Filed: Saturday, 12th September 2009
By: Staff Writer
Gianfranco Zola's side suffered their second defeat of the season against a poor Wigan side at the DW Stadium this afternoon.
It was noted by the BBC's radio commentator today that one goal may well be enough to beat a West Ham side bereft of any penetration in the final third - and so it proved as Hugo Rodallega's 55th minute goal was enough to earn the home side all three points.
Wigan went into today's game on the back of three successive defeats but would no doubt have been heartened to see the team sheets and the unusual starting XI selected by Gianfranco Zola. Danny Gabbidon, still gaining match fitness had been drafted in at left back whilst Radoslav Kovac had been brought in to partner Scott Parker in midfield.
Up front Zavon Hines was rewarded for a midweek hat-trick against Birmingham reserves with his first Premier League start - whilst the likes of Valon Behrami, Jon Spector and new signing Alessandro Diamanati were left to kick their heels on the bench. Summer loan signing Luis Jimenez - who was described as having sustained 'a minor muscle injury' - missed out entirely.
An eventful first half was fairly evenly matched although the Hammers were left feeling hard done having had a Carlton Cole effort ruled out by referee Alan Wiley on the stroke of half time.
Cole - not to mention almost everyone else in the stadium - was stunned to discover that his effort had been disallowed by referee Alan Wiley who, it appears, blew for the break milliseconds before Cole nodded home beyond Chris Kirkland but with the ball in play - bringing back memories of Clive Thomas' famous decision to rule out a Brazil goal in the 1978 World Cup Finals for a similar reason.
West Ham also thought they should have been awarded a penalty when Zavon Hines, making his first ever Premier League start was seemingly brought downon the edge of the area just six minutes into the game. However official Riley deemed the challenge by Figueroa legal - luckily for the Wigan defender involved who, being the last man, would surely have been sent off had the decision gone against him.
At the other end, the closest Wigan went to scoring was four minutes ahead of the break when a deflected Figueroa effort took a wicked deflection off Matthew Upson that forced a tremendous save from Rob Green.
With neither side making any changes at the break it was the same XIs that started the second period but Wigan drew first blood just ten minutes in. Rob Green performed near heroics by stopping a Jason Koumas close-range effort from crossing the line but the England goalkeeper could do nothing to prevent Rodallega prodding the resulting ball into an empty net.
Thereafter the home side were content with sitting back - unsurprisingly, given their awful start to the season - but the Hammers were still some way short of having the necessary firepower to draw level - even when Zola belatedly introduced the aforementioned duo of Behrami and Diamanti on the hour mark.
That change nearly paid immediate dividends when Diamanti went close with a 30-yard free kick before shaving the post minutes later with an iimpressive curling effort. But with Carlton Cole having one of his off days the Hammers were always going to struggle to score - just as predicted by the BBC's commentator right at the start of the game.
West Ham have managed to score just three goals in their opening fixtures and now find themselves in 12th spot, just a single point above the relegation zone.
It doesn't get any easier for Zola's men who face Liverpool at home next week before travelling to the City of Manchester Stadium - to face a Manchester City side that destroyed Arsenal 4-2 today - for their next away fixture.
Wigan Athletic 1 West Ham Utd 0: match facts
West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Gabbidon, Noble (Nouble 86), Parker, Kovac (Behrami 63), Stanislas (Diamanti 63), Hines, Cole.
Subs: Kurucz, Spector, Da Costa, Payne.
Booked: Noble (28).
Wigan Athletic: Kirkland, Melchiot, Bramble, Boyce, Figueroa, Thomas, Koumas (Scharner 65), Gomez (Sinclair 90+2), Diame, N'Zogbia, Rodallega (Scotland 72).
Subs: Pollitt, Edman, Cho, King.
Goals: Rodallega (55).
Booked: Figueroa (69), Bramble (83).
Referee: Alan Wiley.
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by g portugal
07:55PM 12th Sep 2009
''We're in deep trouble already and the season is only a month old. For the all too familiar that we can t'score to save our lives. Because the inept owners didn't take seriously the need for improving our options up front.
The fixtures at Blackburn and Wigan were as winnable as we'll get all season and we needed a minimum of four points from those two. Now we face the prospect of being in the bottom three after our visit to Eastlands.
Absolute stupidty from some of the dumbest mugs to ever own a football club. These Icelandic idiots run 'their' football club as stupidly as they ran 'their' sub-prime mortgage businesses. Hard-core, inept filth. ''