to beat them in an open game at Wembley.

  • Daz says:

    Very good first half with some quality goals. Expected the hammers to come out fighting in the second as they did but think blues could have had a bit more composure on the ball when in possession, gave it away too cheaply and did not take advantage of some good opportunities to add to the tally. The ref was put under a lot of pressure to give a penalty from both the hammers players and support in the second half, although none of their climes were valid, it required a ref with a stronger character to stand up to the pressure and unfortunately this one cracked!

    Blues will finish in the top six no problem and hopefully we can go on to gain promotion.

  • andy says:

    What we must remember is that route one football undid Blues, we were battered around the box and didnt cope with it. That was an onslaught iv not seen for sometime and it was the only way West Ham were going to find a way back, which they duly did. I hope CH and the coaching staff and especially the players, get to grips with that kind of play and rectify the collapse.

  • john says:

    The ref felt pressured into giving that penalty after missing the Ramage one. This shouldn’t be allowed, but it is happening all the time in football..

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Great game of football to watch, & its evener better that BCFC are once again involved in great games of football, take a bow CH *

    Bristol City , Ipswich, Brighton, & Reading left , all teams that if we see ourselves as Premier we should be confident of defeating …& I am really confident.

    3rd place is ours , & another Wembley victory is only ours to lose now.


    *Note the fayre McBore is currently offering at four sheds……lucky escape !!

  • Is N’Daw Ok? I agree he can be frustrating but we could do without him being injured……

  • Paulo says:

    personally, i would have taken a 1-1 with one point even before the kick off with the hammers! then to be 3-1 up, it was the buzz we all wanted.
    such a shame we conceded, and the penalty ..well, i dont know who wouldnt put their arms up when a ball is launched at their face at 90mph, but no point on dwelling on it ..its done and we came away with one point and heads held high.
    I dont think Bristol city will be easy, and neither will the others. It seems that to get goals, any opponent now simply has to soak up the midfield, create a wall and run forward. I noticed this in the second half of the Palace game!!! (and certain others).

    Also, I am told that the entire play off winning formula will depend on landing the 2nd leg at home! ..I’m sure there’s a more detailed reason to this, but I only hope the lads and CH go for it now and dont stop.

    BCFC all the way

  • jeff says:

    i thought he might put townsend on for n,daw.move elliot central and use mutch in front of the centre halfs.still happy with a point.n,daw was missed big time

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