Filed: Saturday, 1st September 2012
By: Staff Writer No.2
An understandably downbeat Martin Jol reflects on his team's 3-0 defeat at the Boleyn...
West Ham were obviously on good form today but do you think your team let themselves down?
I think so. It started in the second minute. We knew they would play a long ball and look for the knock-downs. The first goal was disappointing because we spoke about it. The second goal was a corner kick. Thord goal, same thing - a ball knocked down and we didn't pick up the second man.
You looked a bit better in the second half. Were there any positives to take?
Yes but we had already destroyed ourselves. Of course we missed the two players in the creative department the area behind the striker. Brian Ruiz couldn't play - he failed a test yesterday. And of course Dembele has gone. That is a worry because we have to find players for the future. The only positive thing was to see Berbatov again. To see his class and quality.
Do you think you coped with Andy Carroll today?
No. If you're five foot eight, five foot seven then you will have a problem but I thought we should have coped with him. As you saw in the European Championships, he's probably the best in the air in the whole Barclays Premier League but I still think there are a few answers for him and we couldn't cope with him.
Did Berbatov not start because of match fitness?
No we agreed on 20 minutes for him if necessary if not he would have stayed on the bench. I told him that he had to go on so he improved his stretching at half time.
There were signs of a possible partnership with Rodillega there
Not much. Maybe in the 88th minute - I didn't see a lot before that! (laughter). What I did see was Berbatov bringing other players into the game and that is his quality. Hopefully Brian [Ruiz] will be available for the next game. I want to say that with a lot of work on the training ground that maybe we can be a bit more positive. The only thing is that they go off again today and come back next week - Thursday. So hopefully we'll get the balance right for the next week.
How do you think you'll cope without Dembele?
(Pause) I don't know. I tried everything but I missed out on a couple of players yesterday. In the end you have to be happy that Berbatov is there. Rodallega and Petric. Dembele I thought might have stayed. It was a big fee - £15m but they paid up. They always leave it to the last week - I know that from my time there at Spurs. I think we have the players. Maybe with another system or concept we will come up with something.
What did you think of Kieran Richardson?
It wasn't easy for him. I had to replace Dembele - a left footer. You saw that he hasn't played a lot of 90 minute games and has just been in training for the last three or four days. But I think he will be fine in time.
Do you see him playing in that central role or do you see him out wide?
I don't think he's a real wing player as I see it. He's more of a midfield player. Or maybe even a No. 10. Or left back. He doesn't want that but I imagine he can play at left-back as well.
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