West Ham United 0-0 Crystal Palace
Saturday, 25th February 2012
by Gordon Thrower
Nice day; shame about the football.
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Player RatingsRobert Green
Some fine saves in the first half kept us in the game in the first half. It was a measure of how things changed in the second half that he was largely unemployed in the second. Probably edges MOTM on a day where it was difficult to really single anyone out.
Joey O Brien
An ok match in general but his passing wasn?EUR(TM)t great ?EUR" something he was not alone in in this match.
Solid enough and provided some otherwise lacking width going forward.
Improved as the game wore on after an opening ten minutes in which he had all the appearance of someone who hadn?EUR(TM)t been told the match had actually started.
Had to deal with our opponents almost single handed in the middle until Reid turned up. Some fine defending, though I?EUR(TM)ll admit to having slight panic attacks when he elects to play the ball out of a tricky spot rather than lamping it one.
Given the sponsors' MOTM award, he had a fair game though he was definitely one of those whose recent efforts were definitely showing.
That he lasted the full ninety after the blow to the head he took was impressive, though it was hardly surprising he looked a bit groggy throughout.
Bit of a ?EUR~mare for young Jack ?EUR" whether it was the effects of tiredness or just an off day in general that was responsible I don?EUR(TM)t know but it was one of those days when virtually nothing he tried came off.
Ricardo Vaz Te
Needs the ball played out to him to give him the chance to run at players. We either didn?EUR(TM)t give him the ball or, if we did, we delayed it long enough to have defenders double up on him.
Not one of his better days. Did win some clever headers ?EUR" he does time his leaps well ?EUR" but gave the ball away far too often, something that led to his half-time substitution.
Someone did inform me that he?EUR(TM)s no stranger to the lone striker role having been utilised in that manner on occasion at Bristol City. If that?EUR(TM)s the case I?EUR(TM)m sure the ball was played to his feet a lot more ?EUR" especially against a pair of lumbering ox centre halves. Whatever his past clearly we weren?EUR(TM)t playing to his strengths by using him on his own.
(Replaced Faubert, 46)
Given no help from the referee and it appeared to get him down. Presumably Mr Salisbury threatened him with a yellow if he allowed any more defenders to grab him around the neck again. Shame really because he gave the Palace defence something to think about, something that Maynard had failed to do.
Gary O Neil
(Replaced Vaz Te, 58)
Not sure quite what he was supposed to bring to the proceedings but he failed to produce it anyway.
(Replaced Maynard, 73)
Added much-needed movement and pace to the attack and on another day might have had a couple.
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, Jack Collison, Ricardo Vaz Te, Julien Faubert, Nicky Maynard.
Booked: Gary O Neil 71 .
Sent off: None.
Crystal Palace: Julian Speroni, Paul McShane, Patrick McCarthy, Anthony Gardner, Jonathan Parr, Wilfried Zaha, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Mile Jedinak, Darren Ambrose, Jermaine Easter, Chris Martin.
Subs not used: Lewis Price, Stuart O'Keefe.
Sent off: None.
Referee: Graham Salisbury.
Man of the Match: Robert Green.