Barclays Premier League 27th October 2007 Kick-off: 16:15
Venue: Fratton Park Attendance: 20,525 Referee:Mike Dean
Robert Green's spectacular added-time penalty save from Benjani Mwaruwari
earned West Ham United a gritty goalless draw at murky Fratton Park.
The result leaves the visitors still looking for their first Premier League
victory over Harry Redknapp's side but they head back to the Boleyn Ground
knowing that on anther day they could have beaten sixth-placed Portsmouth.
Nolberto Solano twice spurned good chances to score, the second after the
excellent Carlton Cole had rapped the crossbar with a fierce drive.
In a run stretching back over six matches, tenth-placed West Ham United had
arrived on the south coast looking for their first top-flight win at
Portsmouth since December 1958. Last Sunday's triumph against Sunderland had
boosted confidence and Alan Curbishley stuck with the chief catalysts as
Nolberto Solano and Luis Boa Morte started wide ahead of the injured Lee
Bowyer and Matthew Etherington, who dropped to the bench.
Both sides began with five-man midfields as strikers Cole and seven-goal
Benjani each went it alone up front. It was Portsmouth who started brighter
and they almost took an eighth-minute lead, when Niko Kranjcar called upon
Green to produce a fine save as he palmed over the Croatian's goalbound
Seconds later, Pedro Mendes, in for the suspended Sean Davis, shot inches
wide from similar range and then both Sulley Muntari and Benjani went close,
too. Having weathered that storm, it was the visitors' turn to threaten
former Boleyn Ground goalkeeper David James and, after Mark Noble scooped
over from 25 yards on 20 minutes, Solano somehow failed to connect with
Cole's cross to the far post.
As the half-hour mark approached, a dispute between Bellamy and Hermann
Hreidarsson resulted in a double-booking. Once the action had resumed, Cole
nearly capitalised on a defensive mix-up before Kranjcar rounded Green but
fired into the side-netting from a tight angle. Solano had another
opportunity to score just before the interval but James held on to his
second free-kick of the half.
With Craig Bellamy off at half-time with an abdominal strain, Etherington
entered the fray and his appearance on the left saw Boa Morte move to the
right. Solano and Kranjcar were then both denied from free-kicks at either
end before Green produced a superb aerial parry to thwart Benjani's stinging
Midway through the second period, the best move of the afternoon almost
broke the deadlock, when the overlapping George McCartney returned the ball
to Etherington, who, in turn, neatly threaded it to Cole. The striker
brilliantly turned Campbell on the edge of the six-yard box before uncorking
a rising shot that crashed down off the beaten James' crossbar, only for the
sprawling Solano to send his diving header wide of the unguarded goal.
And as play continued to switch from end-to-end, Solano's agony was
compounded shortly afterwards when he joined Bellamy and Noble in the book
for upending the escaping Sylvain Distin before stepping down in favour of
Jonathan Spector. Kanu also emerged from the bench for Pompey and, in the
dying minutes, Cole became the fourth Hammer to be booked for dissent,
before being replaced by Anton Ferdinand in stoppage time.
But there was still time for some late drama when the ball unluckily bounced
up on to Danny Gabbidon's sleeve as he jockeyed Kranjcar on the edge of the
area and the Portsmouth fans amongst the 20,525 crowd danced with delight as
referee Mike Dean pointed to the spot. But that man Green - and the
voiciferous Hammers fans behind his goal - had the last word when he dived
low to his left to deny Benjani and secure a deserved point.
Curbs - 'Justice was done' - WHUFC
Alan Curbishley has praised his players after coming away from in-form
Portsmouth with a richly-deserved point. Although West Ham United needed
Robert Green's last-gasp penalty save from Benjani Mwaruwari to earn a 0-0
draw, the manager felt the result against Harry Redknapp's high-flying side
was fully deserved. "Portsmouth are on a good run and this isn't an easy
place to come to," Curbishley said after also seeing Green make a string of
defiant stops and lone-striker Carlton Cole rock the home crossbar.
"My players have really dug in today and, in some respects, I'm disappointed
that we only got a point. But, then again after the way that the game panned
out perhaps I should be grateful, because even that could've been snatched
away from us at the end."
Referee Mike Dean pointed to the spot in the third minute of added time when
the ball struck Danny Gabbidon on the arm with the defender just on the edge
of the penalty area. "It was a harsh decision to give a penalty like that in
the 93rd minute and, even if it had gone for us up at the other end, then I
still would've felt exactly the same.
"Suddenly, in the heat of the moment, we thought that it had all gone
against us," concluded Curbishley. "And after that we could only hope that
Greeny would change it and thankfully he did with that penalty save. In the
end, justice was done."
West Ham United are next in action on Tuesday night against Coventry City in
the Carling Cup fourth round.
Green glee on WHUTV - WHUFC
A delighted Robert Green has spoken to WHUTV about his performance against
Portsmouth on Saturday evening. The England goalkeeper pulled off a number
of timely stops against the high-flying hosts but kept his most memorable
moment until the death when he flung himself to his right to keep out
Benjani Mwaruwari's added-time penalty and ensure a 0-0 draw. It was his
second spot-kick stop of the campaign, having also kept out Kevin Doyle's
effort in last month's 3-0 win at Reading.
"It is great," Green said. "I had never saved a penalty in my first-team
career before this season so now it is two in two. I am going to enjoy it
while it is going for me." He believed that an away defeat would have been
especially harsh after a fine showing, although modestly summed up his own
contribution as "OK".
"It was a game that I thought we could have won," he added. "To come away
from home with nothing on the back of missing out on opportunities and a
[penalty] decision like that would have been a sickener."
Portsmouth 0-0 West Ham - BBC
By David McIntyre
Goalkeeper Robert Green's last-gasp penalty save denied Portsmouth a place
in the top four. Green dived to his left to keep out Benjani's spot-kick
after Danny Gabbidon was harshly adjudged to have handled the ball in the
box. West Ham's Nolberto Solano had earlier been guilty of two horrendous
misses, the first of which was a tame header wide from Carlton Cole's cross.
And after Cole's shot hit the bar, Solano headed the rebound wide. A Hammers
breakthrough on either occasion would have been against the run of play.
Portsmouth made an impressive start and Green did well to tip over Niko
Kranjcar's dipping 25-yard effort. Pedro Mendes, Kranjcar and Benjani all
sent long-range shots wide of the target as Pompey dominated early on.
Kranjcar was a constant threat and his skill opened up the West Ham defence
on 35 minutes. The Croatian collected Hermann Hreidarsson's pass and went
past Gabbidon before hurriedly firing wide of the near post with Green
bearing down on him. The visitors barely threatened prior to Solano's first
aberration in front of goal. Solano had been promoted from the bench to the
starting line-up along with Luis Boa Morte, with Matthew Etherington a
substitute and Lee Bowyer missing out with a knee injury. Etherington was
introduced at half-time in place of Craig Bellamy, who endured a frustrating
first 45 minutes and suffered a slight knock. The change initially made
little difference and the home side made an equally determined start to the
second period, with Benjani testing Green with a blistering 25-yard drive
the England international pushed to safety. But just as West Ham seemed
happy to grind out a point, Solano squandered another simple chance. And his
second miss was even worse than the first. Cole turned Sol Campbell and
after his shot came back off the woodwork, Solano had nobody near him and
plenty of time but somehow failed to find the net. Solano, making his first
start for his new club following a recent move from Newcastle, was promply
replaced. It was a full debut the Peruvian will certainly want to forget.
His wastefulness was almost punished by substitute Kanu in the dying
Kanu, a surprise inclusion on the Pompey bench after a knee injury, let fly
with a shot that flew wide of Green's left-hand post. Green then came to his
team's rescue with a fine stop after referee Mike Dean's decision to award a
penalty left West Ham incensed.
Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp: "Benjani worked hard for the team but he
certainly won't be taking any more penalties. "I thought it was a penalty.
It was harsh, but if you look at Gabbidon he was just inside the box. "They
had the best two clear-cut chances but in the main, we were the dominant
team. West Ham didn't deserve to lose though."
West Ham boss Alan Curbishley: "We weathered the storm a bit at the start
and I'll take the point. The players worked ever so hard. "It would have
been an injustice if Portsmouth had taken the points. The handball wasn't
deliberate. "Robert Green showed everyone what he has been like for us this
season. That's what he can do."
Portsmouth: James, Johnson, Campbell, Distin, Hreidarsson, Utaka (Kanu 77),
Diop, Pedro Mendes, Muntari, Kranjcar, Mwaruwari.
Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Lauren, Taylor, Pamarot.
Booked: Hreidarsson, Diop.
West Ham: Green, Neill, Gabbidon, Upson, McCartney, Solano (Spector 78),
Noble, Mullins, Boa Morte, Bellamy (Etherington 46), Cole (Ferdinand 90).
Subs Not Used: Wright, Camara.
Booked: Bellamy, Noble, Solano, Cole.
Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral).
Green's lucky guess - KUMB
Filed: Saturday, 27th October 2007
By: Matthew O'Greel
Robert Green has admitted that his 94th minute penalty save in today's 0-0
draw with Portsmouth was pure luck. Talking to Setanta Sports after the
game, the Hammers hero revealed that he decided which way to dive at the
last minute - a decision that earned the Hammers a richly-deserved point.
"I've watched them take penalties before and he [Benjani] hasn't taken one
this season - so it was just a bit of a guess," he said. "I went that way
the last time against Reading and managed to save it and thankfully I've
done it again. I'd never saved one before in my career so it's a novel
Green - whose constant omission from the England squad looks even more
bizarre following today's exploits - also revealed that the team were
furious with the decision by Mike Dean to award the injury time spot kick.
"It hit Danny on the arm, but it bounced up from a yard away and just caught
him. It's unfortunate, but was it intentional? No way. "You look at the
reaction from the players and they knew immediately it was a poor decision.
It's frustrating because you work really hard and we missed a couple of
great chances to win it. "But all in all, if you had said that with one
minute to go we would have conceded a penalty then we would have taken a
The point lifts the Hammers above Aston Villa into ninth spot.
Green saves happy Hammers - SSN
West Ham goalkeeper saves injury time penalty
By Peter Fraser Last updated: 27th October 2007
West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green produced a 95th minute penalty save to
rescue a point in the goalless draw with Portsmouth at Fratton Park. Pompey
had been awarded the kick when referee Mike Dean debatably adjudged West Ham
defender Danny Gabbidon had handled in the box, but Green produced a
dramatic save from Benjani Mwaruwari to leave honours even. Hammers
midfielder Nolberto Solano had earlier been guilty of two glaring misses
when he had double opportunities to net what would have proved to be a
winning goal, but the Peruvian instead produced two howling headers. The
midfielder's first offence came in the first half, which had been
considerably lacking in goal scoring chances, when he was found by a 23rd
minute Carlton Cole cross and somehow managed to head wide from five yards.
After the interval the game continued in the same cagey style, and so did
Solano's heading when he managed to nod wide a 64th minute rebound after
Cole had rattled the Pomey cross bar.
Green is Hammers hero - Soccernet
P'mouth 0-0 W. Ham: Green saves injury-time pen
West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green dramatically kept out Portsmouth striker
Benjani Mwaruwari's penalty deep in stoppage time to earn a goalless draw at
Fratton Park. Danny Gabbidon was ruled to have handled just inside the area
by referee Mike Dean. After Pompey players appeared to argue over who should
take the spot-kick, Green rendered all debate irrelevant with a save from
the Zimbabwe international. Pompey missed the opportunity to climb into the
top four with a win but it could have been a lot worse. Nolberto Solano,
West Ham's hero last week when he launched victory from the bench, ruined
two gilt-edged chances to score with the goal gaping in front of him.
Meanwhile, Green made super saves from Niko Kranjcar (twice) and Benjani -
the league's top scorer with five in his last three games. Kanu came on near
the end to fire just wide but Pompey were again undone by a penalty miss.
The Nigerian wasted a similar chance in the goalless draw with Liverpool
earlier this season. West Ham tried to combat Pompey's successful 4-3-3
line-up with five men in midfield and Carlton Cole a lone striker but the
home side were soon calling the tune. A clever move started by Papa Bouba
Diop saw John Utaka slip inside and released full back Glen Johnson down the
right. Danny Gabbidon did well to head the cross away for a corner. And,
when Niko Kranjcar, just wide in the opening minute, took aim again from
well outside the box seven minutes later, Green had to make an acrobatic
leap to turn the ball over the bar. Hammers struggled to clear the corner
and Pedro Mendes latched on to a loose ball to shoot just wide. Portsmouth's
early pressure was relentless and Gabbidon was lucky not to turn a stabbed
shot from Benjani into his own net. West Ham gained some relief with a
corner of their own and then Boa Morte, preferred in the starting line-up to
Matt Etherington after making two goals as a substitute in the win over
Sunderland last week, went down in the area after a challenge by Sylvain
Distin. All Boa Morte's protests failed to move referee Mike Dean but the
official took action to calm a silly feud between the abrasive Bellamy and
Pompey's Hermann Hreidarsson. Their pushing match at a corner was just one
of a series of clashes and Dean booked them both. Bellamy looked to have
flicked a boot at Hreidarsson. The Wales captain failed to appear for the
second half and was replaced by Etherington. West Ham needed some more good
defending when skipper Lucas Neill turned Utaka's dangerous cross for a
corner but it was Benjani's energy which was giving the visitors most
The Zimbabwean chased every ball, closed defenders down when they tried to
clear and then had another shot on the turn which, admittedly, caused Green
only minimal problems. Mark Noble clipped his shot over the bar as West Ham
finally raised another threat in the 21st minute and three minutes later
they should have taken a surprise lead when Cole's second attempt to cross
from the left found Solano sneaking in behind Pompey's defence. But the
Peruvian failed to make contact in front of a gaping goal. It needed a
last-gasp tackle by George McCartney to deny Benjani a clear chance to give
Pompey a half-time lead they might just have deserved. Green, a popular
England candidate now, did himself no harm in that respect with impressive
saves from a Kranjcar free-kick and a Benjani blast early in the second
half. And perhaps his reliability inspired West Ham to better efforts.
Instead of losing an edge with Bellamy's removal, they began to out-pass
Pompey. But the hapless Solano bungled another opportunity to grab the lead
for improving Hammers in the 65th minute. Etherington and McCartney cleverly
set up Cole for a blast which came back off the junction of near-post and
bar, leaving Solano again with an empty goal.
But his attempt at a flying header was a travesty and he succeeded in only
heading, almost comically, into the turf. Just to rub it in, he was booked
within two minutes for a foul on Distin and then replaced 12 minutes from
the end by defender Jon Spector. But in the end it call came down to Benjani
versus Green and the West Ham keeper has surely now done enough to earn that
England call - even at the expense of opposite number David James. He said:
'(It was) just a pure guess. I went that way last time and therefore did it
The save secured a point in the goalless match at Fratton Park, and Green
described the decision to give a spot kick as 'unfortunate'. 'It would have
been nice to take one of our chances,' he said.'Of the clear-cut chances I
think we had the better ones. In a tight game like that it's going to be
decided on one little incident or decision and I thought we could have
Hammers manager Alan Curbishley believed it was not a penalty and Green's
save ensured justice was done. 'It was at a crucial stage of the game,' he
'If the ref had not given it there would not have been too many complaints.'
Curbishley believed the incident took place outside the area and the
handball was not deliberate. And asked about Green's save, he said: 'Justice
was done. It would have been a definite injustice.'
Curbishley paid tribute to his 'fantastic' players, especially his
goalkeeper. 'He made a couple of saves in the first five minutes. He's just
shown everybody what he's been doing all season long.' The West Ham boss
admitted he was concerned with the abdominal injury to Craig Bellamy,
leaving him running out of striking options. 'With Dean Ashton and Bobby
Zamora out it's becoming a little bit delicate now.'
Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp disagreed over the spot kick incident and
claimed it was a definite penalty, but admitted it would have been harsh on
the visitors if they had left with no points.'(It was) a fair result - they
did not deserve to lose,' he said.Redknapp said two players had been
nominated to take penalties - and Benjani was not one of them. 'But Beni
grabbed the ball,' he said. 'That's how it goes.'
Vinny's Portsmouth Report - West Ham Online
Vinny - Sun Oct 28 2007
Portsmouth 0 West Ham United 0
Robert Green again came to West Ham's rescue with an injury time penalty
save which secured a well deserved point at Fratton Park.
There was no doubt that we deserved something out of the game and despite
Portsmouth having good possession in dangerous areas it was us who had the
best chances of the game, with Nolberto Solano missing two absolute sitters
which looked harder to miss.
We were not dominant and our football was very inconsistent, but we can be
happy with a point and a clean sheet against a Portsmouth side who have been
scoring for fun this campaign.
Two changes were made to the side which saw off Sunderland last weekend. Lee
Bowyer was injured so in came Nolberto Solano who went to the right wing and
Matthew Etherington dropped to the bench in favour of Luis Boa Morte who
took up his position on the left hand side.
Pompey started the game exactly how we thought they would and it was exactly
how I thought most of this match would be played – that being Portsmouth
overrunning our defence and dominating the game.
Our defence looked nervous and shaky and Danny Gabbidon came close to
putting the ball into his own net but for the foot of Robert Green.
The defence stood off Niko Kranjcar who advanced on our goal, hitting a
spectacular shot which was brilliantly saved by Robert Green to deny
Portsmouth first blood.
From similar range and with similar defensive frailties, Pedro Mendes hit a
shot which whistled just wide of the goal as Pompey signalled their intent
to hit us quickly with long range efforts.
But we weathered the storm and started to settle down, and with the first
quarter out of the way, we started to play some football.
Mark Noble saw a shot sail over the bar after some good approach play and
shortly after we had the best chance of the game up till then.
A ball into the box was brilliantly brought down by Carlton Cole and his
deep cross found a totally unmarked Solano with the goal at his mercy, but
he missed his header and it seemed to hit off his shoulder and go wide,
right in front of the West Ham support.
Craig Bellamy found himself in trouble with the referee after a long period
of dissent and arguments with Pompey defender Herman Hreidarsson. Bellamy
was showing the side to him that everyone despises and what has made him one
of the most disliked footballers in the Premiership. He moaned, he
complained, he did everything but make any footballing impact on the game
and this hindered our attacking play.
Unlike Bellamy, Carlton Cole was working his bollocks off, running for every
ball and trying to put the Pompey defence under pressure. This nearly paid
off as he put Sol Campbell under pressure and he and goalkeeper David James
nearly got themselves in a mess with Cole breathing down their necks.
Just before the half time whistle sounded, a free kick was awarded about 25
yards away from goal which Solano stepped up and took. The shot, although
accurate enough, didn't have enough power to beat James, and the first half
came to a close with both sides level.
One change was made at half time with Craig Bellamy not appearing, and
Matthew Etherington replacing him. This saw Etherington go to the left hand
side with Boa Morte going in a more central role just behind Carlton Cole.
At the time I had though that the Bellamy change was tactical because of his
temperament and that his overall performance had been pretty non existent as
the strolled about on the right hand side.
I have since learnt that he went off with an injury which is not too
surprising as he is another player we have signed who seems to pick up these
injuries every now and again.
Like the first half we were slow out of the blocks and Pompey tried to hit
us quickly. A long range effort from Benjani was the best of this pressure
but Robert Green made another top save to deny them the lead.
This was not a game which was full of chances and although Pompey had been
in good possession in the danger areas and had forced a number of corners,
they hadn't worried us too much and it did seem that it would be us who
would gift them a goal rather than a piece of great football.
We showed yet again that when we apply ourselves correctly, we are a very
handy team on the counter attack. The best chance of the game came after a
good break involving McCartney and Etherington who played a good pass into
the area to the feet of Carlton Cole. The striker managed to hold the ball
up, shrug off the defender, turn and hit a left foot shot at goal which beat
the keeper but not the crossbar and the ball bounced out.
Lucky for us we had a player waiting to put the ball into the unguarded net,
but somehow Solano managed to head the ball wide despite the goal being
open. You won't see many worse misses this season.
This was Nolberto Solano's full debut for the club and is one which he won't
be too pleased with given the two chances he squandered. A yellow card was
all he ended up with as he was replaced by Jonathan Spector on the 78th
Portsmouth had made a substitution of their own with Kanu returning from
injury and replacing Utaka. The big Nigerian went very close with a shot
from just outside the area which had Green scrambling.
It seemed as though a draw was on the cards and Alan Curbishley seemed
content with this as he replaced Carlton Cole with Anton Ferdinand in the
With stoppage time just about up there was still time for some very late
It was all a bit of a blur and not an incident I remember concentrating on
as time appeared just about up. A ball in towards Gabbidon seemed to bounce
up and hit him on the hand and the referee Mike Dean awarded the home side a
penalty in the 94th minute.
I just couldn't believe that we were going to get nothing out of this game
after worked hard to keep that clean sheet for the previous 90 odd minutes.
We were going to be robbed by a very picky referee.
Benjani stepped up and hit the penalty to Robert Green's left but England's
Number Six was equal to it and got down to make a brilliant save. It was
like a goal had been scored thus was the celebration.
They say Goalkeepers gain a number of points for you during the season. How
many has Robert Green got us this season?
A few wayward clearances aside, this was another top performance from a man
who just cannot be overlooked by England any longer. He consistently playing
at the highest level making save after save. Will be pleased to have kept a
clean sheet – our first since Middlesbrough at home.
A better performance from the captain especially in the second half. Wasn't
too impressed with his first half showing as I though he and the two centre
halves were just looking for trouble with some awful distribution and
misplaced passes. He was solid in the second half and Pompey struggled to
get much going on their left hand side.
Casual, lethargic and at times he looked disinterested. People called for
his return to the side, but after the last two game it is time he goes back
to the bench. Silly mistakes cost you goals and his handball for the penalty
was needless. But it wasn't just that, it was his all round performance
which was worrying. Short passes, aimless balls into space and ball watching
were all part of his game. A very sloppy performance.
Better in the second half but still not someone who I feel at ease with
playing in our backline. Doesn't inspire me with much confidence and
although he will win a few good headers he is another one who seems unable
to play a ball to a team mate. Got fed up by the amount of times he had the
ball, didn't know what do to with it, and just lumped it forward to no one.
Did well at set plays whilst defending and that is something the who team
can be pleased with as we defended every corner very well.
Defiantly in the running for our Man of the Match award. His defending was
excellent, and he made some important challenges, one in particular stands
out as he took the ball away from Benjani just as the striker was about to
hit a shot which would have probably found the net. Got forward well and put
in a few decent crosses.
It is impossible to judge his performance without talking about those two
misses which will dominate opinion on his showing. He should have buried
both of them especially the second one which looked too easy to miss. He
does give us more width on the right hand side although I didn't think we
used him enough. A better option than Bowyer in my opinion.
Maybe it was just me but I thought he was anonymous today. He wasn't as bad
as last week, but at least last week he saw the ball. Today apart from a
couple of strides forward, he just couldn't get into the game and on another
day with other options he may well have had been taken off.
Like Noble, the game seemed to pass him by with him seeing little of the
Luis Boa Morte
Our best player in the first half. Looked really up for the game as he
looked to take on defenders and get crosses into the box. In the second half
he went to a more central strikers role which saw him go missing for a large
period of the second half, but he gradually came back into the game, winning
quite a few free kicks and generally made a nuisance of himself. More to
come from Boa Morte.
If his mind had been on the football game instead of moaning at the ref and
getting himself booked, then we may have had that killer edge going forward
which would have got us that goal and the three points. He is such an
important player for us with his pace, skill and the way he gets himself
into goal scoring positions. He showed none of these attribute and it was
just as well that he got injured (again), as his performance may as well
have seen us with ten men.
I think it is fair to say that this is the best performance Carlton Cole has
ever had in a West Ham shirt. He led the line superbly, worked his socks
off, put himself about, created a great chance for Solano, and hit the bar
in the second half. A good all round performance from Cole and one which
will see him stay in the starting line up for the next few games.
Matthew Etherington (on for Bellamy 45 mins)
Didn't have much impact but did give us a bit of pace down the left. Linked
up well with McCartney but was slightly disappointed that he didn't have a
go at their right back a little more.
Jonathan Spector (on for Solano 78 mins)
I don't remember him touching the ball.
Anton Ferdinand (on for Cole 90 mins)
On to waste time but he needs to start at centre back on Tuesday.
A point before the game is something I would have taken happily and when you
conceded a penalty deep into stoppage time and come out of the game with a
clean sheet then of course a draw is a decent result.
But we could have won this one, and although we did miss two great chances,
I would have liked to have seen a little bit more from us going forward. If
we were a bit braver I think we could have hurt them a little more but at
times, especially in the second half it seemed as though we were there to
contain and secure a point.
With Bolton at home and then a trip to lowly Derby County, there is an
opportunity to go on a bit of a run and I am hoping for six points from
those two games.
But before that, a Carling Cup tie on Tuesday against Coventry is our main
concern. And this is a great chance for us to progress to the next round.
West Ham keep Portsmouth out at the last - Telegraph
By Duncan White
Last Updated: 12:47am BST 28/10/2007
Portsmouth (0) 0 West Ham United (0) 0
Three minutes into stoppage time, with a penalty awarded to your team, the
game goalless and victory taking you into the top four, you might expect a
manager to be delighted when the Premier League's top scorer confidently
takes possession of the ball and prepares to put the opposition to the
sword. Not Harry Redknapp.
This game looked destined for the stalest of stalemates when, with the final
whistle seconds away, West Ham's Danny Gabbidon handled the ball on the very
edge of the area. Benjani Mwaruwari, whose seven goals this season make him
the division's leading marksman, took the ball off the designated penalty
taker, Niko Kranjcar, and promptly hit a tame effort to the left of Robert
The West Ham goalkeeper did his England aspirations no harm by diving to his
left and parrying the shot away, prompting delirium among the away support
behind him. Redknapp was furious at his star striker's act of
insubordination. "I wanted to run on to the pitch, jump on him and wrestle
the ball off him," said Redknapp, who revealed that either Kranjcar or
Sulley Muntari had been assigned responsibility for spot kicks.
"People will say 'at least he had the bottle to take it' and all that
rubbish. But the fact is he was not down to take a penalty. What can you do?
He won't be taking another. "I've shouted at him and I feel bad about it now
because he's a great lad and works his socks off for us. He probably won't
eat his fish and chips now. But even if he'd scored I'd have given him a
bollocking because he shouldn't have taken that penalty."
The save was the highlight of another convincing display from Green. If
there is even a semblance of meritocracy in the way the national squad is
picked then he will surely be elevated to the England squad imminently.
"They are fully aware of him," said Alan Curbishley, the West Ham manager.
"He knows he just has to keep doing what he's doing and see what happens.
They are certainly monitoring his situation."
The penalty save was not Green's sole contribution. With eight minutes gone,
Kranjcar had cut in from the left and hit a looping shot that threatened to
dip under the bar. The goalkeeper got enough glove on the ball to deflect it
over. Two minutes later he saved even more impressively, shooting out a leg
to prevent Gabbidon deflecting Hermann Hreidarsson's cross into his own net.
If Green was the most significant factor in keeping Portsmouth at bay, it
was Nolberto Solano's forehead that did most to prevent West Ham from
scoring. Twice the Peruvian, on his full debut, missed close-range headers
with the goal at his mercy. Both times the improving Carlton Cole was
In the first half Cole whipped in a superb inswinging cross from the left
flank only for Solano to somehow fail to make contact with his header.
More embarrassingly, after the break, when Cole's smashed shot came back off
the bar, Solano headed the ball straight down into the turf and wide with
the goal gaping before him. "Heading is not his forte," was Curbishley's wry
If this was a point gained for West Ham, it came at a cost. Curbishley is
already missing a host of influential players to injury: Dean Ashton,
Freddie Ljungberg, Scott Parker, Lee Bowyer, Bobby Zamora and Julien Faubert
are all in recuperation.
Craig Bellamy was added to that list after aggravating an abdominal strain
and being forced to leave the field at half-time. Curbishley must hope that
he will be able to field even a semblance of his first-choice XI in the near
future because Green cannot bail them out every week.
Man of the match
Robert Green (West Ham)
• A penalty save and a clean sheet for the former Norwich goalkeeper
Portsmouth 0 West Ham 0 - The Sun
Published: 27 Oct 2007
WEST HAM keeper Robert Green was the hero after saving Benjani's injury-time
penalty. Portsmouth were awarded a controversial spot-kick when Danny
Gabbidon appeared to handball. But Green dived low to his left to push away
Benjani's tame effort and earn the Hammers a point. Pompey missed the
opportunity to climb into the top four with a win but it could have been a
lot worse. Nolberto Solano missed ruined two gilt-edged chances to score
with the goal gaping in front of him. Pompey started well and Green had to
make an acrobatic save to turn the Niko Kranjcar's shot over. The Hammers
struggled to clear the corner and Pedro Mendes latched on to a loose ball to
shoot just wide. Portsmouth's early pressure was relentless and Gabbidon was
lucky not to turn a stabbed shot from Benjani into his own net. The visitors
should have taken the lead in the 24th minute when Carlton Cole's cross from
the left found Solano but the Peruvian failed to make contact in front of a
gaping goal. Green made impressive saves from a Kranjcar free-kick and a
Benjani drive early in the second half. Hapless Solano bungled another
opportunity to grab the lead for improving Hammers in the 65th minute.
Cole's effort came back off the woodwork, leaving Solano again with an empty
goal but his attempt at a flying header was woeful. Inthe end it call came
down to Benjani versus Green and the West Ham keeper's save will offer
another reminder of his talents to England boss Steve McClaren.
Portsmouth: James, Johnson, Campbell, Distin, Hreidarsson, Utaka (Kanu 77),
Diop, Pedro Mendes, Muntari, Kranjcar, Mwaruwari. Subs Not Used: Ashdown,
Lauren, Taylor, Pamarot. Booked: Hreidarsson, Diop.
West Ham: Green, Neill, Gabbidon, Upson, McCartney, Solano (Spector 78),
Noble, Mullins, Boa Morte, Bellamy (Etherington 46), Cole (Ferdinand 90).
Subs Not Used: Wright, Camara. Booked: Bellamy, Noble, Solano, Cole.
Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral).
West Ham to use Ferdinand in bid for Everton's AJ
tribalfootball.com - October 27, 2007
West Ham United boss Alan Curbishley is ready to offer £9 million in January
for Everton striker Andy Johnson. The News of the World says if the cash bid
does not work, they might even throw Anton Ferdinand into the deal.
Curbishley is a long-time admirer of Johnson, who has struggled with form
and fitness this season. Johnson is out of action after undergoing ankle
surgery but is due back in two weeks.
Curbishley admits West Ham striker concern
tribalfooball.com - October 27, 2007
West Ham boss Alan Curbishley admits he was concerned with the abdominal
injury to Craig Bellamy, leaving him running out of striking options.
"With Dean Ashton and Bobby Zamora out it's becoming a little bit delicate
West Ham boss Curbishley heaps praise on Green
tribalfooball.com - October 27, 2007
West Ham boss Alan Curbishley was full of praise for Robert Green after the
goalkeeper's penalty save from Portsmouth's Benjani Mwaruwari in their 0-0
He said: "He made a couple of saves in the first five minutes. He's just
shown everybody what he's been doing all season long."
Hammers boss hails golden oldies - This Is London
West Ham manager Alan Curbishley claims Portsmouth counterpart Harry
Redknapp is living proof football management is not necessarily a young
man's game. Redknapp, 60, has guided unfashionable Pompey into fifth place
in the Premier League on the back of four consecutive victories and welcomes
the Hammers - the team he managed with some distinction for seven years - to
Fratton Park for this evening's televised clash. "It's great what Harry has
done there. They had a really tricky start facing the top four teams, got
through that and now they have had a fantastic run and are up there in the
top six," said Curbishley. "If you look at the teams at the top of the
league, the managers are vastly experienced - (Arsene) Wenger, (Sir Alex)
Ferguson, (Sven-Goran) Eriksson, (Rafael) Benitez and Redknapp are all of a
certain age. "In Italy, the average age of the managers is about 54, and now
experience is counting at the top of the Premier League at the moment.
"Harry can spot a player and he gets the best out of them. He gets
experienced players in like Sol Campbell, David James, Sylvain Distin, and
then when he gets some money to spend he has bought people who have slotted
in and done well. "His team is consistent. It's the same team week in, week
out, and they are picking up results. They have got a shape which they stick
to, they have got the players who are good at it and they have had a good
run. "Portsmouth is a hard place to go, because of the stadium, the crowd,
they certainly let you know you're away from home."
Curbishley takes his Hammers side down to the south coast on the back of an
unconvincing 3-1 home win over Sunderland which ended a three-game losing
streak. Winger Matthew Etherington admits the players will have to raise
their game to take a positive result back to east London. "They have been
very impressive this season and we know we'll have to play better than we
did against Sunderland," he said. "On Sunday, we needed the win. It was a
big game for us, we had lost our last three and we needed a win otherwise we
would have been looking down instead of looking up. "It's always a good
atmosphere down there and Harry Redknapp has done well for them and bought
some very good players in, so we know it will be tough."
The Hammers are once again without a host of big-name stars through injury,
with £7million Scott Parker topping a lengthy casualty list having failed to
shake off knee-ligament trouble. Freddie Ljungberg is struggling with a calf
injury and Dean Ashton, Bobby Zamora (both knee), Kieron Dyer (broken leg),
Julien Faubert (Achilles), James Collins (calf) and Calum Davenport (groin)
are all out. "Even the chef has been out for two weeks with a hernia, it's
incredible," added Curbishley.
Curbishley content with draw - SSN
West Ham boss happy with share of the spoils
By Peter Fraser Last updated: 27th October 2007
West Ham manager Alan Curbishley insists it would have been a 'disaster' if
his side had lost to Portsmouth. Curbishley saw his side waste two good
opportunities to take the three points in the 0-0 draw with Pompey at
Fratton Park when Nolberto Solano missed twice with his head. However, West
Ham goalkeeper Robert Green was forced to produce a 95th minute penalty save
from Benjani Mwaruwari to ensure his side earned a point. "We're
disappointed a bit that we've only got one point but we are pleased with
what we've done and it would have been a disaster to have it taken away
right at the end," said Curbishley. "We played well and came here with a
game plan because Portsmouth are playing so well and I think it has paid
off. "It could have been better. Nobby Solano had two great chances with his
head, but it is not his forte. "He hasn't enhanced his reputation in that
respect but he worked hard and shows a lot of experience for us and I know
he'll be a good signing."
Curbishley has also backed Green for a place in the next England squad, to
face Austria on 16th November, following the Hammers shot-stopper's recent
snubs from the international scene. "He's been playing terrifically well for
us all season. I think he's always been on the threshold of England and they
are fully aware of him," Curbishley added. "Before the last squad
announcement, I spoke to (England manager) Steve McClaren who was interested
in Dean Ashton and one or two others and Greenie got a mention. "The message
to Robert now is 'keep going and lets see what happens'. He can't do
0-0 - Bar Saves Portsmouth - Keeper Saves West Ham - West Ham Fans.org
Submitted by Neville Nixon on 27 October, 2007 - 19:03.
A match that was petering out for a well deserved draw almost turned on it's
head when a very harshly judged handball by Danny Gabbidon in injury time
gifted Pompey a penalty. Up stepped Benjani, hit is kick to the bottom right
of goal only to see it tipped away by England goal keeper in waiting Rob
Green , earlier in the match Carlton Cole saw his shot hit the bar. Hammers
did give it a real go at times, but some strange substitutions by Alan
Curbishley did little to engender confidence in the traveling faithful.
Nobby Solano was given his first start for Hammers, but he probably wished
he had not, he was guilty of two awful misses, the first was a lame header
wide from the hard working Carlton Cole's cross. And after Cole's 66th
minute shot hit the bar, Solano headed the rebound wide with the goal gaping
in front of him. Portsmouth started brightly and Rob Green did well to tip
over Kranjcar's dipping 25 yard screamer.
Mendes, Kranjcar and Benjani all tried their luck from distance but they
were wide of the mark as Pompey began to dominate early on. Kranjcar went
past Gabbidon before firing wide of the near post and Hammers barely
threatened. Craig Bellamy was replaced by Matty Etherington at the start of
the second half, Bellamy had a frustrating time of it and also appeared to
pick up a knock, Pompey again picked up the pace, doubtless 'Arry had
reminded his charges that a 4th spot in the Premiership was up for grabs.
Hammers did start to make an impression eventually, with Mark Noble putting
himself about and Carlton Cole leading the line, cracks began to appear in
Pompey's defence, Cole had the measure of Sol Campbell and make him look
pedestrian at times. Before the match most West Ham fans would have happily
settled for a point, but there will be those fans from both clubs thinking
that this was a win that could have been had. - Ed
Portsmouth * 01 James * 05 Johnson * 23 Campbell * 15 Distin * 07
Hreidarsson yellow card * 17 Utaka (77 Kanu ) * 08 Diop yellow card * 30
Pedro Mendes * 11 Muntari * 19 Kranjcar * 25 Mwaruwari Substitutes * 21
Ashdown, * 04 Lauren, * 14 Taylor, * 16 Pamarot, * 27 Kanu
West Ham * 01 Green * 02 Neill * 04 Gabbidon * 06 Upson * 03 McCartney * 15
Solano yellow card (78 Spector ) * 16 Noble yellow card * 17 Mullins * 34
Boa Morte * 10 Bellamy yellow card (45 Etherington ) * 12 Cole yellow card
(90 Ferdinand ) Substitutes * 21 Wright, * 05 Ferdinand, * 11 Etherington, *
18 Spector, * 33 Camara
Ref: Mike Dean Att: 20525
Benjani the fall guy as he wastes late chance to steal win - Daily Mail
Portsmouth 0 West Ham 0
By DANIEL KING - More by this author »
Last updated at 22:10pm on 27th October 2007
After the feast, the famine. West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green was the hero
after his stoppage-time penalty save meant the Fratton Park crowd witnessed
no goals three weeks after gorging on 11.
Portsmouth had thrilled the faithful and neutrals alike with the amazing 7-4
win over Reading in their last home game, but they would have settled for
Benjani converting the late spot-kick to seal a fifth consecutive win and
keep his team hot on the heels of the socalled big four.
The Zimbabwe striker had claimed three of the goals against Reading but the
pressure on the Premier League's top scorer to make it six goals in four
games was too great. His kick was close enough to Green to allow the West
Ham goalkeeper to cap another display which suggests he deserves an England
Benjani's late howler took the heat off Danny Gabbidon, whose handball may
admittedly have been just outside the box, and also West Ham team-mate
Nolberto Solano, who squandered an excellent closerange closerange chance in
either half to nudge the visitors towards their first win over Portsmouth
for 14 years.
Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp was left wishing Sulley Muntari, who had
scored a penalty against Reading, or fellow specialist Niko Kranjcar had
taken the responsibility from the spot instead of their over-eager
Redknapp said: "Benji's been brilliant but even if he'd scored I would have
given him a b******ing because it wasn't his job to take the penalty. He
worked his socks off again, but he won't be taking another one. I shouted at
him. I've upset him and probably spoiled his Saturday."
Fratton Park's last match had been one of the most extraordinary in the
history of the Premier League, the thrashing of Reading recalling a bygone
era when entertainment was more important than money and the emphasis was on
scoring more goals than your opponents, rather than conceding fewer. This
match, late drama apart, was just ordinary and 0-0 was a fair result,
whatever the home fans' disappointment.
West Ham manager Alan Curbishley, whose injury curse struck again when Craig
Bellamy was unable to come out for the second half, said: "Justice was done
because I thought it was a poor decision for the penalty.
"It was a terrific performance from Greeny. The penalty save will grab the
headlines but he made two saves in the first 10 minutes which were equally
as important, as far as I'm concerned. He's just shown what he's been doing
all season. I spoke to Steve McClaren before the last squad and the bottom
line is they are fully aware of him. The message to Robert Green is: keep
going and let's see what happens."
Portsmouth initially seemed ready to pick up where they had left off against
Reading, tearing into West Ham from the start.
The visiting fans had paid a compliment of sorts to their former goalkeeper
David James by singing "England's number two" in his direction and their
higher opinion of Green was justified twice in the opening 10 minutes.
First, he tipped Niko Kranjcar's dipping 25-yarder over the bar and then he
was alert enough to save with his feet when Hermann Hreidarsson's cross was
deflected towards goal by Gabbidon.
After weathering the storm of the first quarter, West Ham came back into the
game and should have taken the lead in the 24th minute when Carlton Cole's
cross found Solano unmarked five yards out.
But the Peru international barely made contact.
The second half followed a similar pattern, with Benjani forcing Green into
a decent save after another period of Portsmouth pressure, before Solano's
heading was again found wanting.
In fact, it was hard to imagine why he decided to use his head rather than
his feet when Cole's shot came off the bar and fell to him on the edge of
the six-yard box.
His effort to put the ball into the net had predictably embarrassing
West Ham continue to look marginally more likely to score even after the
barely fit Kanu was finally summoned from the bench with 13 minutes left.
But after the big Nigerian had shot just wide at the start of stoppage time,
Gabbidon handled the ball when under pressure from Krancjar.
Justice of sorts was done when Green saved the penalty in front of the away
fans, who celebrated as if they had won.
"We can't win every week," reflected Redknapp. "I feel bad now." But not as
bad as Benjani.