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Shabby Irons get lucky…and remain well alive

Domzele 2 Irons 1

A double save from Adrian saved the Irons

A double save from Adrian saved the Irons

That really was a night to forget but it could have been a whole lot worse!

And at the end of it all the surprising thing was to see the smiles on the Domzele faces because the Irons won’t be this bad again (surely) and with an away goal in the bank they look a good bet to progress into the next stage of the Europa Cup.

We were a total shambles at the back and sadly Michail Antonio chose this night to produce his worst ever performance in a claret and blue shirt.

Whether you choose to blame him or the manager I’ll leave to you but from my perspective the whole Antonio right back experiment is now a massive embarrassment.

He was stranded up field for the second goal and time and again was totally skinned by man of the match and double goal scorer Crnic.

We looked inferior throughout and but for a fantastic double save from Adrian near the end the tie could have been dead and buried.

Suffering a ban and being in the stand, didn’t allow Slaven Bilic to have any influence from the dug out but he had picked a strong team despite being without Payet, Lanzini, Ginge and Oggy.

The Slovenians had opened the scoring with a pen after Nordveidt had been so harshly adjudged to have handled but we levelled from out own spot kick via Noble after the keeper came out with a near punch on Winston Reid as he tried to clear.

The decider came when Crnic slotted home a great goal from the left witb Antonio way up field and unable to get back – that situation has to be seriously addressed and soon because at the end Sam Byram dropped into central defence from left back and Antonio was taken off.

Shambles utter shambles.

Feghouli looks a real player and made some decent runs and provided some fine set pieces but he like everyone else disappeared in the second half. Andy Carroll can be happy with his contrbution and Noble led from the front. The rest? Average at best.

I have no doubts we will turn the tie around but to be honest we are lucky to still be in it. I reckon the smiling Domzele lads will perhaps take a reality check in the morning.

The tie is ours to win.

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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

25 comments on “Shabby Irons get lucky…and remain well alive

  1. Could and should have been 5 or 6 to them. Shocking performance. Adrain kept us in the tie.

    Same old West Ham really. Nothing will ever change.

  2. Spot on with this one. I think Antonio is fantastic but he’s not a defender. We saw last season that without Payet and Lanzini creativity does drop and with fatigue and injuries we’re not far from trouble. The manager knows this, of course, hence his recent comments about the squad being too thin so I’m sure they will address it.

    Encouraging from Feghouli though!

  3. We need to play Byram at RB and Feghouli will be right midfield. I’m not sure where that leaves Antonio. Bilic obviously doesn’t want to make the decision to drop him so he persists with him at right back.

  4. Apart from tonight’s game showing we need a top RB, it also proved to me once and for all that Andy Carroll has to be sold or at least dropped for this team to develop, he was absolutely shocking. How can you decide to play a CF in an away game up top who has no pace. Again Valencia pushed out to the wing to accomadate him. Sakho is spot on – he is absolutely right to want to leave when this is going on. He is head and shoulders ahead of Carroll.

    • Valencia was lucky to even be playing. Caroll was one of only three players who were ‘ok’. Saying he should be sold is a joke.

  5. I thought Feghouli looked very good.Another pre-season game under belt,though admittedly we are doing it early rounds in Europe rather than friendlies.

  6. Antonio positioning has been found out already in preseason with teams picking up on that, so prem teams will rip us apart if we use him there much better further up field, we need a rb of quality, Randolph will be off not getting cup games, Oxford will be sold and tore will wonder why he has come with feghouli an Antonio infront of him as right wingers.

  7. Playing Antonio as a right winger also gives cover to the right back with his work rate and pace something he does not get when he is put in that position. It’s early season an not fully fit or strongest team yet but I saw this as a problem last season we were so much stronger with Tomkins at right back and Antonio working up and down

    • Completely agree Indelec, if you look at all of our games when we had Antonio at right back and Reid playing right centre backs almost every goal was created in the chasm left in between them, tonight Antonio who is one of my favourite players as a winger took it to a new level where he was often at the very least 20 yards out of position causing Nordveit to try and cover huge areas exposing us time and again, I cannot see why Byram who is a decent defender isn’t playing in that position week in and week out, he should be until we sign someone who is a genuine quality right back.

  8. I’ve got a really good idea. Lets buy a really really good right winger, a potential england star. Then we can buy a really promising right back. THENNNNN…. this is the good bit, lets put the right back in the left back position and get the right winger to cover the right back.

    FFS!! apparently for the 2nd leg Carroll’s gonna have a pop at being in goal.

  9. The football season has finally begun.Let the meltdown commence haha 😀

  10. What is it with West Ham sites.I went to my local to watch the match with a load of other Hammers.Yes it was a disappointing performance but everyone was fairly philosophical about it.I come back online to read the Hammers sites more thoroughly & it is total carnage.If this is what the rest of the season is going to be like then our sites are going to be a bundle of laughs……

  11. Ray we have a large amount of jerk offs who support us.I mean knee jerkers.No actually I ment jerk offs who knee jerk lol

    • Never a truer word said in jest antman.I think I will stick to the empty vessels theory though.I think it’s safe to say that after tonight I will be giving sites a wide berth on match days.Pffff.

  12. In just over 2 weeks we play Chelsea !
    2 full backs a centre half and 2 quality strikers needed ?
    Time is not on our side , if the club isn’t care full it could turn into a nightmare ?
    OK we were crap tonight ! Bilic got it completely wrong ! He underestimated this side , and add on top of that being full of running the referee let them get away with murder,
    Let’s hope it works in our favour playing so bad and it spurs us on , because if not it could determine how we fall into a no confidence void ?
    I don’t know if its me or what ? but Antonio looked like he was saying to Bilic ,I don’t want this role , I’m not happy what with fegouli in my position so where does that leave me ?
    I hope it was just fitness ,
    Gonna be interesting next week lol.
    I hope the performance doesn’t deter new signings ?

  13. It is always said that if you are going to take the credit when things go right, then you have to take the flak when things go wrong. Slav chose this team and chose to put Antonio in a position he has proved already to be useless at.
    Ergo this result is down to Slav.
    I am beginning to the feeling Slav is sending Antonio the message, “sorry old son but you are not needed”.

  14. Sorry but that Antonio comment is complete bolloxs about Slav not wanting him.That is the type of comment I would expect coming from the wet pants knee jerkers.You would fit in well amongst some or their court jesters.Ahhh yes,sorry,you have already posted the same on there.Now it all makes sense.

    • So the gaffer said this about Antonio about six weeks ago……

      “He’s quality, the way he is playing, the big impact that he’s had on our game and also on the Premier League,” the West Ham manager said.

      But now he is saying according to you ” sorry old son you are not needed”
      Absolute rubbish.

      • You know what Ant I do hear what your saying about the knee jerking on there but I will defend some of the regular lads on there who can’t stand the match threads & always steer clear of them.I never used them myself,they were full of blue rinse grumbling grannies haha 😀

  15. The thing I could not work out was how Antonio was ripped a new one all the first half by there main man and Byram has played well all season in his best position and Slav did not swap him to right back and brought someone else on to play left back ?
    Second Valencia could have been subbed after 20 minutes heshould never wear our shirt again either of our young lads would have given us more,
    Was there a reason Tore was not even on the bench ?
    We need to stop messing about sell Valencia and Sakho now
    Bring in the 2 Ayews and hunt for that big signing up front then sell AC why he is fit,
    Bring in a new left back fast either of the young championship players Leeds or Charlton or Rico Henry,
    Get a right sided defender,
    If we have to sell Poyet and Obiang to bring in more money so be it,
    We can’t wait any longer
    Antonio is not a right back everyone can see that and if Slav can’t find a place in his team for him there’s another £10 million towards the players we need
    Feghouli is going to be our starter on the right or Lanzini
    Sorry Antonio love you to bits for last year but you are not going to fit,

    • Tore had a slight knock bubs so was out of the game.
      Honestly I can’t believe this **** about Antonio all of a sudden being sold or unwanted.
      Poyet will pick up about 10 quid down Portobello Road I think.

  16. I know P45,i realise there are some proper football men on there but the bloody jerk offs far outweigh them lol

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