Barclays Premier League
Bolton Wanderers v West Ham United
Tuesday 15 December
Referee: Andre Marriner
92 min - Two minutes to go now. da Costa tries to tee up Diamanti on the
edge of the area but his pass does not quite reach its target.
90 min - We will have four minutes of added time at the Reebok.
89 min - GOAL! And that could be game over as Cahill meets Gardner's
flag-kick at the far post to power a header in.
88 min - Green makes a good save from Chris Basham as Bolton force another
87 min - Another change for the Hammers sees Manuel da Costa come on for
Collison. The central defender looks like he will be playing up front.
86 min - West Ham are seeing most of the ball now as you'd expect but are
struggling to make any chances with it.
82 min - Second change for Bolton as Klasnic makes way for Chris Basham.
81 min - West Ham have Nouble and Payne warming up so we could see them
before too long.
79 min - West Ham try to hit back straight away but Jaaskelainen just beats
Parker to a through-ball.
77 min - GOAL! Bolton re-take the lead. Cahill shoots from the edge of the
area but Green cannot hold it and Klasnic is on hand to prod the ball home
from three yards.
76 min - Bolton make their first change as Taylor is taken off for Ricardo
74 min - Another opening for the away side as Collison drills a cross
towards Franco, but he does not catch his shot right and the ball rolls off
for a goal-kick.
70 min - The goal seems to have given the Hammers a lift and Parker puts a
30-yard chip just inches too high. Once again, the West Ham No8 has been at
the heart of everything good his side have done.
69 min - GOAL! And they do! A great move down the left sees Ilunga feed
Franco. Some clever footwork from the Mexican sees him feed Collison, who
then flick the ball into the path of Diamanti, who makes no mistake with his
right foot for his first goal from open play for the Hammers. Game on!
67 min - Despite the goal, the Hammers' fans are still giving the team their
backing. Let's just hope the players can respond.
65 min - GOAL! The hosts take the lead as Lee exchanges passes with Klasnic
before flicking the ball past Green and into the corner.
62 min - Diamanti is the next to test the Bolton goalkeeper as West Ham
continue their bright start to the half.
60 min - Apologies if there are not many updates on how West Ham's corners
are going but generally they are headed clear by one of the Bolton
defenders, who seem to have total air supremacy in the area. I will, of
course, let you know if that changes.
59 min - The game is hotting up and Cohen has gone into the book for a
tackle on Diamanti. Seconds later, the Italian chips a ball over the top for
Franco but his shot is deflected wide for a corner.
58 min - That chance had come about after Green had just saved from Cahill
and the Hammers broke away.
56 min - Brilliant from Parker. A 60 yard run from inside his own half is
only bettered by a rasping effort towards the top corner, which Jaaskelainen
tips around the post. That's the closest the visitors have come.
53 min - First attack of the second 45 from West Ham as Parker feeds
Stanislas inside the Hammers' half. He carries it 30 yards before playing an
incisive pass into the feet of Franco, but a brilliant sliding tackle just
takes the chance away from him.
52 min - Too hairy moments there as Gabbidon flicks a goalbound shot around
the post before Davies rises to meet a corner to head it back across goal.
Thankfully, nobody is there to meet it.
48 min - Fairly quiet start to this half, so it's carrying on in the same
vein as the first half. Lee's has the first shot of the half but slices his
shot horribly wide. It looks like West Ham have switched to a 4-4-2.
47 min - No more changes from either side as far as I can see.
46 min - West Ham United get us underway.
45 min - Franco is booked for a tackle on Gary Cahill. We will have two
minutes of added time.
45 min - Muamba is booked for tugging back Franco and moments later the
Hammers force a corner. Stanislas takes it and the ball is cleared to
Diamanti. His shot is blocked and falls to Gabbidon, but he drags his effort
43 min - Klasnic fired another shot wide a few minutes ago but, since them,
the Hammers have managed to stem the flow somewhat.
39 min - Davies heads over another half chance as Bolton continue to press,
while off the pitch the Hammers fans keep up their barrage of noise with
another rendition of 'Bubbles'. Can the boys in claret and blue respond?
37 min - The home side are starting to create a few openings now and Tamir
Cohen tried an ambitious volley from the edge of the area but it goes well
36 min - Zat Knight rises highest but he can't get his header on target.
34 min - Some good goalkeeping from Green and then an overhit effort from
Matt Taylor see out the two quick corners but Bolton have another.
32 min - It is something of a scrappy affair with misplaced passes
dominating the game so far. Bolton have won a corner after Gabbidon, who has
been superb so far, headed behind a long throw.
29 min - Shouts for a penalty from the home support as the ball hits
Faubert's upper body. Referee Andre Marriner waves away the appeals though.
26 min - Parker has been buzzing around all over the pitch thus far, but has
been stopped in his tracks for a few minutes after colliding with Fabrice
Muamba. The Hammer of the Year is back on his feet and hopefully he should
be OK to continue.
23 min - Good running straight away from the substitute as forces Gretar
Steinsson into forcing a corner.
22 min - We might have our first change as Dyer has been forced off with a
knock. Junior Stanislas is the man to replace him.
16 min - A heated moment here as Kevin Davies puts in a late challenge in on
Green. The striker is booked and then following an altercation involving
around eight players, Ivan Klasnic is booked as well.
13 min - Parker is pulled up for a tackle on Chung-Yong Lee. The wall does
its job though as the free-kick takes a deflection and rolls safely through
11 min - First shot on goal for either side and it comes Dyer after a great
passing move involving Parker, Kovac and Collison. To be fair, it was a
fairly straightforward save for Jussi Jaaskelainen in the Bolton goal.
8 min - Brilliant defending from Danny Gabbidon as he reads Kevin Davies'
attempted cut back. The Hammers were a bit outnumbered at the back there.
7 min - All of the news at the moment is coming from the away end at the
moment, behind the goal West Ham are attacking.
5 min - Good tracking back from Kieron Dyer there as he sees the ball out
for a goal-kick.
4 min - Nice moment there as the West Ham fans sing Dean Ashton's name, as
they did against Birmingham City on Saturday.
3 min - Lovely control and pass from Guille Franco to the feet of Jack
Collison there. With him being at the point of the West Ham attack tonight,
they will need lots more of that from the Mexican.
1 min - We are underway and Bolton go on the attack straight away. Kevin
Davies' shot deflects off James Tomkins for a corner but Robert Green is
there to fist the kick away. The West Ham No1 was fouled in the process so
it is a free-kick to visitors.
7.59pm - Captain for the evening Scott Parker goes in for the coin toss and
it looks as though West Ham will be attacking the goal to my right in the
first half - a change to the norm for the away team at the Reebok. While
that is going on the West Ham mascot, Sam Pascoe, gives the crowd a wave as
he leaves the pitch.
7.58pm - It is a youthful bench for the Hammers tonight with Manuel da
Costa, who impressed on his debut for the Hammers here in the League Cup,
the oldest player at 23.
7.55pm - If you're reading this at home, you're probably more clued up than
those Hammers fans who have made the trip to Bolton. A problem with the
printers has led to their being no match programmes on sale before the game.
7.50pm - Well we are under ten minutes from kick-off at the Reebok and the
West Ham fans are in good voice. We have already had our first rendition of
'Bubbles' and chants of 'Irons' are ringing round the Reebok. Zola spoke
earlier to thank the fans for their superb support at St Andrews on Saturday
and no doubt he will be hoping for more of the same tonight.
Gianfranco Zola has made two changes to his West Ham United side for
Tuesday's Barclays Premier League visit to Bolton Wanderers.
The suspended Mark Noble is replaced by Jack Collison, while Kieron Dyer
comes in for Junior Stanislas, who drops to the substitutes bench. It is
Dyer's first start since the Hammers 3-1 Carling Cup third-round defeat by
the Trotters at the Reebok Stadium on 22 September.
Dyer scored twice for Ipswich Town in a 4-3 Championship play-off semi-final
second leg victory over Bolton in May 1999. It was the 30-year-old's final
game for the Tractor Boys.
Bolton are unchanged from Saturday's thrilling 3-3 draw at Manchester City.
West Ham have failed to win on any of their ten visits to the Reebok, losing
on seven occasions and drawing the other three.
Bolton Wanderers: Jaaskelainen, Steinsson, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Lee,
Muamba, Cohen, Taylor (Ricketts 76), K.Davies, Klasnic (Basham 82)
Subs: Al Habsi, Samuel, A.O'Brien, M.Davies, Elmander
West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Gabbidon, Ilunga, Parker, Kovac,
Collison, Dyer (Stanislas 22), Diamanti, Franco
Subs: Kurucz, Spector, Daprela, Da Costa, Payne, Nouble
Trotters tame Hammers
Two late goals secured Bolton Wanderers victory over West Ham United at the
West Ham United's bad luck at the Reebok Stadium continued as they went down
to a 3-1 defeat to Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday. An uncharacteristic error by
Robert Green paved the way for the Trotters' victory just when it looked
like the Hammers would take the game by the scruff of the neck. Green was
unable to hold on to the ball after Gary Cahill's shot had flicked off the
head of Tamir Cohen, enabling Croatia forward Ivan Klasnic to slot into the
unguarded net 13 minutes from time. Defeat was tough on Gianfranco Zola's
side, who looked to have grabbed a point through Alessandro Diamanti's
stunning finish after Chung-Yong Lee had slotted the Trotters into a
second-half lead. Cahill's late header from a Ricardo Gardner corner rubbed
salt into West Ham's already tender wounds. No doubt buoyed by the 3-3 draw
they secured against big-spending Manchester City on Saturday - a game in
which Klasnic scored twice - Bolton were the better side before half-time,
but a mixture of resolute defending and wayward finishing ensured the game
was still goalless after 45 minutes.
West Ham's best chance of the opening half fell to Kieron Dyer, who raced on
to Ilunga's pass before shooting too close to Jussi Jaaskelainen. At the
other end, Bolton were a constant threat. Just 35 seconds had passed when
Kevin Davies robbed the returning Collison before seeing his low shot
deflect narrowly wide off James Tomkins. Seven minutes later, West Ham had
Tomkins' centre-back partner Danny Gabbidon to thank after the Wales
defender positioned himself superbly to cut out Davies' attempted cross to
the unmarked Klasnic. An already physical affair threatened to boil over
momentarily soon afterwards when Davies barged Green well after the
goalkeeper had claimed the ball. The Bolton forward was booked for his
challenge, while Klasnic was also shown the yellow card for raising his
hands to Scott Parker's face in the ensuing melee. Soon afterwards, Dyer was
forced to head for the away dressing room with an apparent injury. The
England man was replaced by the player he had replaced in the starting
lineup, Junior Stanislas.
Bolton continued to carry the greater threat as the half wore on, with
Fabrice Muamba, Zat Knight, Cahill, Cohen, Klasnic and Davies all going
close. The second half was equally keenly-fought, with Zola changing to a
4-4-1-1 formation in a bid to put the home side under more pressure. The
move nearly paid off nine minutes after the break. Green blocked Cahill's
fierce shot with his legs, the ball rebounded to Diamanti, who fed Parker.
The midfielder made 50 yards, skipping around two Bolton players before
forcing Jaaskelainen into an acrobatic fingertip save. The Finn was called
into action again just past the hour-mark, when Diamanti found some space 25
yards out before curling a shot into the goalkeeper's grasp. It was the home
side who broke the deadlock, however, through South Korea winger Lee. The
21-year-old played a neat one-two with Klasnic before slotting the ball past
Green as the clock ticked on to 65 minutes. Bolton's lead lasted just four
minutes, however, as Ilunga cut in from the left before finding Franco who,
in turn, found Collison. The Welshman slid the ball sideways to Diamanti,
who slammed the ball into the roof of the net Just a minute later, Parker
skimmed the top of the crossbar with a rasping 30-yard shot as West Ham went
for a winner, only for Wanderers to hit them with a sucker punch of
devastating proportions. There appeared little danger when Cahill's
deflected shot flew through to Green, only for the England stopper to drop
the ball at the feet of the alert Klasnic, who gleefully converted. With
time running short , Zola threw on Manuel da Costa as an emergency striker
in the closing stages, but it was Bolton who finished the stronger and
wrapped up the three points a minute from full-time. Green was forced to
push substitute Chris Basham's shot aside. From the resulting Gardner
corner, Cahill rose highest to head home at the far post.
West Ham United must now ready themselves for their return to the Boleyn
Ground on Sunday, when Chelsea are the visitors.
Clarke calls for more
Steve Clarke is expecting an improvement from West Ham United as thoughts
turn to Chelsea
Steve Clarke said West Ham United need to start showing their true colours
ahead of the intensive festive schedule following the 3-1 defeat at Bolton
Wanderers. Alessandro Diamanti's first goal for the club from open play had
cancelled out Chung-Yong Lee's opener for the hosts and, just as the Hammers
looked to be seizing control of the game, a lapse by Robert Green saw the
ball drop at the feet of Ivan Klasnic to put the Trotters back in front. The
visitors pushed forward but Gary Cahill's header with three minutes to go
put the hosts out of reach. "It is another disappointing night for us,"
Clarke said. "Its been a difficult time recently. Tonight sort of summed it
up in a way. We got back in the game and looked in control and Robert's
unfortunately made a mistake. It's something we couldn't come back from.
"When you're down there it's a nervous game. Bolton are a little bit more
direct so they got more balls in the box. Unfortunately in the first half we
couldn't impose our style of play on the game. "We didn't pass the ball well
enough. We changed things a bit at half-time and were much better in the
second half and had much more control of the game. Unfortunately, as we've
said a few times this season, it went away. "
Clarke, like manager Gianfranco Zola, is determined to put things right and
has no time for excuses. "You have to utilise the players you've got in the
best way. We have a manager who likes to pass the ball and when I say
aggressive, you have to be aggressive with the ball and impose your style of
play on the game. First half we didn't do it, second half we did it much
better. Unfortunately the game went away from us. "I think if you start to
rely on luck it will never come. We have to work harder, we have to be more
aggressive, we have to play better, we have to cut out the mistakes and I
think the harder you work the luckier you get and that's the philosophy we
have to take."
Sunday's London derby with Chelsea at the Boleyn Ground is the perfect
opportunity to put things right. Clarke, for one, thinks the match could
provide the Hammers with the springboard they need for the rest of the
season. "I think its a great game for us. Nobody expects us to get anything
and they have to go there and work as hard as they can. In football you
never know. Because if you'd said Last week Wolves would go to Tottenham and
get a result you would have laughed. Maybe it will happen for us this
weekend. That's what we're hoping for."
Bolton's victory saw them leapfrog their guests and Clarke explained that
everyone concerned is all too aware of the need to start picking up points.
"The feeling in the dressing room is that we know we're in a bad position,
we know we haven't got enough points. The quicker we can get a win, the
better. But we don't just need one, we need three, four, five wins. "We're
not stupid. We understand the situation and we're working as hard as we can
to rectify it and at the moment it's not easy. We have confidence in the
players, we have confidence in ourselves and we're sure we can get out of
the bottom three."
Green could not hold Cahill's shot before Klasnic prodded in the rebound to
put the hosts back in front just as West Ham were starting to take control.
It was a rare handling mistake from the England international and his
first-team coach was certainly not pointing any fingers. "Football's all
about mistakes. Rob will deal with it. He will recover. The best thing he
can do is to go out against Chelsea on Sunday and have the game of his life.
He has to respond and I'm sure he will. "Robbo's done well for us, its been
a difficult season. For various reasons we've not been able to play with the
same defenders. We've always been mixing and matching. We defended quite
well against Birmingham at the weekend. Unfortunately we lost the one goal
and I thought we defended quite well. "I thought the third puts a very
unfair reflection on the game. We switched off at a set play towards the
end. When you have young players in your team sometimes that happens. "There
are no problem with Robert. He's working as hard as he can to try and help
the team. The best thing he can do for everybody especially himself is to
have a great game on Sunday. "
Another sour note was the withdrawal of Kieron Dyer after 20 minutes during
his second start of the season. But as a small consolation, Clarke revealed
that the injury does not appear to be too serious. "Unfortunately he felt a
tightening of his hamstring. He came off and I just spoke to him. He said it
wasn't a tear, it's another small pull. To be honest I'm just disappointed
for the player. He's worked ever so hard to get himself in a position where
he could start a game. "He gives us something extra. He gives us experience,
he's quick and he had one great run where he got through. That shows what
Kieron Dyer can give to us. He's had some terrible knocks over the last
couple of years. Hopefully he'll get himself right, he'll come back and next
time stay in the team longer."
Regardless of off-field speculation, Clarke reiterated the management's
desire to focus only on the task at hand and take responsibility. "If
anyone's looking to blame, they'll have to blame me. I'm the guy they
brought in to help Gianfranco. He's the novice manager, just in the game but
if anyone wants to point fingers, point them at me."
Bolton 3 - 1 West Ham
By Mandeep Sanghera
West Ham keeper Robert Green's sloppy error helped Bolton beat the Hammers
and climb out of the bottom three. Bolton had taken the lead when Chung-Yong
Lee played a one-two with Ivan Klasnic and dinked in a shot, before
Alessandro Diamanti fired in to level. But Green spilled a Gary Cahill shot
in front of Klasnic, who pounced to score from point-blank range. Cahill
nodded in at the far post to add to Bolton's lead and increase West Ham's
relegation fears. Green - who hopes to be in England's World Cup squad next
year - had stressed the importance of the game with both clubs in the bottom
three ahead of the fixture. And the tension of the situation appeared to
have more of an impact on the visitors. The Hammers, who have the
uncertainty of financial problems and a possible takeover hanging over them,
can usually be expected to produce neat and tidy football under manager
Gianfranco Zola but even this deserted them for the most part at the Reebok
Stadium. The visitors looked disjointed and lacked any sort of threat before
suffering a setback when Kieron Dyer, whose tame shot being saved had given
them a rare sight of the home goal, was forced off after just 21 minutes
because of injury.
Bolton were putting in a hard-working display and did not take long to
wrestle the initiative from the visitors, although they were struggling to
produce the guile to exert any concerted pressure on the West Ham goal.
However, the home side did have the better of the fleeting chances in the
opening half, with striker Kevin Davies robbing Jack Collison of possession
and having a shot deflected just wide by Danny Gabbidon. Cahill glanced an
inviting Paul Robinson cross high and wide, while Fabrice Muamba's 25-yard
shot bounced narrowly past the post after taking a deflection. Klasnic ran
on to a Lee pass but his left-foot shot swerved just wide of keeper Green's
West Ham had not won on their travels since the opening day of the season
and it was easy to see why as they rarely looked like breaking a record of
failing to earn a victory at the Reebok in 10 attempts. But the pace and
intensity of the game picked up after the break and Bolton midfielder Tamir
Cohen had a goal-bound six-yard effort blocked at the far post by Gabbidon.
Cahill had a well-struck shot blocked by keeper Green, and after the
clearance was picked up by Scott Parker the Hammers midfielder produced a
surging run from inside his own half before having a 22-yard strike palmed
wide by keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen. The inhibitions of both sides had now
been shrugged off and Bolton took the lead when Lee cut inside from the left
flank, played a one-two with Klasnic and lifted the ball over the on-rushing
Green. Bolton appeared set to earn their first clean sheet in the Premier
League this season but a well-worked West Ham move ended their hopes of
doing so. The previously anonymous Guillermo Franco crossed for Collison to
touch the ball on to Diamanti, who fired in from 12 yards. To their credit,
Bolton continued to press and were rewarded when Green's error allowed
Klasnic to sidefoot in the winner from point-blank range. Cahill added the
finishing touch to Bolton's win when he headed in a Ricardo Gardner corner
at the far post to help relieve some of the pressure on manager Gary Megson.
Steve Clarke backs keeper Robert Green to bounce back
West Ham assistant manager Steve Clarke expects goalkeeper Robert Green to
make up for his mistake against Bolton with "the game of his life" against
Chelsea. Green embarrassingly spilled a Gary Cahill shot to let Ivan Klasnic
put Bolton 2-1 ahead as the Hammers went on to lose 3-1. "It was a big
mistake. But he is a man and he'll bounce back," said Clarke. "He needs to
have the game of his life against Chelsea. That's the way he has to react
and I'm sure he will."
Struggling West Ham had gone behind to a Chung-Yong Lee goal before
Alessandro Diamanti equalised at the Reebok Stadium. But the game turned on
a dreadful error from Green, as the England keeper let a simple catch slip
from his grasp to give Klasnic the easiest of goals. And a lacklustre
Hammers side rarely looked like getting back into the match before Cahill
added the home side's third to leave the Hammers second from bottom of the
Premier League table. "We have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and
get on with it because we need points as soon as possible," added Clarke.
"When we are on the type of run we are on, you lack confidence and that is a
big factor. "The squad is a little threadbare at the moment. We know that
but the players are working as hard as they can. "We are also making
unfortunate mistakes which are costing us dear and all these things come
together with the net result being where we are in the league."
He added: "It would be nice to get a result against one of the big teams. We
have Chelsea at the weekend and if we could start there that would be good.
"The real key is just to keep working hard. The players are a willing bunch
and I'm sure they will give more. The quicker we turn this corner the
better." The victory helped ease the pressure on Bolton boss Gary Megson as
his side earned a much-needed win which lifted them out of the relegation
zone. "It was important given the situation we were in and the team we were
playing," he said. "We never said so but this was a must-win game and
thankfully we got the three points. "I thought there was one team trying to
win it and another trying to nick a win."
Bolton 3 West Ham Utd 1
Filed: Tuesday, 15th December 2009
By: Staff Writer
Another error-strewn performance condemned Gianfranco Zola's side to a
second successive away defeat. Once again the travelling supporters were
subjected to a lesson in how not to defend as West Ham simply fell apart in
the second half, conceding three goals within 24 minutes - and every one due
to a defensive error. Herita Ilunga, a shadow of the player of last season
was guilty of ball-watching for the first goal on 64 minutes; as the rest of
the defence moved out following a corner Ilunga played Lee Chung Yong onside
before the Korean finished smartly, lifting his effort over the advancing
Robert Green. West Ham drew level just five minutes later when an excellent
move involving Guillermo Franco and Jack Collison culminated with a fine
Alessandro Diamanti effort from 12 yards. But the home side were back in
front on 77 minutes when an horrendous error by Green allowed Klasnic to
restore Bolton's earlier lead. A long range shot was palmed down by Green
who cannot have noticed Klasnic a yard or two to his left. As Green went to
claim the ball Klasnic stole in to steal the ball and tap into the gaping
net much to the dismay of the England keeper who, like too many others, has
failed to reach his usual high standards this season. The game was wrapped
up two minutes from the end of normal time when James Tomkins simply lost
his man at a corner allowing Gary Cahill a free header at the far post.
To add insult to injury Gianfranco Zola, whose slender squad is already
being stretched to its limits lost Kieron Dyer to a suspected hamstring
strain just 20 minutes into the game. Dyer, making his first start since the
Carling Cup game here in September (that also ended 3-1) has made just five
starts in all since signing for United in a £7.5million switch back in
August 2007. All in all there was very little to cheer yet again for Zola,
although the performance of Scott Parker - who went close to scoring his
first goal of the season on three occasions - was one highlight of yet
another very disappointing evening. The win for Bolton - only their second
at home all season - lifts them above West Ham who drop to 19th in the
table. Only Portsmouth stand between United and the foot of the table and
with Chelsea due at the Boleyn this weekend, the situation doesn't look set
to improve anytime soon.
Adriano hopes fade for Hammers
Striker looks set to remain with Flamengo
Last updated: 16th December 2009
West Ham's hopes of landing Brazil international striker Adriano during the
January transfer window look to have been dashed. Hammers boss Gianfranco
Zola is keen to improve his forward options with the Upton Park club
struggling at the wrong end of the Premier League table. Tuesday's 3-1
defeat by Bolton at the Reebok Stadium left West Ham marooned in the drop
zone and two points from safety. Off-field speculation over their future
continues with reports that former Birmingham co-owners David Sullivan and
David Gold are planning to make a £50million bid. Adriano had emerged as a
possible transfer target, with the former Inter Milan forward's agent
admitting a number of clubs in Europe were keen on his services. But the
powerful striker, who recently helped Flamengo claim the Brazilian
championship, looks set to remain in his homeland. Team-mate Ronaldo
Angelim said: "I have spoken to Adriano and he has assured me he will
continue with Flamengo here in Brazil."
Clarke - We need to turn corner
Assistant boss says side need to turn corner quickly
By Steve Pass Last updated: 16th December 2009
Steve Clarke said West Ham need to turn the corner quickly after the Hammers
gifted Bolton a 3-1 victory at the Reebok Stadium to plunge further in the
relegation mire. Lee Chung-Yong gave the Trotters the lead in the 64th
minute but Alessandro Diamanti replied with a great strike five minutes
later. However, England keeper Robert Green then could not hold an easy
catch from Gary Cahill's bouncing effort and Ivan Klasnic slotted home from
close range on 77 minutes. Cahill then added the crucial third with two
minutes remaining when rising unchallenged to head home Ricardo Gardner's
corner. The result left the Hammers second from bottom, while their night
was compounded with injury-plagued midfielder Kieron Dyer having to be
substituted with a hamstring problem.
Clarke told Sky Sports: "We're very, very disappointed. It's been a bad four
days for us, we've lost a couple of games where we felt we could get
something from both games and we've ended up with nothing. We're not
stupid, we know the position we're in, we're realistic about it and we're
working as hard as we can to turn things around."
Clarke refused to blame Green for the defeat. "It's a little bit like what
has been happening to us this season, there has been a few mistakes
throughout the season, not just from Robert but from other people," said
Clarke. "Mistakes, they're part and parcel of the game. Obviously when your
confidence is low and Robert makes a mistake - he didn't mean to make it,
it's a mistake, it happens in football - you have to try and bounce back
from it. "Unfortunately tonight it was too late for us to recover but we
have to try and recover in the next game."
Regarding Dyer's substitution, he said: "We're disappointed for Kieron
because he has worked ever so hard to get himself in a position where he
could start a game. "Early in the game he felt another little pull in the
hamstring so he came off before he made it too bad so hopefully he won't be
out too long. "But these things are sent to try us - you have to rise above
them, you have to work harder and if you work harder then we feel that we
have got the players and the ability to get out of the position we're in.
But we have to start turning the corner very quickly."
Green error and poor defending gift Trotters victory
Last updated: 16th December 2009
Man of Match: Lee Chung-Yong. Put in an impressive performance and scored
Moment of the match: Robert Green's howler which gifted Ivan Klasnic his
goal. The Hammers had just equalised and the goal knocked the stuffing out
of Gianfranco Zola's side.
Attempt of the match: Scott Parker hit a piledriver while it was still
goalless which Jussi Jaaskelainen saved well to his right.
Talking point: Can Zola turn things around at Upton Park? He must do so
quickly if the Hammers are not to become detached.
Goal of the game: Alessandro Diamanti hit a great strike after Jack Collison
had flicked on Guillermo Franco's cross.
A Robert Green error and poor defending helped Bolton win their relegation
six pointer with West Ham 3-1 to leapfrog the Hammers in the table and out
of the drop zone. After a goalless first period, the Trotters took the lead
on 64 minutes when Lee Chung-Yong played a one-two with Ivan Klasnic before
slotting home. But the Hammers were level five minutes later when Alessandro
Diamanti hit a great strike after Jack Collison had flicked on Guillermo
Franco's cross. But England keeper Green could not hold an easy catch from
Gary Cahill's bouncing effort and Klasnic slotted home from close range on
77 minutes. Cahill then added the crucial third with two minutes remaining
when rising unchallenged at the far post to nod home Ricardo Gardner's
corner. The result lifts Gary Megson's side out of the drop zone on goal
difference above Wolves, who lost at Manchester United, and leaves the
Hammers second from bottom. Gianfranco Zola's side also suffered a blow when
injury-plagued midfielder Kieron Dyer had to be substituted midway through
the first period with a recurrence of his hamstring problem. Megson named an
unchanged Bolton line-up, rewarding his players for their impressive showing
against Manchester City, while Zola brought Dyer into the Hammers side for
his first start in three months. Bolton began the game in purposeful
fashion, Kevin Davies seizing on an error by Collison in the first minute
and rifling in an effort that was deflected just wide. Dyer was fed neatly
by Herita Ilunga after playing a one-two, but the former England
international could only shoot tamely at Jussi Jaaskelainen from the edge of
the box. A minute later Scott Parker brought down Tamir Cohen but Matt
Taylor's free-kick was collected by Green after bouncing off Danny Gabbidon.
The hosts were in the ascendancy, but picked up two needless bookings in the
22nd minute when Davies bundled into Green after the goalkeeper had caught
the ball. Referee Andre Marriner showed the Wanderers captain the yellow
card and a minute later took Klasnic's name after a melee ensued, with the
West Ham players unhappy with Davies' challenge. Bolton continued to press
and Cahill was unlucky to misdirect a header wide from Paul Robinson's cross
before the unfortunate Dyer was forced to come off after 21 minutes, with
Junior Stanislas the man sent on to replace him. West Ham were looking
deflated but Bolton's confidence was growing, with Fabrice Muamba and Taylor
both trying their luck on the half-hour mark. Zat Knight then failed to
guide his header on target from Lee's corner while Cohen could only hook a
shot over the bar from the Korean's lay-off. Lee was looking lively on the
left and minutes later had cut inside his man and found Klasnic in space.
The in-form striker tried to pick his spot from just outside the area but
his drive was rising too fast and West Ham survived again. Half-time did not
seem to interrupt Bolton's rhythm one bit and they were back on the attack
again almost immediately after the restart. Lee badly miscued a volley after
the ball had dropped to him in the area in the 50th minute and Cohen did
better shortly afterwards having connected with Knight's header, but the
Israeli saw his shot deflected for a corner.
It had been almost entirely one-way traffic, but West Ham finally lent some
creativity to the game on the hour. Diamanti lofted the ball to Franco, who
almost worked his way into a one-on-one with Jaaskelainen before Knight made
an excellent intervention. Cahill then broke free at other end to send in a
low shot that Green could only parry, but the Hammers hit back again on the
counter-attack, Parker creating an angle and hitting a fierce effort that
Jaaskelainen tipped over. Bolton's earlier supremacy was finally rewarded in
the 64th minute when Lee passed to Klasnic, who split the West Ham defence
perfectly with the return ball which left an easy finish for Lee. But the
lead lasted just five minutes as Franco found Collison in the Bolton box,
who teed up Diamanti to lash the ball past Jaaskelainen. It looked as if the
hosts might be left to rue their earlier profligacy in front of goal, but it
was an error from Green that let them off the hook with 13 minutes to go.
The impressive Lee was involved again, pulling the ball back to the edge of
the box for Cahill, whose bouncing effort seemed harmless enough. Green
looked set for an easy catch, but the England goalkeeper blundered and
Klasnic snaffled up the chance.
Klasnic was then substituted and replaced by Chris Basham, who forced a
diving save from Green with a long-range effort with two minutes remaining.
Fellow substitute Gardner took the resulting corner and found Cahill rising
unchallenged at the far post to head home and wrap up the vital win.
Sullivan and Gold's £50 million rescue package unlikely to satisfy West Ham
Straumur, the investment bank which is the biggest shareholder in the
company that owns West Ham, will today be granted a nine-month extension to
its debt moratorium.
By Jason Burt
Published: 9:43AM GMT 16 Dec 2009
The announcement by the Icelandic courts will be used as evidence that CB
Holdings does not need to urgently sell West Ham United — and certainly not
on the cheap. However Rothschild, which has been appointed along with
Standard Bank to field investment and takeover proposals, is sifting through
up to four different plans. The most high-profile of these has been
submitted by the former Birmingham City co-chairman David Sullivan and
though Straumur has been annoyed by the tactics used by him and his
associate David Gold it has not, as has been claimed, summarily dismissed
the plan. Not yet anyway. West Ham at risk of European ban over accounts and
takeoverThe likelihood is that the Sullivan plan, thought to amount to £50
million though only a small portion of this will go to CB Holdings, will be
rejected because it is too low, but it has to be properly evaluated.
Sullivan, who wants an initial 50 per cent stake in the club, with a
guarantee that he will be given control to hire and fire, is proposing to
make about £20 million available to sign new players in January. However, CB
Holdings will not be bounced into a deal and maintains the financial
situation is not as dire as has been portrayed.
West Ham are sinking fast as they fail to prove their worth
Bolton 3-1 West Ham
Buying West Ham United after a performance like this would appear as
foolhardy as snapping up the last two tickets for the maiden voyage of the
Titanic. On the evidence of last night's performance, Gianfranco Zola's ship
is on collision course with an iceberg and looking increasingly likely to
end up going down as well. If David Gold and David Sullivan have as much
sense as they have money, they will have taken one look at this showing
against Bolton Wanderers and quickly decide to do their Christmas shopping
elsewhere. The pair are unlikely to increase their offer of £46million for
the club, which included a provision of £20m for Zola to spend in the
January transfer window. That plainly will not be enough to change the
course the Hammers are on. Icelandic owners Straumur will find out today if
a Reykjavik court has given them a nine-month moratorium on their debts.
That will mean they can reject Gold and Sullivan's offer and may lead to
Scott Parker - a target for both Tottenham and Liverpool - and Matthew Upson
being sold to balance the books. With all the current takeover turmoil;
their lowly League position and the recent depressing retirement of Dean
Ashton, a morale-boosting win in Lancashire would have provided the perfect
tonic for Zola's men. Instead they put together a performance - particularly
in the first half - that was so abject, so directionless and joyless and so
all round dispiriting that it was no surprise most of 3,000 travelling fans
were heading for the M6 long before the final whistle. Assistant manager
Steve Clarke said: "The feeling in the dressing room is that we know we're
in a bad position, we know we haven't got enough points. The quicker we can
get a win, the better. We have confidence in the players, we have confidence
in ourselves and we're sure we can get out of the bottom three."
Kevin Davies, Ivan Klasnic, Gary Cahill, Matty Taylor and Chung-Yong Lee all
had comfortable opportunities in the opening 45 minutes to give Bolton the
lead as West Ham started slowly. Things then got worse for the Hammers as
they also lost the services of Kieron Dyer, who limped off with a hamstring
twinge after 21 minutes. Dyer, 30, who has now played in just 66 matches
during the last five seasons, was making his first start since the opening
day of the season. Bolton took the lead after 65 minutes as the menacing
Klasnic opened up the visitors' flat-footed defence with a fine through ball
to Korean winger Lee, who skipped towards goal before comfortably beating
goalkeeper Robert Green. Yet the slight momentum West Ham had picked up
during their bright period after the break soon paid dividends when
Alessandro Diamanti punished the Bolton defence for falling asleep for the
first time during the match. Jack Collison found himself in acres of space
in the box and he had all the time in the world to pick out the Italian
striker, who slammed the ball past Jaaskelainen for the equaliser. It could
not spur West Ham onto higher things, though, as a Green error soon handed
the lead back to the home side. With 13 minutes to go, a Cahill effort took
a slight deflection and although Green should have comfortably gathered, he
spilled the ball under minor pressure from Klasnic, who could not miss from
two yards out. It was cruel on Green but proof that life has a nasty knack
of kicking you when you are down. The 88th-minute close-range header from
Cahill which made it 3-1 merely proved that point emphatically.
Clarke: Pressure on Green 16/12/2009
Steve Clarke believes Robert Green needs to play "the game of his life" this
weekend after the goalkeeper's blunder against Bolton led to a defeat that
leaves West Ham second bottom of the Barclays Premier League. With the game
balanced at 1-1, Green inexplicably dropped Gary Cahill's bouncing effort in
the 77th minute, allowing Ivan Klasnic to finish with ease. The error proved
crucial for the Hammers, who eventually went down 3-1 at the Reebok Stadium
and are now 19th, two points adrift of Bolton and Wolves.
"We just got back in the game, it looked as if we were in control and Rob
has unfortunately made a mistake and it is something that we couldn't come
back from," said assistant manager Clarke. "Football is all about mistakes.
He has made a mistake but he is a man and he'll deal with it. "He'll recover
and the best thing he can do is go out on Sunday and have the game of his
life. That is what he has to do - he has to respond." Clarke insisted the
players are under no illusions about their current plight but is confident
they will soon turn the corner. "The feeling in the dressing room is that we
know we are in a bad position," said Clarke. "We know we haven't got enough
points. The quicker we can get a win the better - but we don't just need one
win, we need three, four, five wins."We are not stupid. We understand the
situation and we are working as hard as we can to rectify it. "At the moment
it's not easy but we have confidence in the players, in ourselves and we are
sure we can get out of the bottom three."
Steve Clarke admits West Ham problems are all his fault
Steve Clarke tried to protect Gianfranco Zola by declaring that fans should
blame him rather than the boss for West Ham's struggles. The assistant
manager's desperate attempt to deflect attention away from Zola came after
the Hammers crashed 3-1 at Bolton last night to sink to second bottom of the
Premier League. A howler by England goalkeeper Robert Green gifted the home
side a crucial second goal and summed up a nightmare evening for West Ham.
While Zola is the man in charge, Clarke bizarrely said that he should take
the flak as he had more experience in coaching — the Scot was No2 for four
years at Chelsea before joining West Ham 15 months ago. "If there are any
faults, if anyone's looking to blame, they'll have to blame me," said the
46-year-old. "I'm the guy they brought in to help Gianfranco. He's the
novice manager, just in the game but if anyone wants to point fingers, point
them at me. It's been another disappointing night for us. It's been a
difficult time recently and tonight sort of summed it up."
Alessandro Diamanti equalised Chung-Yong Lee's opener before the match
turned in the 77th minute when Green spilled Gary Cahill's shot in front of
Ivan Klasnic, who snapped up the gift to score from point-blank range.
Despite Green's clanger, Clarke backed him and the Hammers to bounce back in
Sunday's derby with Chelsea at Upton Park. "It's a great game for us," he
said. "Nobody expects us to get anything and they have to go there and work
as hard as they can. Football's all about mistakes and Robert will deal with
it and he will recover. The best thing he can do is to go out against
Chelsea and have the game of his life. He has to respond and I'm sure he
Clarke also denied that the boardroom upheaval at Upton Park is affecting
the team. West Ham are set to turn down a £46million takeover bid from
David Gold and David Sullivan but unless the club get new investment then
Zola will have to sell before he can strengthen the squad next month.
"Obviously we're aware it's going on but there's nothing we can do about
it," said Clarke. "Inside the dressing room it's not spoken about."
Harry Redknapp sets his sights on West Ham's Scott ParkerOliver Kay, Chief
Harry Redknapp has urged the Tottenham Hotspur board to test West Ham
United's resolve over Scott Parker as he looks to reinforce his squad for an
assault on Champions League qualification. Parker has been linked with a
move to Liverpool in next month's transfer window but, with money scarce at
Anfield, Tottenham are favourites to sign him next month if West Ham
indicate a willingness to sell. Redknapp has long admired the 29-year-old
and, despite having Jermaine Jenas, Wilson Palacios and Tom Huddlestone
among his options in central midfield, is eager to strengthen his squad.
West Ham valued Parker at £12 million last January, when Manchester City
attempted to sign him, but Tottenham are likely to start the bidding in the
region of £6 million. Redknapp also retains an interest in Matthew Upson,
the West Ham and England defender. The financial position at Upton Park
remains unclear, however, with the future ownership of the club uncertain as
CB Holdings continues to invite offers for its stake. David Sullivan and
David Gold, the former Birmingham City owners, made a £50 million offer to
buy the club on Monday, but that bid seems certain to be rejected as CB
Holdings — the company made up of Straumur, the Icelandic bank, and other
creditors of Björgólfur Gudmundsson, West Ham's previous owner — look to
attract more interest, most notably from Tony Fernandes, the Malaysian
founder of Air Asia.
Daniel Levy, the Tottenham chairman, said at the club's annual meeting last
week that Redknapp must sell players to raise funds to strengthen his squad,
but the manager is prepared to do so if it allows him to make the signings
that would help to try to secure a top-four finish and a place in the
Champions League. Tottenham also hope to secure payments that are due from
Portsmouth for the deals that took Younès Kaboul and Jermain Defoe to
Fratton Park. Giovani dos Santos, the Mexico forward, is certain to be
offloaded as Redknapp looks to raise funds, while the future of David
Bentley at White Hart Lane looks increasingly bleak, even though the manager
plans to include him in the squad for the match at home to Manchester City
this evening. Bentley has made only three league appearances for Tottenham
this season and is understood to be deeply unhappy at the club, having
failed to make an impact since his £15 million transfer from Blackburn
Rovers in the summer of 2008. His future has been thrown further into doubt
since he had a row with Redknapp last week during a behind-closed-doors
friendly match, in which the manager accused him of lacking effort.
Redknapp, however, insists that Bentley can have a future with Tottenham if
he demonstrates the right attitude over the coming weeks. "I left him out
last week because he didn't train well," the manager said. "Normally he
does, because he's a good player in my opinion and a good pro, but last week
he wasn't at his best and I decided not to put him on the bench. That's not
to say he won't be on the bench or in the team next week, though. "There's
no problem between him and me. He's a very good player and there's nothing
to say he can't get back into the team."
Redknapp and Mark Hughes, his opposite number tonight, are vying for a
Champions League spot, but it is the City manager and his team, backed by
their Abu Dhabi billionaires, who have faced the most scrutiny. Redknapp,
though, believes Hughes will remain at City for some time. "I think Mark's
doing a good job there and the people he works for appreciate what he does,"
Redknapp said. "I certainly don't see him going anywhere next season except
being at Manchester City again."
GREEN LEAVES HAMMERS IN DYER STRAIGHTS
Bolton 3 West Ham 1
News Of The World
West Ham lost their prized England asset in Dean Ashton last week, and
concerns must surely be hovering once again over Kieron Dyer after he lasted
less than 25 minutes of Tuesday's 3-1 defeat to Bolton. Dyer was making his
first start since August, yet another spell on the sidelines may well be in
store after his night ended prematurely once again at The Reebok. However,
it is Robert Green who will be wishing he had disappeared from the spotlight
on Tuesday after his amazing gaffe cost West Ham defeat, and maybe cost him
a ticket on England's flight to South Africa. Green's team-mates were
looking the better side in the last 20 minutes as Alessandro Diamanti
cancelled out Chung-Yong Lee's opener, but then he inexplicably dropped the
ball at the feet of Ivan Klasnic as The Hammers collapsed to a desperate
defeat. Gianfranco Zola's men are left dwelling in 19th, and the bad luck is
showing no signs of subsiding. Zola's crippled side showed two changes from
the side that lost to Birmingham on Saturday, with impressive youngster Jack
Collison replacing the suspended Mark Noble, while football's forgotten man
Dyer made a rare start in place of Junior Stanislas. For Gary Megson the
message for his unchanged XI was simple: Play like you did against
Manchester City. They almost got the perfect start too, Kevin Davies
outmuscling the Hammers defence in the absence of Matt Upson, but his shot
was deflected to safety. Davies was certainly up for the fight, earning
himself a booking moments later for a hugely over-zealous challenge on
Unfortunately, it seems Dyer's body just refuses to let him fight anymore,
and he lasted less than 25 minutes before heading off down the tunnel with
yet another injury.
There's only so much bad news a club can take and West Ham appeared to
withdraw slightly after Dyer's departure, Fabrice Muamba nearly capitalizing
for the home side.
In truth, it was a rare goalmouth opportunity in a first half racked by
nerves on both sides.
Megson no doubt delivered a rocket to his men at the interval, and Zat
Knight so nearly glanced home a Matt Taylor corner as the temperature began
to climb in the second period. Moments later Knight was needed at the other
end as Stanislas, on for the unlucky Dyer, tricked his way onto his left
foot only to see his route to goal blocked by the Bolton defender. For the
first time the game was swinging one end to the other, Scott Parker forcing
a fine save from Jussi Jaaskelainen just moments before Klasnic went close
for the hosts. Finally a breakthrough arrived with 20 minutes remaining.
Chung-Yong Lee was the creator and finisher of his own masterpiece, playing
a lovely one-two to dance behind the defence and clip the ball past the
outrushing Green. Now the gloves were off.
Within moments West Ham were level through their best player Diamanti, who
once again displayed that wonderful left foot as he smashed home from close
to the penalty spot after a superb one-touch move by The Hammers. If only
Zola had the money to sign more Diamantis. Suddenly West Ham were in the
ascendency, Parker going close from range and then Stanislas testing
Jaaskelainen's hands, but then came Green's shocker. Imagine the simplest of
catches, and then imagine Green dropping it. There was no danger, the tamest
of crosses was heading straight into Green's hands but an unbelievable
spillage allowed Klasnic to snipe for what could prove to be a crucial goal
come the end of the season. Cahill's late goal rubbed salt into Green's very
open wound, handing Megson his first win in seven matches, and handing Zola
something of a mountain to climb.