|An archive of Cockney Hammer's West Ham-related daily news digests.
Nolan advocates long-ball game
Kevin Nolan believes West Ham United can still clinch automatic promotion, if they concentrate on hurting teams.
Speaking after the Hammers recovered from 3-1 down to draw with Birmingham City, the skipper admitted the Upton Park side must gain maximum points from their last four games to have a chance of avoiding the play-offs.
He told the London Evening Standard: "It's not all done and dusted yet. We have to win every game now to give us a chance of going up automatically.
"We really have to give it a big push now. If that doesn't work, then it's the play-offs, but we have to make sure that, from now until the end of the season, we get the basics right."
And Nolan says that the fans' desire to play attractive football may have to be tempered to get results as Monday's draw with Birmingham was West Ham's seventh home game without a win.
He continued: "We got sucked in to just keeping the ball and not hurting them. We're conceding sloppy goals when we have control of the game.
"We should have played some more long balls, to open up the game and try to get between their midfield and the back four.
"We should have played some more long balls, to open up the game and try to get between their midfield and the back four"
Kevin Nolan Quotes of the week
"There were a few things said to a few people at half-time but to be fair we have a great bunch of lads here, and we have to be able to tell each other when we're not doing the right things."
Nolan was booked after protesting to the referee, who failed to award the Hammers a penalty when Carlton Cole was pulled back by Steven Caldwell.
The captain said he had spoken to the striker about his reaction to the foul.
"People are going on about 'divers' in the game all the time, but Carlton, the honest lad that he is, decided to stay up after being pulled back.
"I said, 'If you want the penalty, you have to go down'. If you're honest, it seems, you don't get it."
Fans won’t like it but West Ham must ‘lump it’ if they’re to go up
West Ham fans should swiftly adapt one of their songs after their second- half great escape at home to Birmingham.
Instead of singing about playing on the floor, their new chant should be: ‘We’re West Ham United, we lump it in the air.’
In reality, the Upton Park club’s automatic promotion hopes are fading fast following yet another failure to win at home but yesterday’s draw at least still makes it possible if, as manager Sam Allardyce admits, they need to win their last four remaining Championship matches.
Against Chris Hughton’s well-drilled side, West Ham were determined to follow their supporters’ advice and play it on the floor but were 3-1 down at the end of a dreadful first half.
All thoughts of the so-called ‘West Ham way’ evaporated after that. Allardyce’s team went direct and no one was moaning as they battled gamely back to take a point and could have even won it had substitute Henri Lansbury not contrived an ‘air shot’ in front of goal in the dying seconds.
Captain Kevin Nolan, who was booked for protesting too strongly after referee Jonathan Moss had turned down one of several strong penalty appeals, said: “We’ve been wanting a home performance like that second half for a while but it’s just disappointing we’re not learning and conceding sloppy goals when we have control of the game.
“We really have to give it a big push now for automatic promotion. If that doesn’t work then it’s the play-offs but we have to make sure that, from now until the end of the season, we get the basics right.
“There were a few things said to a few people at half-time but to be fair we have a great bunch of lads here and we have to be able to tell each other when we’re not doing the right things.
“It’s not all done and dusted yet, though. What we have to do is win every game now to give us a chance of going up automatically.”
The naive way West Ham played in the first half suited Birmingham perfectly. While Mark Noble and company tipped and tapped their ineffective way, Hughton’s side sat deep, lit up a cigar and waited for the chance to counter-attack.
They scored two goals on the break, through Jordan Mutch and Marlon King before an anaemic West Ham side managed to pull one back through Ricardo Vaz Te only for Chris Burke to immediately stretch the visitors’ lead once again.
That was a signal for Allardyce to desperately launch the heavy artillery and in the second half, after laying siege to Birmingham’s goal, West Ham first made it 3-2 through Carlton Cole before Vaz Te netted a dramatic 89th-minute penalty.
“We got sucked in to just keeping the ball and not hurting them in the first half,” admitted Nolan.
“We should have played some more long balls then, to open up the game and try to get between their midfield and the back four.
“That was the most disappointing aspect, that we didn’t realise we were playing balls we shouldn’t have been, particularly because that was where their first two goals came from.”
Nolan also revealed he spoke to his team-mate Cole after the West Ham striker decided to stay on his feet, having been pulled back by Birmingham defender Steven Caldwell.
“People are going on about ‘divers’ in the game all the time but Carlton, the honest lad that he is, decided to stay up after being pulled back,” he said.
“I said, ‘If you want the penalty, you have to go down’. If you’re honest it seems, you don’t get it.”
Inter Milan and AC Milan lead the chase to take Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli back to Italy with the pair ready to launch £20m bids.
AC Milan's Italian striker Stephan El Shaarawy, 19, is wanted by Arsenal and could be allowed out on loan next season.
Branislav Ivanovic has scored three goals in his last four games
Swansea are closing on a £6m move for Ivorian striker Lacina Traore, 21. The forward, who has been compared to Emmanuel Adebayor and was previously tracked by Arsenal, is desperate to leave Russian club Kuban Krasnodar.
Real Madrid want Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, 28, after the Serbian's outstanding campaign.
Celtic are interested in Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon. The 29-year-old Scotland international is out of contract in the summer.
Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba, 23, will be fitted with a special heart device to aid his attempts to return to football.
Manager Roberto Mancini is refusing to give up on Manchester City's title chances despite them trailing United by eight points.
Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou believes the Blues can still finish above Arsenal.
Wolves manager Terry Connor insists he dropped Roger Johnson for footballing reasons at Stoke despite the defender's row with Wayne Hennessey during the 3-2 defeat by Bolton.
Express and Star
Jack Rodwell has only won two caps for England - in November's wins over Spain and Sweden
The Hillsborough Justice Campaign have refused a donation of £1,000 from comedian Alan Davies. The Arsenal fan had criticised Liverpool's refusal to play on the anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.
Everton midfielder Jack Rodwell will miss Euro 2012 after suffering yet another hamstring problem.
Martin Atkinson and his fellow officials will not be stood down despite the FA being unable to take retrospective action against Balotelli for the striker's challenge on Alex Song in the 1-0 defeat at Arsenal on Sunday.
Blackpool manager Ian Holloway was warned to stop swearing during Monday's 1-1 draw with Barnsley following a complaint from a supporter.
Ipswich - nicknamed 'The Tractor Boys' - have launched their new kit on a far
babe of the day
http://bitcast-a.v1.lhr1.bitgravity.com ... g/0012.jpg
It seems to me it wasn't playing it on the floor that led to our undoing but the general nervousness and schoolboy defending. Contrast that with the second half where we were playing direct football with half a dozen in forward positions: Yes we looked a whole lot better, but was that to do with our route one approach, or the fact that we had nothing to lose at that point so all the jitters has evaporated and been replaced with a gung ho kamikaze resolve?
Nobody can say the Brum game wasn't exciting. We didn't win but many of us have said we'll happily settle for entertainment over results. And as for Sam failing to appreciate our traditions, well surely that was the classic West Ham way: All out attack, plenty of thrills and excitement, and so very vulnerable to the counter. What's the old saying - be careful what you wish for.
I for one thoroughly enjoyed the game (in hindsight anyway). I believe that automatic promotion is no longer realistic but I was sure that would be the case if we lost to Reading. So it's the hard way then ... again it's the classic West Ham way.
http://www.givemefootball.com/premier-l ... y-signings
Morrison named as one of the five worst January signings. **** site though..
Nolan is right about Carlton, should have gone down. Some people need to realise theres a difference between diving and going down when you've been kicked.
If a defender admitted they kicked an attacker, then there would be no need to go down. Not admitting you fouled an attacker, is the same as diving, imo.
What Nolan is saying and he was saying so on the pitch in the first half prior to us conceding was get the bloody ball forward, it's no use trying to pass your way through 9 players, we don't have the skill base.
And that is the problem we don't have the players to play the ball on the floor, Noble is not Iniesta, our defence aren't comfortable on the ball & the army should try & bottle whatever it is that CCs made of, the bullets would just fly off the boys then!
Time to lump it up front!!!!
We don't have players that can play it on the floor...?
I have seen a few games this season where we have played on the floor and we have looked much better than the opposition. Yes, there has been times when the floor passing hasn't worked but that is when we should be trying other things. I have also seen games where long ball has been completely ineffective yet we continued to use it.
Passing on the floor worked against Barnsley and Peterborough, but Birmingham wouldn't allow it. Changing the tactics to play long balls (though it seems with more purpose than some of the punts we have seen this season) got us back into it.
It is about playing the right way against the right opposition.
Playing on the floor needs confidence on the ball & we don't have that at home which is really where we should be most confident.
So if we have confidence away from home then keep doing what we did to Barnsley etc but at home get at the opposition as we did against Brum in the second half, utilise Cole & dare I say Carew, get the noses in front, get the crowd off the back and see what comes after that.
Trouble with recruiting players to play the get it forward as soon as.....you're left with no other option. Want to play it on the floor then please don't complain when it doesn't work (and with virtually the same players against decent opposition in other games we have done so I think it's a fallacy) blame the players brought in.
If we can't play football:
were brought in by the "Boss."
As I say a well over simplified answer.
As Iron Mark says above everything has a time and place the cute bit is the players knowing when and where, and can we stop complaining about buying championship players please, premiership ones are in the premiership. It's not the "Boss's" fault the crowd at the Boleyn have scared the players from doing what he tells the.
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