Tag Archives: Manchester United


Man United preview – bring it on!

West Ham travel to Old Trafford tomorrow with their best chance in a long time of taking all three points from the game. With Rooney, Van-Persie, Nani and Carrick all absent through injury, and Manchester United playing below par post Ferguson, a buoyant West Ham side stand a great chance of getting the victory they so desperately need.

This season has been a major disappointment for the manager, owners and fans of West Ham. The Andy Carroll debacle has been widely documented, and Sam Allardyce has come under increasing pressure as the Hammers drift precariously close to the bottom of the table. The owners have publicly backed the manager (always a bad omen for managers!), although should the results not improve quickly it will take a lot for the owners to hold their nerve in face the inevitable calls for a change of leadership. Under scrutiny, the West Ham players seem to still be behind the manager with committment not currently an issue. Many argue that West Ham have just been unlucky this season, although you tend to make your own luck when you stick all your eggs in one large, leaky basket. Personally, I think that Allardyce should stay, as I think that results will pick up and we will finish comfortably mid-table at the end of the season. Allardyce’s man-management skills and unflinching confidence should see him through, although there will be an interesting end of season review between the manager and the owners.

The win against Spurs on Wednesday should hopefully serve to boost the confidence of the squad, and in particular Maiga, who is capable of good things when he has the confidence to apply himself. It will be interesting to see if Allardyce starts with Maiga instead of Carlton Cole who started the Spurs game. Tomkins returns from injury, but is likely to start on the bench, and Ravel Morrison returns to his former club with a point to prove. Diame and Noble should return in place of Collison and Diarra, with Kevin Nolan sitting out the last of his three game suspension.

With both teams playing mid-week, there are likely to be some tired legs out there, but I have a good feeling about this game and predict another 2-1 win, with Welbeck being the main danger.


West Ham v Man Utd

West Ham 2-2 Manchester United: Match Report

An eventful evening at Upton Park saw West Ham draw 2-2 with Manchester United, although the Hammers could easily have come away with all 3 points.

West Ham were out of the blocks early, in contrast to Man Utd who were slow to get into their stride as predicted. Andy Carroll was industrious in front of the watching Roy Hodgson, and Matt Jarvis was buzzing down the left hand side putting in some good crosses. In the 17th minute Jarvis turned Rio Ferdinand inside out, and his cross was headed back across goal for Ricardo Vaz Te to nod in West Ham’s opening goal. It was good to see Vaz Te on the scoresheet again after quite a while, He is very much a confidemce player and this performance will have done him the world of good.

After twenty minutes or so Man Utd started to get their game going, and James Collins made a few great tackles to thwart some dangerous attacks. In the 31st minute however, a slick passing move down the left and a cross from Van Persie enabled Kagawa to slip in Valencia to tap in from a couple of yards. It was a fine goal and showed that despite not playing at their best, Man Utd are always dangerous.

Carroll was certainly putting himself about, and Lee Probert, the referee, had to intervene when a spat with Wayne Rooney developed in the Man Utd box while they were awaiting a West Ham free kick. Carroll seemed to kick out at Rooney at one point, although he later claimed that it “just a bit of banter” with the Man Utd forward. Further controvery ensued when the free kick was taken as Carroll chased the aerial ball and collided heavily with de Gea in the Man Utd goal. Alex Ferguson was furious
with the challenge, and later claimed that Carroll should have been sent off. In his defence, Sam Allardyce said that Carroll simply could not stop his momentum and should have received a yellow at worst, even though no card was actually shown.

Carroll was again in the thick of the action later when another aerial tussle with de Gea led to a yellow card for the forward, although it looked like Carroll had done nothing wrong and it was just a case Probert making amends for earlier leniency. Carroll responded some minutes later with a rasping long shot that missed narrowly, and West Ham were giving as good as they got.

In the 55th minute, after some good interchange play down West Ham’s right between Vaz Te and Demel, Mo Diame picked up the ball outside the box and sent a fabulous curling shot around Kevin Nolan and into the corner of the net. Diame has certainly proved his worth this year and is now an integral part of this West Ham side, and Big Sam will do well to hang on to him in the summer.

Man Utd again looked to threaten, and Van Persie’s corner was thumped towards the net by Rooney, only for Gary O’Neil to clear off the line. Van Persie came close shortly after when his bullet header was acrobatically tipped over the bar by Jussi Jaaskelainen.

It looked like the Hammers were going to hang on for a famous win, but another Man Utd attack saw Kagawa’s deflected shot rebound off the post into the path of Van Persie, who finished with aplomb. This was hard to bear for West Ham as replays showed that Van Persie was indeed offside by a yard when Kagawa took his shot, and the goal should not have stood. Allardyce was apopleptic afterwards, although his verbal barrage against the officials stopped short of any disciplinary action being taken against him.

All in all, it was a great night for the Hammers. The defence looked rock solid, and Demel contributed well to the attack on many occasions. Gary O’Neil put in another good performance in the middle of the park together with Diame, and up front Vaz Te, Jarvis and Carroll were threat all evening.

Despite the disappointment of conceding the late goal, Allardyce was proud of the whole team, and it showed that on the night and in the right frame of mind, the Hammers are a match for anyone. If the home form can be replicated to the away matches, then a bright future lies ahead for the team.