Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Hammers Slide Home Against Saggy Baggies

At half time we looked ready to tear the Baggies asunder - having come from behind to totally take control of the game and with some beautiful fluid passing aligned to the almost un-markable performance of Andy Carroll, it looked like we were in for a pleasant ride.

You score the next one - they'll never expect that!
Both Hammers goals emanated from the pony-tailed one; first up an acrobatic overhead kick produced a reflex save from Foster - that fell straight to the perfectly positioned Nolan, while later a panicked West |Brom defence went AWOL in search of Carroll for a corner right on half time and the much-maligned James Tomkins strolled into the box to head home unchallenged. 

Tomkins has been in the news a lot after his 'thespian' moment against Everton, and no doubt will be front page after scoring the winner tonight, but all of this distracts from the fact that the lad is really on top of his game and defending superbly after waiting patiently to get back into the first team. He has pace and aerial power, and is becoming more and more disciplined in his overall game. Surely the best player to emerge from the academy since Noble? 

Is it time yet to start the 'Tomka for England' cries?

However, if we were preparing for more mayhem that's not how it panned out as much of the second half was tense and ugly from a Hammers perspective as we lost our way and eventually, after a series of fumbled West Brom chances, we stumbled over the line. 

We missed the likes of a Noble or a Song during that second half, where only for the ever gamey Kouyate, we were over-run in midfield by a hungry Baggies side who sensed that a turnaround was more than just possible. Thankfully, we held out. We haven't played especially well over the past 5 games - lacking the free-flowing rhythm of earlier games - but still picking up a decent 8 points. 

Valencia is back, and Song, Sakho and Noble are all ready to return soon. If we can get results when so many key players are out, we can certainly get points against anyone when they are all back. We remain a couple of points ahead of where we were at the same time in 1986. 

Happy days...

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