All the highlights from Irons v Birkikara


photo (7)

Pic: Mike Tricker

Tonight’s teams:

Irons: Adrian, Reid, Cresswell, Nolan (c), Tomkins, Jarvis, Zarate, Noble, O’Brien, Maiga, Amalfitano
Subs: Randolph, Collins, Poyet, Hendrie, Samuelsen, Lee, Pike.

Birkirkara: Haber, Mazzetti, Fenech (c), Miccoli, Vukanac, Murga, Liliu, J.Zerafa, Z. Muscat, R.Muscat
Subs: Sciberras, Agius, Plut, Akpan, D.Zerafa, Zammir, Aquilina.

3. Amalfitano cross and ridiculously Maiga goes down in area. No penalty.

5. Amalfitano crosses again – goalkeeper Habert away for corner

9. Another good cross but Maiga can’t get over his header and it sails over the top

11. Amalfitano has time and space works ball onto right foot, tries to curl into top corner but over the bar

18. Noble delivers. Nolan goes down but nothing doing from ref despite the captain’s quizzical look

20. Great Noble free kick headed back by Nolan to Maiga and superb save from MM’s headed effort. Best chance so far

24: Cresswell shot slides a yard wide

27: Another fine save from Haber touching ball round post  after Maiga lets loose from 20 yards

35: Jarvis shot blocked after keeper only half punches clear – keeper doesn’t seem to appreciate the ball sometimes needs to be caught

38: Zach Muscat flattens Jarvis Free kick and a booking but free kick cleared

bilicbirkikara: Zarate shot and Haber punches  away.

(Pic courtesy of WHUFC Official)

HALF TIME: Irons 0  Birkirkara 0

52 Keeper punches away from Zarate’s free kick.

56: Nolan just fails to get on the end of decent cross from Jarvis – keeper down to smother at his feet

59: Breakaway and the visitors almost score as Liliu fires under Adrian and just wide

59  Samuelsen on – Amalfitano off

64: O’Brien booked for foul on Camenzuli.

66: Jarvis cross causes panic and scrambled away for corner
69: Maiga OFF – Lee ON
79: Nolan OFF (injury) Poyet ON
80: Reid yellow card
84: Zarate snap shot over the bar
87: Zarate announced official man of the match
90: IRONS GOAL: Zarate corner is completely lost by keeper and Tomkins chests the ball home to break the deadlock
90 + 4: Jarvis shot – keeper saves
Full Time: Irons 1 (Tomkins) Birkikara 0
Well they made hard work of that but in the end we have a cushion to take to Malta.  Birkikara will be forced to attack us out there which will give us plenty of opportunity to get in on them. Fair play to the visitors, they were dogged, hard working and well organised. The class gap is obvious but Slav will be forced to take a strong squad to make sure the lads make the next round. We need to remember it’s still very early in pre-season and we are not at our sharpest. However only Kevin Nolan was injured and Sakho will be back so we have to be confident

About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon

29 comments on “All the highlights from Irons v Birkikara

  1. On my way home from the ground with a few thoughts firstly congrats to them they were very disciplined and didn’t allow many chances. Secondly I thought our team didn’t show enough guile it was as if they all wanted to prove they had technique to play on the floor and so an awful lot of sideways passes and no long balls which I don’t mind but it’ll have to be mixed up a bit more. Thirdly IMO Nolan,Jarvis,Maiga and O’Brien simply aren’t good enough and need moving on. And finally it was lovely to see Slav on the sidelines and not BFS,he’s got quite a repair job to do but I believe he’ll do it.
    They showed nothing going forward and I think we’ll pick them off in the second leg……if it’s not too hot lol

  2. Win is a win.Not convincing but we knew the team we had out was second rate in the mid & attacking areas.The midfield & forward line wont have any resemblance to this one tonight come The Emirates.Still doesnt stop some fans from having fits already though,lol

  3. This will have showed Slav alot tonight.It has highlighted the deficiences in the squad when we dont have the true first team midfield & forwards not playing.We knew that many of the players tonight couldnt cut it in the prem last season,but now Slav has seen it with his own two eyes.I know we only won 1-0 but this will prove invaluable for the manager to see where we need to go from here with regards to reinforcements imho.

  4. Agreed The Best,Slaven will know where we need issues addressing now within the squad.This was a good exercise in many respects.Also clearly proved why wetpants are called wetpants with the incredible over reaction on there,lol,to think people wonder why the get teased,lol

  5. Haha you’re not wrong Bob on the way home I opened all their comments,something to read all 1.87M of them whilst underground. I saw most being rational,fob being a **** (to Hamburg too),some real panicky nonsense and worst of all THAT BLOKE WHO WRITES IN CAPITALS CALLING SLAV A YES MAN,WE NEED 2 STRIKERS AND WE’rRE IN FOR A RELEGATION FIGHT,what a plum. All this after proving a lot of BFSs side are crap and in one preseason match,they need Mystic Brad in fact one cried out for him lol

  6. Sounds like we had all the possession but not a lot up front? Agree with the comments – a pre season game and certainly not our strongest team! In Slav we trust! Great to read somewhere the fans singing “Super Slav’s C&B Army!” – not heard that for a few years! :))) coyi

    • You’re spot on Jeff,loads of possession no real threat from them but not enough incisive play from us,we’ll improve as will the starting XI and indeed in Slav we trust

  7. Lol,i know,they are in utter turmoil already before the season has even started.Poor Hamburg.We have had it for most the day here,didnt realize HH had been steamrollered as well 😉

    • I read all the earlier stuff but stayed out,from what I can gather he tried raising something Hamburg said a year ago to wind him up shows the level of him really. To me Hamburg has always been very polite,open and friendly despite Wetpants being his main site and from what he’s said about his life he could do without a dose of thrush like him trying to wind him up

      • It was bloody stupid on here earlier.I cant be bothered with it.Sure we will see more of the same again tomorrow though.Seems to be the current theme at the moment.Dopey comments followed by claims of victimization & being picked on,lmao 😀

  8. Hold on you guys. We were without Sacho, Valencia, Carroll, Kouyate, Obiang, Payet, Jenkinson and Ogbonna. Instead, we were treated to Nolan, Maiga, o’Brien and Jarvis. Hopefully, after tonight’s disgraceful performances of Nolan and Maiga, they will never play for our club again ( and before anyone argues that I am being harsh, that pair were just as hapless against Peterborough). Yes, we do need a good striker and we do need another midfield playmaker. Hopefully, Slav has learnt a lot from tonight’s game. Poyet and Samuelson should have been given more play time, I would like to have had a look at Hendrie. When we go to Malta, they will have to at least attempt to attack which will leave more space for us, but that will all be wasted if Nolan and Maiga play. I thought Zarate was very good tonight if at times, a bit too elaborate. Cresswell and Reid were disappointing, Tomkins excellent, o’Brien ok in first half but faded badly (as usual) in second half. Noble needs to improve if he is to play ahead of the new boys as does Morgan. Jarvis had one of his better games. Just my view after serious reflection of what I saw tonight. COYI

  9. I got fed up with all the crap earlier & did one..
    i really can’t be arsed with playground spats.. all i want is to talk about west ham with other west ham fans..
    Object of the game is to win, we won….. next…!!

  10. Lol,why are you saying ‘hold on you guys’,nothing has been said that is much different to your post,lolThnk everyone feels pretty much the same way as you.This was a mllion miles away from the team we will see first prem game of the season.This just shows who Slaven cant rely upon when the real stuff begins.Pls no Nolan ever again 😉

  11. Kenny I read the game pretty much the same as you and your player analysis,the other bits I wrote were describing another sites reaction lol
    Essex I agree with you totally I just like to comment on the article then have a laugh and I’ve felt like staying away when that BS starts but I’m beginning to think that’s the whole point of these stupid comments followed by fake innocence so I’d say don’t be pushed away by a couple of sad little men stay and have your say
    And to you all I think Slav was being fair analysing what we’ve got and hopefully drawing the same conclusions as us,the times they are a changing and only for the better

  12. Was surprised to see captain Nolan. Bilic was quoted recently as saying he’d expect more goals from Kevin this year. Heard John moncur saying he spoke to Slav before the game. He thinks Nolan is the kind of character you need in and around the dressing room. On and off the pitch. Worrying? I don’t think so personally. Too many better players coming in now. I think if Nolan stays he will be captain of the bench.

  13. Came out of ground last night thinking to myself it wasn’t great but we won and then thought to myself about this great stability the Hippo has allegedly left. So thanks Hippo for Jarvis,Nolan,Maiga,Caroll all players that have no sell on value ,who nobody wants because of bumper contracts Thanks for creating a bunch of egotistical fans that bought into your mantra like some of the assholes at WHTID, before you snipers come calling I’ll simply say this if all you can do is ***** and moan ,want Bilic out, say we’re going to get relegated, slag a bloke off because of what he said a year ago, write in CAPS to get your point across, rip others opinions because they don’t conform and constantly crave for the return of the most overrated and divisive manager of our time… Take your ****ing blinkers off look at this so called stable squad he left and give Slav time to get this deadwood out the club and for ****s sake support the club not put it down

    • Amen to that,oh god I said amen,,oh know I said god,I’d better go and build my own pyre lol

  14. Only listened but we could have scored a lot more and at this time last year we were the other side of the world being given a football leason,
    QuickD is correct this showed 2 things
    1 Nolan,Jarvis,JOB and Magia are not good enough even for the bench,
    2 players like Noble and Alfitano are still stuck in the BFS ways continuely passing the ball along the line and backwards which frustrated Slav,
    3 wins 1 draw is not a bad start and as others have said we still have the main first team players that will make a difference to comeback in plus the transfer window has a long time to go


    Saying Samuelsens career at west ham is comet-ing 🙂 🙂


    • The junior Viking looked quite lively showed a few tricks and was more direct but I’d have to say he looks a bit lightweight,not surprising really seeing as he’s only 12 lol

  16. I echo a lot of the above comments re. not being the real first team etc, in fact if you look at it it’s very much a BFS line up (and I haven’t cared to mention any of his crap since he departed) and Noble and Amalfitano will play to what they know with that relic of a set up. Come Arsenal the line-up won’t look anything like this. I believe Slav was testing what he had from last year before bringing in the newer players.

    I knew some people on other sites would start whinging when it was only 1-0 and an 90th minute goal. As Dave M said a win is a win. And 4 games, 3 wins, 1 draw is also a good record with experimental squads etc. There’s no Ogbonna, Obiang or Payet or Sakho plus anyone else who joins the fray.

  17. I can’t see him on the team sheet up on here but I’m pretty sure they had Danny DeVito up front?!

    Also, I cannot believe how painful it is watching Nolan these days. Haven’t been a fan of him for a long time now, but to see him getting done several times by these lads from Malta was embarrassing.

    Can’t understand why Noble is copping any abuse, he didn’t look fully match fit but still the best West Ham player on the night, and apart from when he has the (very) occasional off game, it never fails to amaze me just how much he gets us out of trouble and how hard he works. We’ve seen before that he has plenty to offer in terms of attacking passing as well if played alongside the right players in midfield (i.e. not Nolan and Jarvis!). Was really nice to see Samuelson come on. He looks confident, skillful and quick, and at least tried to make something happen.

    One player I thought disappointing was Amalfitano. Did absolutely nothing last night but I quite rate him.

    On top of all this, we of course have to appreciate that it’s extremely early days. Remember losing to semi-pro sides in NZ last year…?!

  18. I think that’s a pretty good appraisal Jon. I thought Nobes put a pretty good shift in especially as Nolan was his defensive midfield partner so one of them had to do the work,no ones forward distribution was great but Lee and junior Viking did liven it up.
    One thing I did notice last night is although they had very little defending to do Tonks looks way more comfortable on the ball than Reid so maybe the Ogbonna/Reid partnership everyone believes to be the number one isn’t guaranteed especially as they’re both left sided,we shall see.

  19. You guys have pretty much summed up my thoughts.I can go back to my duties.It is nice & tranquil on here today.Gobyac must be bugging the **** out of hamburg on wetpants i guess 😀

    • Like the unflushable turd I’m sure he’ll return at some point lol

      • Hahaha,that is a good analysis of him.But remember it is everyone else on here has the issues,he is picked on & insulted for absolutely no justifiable reason,lmao.Strange i have only been on here for about a month but have never had anyone ‘insult’ me.There again i aint trying to stir sh*t to get my daily rush,lol

      • A few months ahead of you Si but exactly the same,made differing comments to others but no insults. Maybe we got lucky and were straight into the clique and didn’t get the random abuse saved for just one victim lol

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