Eintracht Braunschweig 0-3 West Ham United 

Saturday, 27th July 2013
by Continental Skills

Today was another convincing performance against a Bundesliga team, who rarely threatened. As against Hamburg, we pretty much controlled the game throughout and looked physically by far the more convincing team.

My Man of the Match today was Mark Noble, who played some exquisite passes in the first half especially. Meanwhile James Collins was very solid at the back, with one exceptional block.

Joey O'Brien and Razvan Rat very efficient at full back, and having two full backs playing with their natural ball-playing foot on the outside really does help move the ball forward quickly.

Adrian didn't have much to do in goal, but dealt competently with anything that reached him, and looks like a keeper who can actually play a bit of football.

Also, he often rolled the ball out to a full back or Noble coming back to collect, playing it out from the back. When he did clear long-ball style, most of them were well aimed, too.

Ricardo Vaz Te had a good game; less so Joe Cole, who was the only one to disappoint me, particularly with the quality of his final ball. Mo Diame was quiet for most of the game but made a great run for the second goal.

Modibo Maiga doesn't look the part for me when he's alone up front. He produced some better stuff on the wings, including a lovely cross for Diame's goal and a couple of other chipped crosses (like the one for the Kevin Nolan header against Reading). But, he scored two goals.

The first was a complete fluke and I'd be very surprised if he knew anything about it; it hit him 30 yards out and flew over the stranded goalkeeper's head into the net.

His second goal was a back pass from a defender hit horribly short which Maiga picked up and easily rounded the goalkeeper, stranded again. Not really the type of goals that do a lot for a striker's confidence.

Jack Collison did okay as did Winston Reid, who went off with a injury in the second half. Fortunately it didn't look too serious, as he was walking.

Captain Nolan was lively when he came on the second half but the other substitutes didn't make too much of an impact, though Ravel Morrison has a lovely touch and is a joy to watch. I really do hope we'll see something from him this season.

So whilst I'm well aware that these pre-season friendlies are meaningless I can't help feeling optimistic after what I've seen in the last two games, particularly the team spirit that is evident in the interaction between the players on and off the pitch.

The match ended with a nice gesture by Mark Nolan and Kevin Noble, who came across to the supporters and gave their shirts to kids in the West Ham block.

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Player Ratings

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Joey O Brien
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Razvan Rat
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James Collins
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Winston Reid
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Mo Diame
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Mark Noble
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Jack Collison
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Ricardo Vaz Te
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Joe Cole
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Modibo Maiga
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Kevin Nolan
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James Tomkins
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Matt Taylor
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Matt Jarvis
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Pelly Ruddock
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Elliott Lee
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Ravel Morrison
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Match Facts

West Ham United: Adrian, Joey O Brien, Razvan Rat, James Collins, Winston Reid, Mo Diame, Mark Noble, Jack Collison, Ricardo Vaz Te, Joe Cole, Modibo Maiga.

Goals: Modibo Maiga 22 Mo Diame 42 Modibo Maiga 44              .

Booked: None booked.           .

Sent Off: None sent off.     .

Eintracht Braunschweig: .

Subs not used: .

Goals: .

Booked: None booked..

Sent off: None.

Referee: tbc.

Attendance: 0.

Man of the Match: Mark Noble.