Sunday 26 August 2012

Swansea 3 West Ham 0: Hammers scuppered by schoolboy antics


Hammers practice some defensive moves in training last week
Big Sam’s team sheet for the Swansea match pointed to a pretty simple plan- stop the Swansea juggernaut by frustrating their efforts to pass the ball about and then impose a superior physicality through patient and disciplined football. A precondition for all of this was that we didn’t concede early or easily. Cue our two most experienced defensive players uncharacteristically lapse into schoolboy errors and we are 2-0 down within the blink of an eye. We rallied somewhat either side of half time, Sam made some sensible substitutions and we almost scraped back into it but the moment was lost and Swansea pushed on with a fantastic third goal. The final half hour became a painful spectacle for the Hammers faithful as Swans, now flying sky-high, swaggered and we wilted, horribly.


Michu spills a pint down the front of his shirt
None the less, one probably shouldn't take too much from the mistakes – these things happen from time to time and we just have to get on with it. However, you might argue that we conceded too much by starting with such a defensive formation and that the first two goals were symptomatic of that attitude. However, if anything we were on top before conceding, so its probably a mistake to read too much in to this game. A lot more concerning was our inability to hold onto the ball (only a pitiful 38% of possession) and with such a muscular midfield we should have been able to stamp out the champagne football from Swansea without reverting to fouling – we ended up with 4 yellow cards, most of which were picked up long after the game was obviously lost.

It's still early days back in the Premiership and away results won't come as easily as they did last year. There were also some minor positives, here and there we got a feel for what Matt Jarvis can bring, Maiga got some more game time and Diarra made his debut, but let’s face it, it could have been much more than 3-0!

So it’s back to the Boleyn for Tuesday night’s visit from Crewe Alexandra. Hopefully we can rebuild our confidence with a solid performance and let some of the young players gt some experience in front of the Hammers faithful. We can expect to dominate possession (I think!) and that’ll be a good opportunity to get a closer look at Maiga and Jarvis in action. COYI!



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