Premier League
West Ham United 1 Aston Villa 0

Saturday, 18th August 2012
by Gordon Thrower

First game of the season. Three points. A few Olympic medals. What’s not to like?

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Player Ratings

Jussi Jaaskelainen
Had two saves to make and made them well. His main worry must have been the effect of the sun ?EUR" which on Nordic skins can be a bit nasty when it?EUR(TM)s that hot.

Guy Demel
A much better game than his last run-out (at Wembley). Harder tests will come and I remain to be totally convinced but there were a few signs of a nice right side combination developing with Vaz Te.

George McCartney
Another fine debut. The lack of opposition allowed him to get forward as well.

James Collins
Outstanding. The sponsors gave him MOTM and, for once I?EUR(TM)m inclined to agree.

Winston Reid
A good long run in the team has done him the power of good. A nice reintroduction to the top flight.

Mo Diame
Another fine debut. A tendency to over-elaborate on occasion sometimes saw him lose the ball but inevitable he would bust a gut and retrieve it.

Mark Noble
Like Diame he ha a tendency early on to overegg the pudding a bit. Once he started to keep it simple it was ok.

Kevin Nolan
Looked a bit off the pace as the match wore on but his decision to play to the whistle proved profitable.

Matthew Taylor
A quiet game ?EUR" enlivened by some set piece deliveries.

Ricardo Vaz Te
Apart from his role in the goal and one or two touches I thought this was a disappointing run out. Was a bit in and out of the game though there were some nice bits of link up play with Demel from time to time.

Carlton Cole
Gave Vlaar a hard time. Ran himself into the ground (when not being pushed to it). Ought to have scored, perhaps, when Taylor?EUR(TM)s cross ser him up on a plate.


Joey O Brien
(Replaced McCartney, 71)
Brought on to replace McCartney. Did a job defensively without providing quite the same threat going forward.

James Tomkins
(Replaced Nolan, 73)
Looked quite good in that controversial midfield role, though that has to considered against the quality of the opposition I suppose.

Modibo Maiga
(Replaced Cole, 81)
Could have crowned his ten minute debut with a goal at the death. Looked keen enough otherwise.

Stephen Henderson
Did not play.

Alou Diarra
Did not play.

Gary O'Neil
Did not play.

Nicky Maynard
Did not play.

Match Facts

West Ham United: Jussi Jaaskelainen, Guy Demel, George McCartney, James Collins, Winston Reid, Mo Diame, Mark Noble, Kevin Nolan, Matthew Taylor, Ricardo Vaz Te, Carlton Cole.

Goals: Kevin Nolan 41                  .

Booked: None.

Sent off: None.

Aston Villa: Shay Given, Matthew Lowton, Ron Vlaar, Ciaran Clark, Nathan Baker, Brett Holman, Karim El Ahmadi, Fabian Delph, Charles N'Zogbia, Stephen Ireland, Darren Bent.

Subs not used: Bradley Guzan, Chris Herd, Eric Lichaj, Graham Burke.

Goals: None.

Booked: Ciaran Clark (39).

Sent off: None.

Referee: Mike Dean.

Attendance: 34,172.

Man of the Match: James Collins.