Coca Cola Championship
West Ham United 1 Reading 0

Tuesday, 10th August 2004
by Richard Osborne

Watched the game twice yesterday, once in the flesh and once on TV.

Here's my tuppence worth:

The game

Shaky at the back, but hey - we always are.

Nice to see it shored up with a quick change and another clean sheet. Midfield was missing a general; come back soon Lomy.

Up front we are misfiring. How can we be doing that with Harewood/Zamorra/Sherry and [to a lesser extent] Rebrov. We couldn't stop scoring in the pre season and now we seem to freeze in front of goal.

Drop Harewood for a game, get his gander up and then unleash him on the next poor prey.

The manager

Pards (6.5) Could not decide on a six or a seven. A seven because of the Melville change - and a six for so many other reasons, some listed herein.

Why did he buy McAnuff? He won't play him when everyone else can see what a talent he is. Now he is even further down the pecking order with Chadders onboard. Why did he leave it so late to introduce Zamorra? No way could Bobby make an impact in such a short time.

Why not play a winger on the wing? A simple question, but what did we do when he did make the change.. we scored.

The ref

Muppet (6) Strangely (do do doo..) Reo's booking was justified. Reo actually stuck a leg out to get the ball when it was taken, it wasn't booted at him, at least that's what I saw on TV. The ref was very lenient on him for the rest of the game and would have got a yellow later anyway.

Saying that, Arfur's booking was incredible, if it was for persistent fouls why not book Sidwell or Harper. Other than that he took his decisions well and even listened to the linesmen (for his sins).

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Player Ratings

Stephen Bywater
Another assured performance. Needs to be more commanding but some great saves just the same. Tested too often to be honest.

Tomas Repka
As a right back he was awful. The guy just cannot pass/cross (rated 6). As a centre back he is commanding and does what he does best, heading and tackling (rated 7). A nice pace injection too.

Chris Cohen
Wanted to give him a 10 on his full debut, but was not meant to be. An exposed left flank meant that Forster and Glen Little could run rings round Cohen who had not much backup from Ethers to begin with. Little was gaining in confidence and it was a stroke of luck that he came off injured in the first half. Lost a bit of confidence which was evident in most of his play including the passing/crosses. Just a bad game, sorry Chris.

Christian Dailly
Not the best from our captain. Almost conceded a goal in the opening seconds which shocked him a bit. The nippy striker Forster was having a hay day. Still pretty solid though.

Andy Melville
Didn't seem to be over happy at his substitution and hadn't done anything particularly wrong up to that point but again had his work cut out dealing with the opposition forward line.

Nigel Reo-Coker
Starting to make his name in our squad. An excellent performance with just his final touch letting him down on occasions. Full of running and pace in abundance. He is an exciting prospect, but he is that at the moment, a prospect. Love the new song about him to the tune of The Conga: Do do dooo, Nigel Reo Coker; do do doo he just wants to score.

Hayden Mullins
Played just in front of the defence in the holding role. Ended up just making clearance after clearance. A few nice runs, not many and slipped into the shadows in the second half. I wasn't going to say it, but we did miss Carrick.

Sergei Rebrov
Watching live frustrated but watching again on the TV it is obvious what he brings. His touch is very good and his positioning is also very good. I am still waiting for a shot from him; which I know will take the roof of the net off. He doesn't take players on, which is what we all want out of wingers; give him time though. I just wonder whether AP has assured him a 1st team place as part of his contract, would seem out of character though.

Matthew Etherington
Marked out of the game. Full of running but to no avail at best. Great on the break though.

Teddy Sheringham
As Jonathon Pearce once enthused after he scored a goal for England "Teddy, ever so steady, with a glass of sherry". In a class of his own. He didn't keep the ball for more than 0.25 seconds. The vast majority of his layoffs/passes found a C&B shirt. He went up for headers 5 minutes before the opposition and always won the ball. Simply stunning and the goal was just the icing on the cake.

Marlon Harewood
Made alot of the play for himself in his usual big strong and quick way. His one-on-ones need great attention, he should be tucking at least half of those away. Teams up well with Sherry, but then who wouldn't. Final balls also let him down, Sergei would have been clean through if he had weighed the pass and found his man.


Anton Ferdinand
(Replaced Melville, 61) Melville chucked his toys out of his pram when he was subbed. At the time I didn't understand the change either. Melville had won many headers, made a few blocks and timely challenges. Once Repka went to the centre, the pace was more abundant and it shored up our defence no end (well done Pards!). As for Anton, good headers, tackles and even passes; who's under Sherry's wing then? ;)

Bobby Zamora
(Replaced Harewood, 71) Came on for Harewood who had a right old whinge. Well Marlon of you don't score what do you expect? Bobby was full of enthusiasm and led a nice break only to unlucky in his final ball to have it clip the back of someone's heal. Looked lively though and as our pre-season top scorer I would like to see more of him.

Luke Chadwick
(Replaced Rebrov, 76) The dashing hunk of a man strutted out onto the field for his debut with a swagger that would be fit for any catwalk. Instantly got the better of their left winger in the challenge, looked comfortable on the ball, passed well and delighted in his runs. A very classy player and should be a great asset to the club. Fooled everyone with a nice turn and layoff for the goal.

Jimmy Walker
Did not play.

Adam Nowland
Did not play.

Match Facts

West Ham United: Stephen Bywater, Tomas Repka, Chris Cohen, Christian Dailly, Andy Melville, Nigel Reo-Coker, Hayden Mullins, Sergei Rebrov, Matthew Etherington, Teddy Sheringham, Marlon Harewood.

Goals: Teddy Sheringham 82                  .

Booked: Nigel Reo-Coker 20 Christian Dailly 65 Bobby Zamora 86      .

Sent Off: None sent off.     .

Reading: Hahnemann, Shorey, Williams, Murty, Ingimarsson, Harper, Hughes, Little, Sidwell, Kitson, Forster.

Subs not used: Young, Sonko, Newman.

Goals: .

Booked: Nalis (21).

Sent off: None.

Referee: M.Taylor.

Attendance: 26,242.

Man of the Match: Teddy Sheringham.