Monday, 29 September 2008

Fulham 1 - 2 West Ham United

Yet again West Ham piss on my eiderdown. I have a long running antipathy for the Hammers and it doesn't help that everytime I see them they tend to beat the team I'm supporting. That doesn't really endear them to me at all.
Fulham played some good stuff here in the first half and really ought to have gone into the lead on a few occasions. However an aberration by Hangeland, where he allowed Cole to out muscle him to a clearance and knock it out wide for Etherington. The fact that Schwarzer practically pushed it onto Cole's feet in the six yard box, is also a worrying indication that the Aussie keeper is as dodgy as his predecessors.
Once West Ham had stolen a goal so close to half-time I decided it was time for a beer. From my position overlooking the Thames, I then missed Etherington's second (again Schwarzer could be culpable) and Andrew Johnson's second yellow card. In all fairness, Johnson's first yellow card was a bit wild and could well have led to a red in itself.
Last year I missed Paul Konchesky's red card just before half time against Derby yet didn't realise as in the second half Fulham played much better. The same happened here, with the home side much more likely to score than West Ham. The ref then awarded what I thought was a dodgy penalty to Fulham, although having seen it since on TV it probably was a handball by Neill, and suddenly, improbably Fulham were back in it with half an hour left to play.
Fulham huffed and puffed trying to score an equaliser, but West Ham nearly scored on the break a couple of teams. Zamora did well up front on his own, but the midfield couldn't always get up to support him. As has been mentioned everywhere else, Roy Hodgson didn't make any substitutions despite there only being 10 men on the pitch. A major mistake in my opinion as a fresh pair of legs would have given the Whites extra attacking impetus. Bringing Dempsey on for Davies or Gera (an enigmatic player so far) might have given Fulham extra bite, but the manager just doesn't seem to fancy the American. In this season where teams can put an extra two players on the bench, managers should really have another option available to them. The fact that Hodgson doesn't believe he has a plan B is worrying.

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