Monday, February 9, 2009

West Ham v Manchester United, February 8, Premier League

It’s getting very repetitive writing about Manchester United. Not so about West Ham who have truly struck it rich with an ex-player Manager, which Blackburn and Pompey have so spectacularly not done, but as far as the Red Devils are concerned, every match report seems just like the other.

So first a bit about West Ham. A team with no real stars punching above their weight because they are playing so well as a team. In fact had Carlton Cole taken the one chance that was there for the taking, it would have meant a lot of sweat for United and it would have confirmed the rise and rise of the only under-achieving English Cole. For most of the game they matched Manchester United step for step and had it not been for the mandatory United moment of brilliance, they would have come out of this one with at least a point and many spoonfuls of added confidence.

Noble, Parker and Upson really caught the eye, though there was no player who looked out of depth and that should ensure that this slight hiccup doesn’t really derail West Ham’s impressive run. For a large part of the first half they made it really difficult for Manchester United to keep the ball. If there was one aspect of their game that I felt could prove dangerous, it was their willingness to allow United players space till they got very close to the box.

Sure enough they paid for it and United did indeed get their goal. That they let a very talented player run unchecked into the box was their folly. That no amount of stopping may have prevented this guy from scoring is another matter altogether. Ryan Giggs! Every time you say the name, the sound of it will delight you and to see the veteran get his first goal of the season for yet another season, surely ranked up with one of the magic moments of this campaign.

So I will resist going into the repetitive stories of winning ugly, of another clean sheet, of having the mentality, of not firing on all cylinders and sign off reliving fondly those few seconds after Scholes sent the ball out wide to Giggs.

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