Filed: Saturday, 11th August 2007
By: Matthew O'Greel
The Hammers slipped to a disappointing defeat against Manchester City at The Boleyn this afternoon.
A goal in each half for a well-drilled City side condemned United to defeat in front of a capacity crowd in East London.
New City signing Rolando Bianchi opened the scoring on 18 minutes when he converted a low cross from former Hammers target Elano with a goal that bore more than a passing resemblance to Palermo's goal at The Boleyn last year.
And Sven Goran Eriksson's new side wrapped the three points up three minutes from time when substitute Deiberson Geovanni added a second with the United defence at sixes and sevens.
Sadly that had been the pattern for much of the game, with Anton Ferdinand inparticular having one of those days he'll be hoping to forget in a hurry.
Up front the Hammers barely bothered the City goal, which was especially disappointing given that City's keeper for the day was the young and inexperienced Kasper Schmeichel - son of former Man Utd keeper Peter - who had barely tasted first team action prior to today.
Of course, the Hammers weren't helped by injuries - new signings Scott Parker and Julien Faubert were missing, as was defensive stalwart (and newly-named club captain) Lucan Neill.
Meanwhile the two new signings on show - Freddie Ljungberg and Craig Bellamy - were worryingly ineffective, and even the late introduction of the returning Dean Ashton - making his first competitive start since the 2006 FA Cup Final - failed to stir the Hammers into action.
In fact Ashton's introduction proved to have a negative effect as the Hammers - unbalanced having reverted to a three-man defence following the departure of George McCartney - barely managed a shot in the last half hour of the game.
However the game was lost in the opening 20 minutes with a worrying lacklustre United side overrun by City's collection of new foreign arrivals.
Plenty of food for thought tonight for both Alan Curbishley and Eggert Magnusson then, whose search for fresh blood ahead of the August 31 transfer deadline will almost certainly intensify given today's insipid display.
West Ham United: Green, McCartney (Ashton 62), Spector, Upson, Ferdinand, Bowyer (Mullins 45), Noble, Ljungberg, Boa Morte (Etherington 45), Zamora, Bellamy.
Subs not used: Wright, Gabbidon.
Manchester City: Schmeichel, Richards, Corlunka (Onuoha 61), Dunne, Garrido, Hamann, Johnson, Petrov, Elano (Geovanni 79), Ireland, Bianchi (Bojinov 60).
Booked: Garrido (23, unsporting behaviour), Ireland (30, unsporting behaviour), Elano (73, unsporting behaviour), Geovanni (88, unsporting behaviour).
Goals: Bianchi (18), Geovanni (87).
Referee: Peter Walton.
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02:46PM 13th Aug 2007
'' I am not impressed. There have been some serious errors of judgement in purchasing Boa Morte, Quashie etc. Face up to it and do not play them. Bowyer is too slow/off the pace. If Parker is not fit then Mullins is our current best option as back-up. once the woeful Boa was removed Matty looked dangerous- so why switch him to full back? Last year Curbs was forced to play the guys who kept us up (Collins, Noble and Tevez). hopefully he will stumble into a team again but it must be without BM and Bowyer. Collins and Gabs must look at Ferds dreaming thro another game and wonder what they have to do! A left back and a creative midfielder please Eggy.''
07:19PM 11th Aug 2007
''We need a left back, a midfielder plus one more striker desperately, which I think is going to happen. Once that happens we won't have to worry.''
07:16PM 11th Aug 2007
''For God's sake, moan moan moan. It's the first game of the season and to say Ljungberg and Bellamy were worringly ineffective is ott and hardly a sound judgement considering its only the first game. The fault lies with Curbishley.''
by d tarbuck
06:55PM 11th Aug 2007
''How long will the Egg give Curbs? Another year of losing? I don't think so. Last year the fans demanded that Tevez was called on now they are calling Deano. When will Curbs get the message?''
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