27 Dec 2018 23:01:41
Tonight reminded me of one of those frustrating games under Koeman where we looked the better side but somehow ended up losing.

First half we should have been ahead, not too many clear cut chances but totally dominant and didn't take advantage.

No qualms with Redmond for the goal, I can see why he's taken the snap shot probably out of shock he wasn't offside and at least we bundled it in but their two goals showed our defensive frailties against a class player.

I also feel our crossing lacks a bit without Cedric or Bertrand although I thought Valery was fantastic again.

Once we fell behind we just seemed too frenetic and rushed, hoofing long balls for Long and not trying to splice through a makeshift West Ham side. I don't think this will be something overly concerning though, I feel like most of us almost expected a win with the way we've been playing and we're caught cold.

Hopefully this'll help us in the future to be more focused and thoughtful in our approach, but we've nearly liked playing West Ham and I would still go for around a 12th or 13th place finish under Hutch.

Hopefully we give City a good game, despite their form I can't see us getting anything out of it, maybe a close defeat, but after the cup hopefully we can push on and maybe with a signing or two continue to steadily climb the table.

1.) 28 Dec 2018
28 Dec 2018 10:50:58
That wasn’t how I saw the game at all. I think West Ham were by far the better side and deserved their win. That is despite suffering a raft of injuries and having a makeshift first 11 on the pitch. Our players started brightly but with West Ham pressing, the players seemed to fall into a more negative mindset. We lost the ball so often through poor passing, lack of movement to create space and options when needed and players therefore dwelling on the ball. Gone was the energy and dynamism of the last two performances. The teamwork was also sporadic and throughout the game you could hear RH screaming from the touchline “No, together! ” As one player would close the ball and no-one else would go with him.

I thought Valery had his worst game of his little run in the first team. He didn’t get forward as often as he had in previous matches and most of our promise again came down our left flank. When he was getting up, he would too often look to play the ball inside, for Lemina or another to take responsibility, rather than using his pace to get behind Cresswell and cross the ball in or simply provide width and an outlet for our congested midfield. Defensively, he let every cross come in without putting pressure on the ball or attempting a block. It was too easy. Another regular shout from the touchline was RH telling Yan to get forward, to go. Yan wasn’t doing it enough.

But last night shouldn’t be considered a major blow. We have a new coach, a new system and a very congested fixture list asking a lot of the players who are being asked to work harder in training and on the pitch then under their last few managers. Tiredness likely played a factor but it was also clear that the team sat very deep and really struggled to play the ball forwards in a productive way. Some of the credit must go to West Ham but it suggested to me that the old negative psychology that has hampered the team for the last couple of season remains. This is why performances will remain inconsistent for a time. When things go well, following a new system is easier. Under pressure, when things aren’t firing, the team are more likely to regress to the old negative ways. RH’s task is to make the players so familiar with his new system that it becomes their default reaction instead of ponderous, static negative football. Quite a task that will take some time.

The next two games should be seen as good opportunities for the players to learn; not only about in game application of the system against the best players in the league, but how to apply this new system whilst under great pressure from the best in the league. If they can keep it going against Man City and Chelsea, they can keep it going against anyone. It will also provide a further opportunity for RH to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the squad to help determine what steps, if any, are to be taken in January.

2.) 28 Dec 2018
28 Dec 2018 16:48:42
Hi figo

That was a very good, very balanced review of last night's performance. I agree WH were a much better side and in Anderson a striker who knows where the net is and what you get for£38m and you can see how and why they strung that unbeaten run together and it was certainly a wake up call. I think we missed Hooveld and if we had drawn 1-1,we would have a different mindset, but we naively over committed for the corner and paid the price, disappointing as we knew how quickly WH can break. I believe we have enough quality to finish near the top of the bottom half of the table 14th to 12th so we shouldn't get dragged back into the dogfight but as we know points will be tight. i'm not expecting anything from the next 2 games but let's see better, more determined, more organised than yesterday. Let's not forget Pelligrini at WH has had the full season and I know from this forum that WH fans were previously very unhappy so we are not the only team going through a poor time. I thought Craig Pawson had a poor game, in the first half Antoio should have been booked for a poor late challenge on Targett, Bednarek was held on the corner which led to the WH goal and Andy Carroll was lucky to stay on the pitch. Re the transfer window Gabbi is supposedly of interest to 4 clubs and RH believes the squad is too big. Davis is wanted by Rangers who has been a brilliant servant for the club. For me I'm not sure about Lemina, I only see tv games so you guys who attend St Mary's can confirm I have never seen him have a really great game, he seems lightweight makes poor decisions and is supposedly wanted by PSG and I would let him go. So let's hear your opinions, anyway City on Sunday let's see a better performance. coyr.

3.) 29 Dec 2018
29 Dec 2018 06:49:27
Agree with Figo here. WH deserved winners. We started brightly, but after 5 mins, we were poor.

Valery and Targett had both worst games since selected to the squad, but by far the worst was Lemina. It is time for him to move on. Ralph talked about it's all having a big heart not a big ego. But Lemina is just the ego guy. Sell him to PSG. Also McCarthy has been really poor lately. Rooted to the goal line. 1st WH goal poor from him as was the Huddersfield's goal.

PEH is fantastic captain. Cedric and Bertie need to show the big heart before selected to the team! I really like that. Because even Matt and Yan had a poor game, what had Ryan and Cedric offered to this team this season? If they are not interested then time to move on!

I am so 100% behind the new gaffer. I really like what he is doing.

Maybe there will be several outs during January window: Forster, Hoedt, Lemina, Davis, Long, Gabbiadini for a start. Maybe even some of McCarthy, Bertrand, Cedric, Yoshida and Moi could end up moving.

4.) 29 Dec 2018
29 Dec 2018 10:49:39
VS, you are spot on about Craig Pawson on Wednesday night. The Antonio challenge when a similar one saw Targett booked later, the Rice rugby tackle on Bednerak at the corner, Andy Carroll deliberately swiping at Romeu (believe this was a bit of afters because he thought Romeu had caught him on the back of the head in a previous aerial challenge moments before when in fact it was Bednerak) . There was on one on Lemina in the first half as well when his ankles were kicked and we lost possession but nothing given.

Lemina - I think he’s a player with great promise and he often shows flashes of what he can bring. He has power and likes to drive the ball forward which really helps in games like the West Ham one when we need impetus. I didn’t think he had a poor game at all. It wasn’t his best but he was solid and tried to get things moving. In comparison to Romeu, Lemina does more for me. He recycles the ball, is more aware of the opposition players around him and can drive forward. The problem is that I think when he is part of a midfield two behind Armstrong, he plays a similar game to PEH so not sure if the two would work so well together. It maybe that this system or the role he’s being asked to play doesn’t suit him as well. I think he deserves this season at least to settle under the new gaffer and show what he’s about as I think he could be a class act. Plus, if Lemina was sold, not sure we would have anyone competing for that role beside a better holding midfielder than Romeu, which I think is a must buy in the summer if not sooner.

5.) 30 Dec 2018
30 Dec 2018 11:11:52
What most annoyed me about the WH game, was when we attacked we only seemed to have three or at most four players forward, yet WH had six or seven back, that means we had three spare players doing nothing, we were at home and should have pressed harder.

6.) 31 Dec 2018
31 Dec 2018 06:01:34
Figo, I must have watched different games based on Lemina. But different opinions are allowed :)

To me, Romeu offers so much more to the team.