Irons turn up at Carrow Road 70 minutes late

nobleYou really wonder what might have happened had the Irons not turned up until 70 minutes after kick off.

Two goals down and at times playing a brand of football that would have done a disservice to League One, the Hammers finally decided turn it on, claw back a two goal lead and might easily have finished up winning it.

Had they started as they had finished it would have been one of the most comfortable wins of the season but we don’t often do comfortable.

Norwich City are not a good team but sloppy mistakes, an unerring ability for Valencia to run offside against a high back line plus the usual flaw of being beaten to the second balls, ensured it was going to be a long afternoon for the fans.

The Canaries had grabbed a two goal lead through Brady ( 55) and Hoolahan (65) but the Hammers found a way back when Slav threw on Victor Moses.

He produced a great run and shot which led to Dimitri Payet’s slamming home the first Irons goal, before the loanee started another move from which Dimi , on the byline, pushed a pass back for Mark Noble to swerve agreat shot into the top left hand corner.
After that the Hammers dominated and could have won it had sub Emenike guided  header on target of got a decent touch on a sharp ball into the box.
The first half had been a total non event with the Irons once again  showing their inability to make a fast start although Payet looked to be returning to his best with some lovely lay offs and touches.
He was even more effective in the last 20 minutes and Mark Noble too was at his best with a fabulous range of passing and a great goal.
Maybe Slav might have been better off playing Moses and Carroll from the start given that Valencia and Antonio had played 120 minutes on Tuesday night and were off the pace.
The same most certainly can’t be said about Angelo Ogbonna who was immense throughout after his heroic against Liverpool.
Alex Song, however, again had no real impact and looks likely to be the one to make way in the Fifth round when Cheik Kouyate is fit to resume.
By and large, it wasn’t great and at the end of it all we’ve slipped to seventh below Southampton whose goal difference is just one better than ours.
Another day – same problem: We need to play for 90 minutes and it’s becoming tedious to be saying it week in week out.





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

3 comments on “Irons turn up at Carrow Road 70 minutes late

  1. To be honest Valencia was NOT offside on two of the three runs in the first half, and neither was Byram on his solo run. That linesman had a dreadful afternoon because Norwich’s second goal was offside, yet this time he kept his flag down.

    Back to Valencia, he does receive a lot of hits and knocks. Today, he was pulled off after being scissor tackled from behind (yet no yellow for the offender). He did not show his best performance and that missed control at the very beginning of the match will be remembered and pointed out by those who say he is terrible. But what if he hadn’t been flagged by the blindman on the sideline ? Could he have scored twice ? Would he be a hero ? Wasn’t his first shot on goal a technical beauty ? Wasn’t his cross to Antonio in the Liverpool game a beauty ? I think Valencia has his qualities and his room for improvement. One of his qualities is that he can be unpredictable, thus all the butchering he receives (most defenders are incapable of reading the game and pull the machete out). Don’t expect him to do things he doesn’t have the morphology to do. He is more a quick paced player, excellent crosser and he upsets the defenders. He needs to continue playing, because he is probably one of those who need to feel appreciated and loved. So let’s just do that, show him appreciation and love because he is one of us.

    In any case, Slav got it right, once more…. Only fools do not rectify when they make mistakes. Slav is no fool.

    • Agree Dunlop, put something similar in the ratings post. As or Valencia and Antonio although they looked leggy they grafted and as you say Valencia wasn’t offside, tight decisions all went Norwich’s way, Valencia gets no protection from refs. I thought Carroll looked good when he came on and caused there defenders a lot of problems, in honesty I think he should have started the game. Bearing in mind the way we seem to play against these teams in the bottom half I don’t know why Carroll doesn’t start all those games, just lump long diagonal balls upto him a la Allardyce and win the second balls, probably a more effective but less aesthetically pleasing way to get ahead against these teams, it will also get the midfield and in some cases the defenders turned towards their own goal which eventually will pay dividends.

  2. All good comments. The “exertions of midweek” excuse can’t really be made (except for Antonio perhaps, who was awful yesterday. So why play him? Why not start with Moses, who did what he does best when he came on – run at the defence). They were terrible for 70 mins (League 1 standard is being generous) and then came alive. If they were suffering from the Liverpool game, they would have started brightly and faded later. No?

    I posted something after the second Norwich goal went in, saying Payet needed to demonstrate justification for his new contract. Well, after that he did. That’s what he can do – turn a game on its head in three minutes and that’s why he’s worth £125k a week.

    Song was terrible again, in my opinion. I was watching a period of three or four minutes and I counted four occasions when he gave the ball away. Get rid in the summer. There are better ball winning, defensive midfielders we can get who can then keep the ball, I feel sure. Eminike it’s true was only on for a few minutes again, as against Saints, but unless he gets a lot sharper, there’s no way he’s worth £8 million in the summer at 28. Ogbonna looked ok. Collins slow and ponderous. Byram’s getting there, but some way to go. Promising though. Obiang I like. Needs more game time. Rarely puts a foot wrong.

    We desperately need Sakho and Lanzini back.

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