Irons v Stoke – first half verdict

The injuries are showing but perhaps the Irons are making things tough on themselves.

The problem we are having is that the team is still trying to play its way through without having Payet or Lanzini who are capable of the killer pass or piece of magic.

It wasn’t until Andy Carroll got himself involved in a real battle with Shawcross that things started to take off a bit although Michail Antonio had showed real pace and some great turns to get beyond the Stoke back ┬áline.

With Collins back at central defence things looked solid there but we were sometimes found wanting down the left side defensively although Cressie was great going forward and Alex Song is coming back to his best.

Meanwhile, James Tomkins was great defensively but not unnaturally struggled going forwad as that’s really not his game.

A little aerial service to Carroll may be required.



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

6 comments on “Irons v Stoke – first half verdict

  1. That was a good tough game concidering all the injury problems we are experiencing right now. Clean sheet, great attitude from all the players, fair result in the end. I cannot complain, proud of the Team. COYI

  2. My take on the whole match. Satisfying result for Stoke Another disappointment for us.
    We only began to get a grip on the game in the final 15minutes
    My main thoughts were, how effective and dangerous Stoke were using the “long ball”
    and that Zarate is a far better striker than Carroll..

  3. With half a team missing I think we can be satisfied with the performance. Carroll improving, still not what you expect, Zarate improving, though still has that bloody obsession to dribble everyone on the pitch, even his own shadow, before doing something with the ball. Song still has that need to be overcutesy at times, but also improving. I liked Antonio a lot. He will score goals for us, and he got close today on a couple of instances. Encouraging, and he will surpass Moses quickly. Watch it happen…

  4. Agree Antonio needs to start now as we are safe and play Moses as his back up
    Tomkins should be left at right back for the rest of the season and see if he can make the spot his for good,
    Great entertainment just like the old days at our great ground
    Well done lads I am proud

  5. Don’t understand why we should be praising ourselves because we were at Home to a team that beat Man City ? ,., we also beat Man City ,, if memory serves .
    Let’s pull the famous rabbit from the hat and say we have a lot of injuries !!, as always .
    We were actually better off positionally wise ( points wise ) at this stage last season , with injuries to key players ( or have people forgotten ) at a critical part of the season .
    Bilic is actually doing worse than Alladyce was . Sorry if that hurt’s some of you , but there it is . West Ham are no better off with Bilic than they were with Allardyce .. Fact .
    Don’t get me wrong , I want West Ham to qualify for the Champions League under Bilic .
    But comparison’s have to be made between a Surviver and a newcomer .

    • Let’s keep things in perspective. The team is playing much better football than last year, the spirit of the team and the club is much more positive and cheerful. Several players have improved under the new regime, and others have shown their best performances since wearing West Ham shirt now, under Bilic. There is a feeling of more professionalism and competence as well in the handling of the team than last year.

      Stoke has also changed for the better. Let’s not fool ourselves. But I am much happier being a supporter of West Ham than being of Chelski or Manure for instance.

      I for one do not miss Allardyce at all.

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