'Hard Players' Still Lacking steel??

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Rio
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'Hard Players' Still Lacking steel??

Post by Rio » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:46 pm

This piece from the Sun (I know, I know :fsake: ) has Balbuena as our current hard man.

We've often debated the fact we need a midfield enforcer. But do we need a 'nasty' git. Looking through our squad there's no genuine steel. Declan who is the heir apparent to the role of protector, seems to be a genuinely nice bloke who would rescue a kitten or two. Do we need a little bit of steel to compliment the silk?

I know football's a different game nowadays, but looking through the list in the article, it strikes me as not being very menacing. We're definitely in an era where we despise people for the dark arts of diving and deception, rather than a bit of dirty thuggery.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football ... 1567940489

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Re: 'Hard Players' Still Lacking steel??

Post by Up the Junction » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:49 pm

Haven't read the article but I think the aforementioned thuggery may have turned into slyness now.

The shirt tug, the clip of the ankles, the diving, the attempt to win a penalty by deliberately kicking the ball at a player's upper body (© Luis Suarez) et al.

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Re: 'Hard Players' Still Lacking steel??

Post by OohAahButler » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:51 pm

Yes, we do. But not all enforcers need to be nasty gits as such, they just have to be tough.

I'm thinking Billy Bonds. Lovely bloke, but if anyone messed around with any of the slighter or less experienced players, then it would be a case of 'Bill will sort it out' and off he'd go to put in a crunching 'let him know you're there' tackle. Problem sorted.

A full-blooded tackle or two gets the crowd going too. If we're going to become practitioners of any kind of dark art, I'd far rather it was by having a hard geezer or two in the team than divers and cheats.

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Re: 'Hard Players' Still Lacking steel??

Post by e17 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:21 pm

Up the Junction wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:49 pm
Haven't read the article but I think the aforementioned thuggery may have turned into slyness now.
Yep. We live in the era of Sergio Ramos

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leyton Hammer
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Re: 'Hard Players' Still Lacking steel??

Post by leyton Hammer » Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:05 pm

OohAahButler wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:51 pm

A full-blooded tackle or two gets the crowd going too. If we're going to become practitioners of any kind of dark art, I'd far rather it was by having a hard geezer or two in the team than divers and cheats.
Thought we saw both last time out, Hallers crunching tackle against Norwich got the crowd up and changed the dynamic of the game (surprised, but glad, it wasn't flagged up for a foul) and was great to see, unfortunately Yarmolenko seemed to take the other route, all be it unsuccessfully. The old style hard man no longer exists in top class football for better or worse and I miss the real hard men, Bonds, Pearce, Butcher etc but not the likes of Keane, Jones and Muscat who were bullies. In the grand scheme of things I don't think West Ham are soft or lacking physically but we can appear naive at times.

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Re: 'Hard Players' Still Lacking steel??

Post by prophet:marginal » Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:57 pm

Watch our first (Haller) from Norwich match, again, too.

He makes the space in the penalty area with an almost nonchalant nudge of the defender.

He's nails, that lad.

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Re: 'Hard Players' Still Lacking steel??

Post by Toulouse_Iron » Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:03 pm

I reckon Haller must have thought, after being on the receiving and of that enthusiastic tackle that had him out injured, "Hang on, you can do that in the Prem? Right! Hold my beer...."

I love seeing defenders bounce off Iron Mike when he's steaming in too....

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Re: 'Hard Players' Still Lacking steel??

Post by BondsoBob » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:38 pm

Billy Bonds was always our 'hardest' player, but we've had our fair share of tough nuts. The likes of Dicksy, Keith Robson (who could start a fight in a phone box!), and Bill Green to name a few.

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Re: 'Hard Players' Still Lacking steel??

Post by Ingwe » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:58 pm

Neil "Razor" Ruddock?

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Re: 'Hard Players' Still Lacking steel??

Post by BondsoBob » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:15 pm

Perhaps we should do a 'Hardest West Ham 11' thread?
:)

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Re: 'Hard Players' Still Lacking steel??

Post by BondsoBob » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:19 pm

And then maybe a 'Softest West Ham 11' ?
I'll bet a certain centre back from just a few years ago, who somehow managed to play for England, would be a lot of people's first name on that team!

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Re: 'Hard Players' Still Lacking steel??

Post by Albie Beck » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:40 pm

BondsoBob wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:38 pm
Billy Bonds was always our 'hardest' player, but we've had our fair share of tough nuts. The likes of Dicksy, Keith Robson (who could start a fight in a phone box!), and Bill Green to name a few.
BondsoBob wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:15 pm
Perhaps we should do a 'Hardest West Ham 11' thread?
:)
Eddie Bovington would top that list...

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Re: 'Hard Players' Still Lacking steel??

Post by steveyrockstar » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:40 pm

Was saying a couple of weeks ago how much I'd love to be able to drop Dicks into this side...

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Re: 'Hard Players' Still Lacking steel??

Post by Collison Theory » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:57 pm

BondsoBob wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:19 pm
And then maybe a 'Softest West Ham 11' ?
I'll bet a certain centre back from just a few years ago, who somehow managed to play for England, would be a lot of people's first name on that team!
My first thought was Rebrov, such a cliche of a talented continental (though I doubt Ukraine is many people's first thought of a "soft" nation) struggling with British defenders kicking the **** out of him.

But yeah, the era of the "hard man" is over, the clamping down on excessive force tackling means the suspensions cost more than the intimidation is worth. And tactically, you are more likely to set up a goalscoring move with someone like Mane or Sterling intelligently pressing and intercepting, than Keane or Viera crunching in a tackle.

I'm not going to pretend I didn't enjoy Haller taking out that Norwich player, but that was just a crap attempt at a tackle that he should have been booked for.

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Re: 'Hard Players' Still Lacking steel??

Post by Samba » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:14 pm

Collison Theory wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:57 pm
I'm not going to pretend I didn't enjoy Haller taking out that Norwich player, but that was just a crap attempt at a tackle that he should have been booked for.
If someone has to be substituted because of a tackle, I can't help wondering about the 'legality' of that tackle.
Definitely one we got away with, imo.

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Re: 'Hard Players' Still Lacking steel??

Post by steveyrockstar » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:24 pm

BondsoBob wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:19 pm
And then maybe a 'Softest West Ham 11' ?
I'll bet a certain centre back from just a few years ago, who somehow managed to play for England, would be a lot of people's first name on that team!
Raducioiu probably

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Re: 'Hard Players' Still Lacking steel??

Post by Collison Theory » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:39 pm

Samba wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:14 pm
If someone has to be substituted because of a tackle, I can't help wondering about the 'legality' of that tackle.
Definitely one we got away with, imo.
And that's why I think, honestly, the way the game has changed isn't really a bad thing. It's great to see your player throwing himself into tackles, but really the most enjoyable thing about watching football is the genius players and the way they move the ball. How many great careers got cut short because some meathead broke a ankle? Losing a couple of years of watching someone like Messi would be a big price to pay just to see more people kicking lumps out of each other.

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Re: 'Hard Players' Still Lacking steel??

Post by ironilunga » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:06 am

I do think an absolute colossus playing alongside Rice would compliment our flair players nicely. Might have been TTS who mentioned Marc Vivian Foe as a good example of what is required. Not a nasty player in any sense but a real presence.

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Re: 'Hard Players' Still Lacking steel??

Post by The Old Man of Storr » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:25 am

Up the Junction wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:49 pm
Haven't read the article but I think the aforementioned thuggery may have turned into slyness now.

The shirt tug, the clip of the ankles, the diving, the attempt to win a penalty by deliberately kicking the ball at a player's upper body (© Luis Suarez) et al.
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Re: 'Hard Players' Still Lacking steel??

Post by rudekid » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:29 am

I would stick Noble in that bracket. Hard as nails and first on the scene if there's any trouble....

behind him it's no surprise to see most of our new signings.... the bulldozer, the general and Diop backing him up!

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