Saturday, January 15, 2005

Wolves 4 West Ham 2, Molineux Stadium, Saturday January 15 2005.

West Ham slipped out of the play-off positions with this afternoon's result, and unless there's a serious improvement in our defending with near-immediate effect our promotion prospects look bleaker than an Alaskan winter. It was a typical Hammers performance in so many predictable ways: some fluent, committed attacking football offset by some dreadful and inexcusable defensive errors. The result was a very entertaining game for the neutral observer, the BBC's description of it as an 'easy win' not really doing justice to a match that could have gone either way up until Wolves' fourth goal went in.

I hope the back five (Tomas Repka; Anton Ferdinand; Malky Mackay; Chris Powell and reserve goalie Jimmy Walker) get on their knees and beg for forgiveness from the rest of the team and under-fire gaffer Alan Pardew, because the midfield and forwards didn't deserve to be on the losing side this afternoon and it wasn't a case of us defending poorly 'as a team' but basic errors and poor decisions being made by (largely) experienced players in their own penalty area. Back to the drawing board then, with one of the few plusses being a promising display from rookie midfielder Mark Noble, who has something of the Lee Bowyer about him.

It's not just our indefensible that has to come in for criticism, however: the useless ref (C Penton, suggestions on a postcard please for what the C might stand for) failed to display even the remotest understanding of the advantage rule, and the woman fan who remonstrated with Wolves midfielder Olofinjana by saying 'Oh, George!' with such reproving regularity I had to do a double-take to make sure it wasn't Yootha Joyce sitting next to me from beyond the grave. Muddy Mildred!


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