So the inevitable happened. A mediocre Premier League side had too much for Bolton Wanderers, but was it all doom and gloom? No.
I for one thought that going forward we looked far superior to how we did against Middlesbrough which is a positive sign. There are still issues, but it is early enough in the season to be thankful for improvement and live in blind hope that things might get better.
Without any further delay here are my five thoughts, along with some bonus West Ham United thoughts for those who get all the way to the end!
He just really really isn’t.
He was caught out time after time. The worst of all being when Marco Arnautovic was through on the left and he was waiving at the linesman for off side. That led to an easy second goal and is why you play to the whistle (heed that too Adam Le Fondre picking the ball up when no one has signalled a throw in you moron).
This is not meant to be a criticism of Morais.
As a winger it is not his fault he is not a very good defender. Phil Parkinson though needs to seriously consider whether it is time to bin the idea of playing him in that position. If he continues with wing backs I hope Mark Little is brought back in.
There are two buts.
1) We don’t have the cutting edge to turn promising attacking play out wide into a clear goal scoring opportunity.
2) We don’t have many players in the box and those who are, Aaron Wilbraham, can’t shoot.
With number one you hope that against a lesser Championship defence, because lets face it this West Ham team are on par with a decent Championship team at best, we will hopefully have more space to find that final ball. It is though always good in theory. Also see below about Adam Armstrong and Le Fondre.
With number two, never playing Wilbrasham again is an easy thing to do. I’m not sure even Stephen Darby against Middlesbrough was as effective at passing the ball into touch as him so he does have all the skills to succeed in this Bolton team. But seriously he is not very good and we need player in the box who are better at finishing.
The stadium announcer said so so it must be true. I never heard of a team playing two League Cup games at the same time, that may even be a record.
Either that or we just got a glimpse into a parallel universe. Maybe it is one where Stuart Holden and Chung Yong Lee never got injured, Donald Trump was never elected president and Gary Madine has just won the Premier League golden boot, who knows.
Goal number one. Le Fondre hacks down a West Ham player for no reason. Free-kick on the edge of the box. Ball whipped in and the West Ham player makes the most obvious run ever losing, I think, Mark Beevers and powers home.
Goal number two. Filipe Morais decides to jog and shout at the referee rather than chase the attacher. The ball is pulled back. Easy finish.
Goal number three. The player is given far too much space and time on the edge of the box. He does, in fairness, then score a cracker.
The above trend is that West Ham were not made to work hard to score. Yes they had an attacking player worth more than Bolton Wanderers Football Club. But these are simple goals that Championship teams would also be able to score. Unless we tighten up the defence pronto we may as well dust off the bunting for the relegation party.
Armstrong did not play for very long. But when he was on the pitch he got the ball and carried it forward. In the five or so minutes he was on the pitch he looked more threatening than Craig Noone, Morais and Wilbrasham put together.
Le Fondre in the second half was similar when given the opportunity to run on the ball.
They looked like the kind of players who might scare a defence a little, or at least make them think a little more than smashing the ball at Madine or Wilbrasham does.
It was discussed on LOVPod a week or so ago. Smashing it at the big guy isn’t working. So why not play at least one of those guys from the get go and give them a little freedom to roam around and cause problems? It may not be the answer but we won’t know unless we try.
- They are not very good.
We are fighting down the bottom of the league for the opportunity to play them in the Championship next season. Yes it was a weakened team but still. For large parts of the game they were hugely ineffective.
- They really hate Tottenham Hotspur.
Its adorable really. Pre-match they showed this one, rather unremarkable, goal against Spurs probably five or six times. They started chanting stand up if you hate Tottenham, I mean OK but why?
West Ham fans should note that the North London rivalry is between Spurs and Arsenal and get back to worrying about their big local rivals Leyton Orient.