West Ham 2 -1 Villa; Not quite enough to match them, but it was better.

Shock, horror and whisper it quietly, but I actually thought we were a lot better today.
We didn’t constantly give the ball away and passed much more accurately, which is a major part of what I want to see.

I know we didn’t get the preferable result, but I thought we went mostly toe to toe with a West Ham team that I didn’t realise was so dirty.

Twice I saw a West Ham player litterally swinging punches and even though VAR supposedly checked things on both occasions, nothing was given. I really do wonder what these VAR officials are seeing, but it surely can’t be right.
The ref was very poor yet again too and while he let a lot go, the vast majority of it was for the Hammers.

After going one down from the almost inevitable headline Yarmolenko, Stevie G took Luiz off and I instantly thought that it was a risky move, given that most teams are capable of almost walking through our midfield at will, as it is.
In mitigation though, we were stuck between a rock and a hard place, with needing more in attack.

I thought Watkins was very good today, even though he hardly got any service. I heard Alan Smith make a comment earlier which was “if you’re not scoring much, at least get involved”. I don’t think anyone can say he doesn’t do that.
I thought Ings was a bit unlucky with his effort that saw the goalie push the ball onto the post, but at the same time I thought he might have done better. Perhaps I’m being a bit harsh there.

What about Martinez’s save? That was superb reactions and had the commentators rightly raving about it as save of the season by a mile. I probably wouldn’t go that far, but it was a cracker.

What disappointed me was the usual ease in the way opponents seem to just bypass our midfield with a couple of passes, yet we do the same so rarely. It’s something I’ve mentioned over and over this season and it just seems ridiculous that we didn’t bust the bank to sign a decent central midfielder in the winter window.
Would having done so, have pushed us up the table a couple of places? Maybe not, but I tend to think it probably would.
It’s just something we need to sort out in the summer, without a doubt.

I’m not to sure there’s too much more to say.
We were beaten by a bigger stronger side that basically bullied us out of the game through fair means and foul.
I’d expect Gerrard to definitely add to our physicality as soon as he gets chance.

A big shout to our defence who I thought were mostly very resolute today.


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  1. Adam
    Adam March 19, 2022 at 1:29 pm . Reply

    Not a single attempt on their goal, either on or off target that half, that’s poor. Shouldn’t be scared of Arsenal, we can’t be relegated now so might as well have a go at teams even if we get caught on the counter.

  2. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 March 19, 2022 at 1:53 pm . Reply

    60 minutes before our first shot!

  3. William Pearson
    William Pearson March 19, 2022 at 2:00 pm . Reply

    We are no way a footballing team, load of shite so far, I’m going to do a Badge and go to work.bloody football.

  4. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 March 19, 2022 at 2:29 pm . Reply

    Well that was a waste of a Saturday afternoon. 95th minute for our first and only shot on goal.

    Very, very poor from Villa – never in the game.

    I’ll be very surprised if we finish top half – we’re no way near good enough.

  5. Holte
    Holte March 19, 2022 at 2:38 pm . Reply

    A really poor performance against a team that played just a few days ago and had injuries to key players. Fact is we are a long way off challenging for Europe. We need 5-6 top players in the summer. The missus commented that Coutinho was rubbish today and I can’t argue with that. I thought Martinez and our defence were decent but apart from that only McGinn was above average.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 March 19, 2022 at 4:03 pm . Reply

      Holte – I smell a problem.

      Why hasn’t Coutinho been substituted in the last two games? Is it part of his deal to play when frankly he’s contributing less than nothing?

      More worrying is that Gerrard has got Coutinho stars in his eyes – his big mate ‘Phil’. If that’s the case, how long before there are dressing room issues?

      I wasn’t getting over excited by the wins so I’m not throwing my toys out of the pram with two defeats but I think Gerrard has yet to prove himself. He talks a good game but he hasn’t yet converted that into dealing with Villa’s chronic, historic problem of a lack of consistency.

      After the summer transfer window he’ll have less room for manoeuvre.

      1. Holte
        Holte March 19, 2022 at 5:02 pm . Reply

        Hitch, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a clause in Coutinho’s contract. I suppose even when he’s been quiet all game he can always pull a rabbit out of the hat. I do sense a ‘matey’ thing going on with Gerrard and a few others like Phil, Danny and Ashley. Whilst I think he needs those experienced players to bring on the talented youngsters, it is a balancing act to prevent dressing room unrest. A lot of modern day players lack loyalty and won’t stick around if they don’t feel wanted. Gerrard needs to be ruthless when making decisions whether it’s picking a team or substitutions.
        As for today and having taken off my claret and blue tinted glasses, it pains me to say Arsenal even with missing star names are streets ahead of us right now.

  6. Roy Bracy
    Roy Bracy March 19, 2022 at 2:39 pm . Reply

    Sun 🌞 out and I’ve missed it to watch this rubbish display by villa boo boo
    Arteta was struggling at the start but arsenal stuck with him look at them now.
    Villa sacked Smith and look at them same place if not worse off.
    It’s only because worse teams below them that their not battling relegation.
    All this hype about Gerrard is bullshit he’s not good enough 😡

  7. Brian Bainbridge
    Brian Bainbridge March 19, 2022 at 2:40 pm . Reply

    Poor as piss ,flat as a bloody pancake

  8. little8
    little8 March 19, 2022 at 2:41 pm . Reply

    Just should of gone at them time to put the youngsters in and give them a go I think

  9. Big Fat Ron
    Big Fat Ron March 19, 2022 at 7:10 pm . Reply

    Perspective: West Ham and CL challengers. Arsenal are nailed on for top 4. This is our third season back in the PL and there’s been a change of manager. I’ve spoken about games Gerrard is ‘allowed’ to lose. The last two fall into that category. So it’s still only 3 defeats that we shouldn’t have lost under SG: Brentford, Newcastle, and Watford. I believe we played them at the wrong time, but it’s still 3 too many. We have 8 games remaining and there are 4 we must win and 4 we could ‘legitimately’ lose, emphasising the fact that we are an inconsistent mid-table team. Alfie was right; this season is about transition and consolidation. I would take top 10. For me that would be progress, taking into account the departure of JG, all the coaches pre-season, and then the change of manager. Before saying this manager isn’t good enough, ask yourself, how many of the current squad – Smith’s squad – Suso and Lange’s signings – are good enough?

    Judge SG in May 2023, if WW111 hasn’t put paid to the football calendar by then.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 March 19, 2022 at 9:01 pm . Reply

      Not saying Gerrard isn’t good enough but I think it’s fair to say he still has to prove himself and, as you say, until he’s had a full transfer window and pre season it’s unreasonable to make that judgement.

      What concerns me is not that we lost against Arsenal but the manner of the loss. That first half non performance is something we have seen far too often and under different managers.

      Although the second half was marginally better it remains that the only shot on target we managed all match was the last kick of the match and a free kick at that.

      I am genuinely concerned that the Coutinho effect could be as negative as it might be positive. Again I think that’s a fair point for debate.

  10. William Pearson
    William Pearson March 19, 2022 at 9:42 pm . Reply

    I have seen it said that a confrontation Between Courtinho and Watkins after the game happened. It wouldn’t surprise me as both was none enterty in the game.a very poor game by us .

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