West Ham United 2 Millwall 1
Saturday, 4th February 2012
by Gordon Thrower
One day you play the 4th bottom side and get walloped 5-1 with a performance every bit as poor as the scoreline suggests. Four days later you play the 4th bottom side and win 2-1 with a performance as good as the previous one was bad. Go, as our American cousins are fond of saying, figure.
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Player RatingsRobert Green
Although barely tested there were still a few iffy moments dotted throughout the match.
Joey O Brien
One of his better matches ?EUR" combined well with Faubert on the right.
So-so start that improved as the game wore on, particularly once Taylor had replaced Collison.
Even ignoring the goal this was a fine game. I lost count of the number of attacks that were broken up by his anticipation in stepping out of defence.
Immense throughout barring the one mistake that led to the Millwall equaliser. Won everything in the air and would have been my MOTM but for the error. Good to see he?EUR(TM)s a more than able replacement for Reid and Tomkins.
Outstanding. A performance of incredible work rate, intelligent passing and no little maturity. Given his background and the number of sly little digs that were aimed his way off the ball throughout the match he kept his cool and bossed the midfield. For once the sponsors got MOTM spot on.
Though his distribution was sometimes a bit off, this was probably a consequence of the unfamiliar role that he was asked to play. It didn?EUR(TM)t help that the ref kept getting in his way ?EUR" so much so I thought he was having a man to man marking job done on him. Made some telling clearances helping out his mates at the back.
Failed to provide width ?EUR" understandably perhaps given he was a right footer on the left, something that gives a natural tendency to cut inside. Got caught in possession a couple of times.
Excellent. Caused problems on the right all afternoon and got up well to support Cole as an auxiliary striker, which, when you?EUR(TM)re playing only one proper striker up front, is exactly what is needed. Deserved a goal with the header and never touched the ?EUR~keeper honest guv :o)
(Replaced Collison, 46)
A much more effective replacement for Collison on the left.
Gary O Neil
(Replaced Faubert, 80)
Given ten to provide a more defensive right side of midfield.
Ricardo Vaz Te
(Replaced Cole, 89)
A couple of nice touches. Daft haircut though.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Match FactsWest Ham United: Robert Green, Joey O Brien, George McCartney, Winston Reid, Abdoulaye Faye, Mark Noble, James Tomkins, Kevin Nolan, Jack Collison, Julien Faubert, Carlton Cole.
Goals: Carlton Cole 45 Winston Reid 69 .
Booked: Abdoulaye Faye 83 Carlton Cole 86 .
Sent Off: Kevin Nolan 9 .
Millwall: David Forde, Jack Smith, Alan Dunne, Darren Ward, Scott Barron, Liam Feeney, Liam Trotter, Nadjim Abdou, Shane Lowry, Darius Henderson, Andrew Keogh.
Subs not used: Josh Wright, Ryan Allsop, Dany N'Guessan.
Goals: Liam Trotter (66).
Booked: Darius Henderson (49), Shane Lowry (52), Darren Ward (68), David Forde (76).
Sent off: None.
Referee: Mike Jones.
Man of the Match: Mark Noble.