|It was all downhill from here!|
Much as I have invented new ways over the years to injure my back so West Ham have managed to contrive new ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Losing 1-3 at Carrow Road live on Sky last night must be the low point so far of a season that has produced more low notes than a choir of baritones.
West Ham lined up in their now customary 4-6-0 formation which included attacking options in Kevin Nolan, Joe Cole, Stewart Downing, Ravel Morrison, Jack Collison and our flying Romanian full back Razvan Rat. What it didn't include however was a recognised striker. Andy Carroll looks like he is going to be another Kieron Dyer i.e an ex-Newcastle player more familiar with the physios table than the league table and the only other strikers apparently available were Carlton Cole and Ricardo Vaz Te, neither of whom fill any West Ham supporter with confidence.
The first half hour was unfortunately a classic example of what happens when you have six or seven creative players on the pitch and nobody capable of finishing the move. Perversely it reminded me of the situation the Netherlands found themselves in during failing to qualify for the 2002 World Cup when at one point in their final attempt to reach Japan they had six centre forwards on the pitch and nobody to cross the ball - what we would have done for just one centre forward.
Razvan Rat had the freedom of Carrow Road, Robert Snodgrass just couldn't keep up with him and seven or eight times Rat ran untroubled down the West Ham left and crossed the ball into the box only for either poor finishing or lack of colleagues preventing us taking the lead. The most telling stat at the end of the first half was that West Ham led 7-1 on goal attempts. When Ravel Morrison did finally give West Ham the lead it was a combination of Rat, Nolan and sheer persistence.
Football though is, to quote a well known saying, a game of two half's and the second half saw West Ham be as poor as they had been good and Norwich as good as they had been bad. The 3-1 scoreline probably flattered Norwich in the end although a penalty, well struck free kick and a solo effort from one of their Dutchman seemed fair reward for their second half efforts.
There's talk of Jermain Defoe returning to West Ham in January, apparently he was badly advised to hand in his transfer request the day after we were relegated back in 2003 - no shit Sherlock! I'd put aside any ill feelings if he could return and score fifteen or so goals to keep us up because to be honest at present we are looking like we could be part of a London trio going down and at least his surname isn't Ince!
Incidentally whilst we are talking of Spuds good to see the truth finally coming out over the Olympic Stadium spying row - thanks to Iain Dale's West Ham Till I Die blog.