All the action as it happened from west London as Gianfranco Zola's men
secured their first away win
Barclays Premier League
Saturday 27 September 2008
Referee: Andre Marriner
West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Neill (c), Upson, Ilunga, Parker (Boa Morte
90), Behrami, Noble, Etherington (Mullins 80), Cole, Di Michele (Bellamy 74)
Subs: Lastuvka, Davenport, Lopez, Sears
Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Konchesky, Bullard, Gera,
Murphy, Davies, Johnson, Zamora,
Subs: Zuberbuhler, Seol, Nevland, Dempsey, Andreasen, Kallio, Baird
West Ham United secured their first away win of the season as they saw off
ten-man Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
In an action-packed end to the first half, Carlton Cole gave West Ham United
the lead on 43 minutes after good work from Matthew Etherington. The No11
doubled the tally moments later after latching on to a Mark Noble
through-ball before the hosts had Andy Johnson sent off in stoppage time for
a second booking. Fulham got back into the game with a 58th-minute penalty
from Danny Murphy but it was the visitors that left with the points.
Gianfranco Zola recalled several players after resting them in the Carling
Cup against Watford. Robert Green, Herita Ilunga, Parker, Valon Behrami and
Cole all returned and there was the welcome sight of Craig Bellamy on the
bench after overcoming a hamstring injury. The home side had former Hammers
players Bobby Zamora, John Pantsil, Jimmy Bullard and Paul Konchesky in
their starting XI.
The visitors were looking for their first away of the season but were
enjoying a purple patch against their hosts, having not lost in the last six
meetings. In fact, the last time the team from west London triumphed over
the team from the east at home, England had just lifted the World Cup.
It was the second consecutive Saturday that United had played in glorious
London sunshine and they looked to carry on from their excellent win against
Newcastle United seven days ago as Cole had the first effort on goal -
firing over from 25 yards. Simon Davies then went close at the other end as
he connected well with a volley that flashed past Green's far post. A few
minutes later Zamora had a good chance six yards out but his header flew
Fulham striker Johnson received his first caution as his name was taken by
referee Andre Marriner after catching Ilunga late. His strike partner Zamora
was applying himself in a more constructive fashion and had a great chance
to put his new side in front a minute later. After escaping from Lucas
Neill's attention on the edge of the area, he found himself with a clear
view on Green's goal but his shot with the outside of the boot spun wide.
Brede Hangeland then headed over as the home side looked the more likely to
score midway through the first half.
Just after the half-hour mark, Bullard had two dangerous-looking free-kicks
on the edge of the area, the second of which Green had to save superbly by
diving to his left. The England international got a boot in the face for his
efforts from former colleague Pantsil and needed treatment on the pitch.
Konchesky then followed Johnson into the book for a late tackle on
Etherington as the temperature on the pitch threatened to match that off it.
However, the winger was back on his feet soon after and was instrumental in
giving United the lead in the 43th minute. Cole bravely flicked a header to
send Etherington steaming down the right and when he reached the goalline he
looked up and drove the ball across the six-yard box. Mark Schwarzer could
only palm it out to leave Cole with a simple finish.
Etherington was having a glorious spell as just over a minute later he won
the race to get to a Noble through-ball and calmly beat Schwarzer from the
left-hand corner of the area. Murphy then became the third Fulham player
booked in the first half for a foul on Noble. It was not the last time the
referee's book was to came out as Johnson left a foot in on Neill and was
duly shown a second yellow card followed by the inevitable red.
The second half began as the first had ended as Noble's drive was turned
round the post by Schwarzer. Faubert then tried his luck from 25 yards but
saw his shot skim the crossbar. It was all West Ham pressure as Ilunga was
next to force the Australian goalkeeper into a save. The United players were
beginning to enjoy themselves as they indulged a bit of keep-ball much to
the pleasure of the sell-out away end amongst the 23,946 crowd.
The home side had different ideas though and won a penalty just before the
hour mark when Neill was adjudged to have blocked a shot with his arm.
Murphy stepped up to send Green the wrong way and the ten men were back in
the game. Ten minutes later Parker was the first visiting player to be
carded for a late tackle and from the resulting free-kick Zamora headed just
Bellamy made his welcome return to action in the 74th minute when he came on
for David Di Michele. The Welshman was involved straight away - putting Cole
in to fire just over. In the second change of the afternoon Hayden Mullins
came on for the impressive Etherington with ten minutes to go. A minute
later Bellamy could have wrapped the victory up but, after his initial shot
was saved, he somehow put the rebound over the bar.
Behrami had one last chance saved as the visitors, who by now had introduced
Luis Boa Morte for Parker, looked for a third but in the end they had to
settle for just the two as the supporters from
Zola system taking shape - WHUFC
The manager could find only words of praise for his team after a second
league win in a row
Gianfranco Zola was full of praise for West Ham United after Saturday's 2-1
win at Fulham made it two wins from two Premier League outings but he is
expecting even more in the weeks ahead.
The manager was delighted to see the side record their first back to back
league wins since September last year and it was no more than they deserved.
Goals from Carlton Cole and Matthew Etherington just before half-time meant
a second-half Danny Murphy penalty proved academic. "We deserved the victory
today," Zola said.
"Considering that we had a few players that weren't in perfect condition. We
played a good match and we had a few occasions in the second half to get
more goals. We gave away the penalty but I couldn't ask for any more." Zola
admitted his side had benefited from Fulham's profligacy in the opening
stages but refuted the suggestion that any luck was involved.
He added: "We took our chances. They had some very good chances in the first
ten minutes but you have to give some credit to a team like Fulham. They are
a good team. They were very prepared. We didn't make any mistakes,
especially in the first half. Maybe there was some in the second half with
the finishing but I can't say anything to my players."
West Ham United could have made the game safe in the closing stages with
substitute Craig Bellamy, Valon Behrami and Cole all going close while the
defence held firm at the other end. A smiling Zola did admit though that the
lack of clean sheets was "a concern" but he was not too worried. "I can
accept [conceding] as long as we score one more than the opposition. I am
pleased with the way the defence is playing and the way also they are
supporting our attacking side. I can't be too demanding of them."
The three-man midfield of Mark Noble, Scott Parker and the tireless Valon
Behrami also got a special mention for their part in helping the team rise
up to fifth in the fledgling league table, with the first two surely
impressing the watching Fabio Capello. "It is very good for Mark. He is
playing very well and I tell you he is still not at his best. Mark Noble is
one of the players that physically wise is struggling a bit more than the
others. He will get much better in the next few games.
"Parker is playing fantastic, Behrami. Everybody is giving a lot to the
team. Etherington as well. I am very pleased the way they are playing. I am
sure they are going to get better, you can trust me. I have been working
with this team for two weeks. Obviously they know what kind of football I
want to play and they are responding very well to my demands.
"As we go on together for longer they will be much better. Consider also
that winning away games like this gives them a lot of confidence in what we
are doing," he added. Zola has given the players a couple of days off for
the first time since his arrival and may also get a deserved breather
himself before building up to Bolton Wanderers' arrival to the Boleyn Ground
"I am finding it very tiring," he said, with the smile showing no sign of
abating. "I have to calm down a little bit, I realise that." Having seen
Cole come through the full 90 minutes unscathed and Bellamy getting a useful
15 minutes, there is plenty of reasons to remain cheerful. "It is a hard job
but I am enjoying it very much. I am very lucky. I have got fantastic staff
to work with and they are helping me a lot."
Payne scores on league debut - WHUFC
Josh Payne had a dream debut on his senior bow as a first-team player on
loan at Cheltenham Town
On-loan West Ham United Under-18 captain Josh Payne enjoyed a day to
remember on Saturday with a goal on his league debut for Cheltenham Town
The 17-year-old midfielder was recruited by the League One club's new
manager Martin Allen after he impressed in the reserves opening match of the
season away to Chelsea earlier this month. Payne got the full 90 minutes in
a 2-2 home draw against mid-table Stockport County and put his side 2-1 up
when he converted from close range after team-mate Scott Murray had missed a
Allen, a man who knows a thing or two about making his name as a West Ham
United midfielder after 190 league appearances in claret and blue between
1989 and 1995, was delighted with Payne's contribution, despite the
heartbreak of his side conceding a last-minute equaliser. He said: "For Josh
Payne to score on his debut, following up the penalty, was terrific. He's a
lovely lad but more importantly, I know he's a good player."
Youths edged out in derby - WHUFC
The Under-18s were narrowly beaten by London rivals Arsenal at Little Heath
on Saturday morning
West Ham United Under-18s 1-2 Arsenal Under-18s
Tony Carr's side were unlucky losers on Saturday as Arsenal fought back from
a half-time deficit to take the honours at Little Heath.
Oliver Lee had earned his side a penalty just before half-time, which
Anthony Edgar duly converted. Conor Okus and Balint Bajner then had good
chances to extend the lead before the break but were to be denied. The hosts
were to pay for their profligacy as Arsenal scored two second-half goals to
take all three points.
The morning had begun with a misty start at Little Heath but as West Ham
United got into their stride, so the early fog disappeared to make way for
glorious sunshine. The home side were in lively form, despite the absence of
regulars like captain Josh Payne, on loan at Cheltenham Town, and the
suspended Christian Montano. Bajner was back in the starting lineup - a
towering presence with Ahmed Abdulla and Edgar in support.
Both teams had their moments but it looked like it would be honours at
half-time before Lee found space in the penalty area. As he set himself to
shoot for goal, a visiting defender tugged back his shirt and the referee
had no choice but to blow for a penalty. Edgar stepped up to score his
second goal of the season. Okus and Bajner then had their opportunities but
the visitors managed to resist the United attacks before the interval.
As was to be expected, Arsenal raised their game in the second half. They
finally ensured parity on the hour with a headed goal from a corner that was
not cleared. Ten minutes later, they made the most of an injury to Tony
Brookes at right-back. The Gunners surged down that flank before crossing in
for the winning goal. Bajner had another chance late on but the home side
were unable to avoid a second straight defeat.
West Ham United: Street, Brookes (Brown 70), Fry, McNaughton, Eyjolfsson,
Lee, Kearns, Okus (Grasser 75, Abdulla, Bajner, Edgar
Subs not used: Loveday, Barrett
Fulham 1-2 West Ham - BBC
By Nabil Hassan
Goals from Carlton Cole and Matthew Etherington secured victory for West Ham
at Fulham, who were also reduced to 10 men in an awful three-minute spell.
Cole opened the scoring, tapping the ball into an empty net on 43 minutes
following Etherington's low cross. Etherington made it 2-0 two minutes
later, latching onto Mark Noble's pass. And Fulham's Andy Johnson was then
sent off in first-half injury-time, before Danny Murphy pulled one back from
the penalty spot on the hour mark.
It was a good end to what has been a bad week for Cole and West Ham. On
Tuesday an independent tribunal ruled against West Ham over the Carlos Tevez
affair, with the Hammers facing the prospect of paying out millions in
compensation to Sheffield United. Then on Wednesday, West Ham were dumped
out of the Carling Cup, losing 1-0 to Championship outfit Watford. To
compound matters further it was revealed the striker Dean Ashton could be
out of action for a month due to an ankle injury. And finally on Thursday,
striker Cole was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving in central London.
So victory at Craven Cottage was a blessed relief for the beleaguered
Hammers. Fulham started brightly before their indiscipline set in. Simon
Davies went close with a 12-yard half-volley, as did Bobby Zamora with a
close range header. But despite Fulham's early dominance, the Hammers always
looked dangerous on the break with Etherington in particular causing the
home defence problems. Johnson received his first booking midway through the
first half for an awful late challenge on defender Herita Llunga.
Replays showed he was lucky to stay on the field and his challenge was not
an isolated incident in a fiery opening 45 minutes. Soon after, Fulham's
John Pantsil followed through on keeper Robert Green who had bravely palmed
Jimmy Bullard's low free-kick away. The challenge upset the West Ham
players, with Lucas Neill in particular taking issue with Pantsil. Fulham
defender Paul Konchesky was next in the book for a late tackle on
Etherington, whose pace continued to cause Fulham problems, and it was his
run that brought about the opening goal. The pacy winger broke free down the
right-hand side and sent in a low cross that keeper Mark Schwarzer spilled
into the path of Cole, who tapped home for 1-0. West Ham increased that lead
a couple of minutes later with Etherington getting his reward for a fine
first-half performance. He latched onto Mark Noble's through-ball and
out-paced the Fulham defence before beating Schwarzer to the pass and poking
home into the unguarded net. There was more trouble for Fulham before the
break and it was no surprise to see Johnson receive his second booking of
the half - and subsequent red card - for yet another late tackle, this time
West Ham began the second half with attacking intent and Schwarzer was
called into action twice, first from Noble and then from Llunga. But it was
Fulham who scored next and it came from the penalty spot. Neill was adjudged
to have handled in the area, although the decision looked harsh, and Murphy
sent Green the wrong way to get his side back in the game. It was the
incentive Fulham needed and Zamora came close to equalising with a
close-range header that he really should have done better with. West Ham
soon sent for Craig Bellamy and the substitute striker had a glorious
opportunity to make the game safe, but his shot was blocked on the line by
defender Brede Hangeland, with the Welshman firing the rebound over the bar.
The miss mattered little though as West Ham held on to secure a welcome
Fulham boss Roy Hodgson: "I am amazed that we have lost because we created
lots of opportunities. If you look at the possession statistics and that of
the chances created it would be on our favour. "If I could dismiss those
three or four minutes when we conceded two goals and had a man sent off.
"Our work-rate after the break when we were down to 10 men was exceptional
and we still created chances."
West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola: "I think it wasn't luck, I think we played a
good match. There was only one team that deserved to win and I'm pleased
that it was West Ham. "We kept our composure and in the end of the day, we
came away with three points and nobody can say we didn't deserve it. "After
the week we've had, a victory like this away from home will give the players
a lot of confidence "I've been working with these players for two weeks now
and I can't ask any more than what they are already doing."
Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Konchesky, Gera, Murphy,
Bullard, Davies, Johnson, Zamora.
Subs Not Used: Zuberbuhler, Ki-Hyeon, Nevland, Dempsey,Andreasen, Kallio,
Sent Off: Johnson (45).
Booked: Johnson, Konchesky, Murphy, Hangeland.
Goals: Murphy 59 pen.
West Ham: Green, Faubert, Neill, Upson, Ilunga, Behrami, Parker (Boa Morte
90), Noble, Etherington (Mullins 80), Cole, Di Michele (Bellamy 74).
Subs Not Used: Lastuvka, Lopez, Davenport, Sears.
Goals: Cole 43, Etherington 45.
Ref: Andre Marriner (W Midlands).
BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: West Ham's Carlton Cole 7.63 (on 90
Fulham 1 West Ham Utd 2 - KUMB
Filed: Saturday, 27th September 2008
By: Staff Writer
Two goals in the space of three minutes gave the Hammers their first away
win of the season at Craven Cottage this afternoon.
Carlton Cole and Matthew Etherington struck in the 43rd and 46th minute
respectively to give the Hammers an unassailable lead in a lively encounter.
Ten-man Fulham - who lost Andy Johnson for a second bookable offence shortly
before the break - managed to score the only goal of the second half through
Danny Murphy from the penalty spot.
The Hammers were first out of the blocks and Carlton Cole had the game's
first chance on four minutes - an effort which he could only fire over the
bar. Fulham responded with efforts from Simon Davies and former Hammer Bobby
Zamora whilst Cole continued to get into good positions for the Hammers
without any reward.
The game's first major incident came on 20 minutes when Andy Johnson was
booked for a horrible 'studs up' tackle on Herita Ilunga. West Ham's players
were incensed and TV replays confirmed that Johnson was very lucky not to
receive a straight red.
Referee Andre Marriner then incensed the Hammers further by awarding two
controversial free kicks on the edge of United's penalty box; fortunately
Jimmy Bullard was unable to find the net with either although it took a good
save from Rob Green to turn Bullard's second effort round the post.
Fulham could - and probably should - have been down to nine men on 39
minutes when Paul Konchesky sliced Matthew Etherington in half with a wild
lunge that was again sympathetically viewed by the referee, who deemed a
yellow card sufficient punishment. Etherington, down for a good two minutes
- and subsequently heckled by the home fans - responded by getting up to
supply the cross which put United in front on 43 minutes.
The fleet-footed winger, freed on the left raced towards the Fulham byeline
before delivering a cross which was fumbled by Mark Schwarzer. The former
Middlesbrough keeper could only lie and watch as Cole grabbed the chance to
open the scoring by blasting home from just five yards.
Clearly fired-up by the Konchesky incident, Etherington then raced through
on to a Mark Noble through ball to make it 2-0 just three minutes later. The
winger cleverly lifted his effort over the onrushing 'keeper who once again
made an error of judgement by coming out when cover was available.
With four minutes of injury time added on the Hammers were content, at that
point, to hold on to their two goal advantage. But Fulham found themselves
even further up against it when they lost Andy Johnson for yet another
reckless challenge; this time on Lucas Neill. Justice had been done, albeit
nearly half-an-hour too late.
Zola's side once again started the brighter and this time Mark Noble was
first to register an effort on goal when his effort took a deflection to
safety four minutes in. Julien Faubert then nearly made it 3-0 when his
dipping cross-come-shot grazed the top of Schwarzr's crossbar.
The Hammers continued to pile on the pressure and Herita Ilunga nearly
opened his account for the club on 52 minutes when his fizzing half volley
was brilliantly tipped wide by Schwarzer. But it was Fulham who scored next,
when against the run of play Lucas Neill was adjudged to have raised his arm
to a goalbound effort.
Referee Andre Marriner, who gave the Hammers very little all afternoon
predictably raised his arm to signal a spot kick - one which Danny Murphy
chipped into Robert Green's left hand corner to make it 2-1 with
half-an-hour to play.
The goal gave the home side added impetus and Fulham's midfield general
Jimmy Bullard began to influence the game more and more. As the game began
to open up Bullard began firing shots from all angles - but he was either
innacurate or outfoxed by Rob Green, standing firm in the Hammers goal in
front of the watching Fabio Capello who has seen nearly all of United's
run-outs this season.
With the Cottagers pushing on in search of an unlikely equaliser gaps at the
back were inevitable and the Hammers began to capitalise on them with a
stream of acute counter-attacks. On 66 minutes the excellent Ilunga found
Carlton Cole on the edge of the six yard box but the tall striker couldn't
find the target with his glancing effort.
Julien Faubert then saw a fizzing drive fly well over the bar and the less
said about David Di Michele's attempted lob, the better. That was to be the
veteran striker's last imput of the game and he was replaced by Craig
Bellamy - a welcome sight given the recent news of Dean Ashton's lengthy
The Welsh striker was immediately involved and his cross from another
counter attack saw Cole fire inches over when he should have scored. You
just knew it wasn't to be Cole's day when his effort from just six yards -
yet again splendidly set up by Bellamy - was blocked on the line to deny the
busy forward a second goal.
Meanwhile Fulham continued to push forward equally happy, it seemed, to lose
3 or 4-1 as 2-1. Bobby Zamora reminded United fans just why he was so
frustrating to watch when his header from a Bullard (who else?) cross missed
the target by inches, whilst Zoltan Gera failed to trouble Rob Green with a
dipping effort from some 25 yards. Zamora should have done better once again
when he was found inside the box by another former Hammer, John Paintsil,
but he could only fire high and wide shooting on the turn.
Chances continued to come thick and fast at both ends and Fulham were
somewhat fortuitous - again - not to go further behind on 81 minutes when
Craig Bellamy was unlucky to see his close range effort blocked on the line
- although he had no excuses for the resulting effort which he completely
mishit when faced by an open goal.
With time ticking away Jimmy Bullard once again began to drive the home side
forward. The midfielder saw one shot clear Rob Green's goal by a couple of
feet before delivering a great cross into the danger zone which no other
Fulham player was alert enough to take advamntage of.
With the alloted two minutes injury time gone Bullard still had time to
fashion two final chances. It would have been an injustice had either gone
in but fortunately for the Hammers neither did and Andre Marriner eventually
blew the final whistle having played five minutes of injury time.
The win lifts the Hammers up to fifth in the table. We'll have more news
from the game later tonight.
Zola enjoying life in charge - SSN
Six points from two matches gives Zola perfect start in England
By Ashley Marshall Last updated: 27th September 2008
Gianfranco Zola says he is enjoying life as a Premier League manager after
an eventful week in charge of West Ham. The Hammers boss says he has been
impressed by the work ethic of his players, and he believes there is more to
come from a side which is riding high after a strong start to the new
Premier League campaign.
West Ham have six points from their first two league matches under Zola, but
the manager has also watched his side crash out of the Carling Cup and been
forced to fine one of his strikers for late-night antics. Zola said: "It has
been a very good start and I could not ask for anything more, but I also
like the attitude of the players.
"You have to be consistent against a team like Fulham because they are a
good side and my concern was because I know they are a team that likes to
press the opposition, that maybe my team wouldn't try to play football."
Zola singled out Carlton Cole, who was fined for breaking curfew earlier
this week, and midfielder Matthew Etherington, who has continued to shine in
front of the new manager at Upton Park. "Cole was absolutely perfect - he
realised he has made a mistake and he took the fine in the right way and he
played a fantastic match today and I couldn't ask any more from him," Zola
said. Speaking about Etherington, who scored one and made the other in West
Ham's 2-1 win at Fulham, Zola added: "He has been a key player so far for us
and I am very pleased with him and I hope he can carry on playing like this
for a very long time because he has a lot of qualities.
"Maybe he doesn't realise how many qualities he has got, but he is playing
great and I am pleased for him and pleased for the team."
But Zola says his introduction to life as a manager in England has been
hectic after a busy fortnight which has also seen the club face the threat
of a £30m compensation claim, win two league games and suffer a midweek
Carling Cup loss. He said: "It is very tiring, but I am enjoying it very
much because obviously when you have a bunch of players like I have they try
to do everything you say and you don't need to repeat it too much. "They are
really willing to work and that is the best thing that can happen to a
Hammers see off 10-man Fulham -SSN
Six points from six for Zola
By Ashley Marshall Last updated: 27th September 2008
Man of the match: Matthew Etherington scored one and made another and proved
to be the difference as West Ham continued their jinx over Fulham, who have
never beaten their London rivals at Craven Cottage in the Premier League.
Moment of the match: The turning point in the match came just on the stroke
of half time, when Andy Johnson was dismissed for a second bookable offense
for a tackle on Lucas Neill.
Attempt of the match: Jimmy Bullard's free kick was the closest he came to
scoring today. His set pieces were generally poor, but this free kick was
whipped in low and with pace and forced a top save out of a sprawling Robert
Save of the match: West Ham 'keeper Robert Green made a diving stop to his
left from Jimmy Bullard's first-half free kick, under heavy pressure from
John Pantsil. If that had gone in, the outcome could have been very
difference, as Fulham were dominating the game at that point.
Talking point: Andy Johnson may feel aggrieved to be sent off for the
challenge on Lucas Neill, but he could have received a straight red card in
the 20th minute when he made a rash, very late challenge on left-back Herita
Goal of the game: West Ham's second goal was the better of their two. Scott
Parker found Carlton Cole who layed the ball off to Mark Noble just inside
the Fulham half. Noble played a first-time ball that send Etherington on his
way, and he raced onto the through ball before sliding it neatly past the
advancing Mark Schwarzer.
West Ham jump to fifth in the Premier League with a 2-1 win away at 10-man
The hosts dominated the opening exchanges, but fell behind against the run
of play when Carlton Cole tapped home Matthew Etherington's cross after 43
Etherington then doubled the Hammers' lead two minutes later, latching on to
Mark Noble's through ball before sliding the ball past the advancing Mark
Things got worse for Fulham on the stroke of half-time when striker Andy
Johnson was dismissed for a second bookable offence. Fulham got back into
the game just before the hour mark when captain Danny Murphy slotted home a
penalty after Lucas Neill handled in the box, but the hosts hung on to claim
Gianfranco Zola's second win from as many league games. Fulham had been so
dominant in the opening exchanges that there was no inkling of the series of
mishaps that were to befall them.
Simon Davies was only inches wide with a fierce drive early on although
former Hammer Bobby Zamora should have done better when he planted a header
wide after Danny Murphy had picked him out in the box.
West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green had to come off his line to stop Johnson
from latching on to a through ball and when the striker was booked in the
20th minute for a lunge on Herita Ilunga, Fulham simply carried on
attacking. Zamora poked wide, Johnson headed a Jimmy Bullard free-kick over
and Brede Hangeland was also off target when Bullard's corner eluded the
West Ham defence. It seemed it would simply be a matter of time before
Fulham took a deserved lead and Bullard, having first planted a free-kick
over, was denied only by Green's agility when he beat the wall with another
from almost exactly the same spot. Green had been hurt by former team-mate
John Pantsil's follow-up as he dived to his left to palm away and tempers
boiled over briefly. That was the case again in the 39th minute when another
ex-Hammer, Paul Konchesky, hurt Etherington and was booked, although the
left-back had certainly played the ball before catching his man. Etherington
recovered and promptly set up his side's 43rd-minute opener before scoring
the second himself. Cole was quicker to the ball than Hangeland to send the
winger away down the right and when Schwarzer spilled the resulting cross
Cole was there for a simple finish. Schwarzer had been a virtual spectator
until then but within two minutes he was picking the ball out of the net
again. Noble played a pass from his own half and
Etherington used his pace to leave his challenger behind and beat Schwarzer.
And there was still time for Johnson to pick up his second booking for a
lunge on Neill.
Schwarzer was the busier goalkeeper in the second period and was required to
make saves from first Noble and Ilunga as the Hammers made use of their
Fulham had not given up however and were awarded a penalty in the 58th
minute when referee Andre Marriner ruled that Zoltan Gera's header had hit
Neill on the arm. Murphy made no mistake from the spot. Zamora then got the
slightest of touches from Bullard's free-kick after Scott Parker had been
booked for felling Gera in the 68th minute.
But again the striker should have done better as he was just six yards out
with the goal at his mercy. Still Fulham came forward and Ilunga survived
another penalty appeal after a Pantsil cross had hit him. Zola replaced the
ineffective David Di Michele with Craig Bellamy with a quarter of an hour
remaining and the Welshman set up Cole for a curled effort that clipped the
top of the bar. Bellamy should have scored himself however when he spooned
the ball over an unguarded net after Hangeland had blocked his initial
effort on the line, with Schwarzer nowhere.
Vinny's Fulham Report - West Ham Online
Vinny - Sat Sep 27 2008
Fulham 1 West Ham United 2
West Ham saw their first away win of the season come at Craven Cottage as
goals from Carlton Cole and Matthew Etherington were enough to take all
Despite going down to ten men at the end of the first half, Fulham were
always in this game as we failed to dominate the second half with the hosts
maybe feeling they deserved at least a point. This was typical West Ham in
many ways as what should have been a comfortable second period descended
into a nail biting finale with Jimmy Bullard having the chance to equalise
from a free kick with many West Ham fans having to look away.
With Fulham pushing forward we did have many chances to wrap the game up
with Bellamy and Carlton Cole guilty of poor finishes. The most important
thing was getting the three points and with six games played and four wins
on the board things are not looking to bad for a club supposedly in turmoil.
Zola made many changes from the side which was dumped out of the League Cup
by Watford last Tuesday night. Robert Green was back in goal in place of Jan
Lastuvka and Herita Ilunga was back at left back in place of Walter Lopez
who dropped to the bench.
In midfield, Valon Behrami returned in place of Luis Boa Morte and Hayden
Mullins also found himself back on the bench with Scott Parker coming back
into the side.
Up front Carlton Cole took his place as the central striker with Di Michele
and Etherington either side of him.
Fulham started the better of the two sides having most of the possession and
creating a few chances. The first was a half volley from Simon Davies whose
shot Robert Green could only watch fly past him but thankfully it also flew
past the post.
The atmosphere in the away end was excellent with the West Ham fans in full
voice as the west London sunshine beamed down.
Fulham included three ex West Ham players (four if you count Bullard) with
John Pantsil and Bobby Zamora getting excellent responses from the away
support. They were both treated to songs we had once sung for them with
Pantsil acknowledging the fans.
Zamora had a good opportunity which he should have done better with as a
cross into the area was met with a header which went wide of Green's goal.
Fulham striker Andrew Johnson received a yellow card for a poor challenge on
Herita Ilunga. They both went in for a 50/50 ball but Johnson had his studs
showing and only managed to make contact with the Congolese left back.
Zamora should have put Fulham in the lead after he got away from Lucas Neill
and had the goal at his mercy but instead of hitting it with this right foot
he stabbed the ball wide with this left.
Fulham continued to look like the only side likely to take the lead with
another half chance falling their way this time to giant center half Brede
Hangeland with his header going just over the bar.
Every 50/50 challenge was turning into a Fulham free kick as the ref seemed
to have a period of favouring the home side. The first free kick was just
outside the area and with the reputation Jimmy Bullard has for set pieces it
was a worry. The resulting free kick went way over the bar.
Just moments later from about the same distance another free kick was
awarded to Fulham with Scott Parker the unlucky offender. This free kick was
hit low and through the wall with Green pushing away. Following through was
John Pantsil who crashed into Green. This resulted in a bit of a scrap
between both sets of players with Pantsil and Neill having words. This saw
the West Ham fans turn on their former 'hero' with "Fuck off Pantsil" being
Another yellow card was awarded this time to another former hammer Paul
Konchesky. His poor challenge on Etherington saw the winger have to receive
treatment for a number of minutes.
This type of challenge usually ruins Etherington and he will from then on
become a sack of shit but for today he seemed to get over it quickly as he
set up the opening goal.
A ball forward saw Carlton Cole flick on to Etherington who raced forward
down the right hand side and once he got to the by-line he cut the ball back
for goal keeper Schwarzer to get a hand to but only palm out to Carlton Cole
who made no mistake from just a few yards out.
It was not a deserved goal but when chances come along (and this was our
first chance) you must take them. This is something we did not do at West
Brom and although Fulham had dictated all the play with players like
Etherington we are always a threat on the break.
If we thought we were fortunate to be in the lead at 1-0 we could have
dreamt we would increase that lead just a minute later. A wonderful pass
from Noble set Etherington racing through and with the keeper rushing out,
Etherington managed to flick the ball past him and into the goal.
Fulham's frustration saw Danny Murphy go into the ref's book with another
poor challenge this time on Mark Noble, and just moments later Andrew
Johnson fouled Lucas Neill and was given a second yellow card.
It could have not been a more perfect end to a half which had totally
transformed the game. Two goals and the opposition down to ten men.
Against Newcastle we also went into half time two goals up and getting that
third goal would be important simply to make life easier.
But there was to be no quick third goal, in fact there would be no third
goal for us at all with the half turning into one which at times you
couldn't help looking away.
We started it well enough and it did seem as though we were going to make
use of the extra man. We drove forward and Mark Noble was unlucky with an
effort which was turned around the post.
Julien Faubert saw a stinging drive go over the bar as we began to pass it
around and although we were not doing much with it the cry of "Ole" could be
heard from the travelling support who had turned up in their numbers despite
the disgusting £48 a nothing football club like Fulham were charging.
Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves at this point with the fans even
getting a long awaited wave from manager Gianfranco Zola.
But the atmosphere was soon to change as Fulham found a way back into the
game courtesy of a very harsh decision from the ref. Lucas Neill was
adjudged to have handled the ball in the area which looked very iffy at
The penalty kick was taken by Danny Murphy who made no mistake. This was the
third penalty conceded in just six games.
Fulham now had the incentive as we typically fell apart. They should have
equalised (and many of their fans thought they had) when an excellent cross
from Bullard was met by Bobby Zamora but his header went wide. It was a
terrible miss from that range and thankfully it was Zamora who got the
With our forward play rapidly evaporating, Zola removed the anonymous Di
Michele and replaced him Craig Bellamy.
This gave us a lot more edge going forward as Fulham found themselves on the
back foot with the pace we had now got.
Carlton Cole saw a good effort go just over the bar as he sent a curling
shot at goal. The game should have been wrapped up by Bellamy a few moments
later when a great move saw Ilunga beat the keeper to the ball and cut the
ball back for Bellamy who with the goal at his mercy saw his shot saved on
the line but it came back to him only for him to blaze the shot over the
bar. It was a dismal finish and if it had have been Carlton Cole I believe a
West Ham fan would have entered the field of play and beat the shit out of
Another break away saw a ball being cut back for Carlton Cole but his finish
was poor and he should have done a lot better.
Fulham tried to push forward and in the third minute of the three minutes of
injury time awarded they won a free kick well in shooting range. Up stepped
Bullard again and a feeling of dread came across me as Bullard had hit a
couple of poor free kick's earlier on and it would be just our luck for him
to get it right at this late stage. Thankfully the shot hit the wall and was
The ref then blew the full time whistle as our first away win since February
(also at Craven Cottage) was secure.
Was not called into action many times with regards to shot stopping. His
kicking was once again awful and I lost count of the amount of kicks which
went no where near anyone.
A good performance from the left back and memories of George McCartney are
almost gone. Was strong in the tackle and was not caught out of position.
Also did well when bursting forward.
Sometimes rushed his clearances but overall this was a good display.
Always see's a lot of the ball and despite giving away the penalty he put in
another solid display at center half which is a position he seems to have
claimed his own.
I have been impressed with Faubert at right back and even in midweek in the
Watford defeat he played well. He is a clever player and is rarely beaten by
skill or pace.
Showed some classy touches throughout the game and the ball through to
Etherington was just sublime. Much like his performance again Newcastle he
was involved and always wanted the ball. When he plays like this he is
On the ball I still think he is limited and has very little to his game, but
when off the ball he is as hard a worker as you are going to see. He loves
the crunching tackle and he often comes out the winner. He put in an
excellent amount of effort and he and Noble complemented each other well.
Covered a lot of ground and I thought he did quite well. Got forward well
and kept possession when he was on the ball often drawing a foul out of a
Once again I thought he was very good. Made the first goal and scored the
second. We are looking a better team when he is in the side.
David Di Michele
Anonymous throughout and did very little with the ball when in posession.
Still trying the flicks and tricks which are not appropriate unless further
up the pitch as it just puts pressure on us.
A very awkward performance from Cole but another goal and he is now our top
scorer with three goal and I expect him to still be the top scorer when the
season ends. People need to understand that he will not win every header.
Craig Bellamy (on for Di Michele 74 mins)
Gave us a much more attacking edge when he came on and there was a breath of
fresh air when he arrived. He really should have scored though and his miss
was a sitter.
Hayden Mullins (on for Etherington 80 mins)
Not a surprise to see him come on and we needed more bodies in midfield. Did
what he had to do.
Luis Boa Morte (on for Parker 90 mins)
Only got a few touches of the ball.
Another win continues this bright start to the season which already see us
on 12 points which is not a bad return.
People wanted an attacking brand of football and so far Zola has attempted
to do this by playing a very attacking formation which to me is a 4-3-3.
Matthew Etherington (probably our man of the match) seems to have relished
this new role and we are seeing him get much more involved in the game as he
has the freedom to drift to the left or right.
This may not have been a brilliant performance but at the end of the day it
all about picking up wins and that is exactly what we did.
Up next is Bolton at Upton Park and although they usually cause us problems,
this should see us gain another three points.
I think it wasn't luck, I think we played a good match. There was only one
team that deserved to win and I'm pleased that it was West Ham.
"We kept our composure and in the end of the day, we came away with three
points and nobody can say we didn't deserve it.
"After the week we've had, a victory like this away from home will give the
players a lot of confidence
"I've been working with these players for two weeks now and I can't ask any
more than what they are already doing."
DEAN ASHTON 'OUT FOR MONTHS' - NOTW
Gianfranco Zola's fear for crocked Hammers striker
By ROB SHEPHERD, 27/09/2008
GIANFRANCO ZOLA fears Dean Ashton could be out of action for the bulk of the
season. Ashton, 24, undergoes surgery this week for an exploratory operation
on his left ankle. The official line is the striker should be back in action
within four weeks but the Hammers fear it could be months before he is back.
Ashton, who damaged the ankle in Zola's first training session, says there
was no major problem and would be back within a month. But closer
examination concerned the club, especially as a broken ankle kept Ashton out
of the entire 2006-07 season. The club's new Italian medical team felt
compelled to seek surgeon's advice to check for a more serious bone problem
than a mere sprain. Now there is a concern that Ashton will need a much
longer period of rest and recovery, which could rule him out for much of the
campaign. With striker Craig Bellamy still only taking tentative steps back
after a long-term injury and Kieron Dyer sidelined for more than a year, the
loss of Ashton would deal the club another major blow. When fit Ashton is
one of West Ham's most valuable assets — and they turned down an £18million
bid from Spurs in the summer.
Sheffield United tell West Ham: 'no chance' of appeal
Jamie Jackson The Observer, Sunday September 28 2008 Article history
Sheffield United chairman Kevin McCabe wants £30m off West Ham. Photograph:
Lee Smith/Action Images
Sheffield United will tell West Ham there is no chance they will agree to go
before the Court of Arbitration for Sport as the east London club fight to
avoid paying a potentially crippling compensation bill of £30m over the
Carlos Tevez affair. And, despite one board member calling the FA tribunal's
decision 'ludicrous' and West Ham being contacted by other Premier League
clubs who are concerned at the 'chaos' caused by the verdict, it has emerged
there is little prospect of overturning the judgment even at the High Court.
Sheffield United are demanding the compensation after being relegated two
seasons ago. Chairman Kevin McCabe claimed that Tevez, who played despite
being an ineligible player because of a third-party agreement, scored vital
goals to keep his former club up.
West Ham will make a submission to CAS on Tuesday but the court's
secretary-general has already stated that unless Sheffield United agree, the
case cannot be heard. 'If Kevin McCabe has said this is not for money but a
matter of integrity and honour,' a West Ham insider told Observer Sport,
'well, he should go to CAS. If not, the question for him becomes does be
believe this is honourable?'
West Ham, through their solicitor Maurice Watkins, are also exploring taking
the case to the High Court as it believes that the three-man FA tribunal,
headed by Lord Griffiths, 'based much of its findings on opinion'.
Having found for Sheffield United, the three-man panel has directional
hearings on Thursday about when it will decide the amount of compensation.
Despite their submission to CAS and exploration of other legal avenues, West
Ham are also conscious they may have to affect the Griffiths tribunal.
'We would demand a forensic examination of Sheffield United's books - of
their players' contracts, their value, and etc,' said the source. 'There is
an argument that it is actually more profitable for a club to operate in the
Championship rather than at the bottom end of the Premier League.'
But Steven Friel, a legal expert in sporting arbitration and compensation
claims, says it is highly likely West Ham will have to pay a sizeable
amount, if not all, of the £30m. 'There are several reasons why the club is
claiming it can still go to CAS. Firstly it is in a state of shock and so is
reacting. Also, they want to put pressure on Sheffield United to go with
them to the Court of Arbitration.'
And Friel believes there is little chance the High Court would hear the
club's case. 'Only if it believes there was a serious error or irregularity
in the FA tribunal's judgment. Any lawyer would say the chances are
Asked how much Sheffield United will receive, Friel said: 'Deloitte, who are
a respected independent body, value Premier League status at £60m. Even if
you consider parachute payments and the reduced costs of playing in the
Championship - like players' wages - it will still be substantial.'
Would it be likely, then, that the full £30m will be awarded? 'I think so.
It's realistic. West Ham are engaged in a litigation tactic - get as many
people to say its ludicrous and then the three judges, who will be reading
all of the coverage, might take it into account.'
The position of West Ham chief executive Scott Duxbury, whose conduct during
the affair was criticized by Griffiths, also seems unclear, with the club
officially backing him while others at Upton Park keep their counsel. One
source said: 'If the club wins he will stay, if not then he will go.'
Brazil legend Ronaldo, who left AC Milan in the summer and has piled on
weight, claims there is still a possibility he could join Manchester City.
The out-of-contract 32-year-old is training with Flamengo as he recovers
from a knee operation he had in February in Spain.
'I have talked with Manchester City representatives and I know that the
doors there will be opened when I get my best shape,' said the now 15-stone
Fulham 1 West Ham United 2: Etherington exploits Fulham's folly
By Jim Foulerton at Craven Cottage
Sunday, 28 September 2008
West Ham have endured a pretty miserable time off the field, with the Carlos
Tevez affair, Carlton Cole's arrest on suspicion of drink-driving and the
collapse of their shirt sponsors but things are starting to pick up on it.
Yesterday's triumph made it two wins out of two in the Premier League under
Gianfranco Zola's management and although they made hard work of it against
10-man Fulham, the Italian can be satisfied with his start.
Two goals arrived in as many minutes for Cole and Matthew Etherington at the
end of a first half dominated by Fulham, and the home side's cause was
further undermined when Andrew Johnson was sent off for a second yellow card
just before the interval. They pulled one back with a Danny Murphy penalty
shortly before the hour-mark and created more than West Ham, but Zola's men
were able to hang on.
The Hammers enjoy these short trips across town, their Premier League tally
standing at five wins and a draw here. Yet Fulham, buoyed by back-to-back
home victories against Arsenal and Bolton, created a host of chances. "Yet
again I am happy with the way we played but not at all happy with what we
have taken from the game," said Fulham's manager, Roy Hodgson.
His side were straight at West Ham, Simon Davies volleying wide after six
minutes and Bobby Zamora heading over. Zamora, signed from Upton Park for
just under £5 million in the summer, could have had a hat-trick.
Fulham were in control but then lost their heads. Johnson ought to have gone
for his first bad tackle, a studs-high assault on West Ham's left-back
Herita Ilunga, but received a yellow card, and tempers flared again when
John Pantsil clattered into his old team-mate Robert Green when the keeper
had got down to a Bullard free-kick.
Paul Konchesky and Murphy were also shown cards, the former after he sent
Etherington tumbling. It appeared to fire up the winger, who set up the
first goal – a tap-in for Cole – after a thrilling run down the right.
That was two minutes from the break and Etherington added the second in
first-half injury-time when he beat the advancing Mark Schwarzer to Mark
Noble's through ball. There was still time for Johnson to get himself sent
off, for raising a boot and catching Lucas Neill. "I think that was an
unfortunate decision from the referee," complained Hodgson. "Johnson was
actually caught by Neill."
Fulham responded to Hodgson's words at the interval, and got back into the
match after 58 minutes when Neill handled a Zoltan Gera header and Murphy
scored from the spot.
Gera, Bullard and Zamora all went close, but the miss of the day came from
late substitute Craig Bellamy, who squandered an open goal after his first
effort had been blocked.
Zola was asked if his team had been lucky. "I'll let you decide," he said.
"You need a bit of luck and I won't say no to it." His countryman Fabio
Capello, who made his way here after finding he couldn't get a flight to
Newcastle, would doubtless have agreed.
Curbishley: West Ham's McCartney sale made up my mind
28.09.08 | tribalfootball.com
Alan Curbishley has again declared board interference forced him to leave
West Ham United.
"It was a big decision for me [to leave] because I am a West Ham boy,"
Curbishley told Setanta Sports. "When I got the job I went in thinking 'this
is it, I've done my apprenticeship and I'll have a good go'. We stayed up,
and then finished 10th after a lot of problems.
"I came out of the Blackburn game, and the last thing on my mind was that I
wasn't going to be the manager any more. But it just got to a situation
where I thought if you're the manager and are responsible for performances
and results, then you've got to be in charge of it.
"It was the sale of George (McCartney) in the end. Anton Ferdinand left
before that and I was under the impression that he was the last one to go. I
did come out in the press and also said to the players that no one else was
going to leave, and then after the Blackburn game it was put to me that we
had a bid in from Sunderland for George and we should take it. I didn't
agree with that and I felt that my position then became untenable.
"There's a good squad and once you can get it together and out on the pitch,
which I was never in the position to do, there's a good team there."
West Ham to bid for Blackburn's Khizanishvili
28.09.08 | tribalfootball.com
Blackburn Rovers defender Zurab Khizanishvili is wanted by West Ham United.
The Mirror says Hammers chief Gianfranco Zola and his spying team have
already decided they need more bodies at the back - and have their sights on
a bargain swoop for the 26-year-old Rover to replace Anton Ferdinand.