Filed: Wednesday, 29th July 2009
By: Staff Writer
West Ham were dumped out of the Asia Cup at the first hurdle in Beijing after an insipid display aginst local rivals Tottenham.
Despite featuring an almost full-strength team Gianfranco Zola's side were distinctly second best against a Spurs team fresh from playing in last weekend's Wembley Cup.
The only goal of the game arrived just 15 minutes from time, although in truth it had been a long time coming. Rob Green, who had been in impeccable form until the point somehow allowed a Jermain Defoe effort to squeeze through his legs before trickling over the goalline.
That strike was no more than Tottenham had deserved, for the Hammers had barely threatened the opposition goal - as was so often the case in the final third of last season.
So woeful were United in attack that they had to wait until the 74th minute - just seconds before Tottenham's goal arrived - before registering a decent shot through Jack Collison; thereafter Carlton Cole (with an 82nd minute mistimed volley) was the only player to briefly worry the Spurs goal.
Sadly the pre-season injury jinx struck again as Luis Boa Morte sustained suspected ligament damage following an innocuous challenge after just 12 minutes. He was immediately replaced by Mark Noble.
Next up for the Hammers this coming Friday is the loser of the other semi-final between Hull City and Beijing, which is currently taking place.
West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Upson, Collins, Ilunga, Boa Morte (Noble 12), Dyer, Collison, Jimenez, Stanislas, Cole.
Subs: Stech, Kurucz, Spence, Spector, N'Gala, Tomkins, Gabbidon, Noble, Parker, Payne, Savio, Hines.
Tottenham Hotspur: Cudicini, Hutton, Huddlestone, Corluka, Assou-Ekotto, Naughton, Palacios, Modric, O'Hara, Pavlyuchenko, Defoe.
Subs: Gomes, Alnwick, Chimbonda, Dervite, Bale, Bostock, Bentley, Lennon, Keane, Rose.
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by Alex P
12:40PM 30th Jul 2009
''We played ever so poorly, unfortunately for us the the season is only two weeks away.
We are nowhere near match fit!''
12:15PM 30th Jul 2009
''Did anyone else notice that Stanislas was wearing the number 9 shirt? All the others were wearing their squad numbers, doeas this mean Deano's on his way out?''
05:52PM 29th Jul 2009
''If there was any proof decent strikers are needed at this club then that was it. I hope we don't sell Ashton (unless we receive a ridiculous offer) because he knows where the net is. I'd have bid for Beckford of Leeds. ''
by Old John
03:54PM 29th Jul 2009
''What a lamentable display. We looked weak and fragile throughout the match. Surely Tottenham had sixteen players to our eight? At least that's what it looked like. I can only foresee enormous problems ahead for the Hammers unless some very good, strong, fit attackers are purchased immediately.''