Despite going down 4-1 at Stamford Bridge, at least the goal of the game was scored by the boys in claret and blue. Chelsea didn’t have to work particularly hard to claim the points, and even though Gianfranco Zola set out his side to gain a point and keep the game tight, it was far too easy for them in the end.
Carlton Cole, started on the bench – a big blow physically as his presence was missed, especially with Chelsea’s strong centre halves. Carlton plays the lone role so well, but Mido caused some problems with his work-rate, movement and aerial ability. Zola’s decision to then bring off Mido and leave Ilan on the pitch was a questionable one amongst the away fans.
‘Schoolboy’ defending has cost West Ham dear this season and in the last two games it has been all too apparent. Looking back over the course of the season it is games like Sunderland away and Hull away where leads were thrown away with moments of stupidity in defence accumulating to the current plight. Being 2-0 up at the KC Stadium after 11 minutes and being 3-2 down at half-time is not good enough and shows serious defensive frailties. With the players now available to Zola the attacking options he possesses are as good as any mid-table side but it is what happens at the other end of the pitch from now to the end of the season which will determine their fate.
Karen Brady has stated that she doesn’t have a crystal ball and that she won’t be able to predict Zola’s future’. Not exactly a glowing reference from somebody so high up in the club’s hierarchy. With growing discontent amongst the fans and the spineless displays in the last two games his future is becoming increasingly under speculation. No Hammer can let the fact the he is a Chelsea legend go and one fan shouted ‘I’m surprised he’s not celebrating’ when Chelsea scored. Perhaps a bit too far, but it raises a point.
When West Ham supporters were asked what they would do if they were Gianfranco Zola for a day, there were very few positive responses, if any. Resign, use some tactical common sense, pray for divine inspiration and win a game were just a few. Gold and Sullivan will eventually want to install their own man into the post and perhaps they would do it now if they didn’t have to pay off Zola’s lucrative contract which still has 3 years to run at the end of this season.
It’s Arsenal away on Saturday and it doesn’t get any easier. The honest feeling among supporters is to get the Arsenal game out of the way without suffering serious humiliation and goal difference damage. After it’s out the way however The Irons face Wolves at home on the Tuesday night in what can only be described as a massive game for both sides. Wolves recorded an impressive victory at Turf Moor last time out and will come to the Boleyn with some belief that they can leave with at least something. Victory will be viewed as the only acceptable outcome from West Ham’s point of view and having lost to Bolton in the last home game defeat is unthinkable.
The sacking of Phil Brown is something that may affect West Ham’s position. Hull were a force to be reckoned with at the KC under Brown , however they were simply hopeless away. If Hull do appoint a new manager that usually brings with it a honeymoon period, and with only 9 games left any sort of renaissance that happens to them could draw West Ham in even deeper. If a new man does come in and help them start picking up points away from home then things could all change – but it’s all speculative.
Tony Carr has announced that for his testimonial of West Ham Academy All-Stars VS West Ham United will hopefully include Joe Cole, Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick. John Terry is also said to be playing, and when considering the reception he has received from Hammers’ fans in recent years this is a bit of a surprise. The match is an exciting prospect, especially considering the calibre of player involved.
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