Wigan Athletic v West Ham United
Barclays Premier League
Saturday 12 September 2009
Referee: Alan Wiley
Final score - Wigan Athletic 1-0 West Ham United
96 mins - One last chance as Behrami is brought down inside the centre
circle. Everyone bar Green goes up. Faubert lifts the ball into the penalty
area, where Kirkland rises highest to catch. He belts the ball upfield and
Wiley blows the final whistle. A bit harsh on the Hammers, that.
95 mins - Close to a second for Wigan. Bramble lofts the ball over the top
and Green comes out and misses it, but Tomkins gets back in just in time to
hook the ball clear.
94 mins - Zola sends Tomkins and Upson forward for a long free-kick from
Green. Wigan clear to Faubert, who pumps the ball back into the box, but
Wigan again head it clear. A minute to go...
93 mins - We're halfway through the added-time and the ball is inside the
West Ham half. They need to get forward fast.
92 mins - Wigan make their third and final change, taking off Gomez for
91 mins - Gomez fouls Gabbidon wide on the left. Diamanti runs over to take
the free-kick, Upson heads the ball down to Gabbidon, but Wigan scramble the
90 mins - Hines and Nouble combine, but the teenager runs the ball out for a
goal kick. We should have a fair bit of added-time, if that is any
consolation. The fourth official raises his board and we're going to have at
least five minutes.
89 mins - It's not looking great for West Ham here. Wigan have a corner.
87 mins - Nouble is on for Noble.
86 mins - We're going to see Nouble in a second, but West Ham nearly score
without him. Cole and Diamanti combine before the Italian curls in a cross
with the outside of his left foot. The ball flicks off Parker's head and
just wide of the far post.
84 mins - The free-kick comes to nothing and, after Hines and Behrami get in
each other's way, Wigan break through Scotland. He finds Gomez, who gets
around Gabbidon but drags his shot wide of the far post.
83 mins - After some running repairs, Gabbidon is back on. Hines wins
another free-kick in a dangerous area after being taken out by Bramble, who
is cautioned. He is the third player to be booked. Diamanti stands over the
set piece again...
81 mins - Gabbidon is down after an aerial clash with Scharner. He needs the
physio on for what looks like a nasty bump in the face.
80 mins - West Ham have picked it up here. Diamanti takes a corner short to
Behrami, who lays it back to his mate. The Italian fires low into the box,
where N'Zogbia clears.
78 mins - Absolutely brilliant play from Diamanti, who holds off his marker,
turns, and curls a magnificent shot against the far post from a tight angle.
That was so, so close to an equaliser.
77 mins - Wigan win a corner. The ball finds Figueroa unmarked inside the
box, but it is slightly behind the full-back and he can only divert it out
for a goal kick.
76 mins - Parker gives the ball away to Scharner, whose tackle finds
Scotland. The striker runs at Upson, but the England man stands firm.
74 mins - Jordi Gomez has a go from about 20 yards, but his shot is
deflected and rolls through harmlessly to Robert Green. West Ham need to
find another gear here. It is all a bit comfortable for the Latics at
72 mins - A second change for Wigan. Goalscorer Rodallega is replaced by
71 mins - Formation-wise, Noble is now playing on the left of a four-man
midfield, with Behrami on the right and Diamanti behind the front-two.
70 mins - The Italian curls a superb free-kick no more than a yard wide of
the post with Kirkland beaten all ends up. What a start that would have been
to his Hammers career!
68 mins - Figueroa is the second player to be cautioned for a rather late
challenge on Hines, who was, quite frankly, a bit too quick for the
left-back. West Ham have a free-kick about 30 yards from goal. Diamanti?
65 mins - Enterprising play from Hines, who latches on to Parker's
through-ball and cuts inside Melchiot, but his shot flies high and wide of
the far post. Scharner is on for Koumas.
64 mins - Behrami is straight into the action, conceding a free-kick for a
push on Thomas.
63 mins - Wigan are going to make a change too, bringing on Paul Scharner,
who scored against West Ham at the Boleyn Ground in August 2007. Diamanti
and Behrami are on for Stanislas and Kovac.
61 mins - We're about to see Alessandro Diamanti become the 800th player in
West Ham United's history. Valon Behrami is also going to come on. Meantime,
Faubert wins yet another corner down the right.
60 mins - West Ham win another corner, this time on the right wing. Noble
again takes and the ball finds Parker unmarked at the back post. The
midfielder lets fly with a rising half-volley that Kirkland does well to
divert over the crossbar. From the third corner in quick succession, Tomkins
again heads wide, but this time he was under pressure from his marker.
58 mins - That goal was a bit of a shock to the system, but West Ham have
come back strongly since conceding. Hines forces Bramble into conceding a
corner, Noble crosses and Tomkins somehow heads wide of the target from six
55 mins - GOAL! Poor Robert Green. N'Zogbia releases Melchiot inside the
penalty area. His low cross finds Koumas completely unmarked at the back
post, but Green does brilliantly to save the Welshman's shot, only for the
ball to drop to the Colombian, who stabs into the unguarded net.
54 mins - Not much has really happened since the interval, to be honest.
Both teams are struggling to reproduce the quality they were showing just
before the break.
50 mins - It is now more than four hours since West Ham conceded on their
travels. The last away goal Robert Green let in came at Everton on 16 May
courtesy of Louis Saha's 76th-minute strike.
49 mins - Hines is brought down by Figueroa wide on the right, earning him a
round of applause from Cole. Noble crosses, but Wigan are able to clear.
48 mins - Very composed defending from Gabbidon, who chests the ball into
the arms of Green from Koumas' cross. Kovac then concedes a corner, which
N'Zogbia takes and Cole clears at the near post.
46 mins - Rodallega and Gomez get the second half underway. West Ham are
kicking towards their own fans now. Will it inspire them on to victory?
Half-time - Wigan Athletic 0-0 West Ham United
46 mins - Comedy right at the end of the half. A long free-kick is lofted
forward and, as Cole attempts to latch on to the bouncing ball, the referee
blows for half-time. Cole carries on, nods the ball over Kirkland and puts
the ball in the net. The West Ham fans celebrate, much to the Wigan
supporters' amusement. Cole leans on the post with a wry smile on his face.
45 mins - Good defending from the August Player of the Month, Faubert, who
is in the right place to hook N'Zogbia's cross to safety. We're going to
have one minute, at least, of added-time.
43 mins - Noble again does well, curling the ball on to Cole's head. The big
striker nods down for Parker, but Melchiot just nips in to smash the ball
behind for a corner. Noble crosses, but the ball flies through the six-yard
box and away to safety.
42 mins - Wigan have woken up. Koumas swaps passes with Rodallega before
bursting into the box and crossing, but Gabbidon clears. Then, it is Gomez's
chance to sting Green's palms with a bouncing shot.
40 mins - West Ham are definitely finishing the first half the stronger of
the two teams. The home fans are getting a bit frustrated, but then, almost
out of nowhere, Wigan break and Rodallega's shot takes a slight deflection,
forcing Green into an acrobatic save. From the resulting corner, Koumas
bends the ball over and Bramble can only divert his header out for a goal
36 mins - More good stuff from the exuberant Hines, who charges down a
Kirkland clearance, but the ball spins out for a goal kick, much to the
35 mins - This is now the only Barclays Premier League 3pm kick-off without
a goal... Diamanti and Payne, who could do something about that statistic
after the break, are now warming up, as is Frank Nouble.
33 mins - Spector, Da Costa and Behrami head back to their seats on the
bench after enjoying a few exercises on the touchline.
32 mins - Kovac does well again to rob Gomez in the centre circle. The big
man has been putting himself about so far and his efforts are being
appreciated by the travelling fans. Moments later, Hines beats Boyce and
sends a well-struck shot straight at Kirkland that the goalkeeper can only
grab at the second attempt.
30 mins - Super defending, as you might expect, from Upson. The England
defender was in exactly the right place to head clear after Figueroa had
whipped in a dangerous-looking cross from the left.
28 mins - Noble is booked for a rather innocuous challenge on Thomas. Parker
expresses his displeasure to the Honduran, suggesting he might have made a
meal of the midfielder's tackle.
26 mins - It seems this game is one long procession of free-kicks at the
moment. Hines is the latest victim, being brought down by the sliding
Thomas. Noble crosses from 30 yards out on the right flank, Cole tries to
shoot and his shot is blocked to Stanislas, who sees his effort half-blocked
and then clawed behind for a corner by Kirkland. Noble takes the corner and
Cole flicks a header goalwards, but it is an easy catch for the goalkeeper.
25 mins - Parker makes up for his error by bursting through the centre of
the midfield. He tries to slide in Hines, who had sprung the Wigan offside
trap, but his pass is slightly overhit and rolls through to Kirkland.
24 mins - West Ham concede a needless free-kick 30 yards out. Stanislas,
under no pressure, passes too far in front of Parker, who slides in and
brings down Diame. Koumas curls the ball in and Kovac heads clear.
23 mins - After a fairly subdued opening quarter, West Ham are slowly
starting to take control proceedings. Noble is becoming increasingly
influential, finding space between Wigan's five midfielders impressively and
picking passes to his team-mates well.
21 mins - Nice interplay down the right from Faubert and Noble ends with the
Frenchman finding Cole, who is flattened by Thomas 40 yards from goal.
Parker floats in the free-kick, but Wigan clear.
18 mins - Good work from Kovac again in the midfield sees him win the ball
and find Noble wide on the right. The former England Under-21 man looks up
and curls a superb ball between Bramble and Figueroa, but Cole cannot get
enough on his shot to beat Kirkland.
17 mins - Cole concedes a free-kick wide on the Wigan right. N'Zogbia curls
the ball over, but it is too high for Bramble and flies out for a goal kick.
15 mins - A sixth of the game is gone and it is Wigan who have settled the
better of the two sides, perhaps unsurprisingly considering they are at
home. West Ham need to keep possession of the ball a bit better when they
get it. At present, Cole and Hines, who is dropping deep to help out the
midfield, look a bit isolated.
13 mins - Lovely football from Wigan sees them work the ball from back to
front, with Koumas cutting inside and feeding Diame, whose skidding low shot
flies a couple of yards wide.
10 mins - Gomez forces England's No1 into a plunging save low to his left.
The chance had been fashioned by Koumas, who robbed Kovac in midfield and
7 mins - Second time lucky for Hines, who controls on his chest before being
knoked to the ground. Noble and Stanislas stand over a free-kick 25 yards
from goal. The latter shoots and hits the wall. The ball breaks to Gabbidon,
who clips it back into the area, where Hines is flagged offside.
6 mins - More good work from Kovac, who gets in ahead of Gomez and forces
the Spaniard into conceding a throw-in. The Czech has clearly been picked to
stop Wigan's attacks in their tracks. A moment of controversy follows soon
afterwards as Hines skips around Bramble and appears to be clipped by
Figueroa just outside the penalty area. Referee Wiley, who didn't have a
great view of the incident, waves West Ham's appeals away.
4 mins - Hines is clearly bang up for this, charging down a Figueroa
3 mins - Kovac nips in well to rob Gomez. The Czech finds Hines, who skips
past one challenge, but his pass to Stanislas is a bit short and Melchiot is
able to clear. No real rhythm to the game as yet, but it's still early days.
1 mins - Wigan are first to show, but Upson is in the right place to head
Diame's right-wing cross out for a throw-in, which comes to nothing.
3.01pm - And we're underway...
3pm - Cole grabs a quick swig of Lucozade before referee Alan Wiley calls
West Ham forward to kick-off. Hines will do the honours with this strike
2.59pm - Just the four homegrown players in the Hammers lineup this
afternoon, with another one on the bench in the shape of Josh Payne. The
Academy of Football just keeps producing the goods. Speaking of the
Under-18s, they unfortunately went down to a 2-1 defeat by Birmingham City
this morning, with Republic of Ireland youth international Danny Purdy on
2.58pm - I don't want to labour the point, but it really is a smashing day
here in Wigan. There is not a cloud in the sky as the two teams enter the
pitch for today's Barclays Premier League game. An away win could take West
Ham into the top-eight.
2.57pm - The two teams are in the tunnel and ready to enter the pitch here
at the DW Stadium. Sadly, there are plenty of empty red and blue seats
dotted around. West Ham, as always, have brought a decent following, though.
2.52pm - West Ham fans will remember last season's trip to Wigan fondly.
Carlton Cole netted the club's Goal of the Season with a sublime strike to
cap a flowing passing move, only to be sent-off a short time later for a
harsh second yellow card. Lee Cattermole, who has since left for Sunderland,
was also sent-off for Wigan that evening.
2.48pm - Jack Collison's absence is down to a minor calf injury that kept
him out of Wales' defeat by Russia on Wednesday night.
2.45pm - Dramatic news from the DW Stadium! Jack Collison is not among the
substitutes after all. Josh Payne is named among the replacements instead.
2.43pm - West Ham look to have unearthed a real dead-ball specialist in
Alessandro Diamanti. The Italian netted two direct free-kicks against
Birmingham in midweek, while his corners and general delivery were both
superb. Like Behrami, however, Diamanti is on the bench to start with. The
two are good friends from their time in Serie A and Behrami has been looking
after the 26-year-old since his arrival in London, acting as Diamanti's taxi
driver and translator.
2.40pm - It is keep-ball time on the pitch and, to no great surprise, Valon
Behrami is harrying his team-mates left, right and centre. The Switzerland
midfielder is a bundle of energy out there. After six months out, he is like
a pedigree dog waiting to be let off the lead.
2.35pm - It's an absolute corker of a day here in Wigan. The sun is shining
and it's a big day for a couple of West Ham's players. Zavon Hines is making
his first start in senior football, having previously appeared only as a
substitute for both West Ham and during a loan spell at Coventry City.
Meanwhile, Danny Gabbidon is making his first Barclays Premier League start
since the 1-0 win at Blackburn Rovers on 9 December 2007.
Valon Behrami, Alessandro Diamanti and Manuel Da Costa were all in
Gianfranco Zola's matchday squad for the first time this season, while Zavon
Hines was handed his full Barclays Premier League debut at Wigan Athletic.
Jamaican Hines, 20, has been in red-hot form, registering a hat-trick in the
midweek reserve-team win over Birmingham City, and also notching in last
month's Carling Cup victory over Millwall.
Behrami, who returned from six months out with a serious knee ligament
injury against Birmingham, was named among the substitutes alongside
Diamanti and Da Costa, who have arrived from AS Livorno Calcio and ACF
Zola made three changes to the side that drew 0-0 at nearby Blackburn Rovers
a fortnight ago. At the back, Jonathan Spector and the departed James
Collins were replaced by James Tomkins and Danny Gabbidon. Further forward
Luis Jimenez, who has a suffered minor muscle injury, and Jack Collison made
way for Radoslav Kovac and Hines
Wigan Athletic: Kirkland, Melchiot, Bramble, Boyce, Figueroa, Thomas, Koumas
(Scharner 65), Gomez (Sinclair 90), Diame, N'Zogbia, Rodallega (Scotland 72)
Subs: Pollitt, Edman, Cho, King
West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Gabbidon, Noble (Nouble
87), Parker, Kovac (Behrami 63), Stanislas (Diamanti 63), Hines, Cole
Subs: Kurucz, Spector, Da Costa, Payne
Latics take the spoils
Hugo Rodallega's second-half strike was all that separated the two sides at
Wigan Athletic 1-0 West Ham United
A solitary strike from Hugo Rodallega consigned West Ham United to a first
away defeat of the season on Saturday.
The Colombian striker scored the only goal of the game just before the hour
to dash Hammers hopes at the DW Stadium. Despite the best efforts of the
visitors, including a superb effort by debutant Alessandro Diamanti that hit
the woodwork late on, the superb travelling fans were to go home
disappointed. There was the consolation, though, of Valon Behrami's first
appearance since a knee injury back on 1 March.
Having drawn 0-0 at Blackburn Rovers a fortnight ago, Gianfranco Zola had
sought extra attacking edge by partnering Carlton Cole with Zavon Hines,
fresh from a midweek hat-trick for the reserves against Birmingham City. He
made three other changes from the side that drew 0-0 at Blackburn Rovers a
Danny Gabbidon came in at left-back for Jonathan Spector, who dropped to the
bench, while James Tomkins replaced the departed James Collins. Further
forward, Radoslav Kovac came into midfield with Luis Jimenez, Kieron Dyer
and Jack Collison all unable to take part.
The first real incident of note was a penalty shout when Hines appeared to
have been upended by Maynor Figueroa on the edge of the area. The striker
had been fed the ball by Radoslav Kovac and showed neat skill to work the
opening before contact was made. Despite the protestations from the West Ham
bench, referee Alan Wiley waved away the appeals.
It was ten minutes before Wigan finally had a go for goal, with Jordi Gomez
finding space to shoot low from the edge of the area but Robert Green
produced a fine save to push the ball to safety. That sparked Roberto
Martinez's men into life and a minute later Mohamed Diame had a go from
distance but it fizzed wide.
Cole was not enjoying as much room at the other end, although he did get a
chance to connect on 18 minutes from Mark Noble's chipped pass. As the
half-hour approached the contest sparked into life again. Junior Stanislas
shot low through a crowd, only for Chris Kirkland to claw the ball out for a
Although Wigan went into this game with nine cautions so far in the league
this season, the most of any club, it was West Ham who infringed first.
Noble had his name taken by Wiley after an off the ball collision with
Hines and Stanislas continued to combine well and they did just that on 32
minutes, before the former got another shot on goal. Kirkland was well
positioned once again to claim.
Wigan went into half-time on the back of two good chances. On 40 minutes,
Rodallega forced Green to tip over with a deflected effort before Gomez
called Green into action again with a rasping effort. Cole then had the ball
in the back of the net with a clever effort but the referee had already
blown for half-time.
The second half began in scrappy fashion with Tomkins having to be alert as
Rodallega surged through on goal. The striker finally broke the West Ham
resistance on 56 minutes by converting from close range. Green had done
brilliantly to parry from Jason Koumas but could do nothing about the
West Ham poured forward immediately looking for an equaliser. As the hour
came and went, Tomkins twice had free headers from Noble corners but could
only nod wide. In between, Parker had produced a superb save from Kirkland
after racing on to another Noble corner on the edge of the area.
Zola brought on extra attacking impetus on 63 minutes with Diamanti becoming
the 800th player to represent West Ham on his debut replacing Stanislas and
Behrami on for Kovac. Diamanti scored twice with free-kicks in midweek for
the reserves and nearly did so again on 70 minutes with a 25-yarder that
just flew wide.
Wigan by now had brought on Paul Scharner for Koumas and soon replaced
Rodallega with Jason Scotland. Parker nearly presented Wigan with a second
when he mis-controlled in the 77th minute but Upson saved the day. Diamanti
then stepped up with that late curling effort that deserved so much better,
holding off his marker before lashing a vicious effort against the far post
with Kirkland a spectator.
When Parker just flicked Diamanti's clever cross just wide on 86 minutes, it
was to be a case of so near but so far for West Ham United, who will need to
regroup for next Saturday's live ESPN visit of Liverpool to east London.
Danny takes to stage
West Ham United fan Danny Dyer is set to appear as Sid Vicious in a new West
West Ham United fan Danny Dyer is treading the boards in a new play in
London's West End. Dyer, who represented the Hammers in Sky TV's Premier
League All-Stars, swapped the football pitch for the stage in 'Kurt & Sid',
which is playing at the Trafalgar Studios. The 32-year-old plays Sid
Vicious, the bassist of punk band the Sex Pistols, while fellow actor Shaun
Evans plays the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. While Dyer's love for his
club is as strong as ever, the Canning Town-born star is looking forward to
treading the boards after spending the last decade making a series of
popular television series and films. The star said he enjoys a similar buzz
from appearing on stage as he does when he visits the Boleyn Ground to cheer
on his heroes. "Football is massive for me, West Ham are my boys. In my eyes
they're the best club on earth. I've supported them since I was a kid. It's
all about passion and I get that from football and as an actor. "I love
being on stage so it's brilliant to be in London playing Sid Vicious in
'Kurt & Sid' but I'm gutted to be missing West Ham games as I've got
matinees on Saturday afternoons!" Kurt & Sid opened on Wednesday and runs
until Saturday 3 October.
Purdy goal not enough
The Under-18s suffered a narrow loss at Little Heath at the weekend despite
their best efforts
West Ham United U18s 1-2 Birmingham City U18s
The Academy youngsters suffered their third defeat in a row on Saturday
despite taking the lead at Little Heath through Danny Purdy.
The Republic of Ireland Under-17 international, fresh from representing his
country in a recent tournament, opened the scoring with a neat finish after
capitalising on a Birmingham mistake out on the Hammers left wing. Purdy
surged goalwards and slotted the ball under the keeper to open the scoring.
However, the Blues were able to equalise before half-time after a mistake in
the Hammers rearguard and that goal allowed them to believe they could head
back to the Midlands with all three points. After Purdy saw a solid save
deny him the chance to restore the lead, Birmingham broke home hearts
following an incisive move through the middle.
It means the Hammers have lost their last two fixtures at home, with a 1-0
defeat by a visiting Stoke City followed by a 5-2 loss at Tottenham Hotspur
last week. There is an immediate chance to get things going again at Little
Heath when Cardiff City arrive for another inter-group fixture next
Hard work on agenda
Gianfranco Zola plans to work intensively with his players ahead of next
Saturday's visit of Liverpool
Gianfranco Zola plans to work hard on the training pitch this week following
Saturday's 1-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at Wigan Athletic. The West
Ham United manager was in philosophical mood after watching Colombian
striker Hugo Rodallega score the only goal of the game at the DW Stadium.
Zola was disappointed with the manner of Rodallega's strike, which came
about after Robert Green had done brilliantly to keep out Jason Koumas's
The manager, who reached his first anniversary of his unveiling at the
Boleyn Ground on Friday, has said his team will look to put things right at
Chadwell Heath ahead of next Saturday's visit of Liverpool to the Boleyn
Ground. "After the first half I thought we were going to get more than a
draw because of the way we were playing. But this was not the first time
that we didn't start the second half at the same level as the first and we
have to find out why during the week. This is something we have to work on.
"I think it was a scrappy goal that we conceded and maybe we should have
done better. We will have a look during the week. I am expecting the team to
play a little bit better than they did today. "Robert Green did a great
save. The first one was brilliant. To be honest, I haven't seen the moments
after the rebound, but in those moments you have to be very active, so I was
expecting the others to be more reactive. I will say I will be more precise
when I see it."
Zola handed a senior debut to Zavon Hines after the Jamaican striker
impressed in scoring a midweek reserve-team hat-trick against Birmingham
City as well as the Carling Cup win over Millwall. The manager was pleased
with the impact made by the 20-year-old, who was denied a convincing penalty
claim when he appeared to be brought down by Maynor Figueroa during the
first half. "He did very well. The boy was alive and he's played a very good
match. I was very pleased with him. "Some tell me that he was touched and
some say not. I haven't seen it so I can't be precise, but I can say that he
had gone past his defender so there was no reason for him to go down."
Another player to impress the manager was his compatriot Alessandro
Diamanti, who came off the bench before twice going close to scoring a
spectacular equaliser. First, the new arrival from AS Livorno Calcio curled
a trademark free-kick inches wide of Chris Kirkland's goal, then, the
26-year-old saw a vicious left-foot shot come back off the post.
"He went very close, first with the free-kick and then with a shot. Diamanti
has got quality and he will be a good asset for us. He just needs some time
to get used to the pace of the Premier League, which is very much different
from the one in Italy. He has got qualities but important qualities. "I was
tempted to start with him but I thought he would have a better impact coming
on from the bench, so he could have a look at what he was going to face. It
nearly went okay."
Wigan 1 - 0 West Ham
By Julian Shea
Hugo Rodallega earned Wigan their first League win since the opening day of
the season in a scrappy game with West Ham. Apart from Chris Kirkland
struggling to deal with back passes and Robert Green saving two long-range
shots, neither keeper was busy in a tepid first half. Rodallega poked home
from close range on 55 minutes after Green had blocked Jason Koumas's shot.
West Ham substitute Alessandro Diamanti livened things up and hit the post
but Wigan deserved the win. From the outset, the pace of West Ham's league
debutant Zavon Hines was a problem for Wigan, and it was no surprise when he
was involved in the first moment of excitement. The travelling fans were on
their feet when he was brought down on the edge of the box by Maynor
Figueroa, but the referee waved away the shouts for a penalty. Koumas was a
constant threat on the left for Wigan, but it was Jordi Gomez who went
closest to giving them the lead when he drew a full-stretch save from Green
after a neat exchange of passes with Rodallega. Hines was involved again as
he nearly made Kirkland pay for taking his time over dealing with a Titus
Bramble back pass when he appeared from nowhere to give the former England
keeper a scare. Green, England's current number one, was then tested from
distance by both Gomez and Rodallega just before the end of a forgettable
first half, which ended with Hammers striker Carlton Cole putting the ball
in the net only to find the whistle had already gone. The match desperately
needed a goal, and it duly came 10 minutes after the restart. Rodallega was
quickest to react when Green blocked Koumas's close-range shot, and the goal
seemed to inject some much-needed urgency into the match.
West Ham substitute Diamanti almost had a dramatic impact shortly after he
came on for Radoslav Kovac, rattling the far post from a tight angle. But
the visitors' lack of punch in front of goal suggested an equaliser was
never likely, with Wigan always looking a better bet to add a second.
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez: "The way the players adapted to what was
needed was exceptional, we had to stop West Ham playing their football which
was a big test, so a clean sheet and three points is what we deserved.
"We're still growing, in a phase when were need to look behind the results
and make sure we grow together. You can see the winning mentality in the
dressing room - we want to be as good as we can and that will take time.
"Overall it was a very complete performance, it's another step forward."
West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola: "In the first half I thought we controlled
the game well and we looked better than them. "The goal was sloppy, we
didn't start the second half in the same frame of mind that we did the first
- that's something we need to work on. "Alessandro Diamanti is a player who
has got a lot of quality, now he needs to get use to the pace of the Premier
League - I'm sure he will have a big impact on the game."
Zola on ... Wigan
Filed: Saturday, 12th September 2009
By: Staff Writer
Gianfranco Zola shares his thoughts on this afternoon's defeat at Wigan...
After the first half I thought we were going to get more than a draw because
of the way we were playing. But this was not the first time that we didn't
start the second half at the same level as the first and we have to find out
why during the week. This is something we have to work on.
I think it was a scrappy goal that we conceded and maybe we should have done
better. We will have a look during the week. I am expecting the team to play
a little bit better than they did today.
I think it was down to the personnel I had available. I had to use the
players in the best way I could. I thought that was the right decision.
[Zavon Hines] did very well. The boy was alive and he's played a very good
match. I was very pleased with him."
Some tell me that he was touched [for the penalty claim] and some say not. I
haven't seen so I can't be precise, but I can say that he had gone past his
defender so there was no reason for him to go down."
Yes, he [Alessandro Diamanti] went very close, first with the free-kick and
then with a shot. Diamanti has got quality and he will be a good asset for
us. He just needs some time to get used to the pace of the Premier League,
which is very much different from the one in Italy. He has got qualities but
I was tempted to start with him but I thought he would have a better impact
coming on from the bench, so he could have a look at what he was going to
face. It nearly went okay.
Yes, he [Robert Green] did [make] a great save. The first one was brilliant.
To be honest, I haven't seen the moments after the rebound, but in those
moments you have to be very active, so I was expecting the others to be more
reactive. I will say I will be more precise when I see it.
Faubert learnt Real lessons
Hammers ace feels loan switch was constructive
By Patrick Haond Last updated: 13th September 2009
Julien Faubert insists he has no regrets about accepting a loan move to Real
Madrid last season. The Frenchman, who is on the books of West Ham, joined
the Spanish giants in January in a deal which ran until the end of the
2008/09 campaign. He was restricted to just a handful of appearances for Los
Blancos, with competition for places fierce at Santiago Bernabeu. He has
since returned to England with the Hammers, despite reported interest from
AC Milan over the summer. Faubert is now determined to force his way into
Gianfranco Zola's plans on a regular basis, as a full-back, and insists he
has not given up hope of earning a recall to the France national side ahead
of next summer's World Cup. "I know some people laughed at me. No-one
believed I could be a success there. But how can you turn down Real?"
Faubert told L'Equipe. "It was a good experience. I learnt a lot. I didn't
play many games, but I improved on a technical level as I was playing with
great players. Faubert added: "Milan? There was talk but no offer. But the
fact that clubs like that are interested, while not playing a lot, is
comforting. "At the start of this season I have asked coach Zola to play me
at right-back. It was important to settle in a precise position because my
Zola disappointed after defeat
West Ham boss unhappy after loss at Wigan
By Steve Pass Last updated: 12th September 2009
West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola was disappointed after his side went down to a
Hugo Rodallega goal at Wigan. The Colombian striker netted in the 55th
minute at the DW Stadium to condemn the Hammers to defeat. Zola was unhappy
with how his side had started the second period after a goalless first half.
He told Sky Sports: "Obviously in the second half I was expecting a
different result because it had been quite a balanced game. "But in the
second half, it is not the first time that we have started in a sloppy way
and I don't like that. "It is something that we are going to be discussing
He agreed his team did not show their usual passing game at the DW Stadium.
"We didn't really, especially in the second half, we couldn't get it going
the way we normally do - that is another thing we are going to be
considering during the week." On the positive side, Zavon Hines put in a
great performance on his first Premier League start. "He was very good,
especially in the first half. He caused them a lot of problems and I was
pleased with his performance," said Zola, who also hailed the contribution
of substitute Alessandro Diamanti, who showed some good touches and hit the
crossbar. "Diamanti is certainly a player that has got something in his bag
and we are going to try to use it as best as we can. Today was very
Rodallega nets vital win
Rodallega nets for Wigan win
Last updated: 12th September 2009
Man of Match: Zavon Hines. Worked tirelessly for his side on his first
Premier League start. Proved a constant threat and had a penalty shout early
on after being caught by Maynor Figueroa, although replays showed first
contact was made outside the area.
Moment of the match: Hugo Rodallega's goal for the Latics which gave Roberto
Martinez's side the vital three points.
Attempt of the match: Alessandro Diamanti's curling effort from a tight
angle just outside the box which hit the crossbar and bounced away.
Save of the match: Kirkland had to save well to his right to save a Scott
Parker effort from the edge of the box.
Talking point: Carlton Cole got the ball into the net for West Ham at the
end of the first half but the referee had moments before blown for
Hugo Rodallega scored the only goal at the DW Stadium as Wigan registered
their first home league win of the campaign against West Ham. The Colombia
striker pounced in the 55th minute after West Ham keeper Robert Green had
done well to save Jason Koumas' close-range effort. West Ham then pressed
strongly for an equaliser, with substitute Alessandro Diamanti hitting the
crossbar from a tight angle. But Wigan held on to claim a much-needed win
after three successive losses in the league. Rodallega's goal was Wigan's
first at home in three games and only their fourth all season, which gives
an indication of where Roberto Martinez's side have to improve. Prior to his
effort the main point of interest had been the form of England goalkeeper
Green, who produced decent saves to deny Rodallega and Jordi Gomez in the
first half. Green's performance was in stark contrast to that of England
team-mate Carlton Cole, who showed little international class and was less
of a threat than 20-year-old strike partner Zavon Hines on his first start
of the season. That would partly explain why the Hammers have scored only
three goals in four matches and drawn a blank in their last two.
But the game had begun brightly for the visitors as, in the sixth minute,
Maynor Figueroa cut across the back of Hines only for referee Alan Wiley to
wave away penalty claims, with first contact also being made outside the
area. Neat interplay between Koumas and Rodallega set up Gomez on the edge
of the box but Green comfortably palmed the ball away diving to his left.
The England goalkeeper then confidently watched midfielder Mohamed Diame's
35-yard shot fly narrowly wide of his right-hand post as Wigan began to get
into their stride. West Ham's best chance in the opening 25 minutes fell to
Cole but he could only get the slightest of touches on Mark Noble's bouncing
pass and the ball harmlessly looped into Kirkland's arms. Kirkland was
called into action to tip Noble's shot, deflected through a crowd of
players, around a post before the West Ham midfielder was booked for
tripping Hendry Thomas. Hines cut in from the left to fire a right-footed
shot at Kirkland, who was almost caught out moments later when he took too
long to deal with a Bramble back-pass and the young striker charged down his
clearance only for it to rebound for a goal-kick. Rodallega's looping
deflected shot off defender Matthew Upson forced Green into a fingertip save
over his crossbar, with the goalkeeper also turning Gomez's dipping strike
behind for a corner as Wigan pushed for the breakthrough before the
interval. But Cole got the ball into the net for the visitors at the end of
the first half but only to find that referee Wiley had moments before blown
Five minutes into the second half, Gomez released Rodallega through the
middle on a counter-attack only for James Tomkins to get across and make a
The Colombia striker, however, eventually made his mark five minutes later.
Charles N'Zogbia played in Mario Melchiot on the right of the area and his
dangerous ball across the six-yard area should have been put away by Koumas
at the far post only for Green to make a reaction block but Rodallega was
alert enough though to poke home the rebound.
Mercifully the goal sparked some life into the game and Wigan had to
withstand a flurry of West Ham attacks. Titus Bramble's tackle denied Junior
Stanislas as he burst into the area, Tomkins headed the resulting corner
narrowly wide of the far post and Chris Kirkland tipped over a Scott Parker
drive. Rodallega departed to a standing ovation as he was replaced by Jason
Scotland in the 73rd minute but Wigan could not afford to relax and
substitute Diamanti's shot from wide on the right cannoned back off the
crossbar with Kirkland beaten. But the Latics survived a nervous five
minutes of added time to record a welcome second victory of the season.
Vinny's Wigan Report
Vinny - Sun Sep 13 2009
West Ham Online
Wigan Athletic 1 West Ham United 0
West Ham suffered a second defeat in four games as a second half goal was
enough to give Wigan a victory in a very disappointing display from
Gianfranco Zola's team.
Although we are only four games into the new Premiership season I cannot
overlook how shit a result this was. No disrespect to Wigan but really we
should be doing better against this type of opposition if we have any desire
to finish higher than we did last season.
This was very similar to a game from last season away at Hull City and was
quite worrying at how we failed to dominate a poor side despite the quality
of players at our disposal compared to the home side.
I had been unhappy at how we had performed in the second half against
Blackburn a couple of weeks ago as I felt we just didn't do enough to
warrant the win and it was much of the same in this one because apart from a
few chances after Wigan had scored we just didn't move into a higher gear to
Looking back on the game there is of course a decent argument that we
deserved at least a point and that may well be a fair one. We did have a
goal disallowed because the referee blew for half time in an incident which
I cannot believe more had not been made more of because if this had been
Manchester United vs Chelsea do you think this would have been swept under
the carpet like it seems to have been?
Gianfranco Zola made four changes to the side who apparently (according to
the official site) came away with an 'excellent draw' at Blackburn.
In defence the departed James Collins was replaced by James Tomkins and at
left back the possibly jet lagged (or just terrible) Jonathan Spector was on
the bench and replaced by Danny Gabbidon who went into an unfamiliar left
back slot. This was Gabbidon's first Premiership start for nearly two years.
In the midfield Luis Jiminez was missing and replaced by Radoslav Kovac who
was making his first league start of the season. Jack Collison was also out
and he was replaced by Zavon Hines who went up front with Carlton Cole with
Mark Noble on the right wing and Stanislas on the left.
This had been the only game I had gone into this season feeling confident
this season which was obviously misguided as too many individual poor
performances let the travelling support down. I just could not see how Wigan
would not be rolled over by our slick passing football with a starting line
up boasting seven full internationals.
But instead we played into Wigan's hands and they looked organised and full
of effort as they got stuck in a made it impossible for us to find any room
and even when we did find it some of our passing was abysmal.
The first real incident of the game saw Zavon Hines cleverly turn his man
and race towards goal only to be clipped on the edge of the area (it may
have even been inside) by Maynor Figueroa. As everyone connected with West
Ham appealed for a penalty the ref turned it down. There was no booking for
Hines which is odd as the ref must have thought he dived not to give any
sort of free kick or even a penalty.
What this would have also seen is a likely red card as Hines was through on
goal so this incident in a way shaped the game and it could have been so
Wigan started to get into the game and Jordi Gomez forced a save from Robert
Green. Wigan continued to apply pressure and an effort from Mohamed Diame
Stanislas and Hines were linking up well for us but that seemed to be the
extent of our attacking drive as Cole was being marked out of the game by
Thomas and Bramble.
It would be Stanislas who would have one of our best chances in the first
half as he came inside and hit a low shot which was knocked away by Wigan
keeper Chris Kirkland for a corner.
Although things seemed to have opened up for us slightly in the midfield
Wigan soon got back to closing down the space and made it very difficult for
us to pick up any tempo. I just felt that with players such as Noble and
Parker we should have been doing more to open them up.
Noble seemed to be as frustrated as the supporters as he was booked for a
pointless foul on Diame off the ball.
Hines again combined with Stanislas as the young striker on his full debut
had his shot saved by Kirkland.
A sloppy pass from Scott Parker let Wigan in and Rodallega saw his shot
deflected and Robert Green had to make an excellent save to deny the home
side from taking the lead.
Scott Parker was again caught in possession but the ref came to his rescue
and gave a free kick (which was the wrong decision). But the ref would
continue to get it wrong with the resulting free kick as Parker played it
over the top of the Wigan defence to Cole who knocked it past Kirkland and
But there would be no goal because as the free kick was taken the referee
Alan Wiley had blew the half time whistle and although the allocated minute
was up with the 'foul' on Parker that should have been taken into account
and all he had to do was wait a few more seconds.
My half time thoughts were similar to those against Blackburn where I
thought that although in no way had we played to our best with the players
available to us if we upped our game even slightly we would be able to
dispose of the opposition.
Maybe it is my own fault for having unrealistic expectations on how good we
actually are but I am sure I saw at times last season the makings of a very
good side and even though we had a few players out I still was expecting
more from our performance.
Wigan took the lead on 56 minutes as we were cut open down the right hand
side with the awkward looking Gabbidon struggling. With Wigan in behind our
defence the ball was squared for Jason Koumas who seemed to have the easiest
of chances but Robert Green made an outstanding save but the ball came out
to Rodallega who reacted the fastest and scored from close range.
For a few moments after the Wigan goal we burst into life and had our best
spell of the game which should have brought about an equaliser but poor
finishing and indecisiveness with our final ball saw the efforts prove
James Tomkins had our best chance of the entire game when a corner was met
by the defender but despite a free header with the goal at his mercy he
somehow managed to head wide of the goal.
Tomkins would have a similar chance again from a corner a few moments later
but yet again his header did not hit the target.
In between those chances Scott Parker forced Chris Kirkland into a terrific
save as the midfielder hit a sweet half volley at goal.
Zola made two changes in an effort to find the equaliser as he brought on
Valon Behrami and New signing Alessandro Diamanti. The players who came off
were Kovac (who had actually played quite well) and Junior Stanislas who had
faded badly. Despite Stanislas fading it was a wonder that Mark Noble had
continued to stay on the pitch as his performance seemed to be getting
This saw us go to a 4-3-3 with Diamanti taking his place on the right hand
side of the attack with Hines going more to the left.
Diamanti was involved early into his debut as he took a free kick which went
just wide of the goal. He is regarded as a free kick specialist and scored
two of them in the midweek reserve game but this effort couldn't find the
Parker yet again gave the ball away and this nearly cost us as Wigan sub
Jason Scotland raced towards goal but a fine challenge by Matthew Upson
prevented the striker from putting the game out of our reach.
Diamanti so very nearly got us back into the game with a wonderful effort
which he curled towards goal but the ball his the post. He had created this
chance out of nothing and it would have been a quite amazing goal.
A cross from Diamanti found Parker who flicked the ball towards goal but it
went agonizingly wide with Cole lurking at the back post.
That would be our last chance of the game and although there were five
minutes injury time (where that came from I do not know) Wigan saw out the
game with ease and we will have to regroup and reflect on this really awful
Had to make some top saves throughout this one and like the goal he conceded
for England on Wednesday night he was very unlucky with the goal as he had
made a wonderful save from Koumas but Rodallega was the quicker to react.
Another good showing from Faubert who still has his weakness with regards to
his positioning but he put in a lot of effort and worked very hard. Not
afraid to get stuck in and the WHO Player of the Month continued his good
early season form.
Saw a lot of the ball in the first half especially as he was often the
starting point to play the ball out. On the whole his distribution was good
and he made his fair share of blocks and interceptions. The challenge on
Jason Scotland in the second half was superb.
With the departure of James Collins we will be seeing quite a lot of James
Tomkins from now till the end of the season. This was a decent performance
and he made a few excellent tackles. Should have scored the equaliser but
managed to put his free header in the centre of the goal wide.
Not much difference between him and Spector in this left back slot as
Gabbidon too looked poor and this was quite obviously our weakest point our
side. Gabbidon did attempt to use his left foot as much as possible but his
clearances were often poor and he got caught a number of times.
A second consecutive poor performance from Noble who I thought should have
been taken off in the second half. He obviously does not like playing on the
wing and we really do not see the best of him. But still, he should be
putting in a bit of a better performance than this. Looked slow and his
passing was not of the standard he is capable of.
Probably saw the ball more than any other West Ham player but this was not a
performance we will look back and think was vintage Parker. He gave the ball
away so many times and put us in trouble with most of those misplaced
passess.Too slow on the ball and was caught in possession time and time
It is even a surprise to me that I am going to praise Kovac as so far in his
brief appearances this season I thought he has been pretty shocking. He is
limited going forward but did his job very well in this one as he broke up
the play and always seemed to be there to put a foot in. A decent showing
Started the game well and I thought he may get a bit of joy down the left
hand side but then it became apparent yet again that his is not a left
winger. He has no left foot and refuses to go outside his man to cross the
ball with his left foot.
Our best player. Looked lively, his pace was a problem for Wigan and the boy
did not stop throughout the entire ninety minutes. Maybe should have had a
penalty and although sometimes he was a little selfish when in possession he
was very eager. Keep him in the team I say.
This was as bad a performance from Cole than I have seen him perform in a
long time. This goes back to his early West Ham days as he looked pretty
awful. Never posed a threat, failed to anticipate the flight of the ball and
the Wigan centre halves had him in their pockets for most of this one. He
must do better than this.
Valon Behrami (on for Kovac 63 mins)
Great to see him back and I have no doubt that he will be a big player for
us this season. Got involved and although he looked a little sluggish this
is to be expected given the injury and length of time he was out.
Alessandro Diamanti (on for Stanislas 63 mins)
Making his debut for the club he looked very impressive. Was unlucky not to
score with a free kick and a wonderful curling effort which hit the post.
Looks good albeit a little crazy.
Frank Nouble (on for Noble 86 mins)
Did not see much of the ball to make any impact.
Subs Not Used: Kurucz, Da Costa, Spector, Payne
Bookings: Noble (2nd of season)
Man Of The Match: Zavon Hines
This is our worst performance and result for quite some time and the fans
who travelled to this one will have gone back bemused and frustrated with
the poor performance. This for me was an awful result and has really knocked
my confidence in how we will perform this season.
Maybe I am being too dramatic and have to realise that West Ham no matter
who the manager is will always lose games like this because we always have
but still I am pretty annoyed at how a team of the quality of Wigan Athletic
managed to beat us.
If it had have been smash and grab then maybe I would not be as disappointed
but we did not look any better than them and they probably deserved their
With Liverpool and Manchester City coming up next in the league you have to
wonder how many points we are realistically going to pick up because I can't
On the plus side Behrami is back and Diamanti looks quite good and will do
well in a more advanced position alongside Carlton Cole.
Luis Jiminez and Kieron Dyer missing were puzzling and with Dyer questions
really have to be asked about how many games this man is actually capable of
playing because he has now missed two out of the four games and only made
the bench against Blackburn.
Next Game - Liverpool (h)
We don't usually do well against Liverpool and last season they rolled us
over 3-0 at Upton Park. I can't see us getting much out of this game and a
point would be decent enough taking into consideration the quality of the
Another loss and the confidence will no doubt drain from the players come
the visit to the City of Manchester Stadium when a new look Manchester City
side will be looking to keep up their good form.
I am not trying to be all doom and gloom I am just quite pissed off at how
we played against Wigan who are a side I do feel we should be taking at
least a point from.
Zola has a lot to do but anyone who thinks our injury problems are over are
very mistaken because today we had Jiminez, Dyer, Ilunga and Collison all
injured. These are all first team players and we cannot continue to be
without so many important players at the same time.
Three games without a win, one goal in three games, Liverpool and Manchester
City next up.
I need to cheer up.
"After the first half I thought we were going to get more than a draw
because of the way we were playing. But this was not the first time that we
didn't start the second half at the same level as the first and we have to
find out why during the week. This is something we have to work on.
"I think it was a scrappy goal that we conceded and maybe we should have
done better. We will have a look during the week. I am expecting the team to
play a little bit better than they did today.
"Robert Green did a great save. The first one was brilliant. To be honest, I
haven't seen the moments after the rebound, but in those moments you have to
be very active, so I was expecting the others to be more reactive. I will
say I will be more precise when I see it."
"Zavon did very well. The boy was alive and he's played a very good match. I
was very pleased with him.
"Some tell me that he was touched and some say not. I haven't seen it so I
can't be precise, but I can say that he had gone past his defender so there
was no reason for him to go down."
"Diamanti went very close, first with the free-kick and then with a shot.
Diamanti has got quality and he will be a good asset for us. He just needs
some time to get used to the pace of the Premier League, which is very much
different from the one in Italy. He has got qualities but important
"I was tempted to start with him but I thought he would have a better impact
coming on from the bench, so he could have a look at what he was going to
face. It nearly went okay."
Rodallega hits West Ham on the rebound for Martinez
Wigan Athletic 1 West Ham United 0
By Chris Brereton
Monday, 14 September 2009
Losing 5-0 at home is not normally seen as a positive starting point but
then Roberto Martinez is clearly not your normal kind of person.
The Wigan manager oversaw his team's uninspiring victory over West Ham on
Saturday, and then declared that the thumping Manchester United dished out
last month is being used as a catalyst by everyone at the DW Stadium. "The
5-0 against Manchester United gave us an opportunity against West Ham," he
said. "We could have played a different way against United and just gone for
damage limitation and lost just 1-0 or 2-0. But I thought for 50 minutes in
that game it gave us the platform to perform how we did today."
Hugo Rodallega's finish was impressively controlled as he followed up a
rebound after Robert Green had done well to deny Jason Koumas from close
range. "He was someone I have followed very closely and he is going to be an
important player in the Premier League," Martinez said of Rodallega.
"He is 22 and has a fantastic future and I hope that he can carry on
enjoying himself and settle in because obviously this is only early days for
him. He is the sort of player we need, the kind of player who has not
reached his potential and wants to develop their career playing for Wigan."
For their second successive foray to the North-west, following a dull
showing against Blackburn, West Ham offered little threat. Carlton Cole and
Zavor Hines could barely get hold of the ball, although James Tomkins and
Scott Parker both had good chances to try and salvage a point.
However, it would not come and the Wets Ham manager, Gianfranco Zola, was
left to ponder what might have been. "We never conceded anything to them and
I think the goal was their only shot in the game," he said.
Wigan Athletic(4-5-1): Kirkland; Melchiot, Boyce, Bramble, Figueroa; Koumas
(Scharner, 65), Thomas, Diame, N'Zogbia, Gomez (Sinclair, 90); Rodallega
(Scotland, 72). Substitutes not used: Edman, Cho, Pollitt (gk), King.
West Ham United (4-4-2): Green; Gabbidon, Tomkins, Upson, Faubert; Stanislas
(Diamanti, 63), Kovac (Behrami, 63), Parker, Noble (Nouble, 87); Hines,
Cole. Substitutes not used: Spector, Da Costa, Kurucz (gk), Payne.
Referee: A Wiley (Staffordshire).
Booked: Wigan Bramble, Figueroa; West Ham Noble
Man of the match: Rodallega.
West Ham fear Robert Green will quit at World Cup
Published 22:47 13/09/09 By Alan Nixon
West Ham are worried that England keeper Robert Green will buy out the last
year of his contract - and sell himself on the cheap at the World Cup
finals. Green has fought his way to the top of the pecking order with Fabio
Capello after a long battle and he could stay there in South Africa if his
Hammers form continues to be good. But Gianfranco Zola's club is on red
alert because Green will enter the final year of his deal in the summer -
and has the option to buy out his contract for around £1.5 million. That
would make him an absolute steal and one of the most attractive goalkeeping
signings on the planet if he goes into the showcase event as a relatively
'free agent' - a top number one at a cheap price. Green is able to buy out
his contract because of a FIFA rule, one that has not been exploited too
often but could be popular with many players in the World Cup finals.
Hammers know that they could not find a suitable replacement for Green with
just £1.5 million compensation - and they plan to either tie him down to a
new deal or even sell him in the next window. However Green, who ironically
signed for Hammers in the World Cup summer of 2006, is in pole position to
do what he wants and West Ham are increasingly concerned that he is heading
for the exit door.
Hugo Rodallega pounces after West Ham blunder
Wigan 1 West Ham 0 Gary Jacob, DW Stadium
Both teams have embarked on changing a pragmatic playing style and while
Roberto Martínez, the Wigan Athletic manager, believes that it will take
four months for his players to master it, his West Ham counterpart,
Gianfranco Zola is still searching for answers as he celebrates a year in
charge. West Ham were not good enough to take advantage of opponents made
apprehensive by four consecutive defeats.
At the end, a sense of relief was etched most clearly on the face of Chris
Kirkland, the goalkeeper who conceded five goals at home to Manchester
United, a crushing defeat that, Martínez argued, made this victory possible.
The Spaniard will rightly be applauded for refusing to compromise his
attacking principles but he needs to be as careful that it is not his team's
undoing during a transitional period.
The departure of Lee Cattermole and Michael Brown has left a defensive gulf
in central midfield that heaped pressure on the young shoulder of Mohamed
Diamé, who for the first time accepted the challenge with relish. "I would
rather lose 5-0 than try damage limitation and have no chance of scoring,"
Martínez said. "Defeats like that can mean the players becoming more mature
A tepid and error-strewn encounter was decided when Hugo Rodallega pounced
after defensive mistakes had allowed Mario Melchiot to break free to cross.
A pedestrian West Ham passed without menace, although the determination and
deceptive speed of Zavon Hines posed a threat but an out-of-sorts Carlton
Cole grew exasperated as he was expertly marshalled by Titus Bramble.
Alessandro Diamanti came on for his debut and floated a free kick narrowly
wide as well as hitting the bar.
Zola knows that questions remain over his team's concentration after handing
Tottenham Hotspur victory last month. "This is the second game that we have
lost for mistakes," he said. "This is the last bit you need to improve as a
player and is the most difficult bit to do."
Wigan Athletic (4-4-1-1): C Kirkland 6 — M Melchiot 6, T Bramble 8, E Boyce
6, M Figueroa 6 — C N'Zogbia 6, M Diamé 7, H Thomas 6, J Koumas 5 (sub: P
Scharner, 65min 5) — J Gómez 6 (sub: S Sinclair, 90) — H Rodallega 6 (sub: J
Scotland, 72). Substitutes not used: M Pollitt, E Edman, Cho Won Hee, M
King. Booked: Figueroa, Bramble. Next: Arsenal (a).
West Ham United (4-4-2): R Green 7 — J Faubert 6, J Tomkins 6, M Upson 6, D
Gabbidon 5 — M Noble 5 (sub: F Nouble, 87), R Kovac 5 (sub: V Behrami, 63
5), S Parker 6, J Stanislas 5 (sub: A Diamanti, 63 7) — C Cole 5, Z Hines 7.
Substitutes not used: P Kurucz, J Spector, M Da Costa, J Payne. Booked:
Noble. Next: Liverpool (h).
Resentful Rodallega takes it out on Hammers
Wigan Athletic 1 West Ham United 0
By John Percy at the DW Stadium
Sunday, 13 September 2009
It has been a harsh introduction to the Premier League for Roberto Martinez
but his decision to unleash a frustrated Hugo Rodallega on West Ham United
was rewarded with his first home win.
After successive humblings by Wolves and Manchester United, Martinez tasted
his first success as a Premier League manager on his own turf after
Rodallega finally ended Robert Green's brave resistance. Rodallega was
harbouring a sense of injustice after spending almost 24 hours flying to and
back from Uruguay for Colombia's World Cup qualifier without making an
But the forward pounced with his second goal of the campaign as the England
goalkeeper Green's crusade was cruelly brought to an end 10 minutes into the
Martinez said: "Hugo only arrived home at midday on Friday and I did
consider resting him. But he promised me at half-time that he would score –
he was that determined.
"He was disappointed not to play for Colombia but we want players with his
attitude, desperate to win games. It wasn't an outstanding performance from
us in every department but we deserved three points."
It was cruel on the goalkeeper who had "England's No 6" embroidered into his
gloves not so long ago but is now leading the race to become Fabio Capello's
No 1 in South Africa. It perhaps says much for the current dearth of keepers
that Green has managed to restore himself in such swift fashion but he did
well here yesterday.
Jordi Gomez, the Wigan midfielder, tested Green with two early drives from
distance that were repelled with a minimum of fuss but his first-half save
from Rodallega's deflected strike, tipping a swirling shot over the
crossbar, was sublime.
The second half saw a marked improvement in quality as Wigan's long wait for
a goal at home ended on 55 minutes. Once again, Green performed heroics to
deny Jason Koumas but he was helpless to prevent Rodallega from slashing the
West Ham came back hard in search of a swift equaliser with James Tomkins
heading wide before Chris Kirkland clawed Scott Parker's drive over the
crossbar. But Gianfranco Zola's managerial anniversary brought no joy as the
substitute Valon Behrami struck the upright 12 minutes from time.
"I'm expecting the team to play a little bit better than they did today,"
admitted Zola. "It is not the first time we have started a second half not
at the same level as the first. It's something that we need to work on."
Referee: Alan Wiley
Man of the match: Green
Match rating: 5/10